We are back on National Geographic Quest and on our way to explore the wilderness of Costa Rica and Panama. Welcome! This week we join Captain Paul Fiquenick, his officers, crew, and expedition staff.

Though it was just our first full day together, the day was so full and rich. We started off with a fantastic “On Assignment” presentation by our National Geographic Photography Expert, Rich Reid, who shared some of his truly breathtaking images from his various photo-story assignments. After this, we hopped onto Zodiacs to go for a bird, wildlife, and nature tour along the Aquitas River. We spotted a variety of birds including a black hawk, kingfishers, blue herons, green herons, and night herons — we even found a sloth. In the afternoon, we headed into the forest in Caletas for the first of many hikes together. The areas we explored were quite unique. This land bridge is geologically young and joins two continents and separates two oceans. We are set to do many more hikes, Zodiac tours, and snorkeling; we will also visit culturally and historically significant areas, which will be so rewarding.

One piece of advice for your voyage, pack two sets of clothing — one for your current size and one slightly larger because the food on board is so delicious!

Looking forward to an incredible voyage!