Wednesday, September 25, 2013


Yet another stretch of deserted beach on the islands near Boca Brava on Panama's Pacific coast. 
Birding, scuba diving, whale watching and beach combing. It's been a tough few days spent on and around Panama's Isla Boca Brava, Golfo de Chiriqui National Park and the nearby Coiba National Marine Park
A mother humpback whale dives near Coiba Island.

Not a lot of travelers in this part of southwestern Panama, but plenty of humpback whales, including a mother and eight-ft-long baby, whose tail we watched flop back and forth above water as he tried to nurse. 

We really wanted to stay at Islas Secas exclusive resort. Their "low season rate" of $695 per person, per night, sounded reasonable, and it's only $1,700 each day (3 day minimum) to go fishing. Tempting, but rather than auction off our kidneys, we opted for the much more accessible and laid back Hotel Boca Brava, with their personal boatman who took us for a full day island cruise, including some phenomenal whale watching, shown above (baby whales!) for the outrageous price of $25.

They even have their own resident howler monkeys, and birds galore, including the Blue-Crowned Motmot and Lance-Tailed Manakin.

Howler monkey playing in a tree.
A pair of lance-tailed manakins.

Below the surface, we went scuba diving in the waters off of Cohiba National Park. Now a beautifully preserved park, this island is home to a prison in operation from 1919-2004 where former dictators would torture and "dissapear" their dissenters. 

It's still possible to visit the prison, but most tourists (like us) come for the undersea adventures, or to meet "Tito" the resident crocodile who lives on the beach.

There were also whale shark sightings in the area, and we were hoping for a repeat of our incredible Philippines experience, but no such luck. We settled for seeing lots of eels, lobsters, jacks, colorful coral, and one massive manta ray.

It was a great stop as we headed down the coast toward Panama City, with breaks for surfing in Santa Catalina and Playa Venao.
Liz wanted to hide this tiny hermit crab in her backpack and take him home. 
Kip, binoculars in hand, looks for shore birds and whale tails.
That's just another jungle-covered island in the background.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for reading and commenting!