In a miraculous turn of events, a northerly wind swept in and freed us from the raincloud which seemed to have followed us all the way from the Panama Canal. Now we could truly enjoy the Guna Yala Islands before leaving the country for Colombia.

The picture-postcard setting of the white sand beaches, turquoise ocean, and gently swaying palms seems so much of a cliché, but here it’s a reality. Hosted by Brian of the Guna people, we landed on Cayo Holandesa to enjoy a morning of snorkeling above the local reef, afternoon kayaking around the island, and generally just shooting the breeze in paradise.

In the background, Gunas hung their traditional mola designs from palms and waited for willing buyers; their beautiful wares displayed all manner of symmetrical figures and animals. Then it was time to return to National Geographic Quest for Happy Hour.