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Isla de Coiba

Central America Tops and Flops thumbnail

This time last year, I was flying back to the USA after four months spent in one of my favorite pockets of planet earth: Central America. Over the course of five different trips, I’ve now been lucky enough to visit each of the seven countries making up this sub-continent — some of them multiple times! A…

The Great Escape: Month 32 Roundup thumbnail

You know how first time travelers get overexcited about being on the road for the first time and totally overschedule themselves trying to do and see it all and then eventually crash and burn? Despite the fact that I had years of travel under my belt when I touched down in Latin America, I made the…

A Presidential Showdown: Isla de Coiba Part IV thumbnail

Start Here: Part I, Part II and Part III of my dive trip to Isla de Coiba. I woke up on our fourth and final day in Coiba National Park feeling a mixture of sadness and excitement. These forced off-the-grid experiences are good for me, and I felt a twinge of heaviness at the thought of…

At Home in Eden: Isla de Coiba Part III thumbnail

Start Here: Part I and Part II of my dive trip to Isla de Coiba. With limited electricity on Isla de Coiba, we soon returned to the rhythm of the land — dozing off no long after sunset and rising naturally before sunrise. On our third day in Coiba National Park, we made the short walk…

A Diving Dare: Isla de Coiba Part II thumbnail

Though whale sharks and manta rays had eluded us, I would rate our first day in Coiba National Park with Scuba Coiba as a pretty solid awesome — we’d swum with a school of thousands of jacks, spotted four frogfish, frolicked on idyllic abandoned beaches, watched dozens of white tip reef sharks slink by, met a majestic…

Diving Panama’s Prison Paradise: Introducing Isla de Coiba thumbnail

I often equate diving to a form of aquatic yoga — relaxing, meditative, weightless. Isla de Coiba destroys that analogy. Diving there is no yoga — it’s a tough mudder. We’re talking low visibility, deep depths, thermoclines with 10°F  temperature drops, and currents so intense you have no choice but to cling to a rock until…

Santa Catalina: Panama’s Untamed Treasure thumbnail

Ask a backpacker about the beaches in Panama, and it’s likely they’ll start waxing poetic about the Caribbean sands of Bocas del Toro. And for good reason — it’s a unmissable stop on the gringo trail of Central America. But for the hearty few that touch down on the golden sands of the Pacific side of…

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