Barú Volcano National Park covers 14,322.5 hectares in the province of Chiriqui. At the summit of this volcano, where you can view two oceans at the same time, temperatures sink to 10° C, while they are around 20° C on the volcano's slopes.
The evidence that Barú Volcano was at one time active is visible in trails of lava winding between the ridges of the Talamanca Cordillera. This site is also the source of the Caldera River, whose waters flow into those of the Chiriquí, David, Platanal, and other rivers.
The rain forest has an exquisite climate, vegetation, and wildlife, and it is a delight to observe such a spectacle that only nature can provide.
This volcano and its rainforest ecosystem are habitat to animals like black guan, puma, deer, porcupine, and bats.
Barú Volcano Trail –Western Route
-Type of trail: Loop
-Distance: 16.5 miles roundtrip
-Time needed: at least 9-11 hours
-Elevation climb: 1,578 meters (5,177 feet)
-Maximum elevation: 3,478 meters above sea level (11,410 ft)
-Attractions: Cloud forest, landscapes, flora and fauna
-Activities: Trekking, camping, bird watching
Level of Difficulty: Difficult. Hikers must be in good physical shape and have a sufficient skill level. The path could be dangerous in some places and must be traversed with caution. The route may go through areas that are in poor condition, with no marked trail, or on very steep terrain.
-This trail must be respected. Prepare yourself well and you will have an excellent time hiking!
-Go with an experienced guide, because the trail is not marked and visitors have gotten lost.
-Even if you have hiked the path before, we recommend that you hire a guide. Do not go alone. The forks in the trail may have changed and could lead astray even those who have climbed it previously.
Suggested packing list:
- Plenty of water (1.5 -2 liters per day, per person)
- Hiking boots
- Warm clothing, since temperatures at the summit can hit below zero (0° C/32º F)
- Rainjacket and/or waterproof clothing
- Insect repellent (optional)
- Flashlight or headlamp
- Hiking stick (optional)
- Sufficient food, especially if camping
- Appropriate camping equipment (make sure your sleeping bag is suitable for temperatures 0º C/32º F)
For more information: www.caminandopanama.org
Type of trail: Loop
Distance: 6.6 km one way (8.8 km and 2.2 km to access Alto Chiquero), 18 km roundtrip
Time needed: 5-6 hours (10-12 hours round trip)
Elevation climb/descent: 686 m. (2,250 ft)
Maximum elevation: 2,505 m (8,218 ft)
Attractions: Cloud forest, scenery, plants and animals, rivers
Activities: Trekking, camping, bird watching
Level of difficulty: Moderate
Some stretches of the trail are easy, whereas others require more physical exertion. The trail may have long sections on uneven ground (river crossings, thick vegetation, boulders, very slippery soil) or short sections on paved ground but with a steep slope.
Go with a local experienced guide. This way you won't get lost and you'll be supporting the local economy.
Don't forget to pack:
- Water bottle (1.5 - 2 liters per day per person)
- Hiking boots (see note)
- A rainjacket
- First-aid kit
- Insect repellent (optional)
- Flashlight or headlamp, hiking stick (optional)
- Sufficient food (especially if you're going to go camping)
- And adequate camping gear.
-For trails like this we recommend that you wear hiking boots. Be sure to break them in BEFORE you begin the hike to avoid getting uncomfortable blisters.
-You may find trash along the trail, usually plastic water bottles, empty food tins, and energy drink cans. Make an effort to keep the trail clean and follow the Leave No Trace principle of packing out what you packing in.
-Specific recommendations from ANAM for visitors to Barú Volcano National Park: www.anam.gob.pa
More information: www.caminandopanama.org