Bastimentos National Park

Bastimentos National Marine Park was dedicated by the country of Panama in 1988 to protect 32,700 acres of Isla Bastimentos and the surrounding marine area.  Approximately 28,600 acres of the preserve consists of protected marine habitat.  In addition to the island are the Zapatilla Cays, which are two uninhabited islands which make up part of the barrier reef which protects much of Isla Bastimentos. The interior of the park consists of primary and secondary rainforests. Wildlife in the lowlands include species such as white-faced capuchin monkeys, night monkeys, two and three toes slothes, margays, bats, frogs, and others which are endemic to the region. Playa Larga

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The windward side of the island has jungle canopy stretching to the edge of the beach and is the nesting site for four different species of sea turtle. This area is characterized by large rock faces, coves and inlets, spring fed creeks, and long stretches of beach.

The surrounding coral reefs forms an interesting pattern of rock chutes, crags, pinnacles, and tunnels which are home to more than 200 different species of fish and many formations of both soft and hard coral. The Leeward side of the island features coastal forest merging with lush mangrove cays which dot the national park and are connected by  Sea Grass which covers the shallow flats of white and pink sand.  This area is also a prime place to see sea stars, sea cucumbers, crabs, conch, octopus, and lobster.