Two weeks ago the TIBS Spring 2017 group went on a road trip across Panama, from our home base here in Bocas to Boca Bravo on the Pacific coast. On our way to the Pacific we took a detour and stopped by the highland region of Boquette, a tiny village tucked within a gorgeous mountain range. We only spent one night in Boquette but we certainly made the most of our time; we toured some of the region’s famous coffee farms and even got to hike with a professional birder (we caught a glimpse of the super beautiful and rare Quetzal).

The next day we departed for the Pacific with our handy bus driver Miguel Angel and arrived in Boca Bravo in the mid-afternoon. Our hotel was perched atop a massive cliff (it felt even taller because we had lug all of our gear) that had a great view of the archipelago. What struck me the most was how incredibly dry the environment was; coming from Bocas where 80% humidity is a good day we were all relived to actually feel dry for a change.

For the remainder of the day we had some much-needed downtime to go swimming, climb the observation tower, or simply enjoy the scenery. The next morning we took a forest walk on a nearby island and did our first (and only) Pacific snorkel. In the water we saw puffer fish the size of watermelons and even got to observe a moray eel feeding! After the snorkel we had lunch on a secluded beach where we swam, explored tide pools, and essentially had a little beach fiesta. Perhaps one of the coolest experiences of our trip was actually the journey home: we woke up on the Pacific and went to bed on the Atlantic (pretty rad!!).

→ Tropical Island Biodiversity Studies in Panama