On Thursdays at 3 p.m., the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute located on Isla Colon about 2 miles from Bocas Town has a free tour of its facility. Researchers, including students, from all over the world come here to study the fascinating tropical marine biology of Bocas del Toro, Panama. The tour is 1 hour at most. It includes a short, easy walk of the grounds, where we saw a caiman, an iguana, turtles and a variety of colorful birds. I recommend bringing a camera and binoculars. Our guide pointed out red and white mangroves, as well as some other species of trees. We saw student researchers at work. We also walked on the dock and observed fish, coral and underwater flora through the crystal clear water. We learned the history of the facility. It was a short, but educational and enjoyable way to spend an afternoon.
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