Parita

Parita is the oldest indigenous-Spanish settlement in the Azuero region, founded in 1558 as a response to the suppression of the Indian mission by the Mayor of Natá, as decreed by the Spanish Crown on March 21, 1551. Among its founders were Juan Ruiz de Monjaraz and the Dominican friar Pedro de Santa Maria. Since Parita was founded over 450 years ago, that makes it one of the oldest human settlement in the country.

Parita conserves the legacy of the colonial period practically intact. The exact date of its foundation is uncertain, and it was not until 1937 that August 18 was established as the official date of this celebration. Parita preserves its ancient church, which dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, as a symbol of its history. Priests and notable persons were buried in this church, as was the custom in that era. In addition, the town has an enormous colonial plaza surrounded by brick houses, some of which also date to the 18th century. Most of these houses have high porches that were converted into bleachers from which to watch bull fights and other activities during their patron saint festival. Parita is named after the Indian chief Paris, who lived in those parts.

Location

The town of Parita is 4 hours from Panama City, in the southwestern part of the country.

How to arrive?

  • Bus: Take a bus bound for Parita from the National Grand Transportation Station in Panama City.
  • Car: Take the Pan-American Highway until you reach Divisa, then turn off onto the Azuero highway to continue to the town of Parita.
  • Taxi: The area of Parita has a special taxi service, as well as intercity bus services that arrive from other towns in the Azuero Peninsula.

What to bring

  • Camera
  • Water bottle
  • Light-weight clothing
  • Sunscreen

Activities

  • Holy Week celebrations
  • Santo Domingo de Guzmán patron saint festival