Exploring Isla Iguana-Panama

The morning is filled with excitement, as we board the skift, eager for our first off ship adventure.

With Jenny as our guide, our skift cruises around the shore of Isla Iguana, an island, wildlife refuge, in Panama. As red throated frigates circle overhead, Jenny imparts information regarding their nesting and mating habits.

picture courtesy of Uncruise Adventures

As we draw closer to the beach, we come upon a patch of water that looks like a pot of boiling pasta. The patch of boiling water seems to be moving alongside us, at the same speed as the skift. Once we are close enough, Jenny, with the same level of wonder and enthusiasm as we are experiencing, exclaims that we are witnessing a school of jack fish.

picture courtesy of Uncruise Adventures

After landing,  Jenny takes us on a short hike from one end of the island to the other.

During World War II, the U.S. military used the island as a bombing range. You can still see an indentation on the island from a detonated bomb.

Unfortunately for our group, Isla Iguana does not live up to its name, as we do not see a single iguana, though some of the other groups from our ship do (no worries, there will be plenty of iguana sightings in our future). We do see other cool things during our hike.


Our walk ends at a beach on the opposite end of the island.

picture courtesy of Uncruise Adventures

Jenny gives us time to meander around and take in the beautiful beach scenery.

After making our way back along the trail, we have some fun- in- the- sun, splashy, beach time, before heading back to the ship.

The afternoon is our longest day time at sea. We have a lot of ground…or in this case…sea to cover, in order to reach our next destination.

Guests gather on the bow of the ship, along with binocular bearing adventure guides, to watch for sea life.

We spot a lot of birds, a few rays (and one Rey pictured above), and a couple of dolphins in the distance.

After the late, previous night, spent marveling as we made our passage through the Panama Canal, it was nice having a relaxed afternoon. I watch some sea life, chat with fellow passengers, and write in my journal (because Doug Walsh said I must journal) while enjoying my first 3 o’clock cookie time. It is the perfect way to ease into the very active week ahead.


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  1. Brian - EatWorkTravel

    July 23, 2017 at 5:12 pm

    Sorry you did not have any iguana sightings. On our last trip to Banff we so desperately wanted to see a moose or bear but no luck! Looks like despite the iguanas it was a lovely hike.

  2. Elaine J Masters

    July 24, 2017 at 8:25 am

    I love the idea of cruising around that area. Looks like a nice way to go with company on the hike too.

  3. Wendy

    July 24, 2017 at 1:09 pm

    Glad you saw iguanas elsewhere in Panama. We have seen all different types in our travels to South + Central America, and the Caribbean. Panama is on my bucket list. We are divers, so hoping to see some of the sealife you mention – up close and personal underwater. Was this a tour for the entire time you were in Panama or was this an excursion with tour guide while touring Panama?

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