This morning, National Geographic Quest anchored right in front of Playa Blanca in the heart of Golfo Dulce. Bottlenose dolphins swam in front of the bow while the sun rose in the distance.
After breakfast, the Zodiac began shuttling guests to the beach. Several motor coaches were waiting as we began our exploration of the inner side of the La Palma area. We visited two families in the town of Rancho Quemado. The first family gave us a tour, teaching us about the gold panning activities that once took place in the area. They also told us about their decision to change their livelihood into conservation efforts. Even though there is still gold in the land that they protect, embracing ecotourism is a much more sustainable economic activity. The second family showed us their sugarcane setup and explained the process to us. Midday, we all gathered by the beach to enjoy a delicious lunch followed by a folkloric dance presentation performed by children and teenagers from the nearby town. Later, we began our second outing of the day. Some of us went to the Kobo Chocolate Farm while others went on the Heart of Palm tour or for a shaded walk in the forest.
During our visits, we were greeted with samples of local dishes. We enjoyed heart of palm empanadas, green banana ceviche, and delicious chocolate mousse.
After returning to the beach, a local NGO staff shared a presentation on sea turtle conservation.
Today we enjoyed a full day surrounded by nature. We saw three-toed sloths, scarlet macaws, orange-chinned parakeets, scarlet-rumped tanagers, and much more. It was a wonderful day full of culture and wildlife sightings.