Episode 22: Isla Coiba National Park

Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Flag of Panama  , Veraguas,
Friday, February 25, 2011

Paid to Play Episode 22:  the one where the author snorkles with a whale shark. 

You would never guess by looking at a map but Isla Coiba is actually part of an underwater mountain chain that connects to the Galapagos Islands.  The water here is unexpectedly warm for a Pacific destination in the Americas and the sea life is as varied as anywhere in the world.  Humpback whales, tiger sharks, whale sharks, and orcas are some of the larger species that congregate here.  Snorkeling and diving is simply unbeatable. 

For me, the snorkeling is where it's at since that's what I can afford to do.  The highlight during this trip was swimming with a 6 meter, medium sized, whale shark.  It was like swimming next to a mini-submarine!  This wasn't even a big one.  It came so close, that it's entire length didn't fit into the camera's view! 

Besides the whale shark we saw today, the smaller sea life is amazing too.  Compared to the Caribbean side of Panama, the Pacific wins by a mile.  I would come back here in second if you ever asked me.  Put Santa Catalina on your wish list and come snorkel and dive this pristine area.  You will not be disappointed.

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Jane Cheng on

Great pics Jeff! I think I may have to visit this place. :)

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