Last night we left the port of Colon, on the Caribbean coast of Panama, and started our expedition by sailing through the Panama Canal. After going through the Gatun locks and being raised 80 feet above sea level, we woke up in the man-made lake of Gatun just in front of the famous Barro Colorado Island. There we got the choice to explore by trail or Zodiac the same tropical rainforest that generations of scientists have been studying for the last 100 years.

For the afternoon, we extended our explorations further into Gatun Lake by pangas. We had great sightings of several species of monkeys, such as mantled howlers, white-faced capuchins, Central American spider monkeys, and Geoffroy’s tamarins. It was indeed impressive to see humongous ships constantly coming out of the forest, seemingly from nowhere. During the remainder of the afternoon, we crossed the other half of the Panama Canal on the Pacific side.