Arrive at Coiba Island and explore this site that was separated from the mainland during the last Ice Age about 12,000 to 18,000 years ago. Sea levels rose causing an extraordinary evolutionary study. Animals on this newly formed island had to adapt to island life. The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute conducts extensive studies on the biodiversity of the area, one of the wildest places in central America. This densely forested island is a true natural oasis of incredible and diverse ecosystems just waiting to be explored.
Arise early and head to the swim platform of your vessel where you will be met by a local tender and a local Pelorus Naturalist. Cruise to the windward side of the island. Here the rocky cliffs of Jicarita and Jicaron provide a nesting sanctuary for several species of marine birds both resident and migratory. These include the frigate bird, yellow-footed booby, neotropical cormorant, and brown pelicans. Enjoy a picnic tender as you drift in the tender to observe the only significant population of the nationally endangered scarlet macaw as they feed on the fruits of overhanging almond trees. Take part in monitoring and recording this iconic bird to help local monitoring conservation efforts. Don’t forget to keep an eye on the water where lazy crocodiles rest at close quarters.
In the afternoon explore Coiba proper driving in 4x4s to the abandoned Coiba prison. This prison was built in 1919 and once housed over 3,000 inmates. Since it was abandoned it has been completely reclaimed by nature transforming from a deadly prison into a natural paradise. Housing endemic birds and mammals including howler monkeys, agouti, and possum.
Indulge in a leisurely breakfast onboard before heading out in a tender for a fishing adventure. Your Pelorus guides will bring you close to the legendary Hannibal Bank and Isla Montuousa where there is an abundance of marlin and tuna. Return to your waiting vessel and cruise toward Islas Secas.
Awake in Islas Secas, a marine national park. Spend the morning with Pelorus guides tracking down elusive populations of humpback whales that visit Panama’s Gulf of Chiriqui. Catch sight of them breaching the water, spy-hopping, and tail lobbing. Return to Islas Secas and take to the water equipped with only a pair of flippers and snorkel as you explore this stunning water and the abundance of sea life that is to be found among the reefs surrounding the archipelago. Witness parrotfish, angelfish, eagle rays and endangered turtles that inhabit these calm waters. Return to your vessel for supper surrounded by the thrum of natural life.
After a relaxed breakfast, a Pelorus dive guide will accompany you as you explore below the surface of the national park. With a range of dive sites to suit all levels of experience and training from calm inshore reefs to high-octane diving on exposed offshore pinnacles and seamounts, there is something for everyone. For something truly exceptional, head below the water in a submersible, venturing deeper than you thought possible. During a submersible expedition, you may encounter sharks, turtles, whale sharks and countless other marine creatures from the safety of the submarine.
In the afternoon head out in a tender to a huge colony of soaring Frigates. It is a thrill to watch these spectacular birds dive and dance and you may even have the chance to catch these birds catching their prey mid-flight. Return to Isla Cavada where two miles of jungle trails await. Cross the island in any direction you chose exploring the depths of the forest in search of birds and animals that make their home on the island. Return to your vessel for supper and make your way back to Panama City to catch your flight back home.