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Panama is host to undiscovered places of exuberant natural beauty. One of them is Coiba National Park. This is a World Heritage Natural Site, consisting of a group of islands in the Pacific Ocean, south of the Veraguas Province. The park boasts incredible biodiversity.
Numerous fish, lobsters, and snails inhabit the reefs of Coiba, the large island. Larger animals such as leatherback turtles, whale sharks, manta rays, dolphins, marlin, sail fish and tuna regularly visit these waters, too. Humpback whales visit the islands from July to October to give birth and mate.
On land one can find 36 species of mammals, 39 species of amphibians and reptiles, and 147 species of birds. Some of these species, like the Coiba Spinetail (a bird) and the Coiba Agouti (a mammal) exist only on Coiba and nowhere else in the world. Coiba is also the only place in Panama where one can spot scarlet macaws.
Snorkeling the reefs and exploring the trails with a knowledgeable guide is a good way to explore the incredible richness of Coiba. There are numerous reefs, some sheltered, some more exposed, where tourists can snorkel safely. Trails vary from an easy stroll to a medium-difficult four-hour trek through the jungle.
A number of companies in Panama offer tours to Coiba and some can tailor a trip to your specific wishes and abilities. Upon going, do not forget to keep your eyes peeled during the boat ride to Coiba: for dolphins, devil rays and possibly even a humpbacked whale.