On our first day of exploration in Panama we had the amazing opportunity to explore the most important island in the Panama Canal, Barro Colorado.

Since 1923 important biological research has taken place on Barro Colorado. Scientists come here from all over the world to better understand the tropics. The island is a protected region, and that agreement is included in the Torrijos-Carter Treaty of 1977.

The morning began with rain, but the group kept a very positive attitude; they understood that at this time Panama is enduring a drought related to the weather phenomenon El Niño. The rain received today will help the canal and the economy of the country.

After breakfast the first group left the ship and headed to the small community of Gamboa, in the middle region of the Panama Canal, where they observed local wildlife. The other group visited the island and learned more about how the island supports important research projects. When the rain stopped, our local guide led us along the island’s trails and helped us understand the entire composition of the rainforest, from the fungus on the ground up to the canopy.

In the afternoon we offered more tours of the area for about an hour, and our guests had the chance to observe howler monkeys, capuchin monkeys, and Geoffroy’s tamarins. We finished our day on the sundeck with an amazing ceviche prepared by the crew from National Geographic Quest.