Punta Culebra is located on the Amador Causeway in Panama City. It has beautiful views of the Pacific Ocean, the mountains, the Panama Canal and the city itself. The causeway was originally just three small islands. During the construction of the Canal 100 years ago, some of the soil and rocks (spoils) that the workers dug up were moved by train and then by boat to build a strip of land that connects the three islands to the mainland. From an airplane, the Causeway looks like a skinny finger sticking out into the sea.
The Smithsonian runs a small research station and student visitor center out of Punta Culebra. It reminds us a little of the Urban Ecology Center, except that is for learning about life in the oceans. More than 25,000 public school children visit Culebra every year. They come to learn about marine ecosystems. Inside of the center there are exhibits that teach about relative size of fish, some questions scientists are studying, and there are also samples of corals and shells.
Outside there are several pools that house animals. One has some Hawk billed sea turtles and another has some fish. There are also a few touching pools. People can hold or just touch the starfish and the sea cucumbers. At each of the pools there are volunteers to tell you about the animals. It is both interesting and beautiful.