Today was all about, literally, diving into the beautiful nature of Coiba National Park.

We started our day with a glorious sunrise stretch surrounded by the islands of the park, including Cocos Island just around the corner from the ranger’s station. Shortly after breakfast, our group split, with some folks heading towards Cocos to enjoy a morning snorkel. In the morning, the tide is low enough to enjoy the reef. We saw all sorts of creatures, including several species of parrotfish and a reef shark. One guest even found a shark cave, where a bunch of sharks hang out! The guest wasn’t scared. At least that’s what they said.

Meanwhile, over by the ranger’s station, guests enjoyed excursions into the forest or grabbed a couple pool noodles for a float. A bunch of folks took advantage of the paddleboards and kayaks to explore around the cove. Black-headed vultures hopped about and sunned themselves, while an endemic Coiba agouti foraged about on the station grounds.

Today was our big day for swimming. After lunch, we returned to the beach for another paddle around the cove. A couple groups decided to make a go of hiking or a photo walk. There were so many animals right near the station! The capuchin monkeys were preoccupied with coconuts, grooming, and playing together. They didn’t pay us any mind. At one point, we had monkeys to one side, a giant iguana to the other, and howler monkeys screaming in the distance. Later, we watched as a mother capuchin was groomed while her infant clung to her back. An agouti came out and tried to nibble on a coconut on a set of steps, but a monkey came over and scared it off. It was apparently the best coconut in the area. Everyone wanted a piece of it.

Midafternoon, it was time to head back to the ship, where we did NOT fight over coconuts as we began the long journey onward. Everyone looked refreshed after a long day at the beach, and I’m sure we will all sleep well tonight. Next stop: the Panama Canal!