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Published: March 6th 2012
Zapatilla II (or minor) island is one of the two beatiful Zapatilla Keys. These two islands are located on a coral platform that is defined, toward the open sea, by the breakers that are formed as the waves crash on the reef. Zapatillas Keys lie inside the Bastimentos Island National Marine Park. They are famous for their beautiful beaches, crystal clear waters, coral reefs and small but shady forests.
We took a picnic lunch and boated out there to do some swimming, relaxing, beachcombing, and walking through the forest on a trail raised above the swampy forest floor. The weather is hot even though the day was mostly cloudy, and we were careful to wear t-shirts to protect our backs when snorkling and to apply lots of sunscreen. The sun is strong even through the clouds, and we are only 9 degrees from the equator.
This place is really postcard pretty. We saw several birds circling some small islands just off the beach, and when we got closer we were lucky to see a frigate bird in full mating mode with his neck pouch inflated. I guess the lady birds will be impressed.
We also visited Starfish beach which housed more tourists than starfish. Some of the tour groups had big speakers set up blasting music and full bars. We walked far from the noise and people, and did some snorkling to find the starfish. They were there, but were not in the numbers that I had expected. The water was somewhat murkey, so the pictures are not as good as we had hoped.
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