Barro Colorado Island

Dec 24, 2017 - National Geographic Quest

The morning found National Geographic Quest anchored in front of Barro Colorado Island, a former hill that is now an island, which was created by flooding a valley with the waters of the Chagras River. The island became the heart of the manmade lake and its primary objective is to supply the water needed for the Panama Canal operation. Barro Colorado turned into the most important neotropical research center.

Today we visited this marvelous facility. Some guests walked the trails while others cared more for Zodiac cruises as well as visiting the Discovery Center nearby. Snail kites, crested coquette, white hawks, and red-capped manikins were some of the birds spotted, as well as several species of mammals like mantled howler and white-headed capuchin monkeys and Central American agouti’s.  Later in the day, and after enjoying a dancing exhibition, we began the final part of our transit towards Pedro Miguel and Miraflores Locks.

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About the Author

Maguil Céspedes


Although Maguil was born in San Jose, he was raised in the countryside of Costa Rica, and it was this experience that provided him with a deep knowledge of and a profound love for the rural life of Central America.  It was this passion for nature that led Maguil to study biology at the University of Costa Rica, where he received his master’s degree in 2002. His thesis explored the genetic structure of big leaf mahogany, an endangered species of tree that is commercially extinct in much of Central America.

About the Videographer

Mark Coger

Video Chronicler

Growing up in a military family, Mark Coger has been traveling most of his life.  While living in Japan, he developed his passion for videography.  He began his venture in the field of video production by filming numerous events for a local high school and the military community before moving to Southern California, where he obtained his degree in filmmaking at California State University Northridge.  From there, he went on to produce and direct his first major short film, An American Journalist which was screened at the Method Film Festival.

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