Thursday, April 23, 2015

Insular Guna Yala

Guna Yala is an autonomous territory extending along Panama's eastern Caribbean coast including a 373 km strip of mainland and approximately 365 islands and cays, home of the Gunas and a real paradise on Earth!
Pelican Island, Guna Yala
In fact, these paradise islands are a major touristic attraction for both nationals and foreigners, who visited it seeking for white-sand beaches and sun.  We were not the exception, and some days ago I went with my family to Carti, the town at the end of the El Llano-Carti road (where we birded some days later with Guido Berguido and Noah Strycker), where we boarded the boats towards Perro Chico Island, our destination for the rest of the day.
Gloriela and Teresa (with their molas)
On route to the island, our boatman suggested to visit a natural marvel, a sandbank barely submerged known as "natural pool" because the depth is only a few feet terms... ideally for both kids and grown ups!
Cubilla-Caballero-Gómez-Hilton family!
From the natural pool we were able to see the coralline reef in the distance protecting these islands, the reason why these waters were so calm and peaceful.  Coralline in origin, these low-lying islands and cays are covered in palm trees (important for the Gunas) and surrounded by multicolored waters.  The avian diversity is quite low, but I managed to find some pelicans, terns and even an immature Brown Booby fishing close to Perro Chico island.
Brown Booby
We had a great day on the island; the little ones were who enjoyed it most, playing on the fine, white sand and diving in the warm, crystalline waters.  
Kevin, Analía and Gabrielle
I'm sure we will enjoy these waters again in the future... after all, it is only 2-hours from Panama City.  That's one of the reasons why I love Panama... you can live facing the Pacific Ocean, and to enjoy the warm Caribbean in the same day!

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