Panama's privileged geography of being flanked by two oceans makes this Central American country an increasingly popular destination among surfers, since the best beaches for this sport are found merely an hour away from the capital, Panama City. 

National Parks

Written by Thursday, 17 July 2014 15:48
 

Panamanian Nature in all its Splendor

Panama's National Parks are a sanctuary for the flora and fauna living on our isthmus.

Due to its privileged geographical location, Panama features a unique biodiversity that is worthy of admiration by all nature lovers.

Hiking our nature trails with groups led by expert guides will make your visit to Panama a complete experience.

All set to celebrate the Children's Day parade

The Panama City Hall is planning "A Magical Adventure", a Grand Children's Parade to celebrate Children's Day on July 27th. The parade will begin at Rommel Fernández Stadium in the township of Juan Díaz and end at Heliodoro Patiño Park.

The Tourism Commission of the Panamanian Association of Business Executives (APEDE) announces the 18th Tourism Forum FOTUR 2014, which will be themed "Tourism in the Provinces: Realities and Challenges" and held from July 17 to 19 in Chiriquí. 

Panama has gotten on board with the sport of skateboarding. An attraction for the ramps and rails, board designs, speed, degrees of difficulty, and tricks are shared alike by Panamanian citizens and tourists who seek out a thrill on the various skate circuits.

They often share their skating knowledge and styles with those at varying levels, whether amateurs or pros.

Colorful skateboards swerving through the streets and avenues are most common during the summer season. One of the major events in Central America that brings together many youth is Culture on Wheels, which has been held on more than one occasion in the Figali Convention Center.

Panama invites you to spend some recreational time outdoors on its various skate courses.

Coastal Strip 3 Skatepark: designed by the renowned group California Skatepark and open to the public.

Skatepark Chorrera: built by the previous government administration to be accessible to the general public and featuring multiple sections.

Skatepark Punta Chame: a private park within Nitro City resort that offers all of the hotel's facilities and services, as well as chance to enjoy the sun, sand, and other sports.

Full Drop Santiago: located indoors inside Hotel Plaza, where you can spend the night or take a break and make use of the hotel's facilities.

Within Panama City, the most common areas to go skateboarding are Vía España, Costa del Este, Plaza Edison, and Casco Antiguo, also known as the Old Town.

What to bring:

  • Sunscreen
  • Water
  • Helmet
  • Knee and elbow pads 

Photos: California Skatepark, José Quintero, Karen Aplin, Tomas Chang 

The airline Tica Air might begin flying from San José, Costa Rica to Miami, USA in early 2015, commented Eduardo Stagg, one of the company's top shareholders. 

General Omar Torrijos Herrera National Park is located in El Cope, in the north of Coclé Province. Its highest point is Cerro Peña Blanca, at an altitude of 1,314 meters above sea level.

The alpine rainforest has a pleasant Caribbean climate. The main rivers of San Juan, Belén, Grande, and Nombre de Dios drain towards the Pacific Ocean.

This great park is habitat to a variety of mammals, such as the ocelot, jaguar, and white-tailed deer, and the abundance of vegetation set a backdrop for beautiful panoramic views.

El Tiffe Waterfall Hiking Trail

Trail Information:

Type of trail:  Loop 
Time needed: 4-6 hours (one way) to reach El Tiffe, and 5-7 hours (round trip). It is advisable to camp in the Caño Sucio village and make the return trip the next day.
Distance: 11.8 km (7.3 miles) until El Tiffe, 23.6 km (14.6 miles) round trip 
Elevation climb/descent: 1132 m (3,713 ft.) 
Maximum elevation: 905 m ( 2,969 ft.) 
Attractions:  Scenery, forest, village, river, waterfall, wildlife
Activities:  Trekking, spotting wildlife, camping, swimming in Río Blanco 
Use:  High (shared use)
Level of difficulty: Difficult

Hikers must be in good physical shape and have a sufficient skill level. The route may go through areas that are in poor condition, with no marked trail, or on very steep terrain.

Recommendations:

  • Go with a guide. Look under "Schedules, Rates, and Local Guides" for more information on guides.
  • This is a two-day trip; it's not very pleasant to try to do it all in one day.
  • Plan to reach El Tiffe the first day and enjoy a dip in refreshing water at the end of your day's hike; it is much more comfortable to go swimming after, not before, the hike.
  • For both legs of the trip, begin your hike as early in the day as possible.
  • If it is raining be cautious of rising Río Blanco river levels.

Remember to bring: water bottle, running shoes or hiking boots (don't hike in flip-flops), warm-weather clothing, a rainjacket (during the rainy season), insect repellent, sufficient food, hat, sunscreen, and a camping tent or hammock to spend the night.

More information: www.caminandopanama.org


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Sarigua National Park

Written by Thursday, 10 July 2014 09:02

Sarigua National Park, located in the province of Herrera between the Santa María and Parita rivers, has suffered from a high rate of deforestation ever since the 20th century and become a vast plain.

Rain, wind, and tides have further contributed to the erosion, turning it into the driest area of ​​the country and creating the illusion of a desert.

Sarigua serves as a center for anthropological study, housing archaeological remains that date over 11,000 years old, the oldest found on the isthmus of Panama, as well as a village dating 5,000 to 1,500 years old.


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Cerro Hoya National Park

Written by Thursday, 10 July 2014 08:59

Cerro Hoya National Park is perched at an altitude of 1,559 meters above the Pacific Coast in the southwestern area of the Azuero Peninsula.

The park geology consists of ancient volcanic rocks and is where the headwaters of such important rivers as Tonosí and Guánico begin their descent to the coast, forming along the way waterfalls and water holes. The borders of this protected area, which has varying climatic conditions, extend from the shores of Ventana River to Restingue Island.

The tropical forest, made up of mahogany, oak, and ceiba trees, also serves as a bird sanctuary for species like the iconic Scarlet Macaw.


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Barú Volcano National Park

Written by Thursday, 10 July 2014 08:53

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

Trail Information:

-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
-Use: Low

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.

Recommendations:

-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


Quetzal Trail

Trail Information:

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 
Use:  Moderate
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.

Recommendations:

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.

Note:

-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


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