After sailing north, sunrise found National Geographic Quest dropping anchor at Peninsula de Santa Elena. This is the oldest territory of Costa Rica, geologically speaking, and an iconic place where oceanic crust is exposed. We enjoyed the most stunning landscapes. Nurse sharks showed up on our way to Playa Matapalito, where the tilted stratos are evidence of uplifting by tectonic plate action where the forest meets the turquoise waters.

We hiked through the dry forest of this UNESCO World Heritage site. Some guests kayaked through the bay. The Tora Carey organization shared about their work for turtle conservation.

In the afternoon, snorkeling was an amazing experience. We saw large schools of diverse fish, including parrotfish, king angelfish, Cortez rainbow wrasses, and a sea turtle. Such amazing observations can make our explorers emotional.

Cristian Zuniga from Area de Conservacion Guanacaste joined us for dinner and lectured about the organization’s goals and accomplishments. Tomorrow is sure to be another great day.