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Panama

2 weeks, split between 4 bases:
Coiba Island, Panama City, Canopy Tower & Canopy Lodge .

Population: 3m (UK = 60m)
Area:
75,000sq km (UK = 245,000)
Famous for:
A canal (and wildlife!)
Cost of a can of Coke in a restaurant (the new standard!): 70p
Weather in Jan:
"Hot" up to 35'C day, 23'C night .
Local food: Fish, chicken and rice.
Flight cost: £670 via New York


Day 1: Getting to Panama

Via New York. 24 hours without sleep. Not much fun.

Day 2: Getting to Coiba Island

6 hours in a hire car then 2 hours on a boat landed us at a remote paradise for diving and a bit of wildlife.

 

 

Day 3 & 4:
Scuba diving at Coiba Island

6 dives in warm water with currents varying from none to strong. The fish life was excellent, with an unusual abundance of sharks, moray eels and frog fish.

 
White tip reef shark

 
Hmm... a blue fish?

Fatfish

Yellow Pacific Seahorse

 
Frogfish

 

On our last dive we acquired 3 cute little friends.

Pilot fish usually hang around with big things like sharks but they instead decided to come with us.

 

Day 5: Wildlife walk at Coiba island

 

Capuchin monkey

Green leaf vine snake

 
Tarantula

 

 

Day 6&7: Panama city.

Not a very exciting place, but the canal history is interesting. 48 miles long, taking 33 years, and completed in 1914, excavating by hand and steam machines the equivalent of ~75 egyptian pyramids.

25,000 people died on the job, mainly from malaria and yellow fever. That's 500 for every mile of the canal.



Sorry, this picture stolen from Google! All the rest are ours!


A passing container ship. Would have paid approx £150,000 to use the canal

The giant locks at Miraflores.Contain 100,000 bathfuls of water and fill in 10 minutes.

Day 8-10: Canopy Tower:

Up on the mountainside, half way along the canal is an old radar tower which has been converted to a hotel and wildlife observation centre.


Ah...This is a stolen picture too!

 

From on top you can see the canal in the distance...
Howler monkeys in the tree tops outside the bedroom window!  

 

 

And Mr sloth outside the bedroom window too!

 


 

Very rare (and cute!) tamarin monkey

Iguana

Agouti (giant rat-type mammal)

A fleeting glimpse of an ant eater

Long billed hermet hummingbird

Violet bellied hummingbird

Violet bellied hummingbird

White necked jacobin hummingbird
Crimson crested woodpecker

Summer tanager

 

Day 11-14: Canopy Lodge

Up in the mountains to another wildlife centre for hard-core birders.

Green lizard

Caracara hawk

Toucan
Spectacled owls

Bay headed tanager
Rufous Mot mot
Blue crowned mot mot

3 toed sloth

Orange bellied trogon
Central American whiptail lizard

Frog (of some sort!)

Transparent blue butterfy
Leaf frog
     

White hawk


 

Let me know if you know if I have the bird names wrong! steveonholiday1 @ yahoo.co.uk