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.

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.

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

Friendship International Park

Written by Thursday, 10 July 2014 08:46

Friendship International Park encompasses ​​207,000 hectares of nature along the Central Cordillera of the provinces of Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro. The high altitude of the mountainous, originally volcanic, area affords incredible views.

Recognized and protected by UNESCO, this park contains large trees like almonds and ceiba that stand aside various trails, inviting hikers to be immersed in the biodiversity and explore its virtues. This park also safeguards the watersheds of the Teribe and Changuinola rivers, sources of hydroelectric power for Panama City.

Friendship International Park has over 100 species of mammals, 9 species of amphibians, 3 types of snakes, and around 400 species of birds, including the Harpy Eagle and the captivating and brilliantly colored Resplendent Quetzal.

Hayah International Short Film Festival 2014

Official Selection for 2014

The Hayah International Short Film Festival has announced the films selected for its 8th year in the following categories: Fiction Short Film, Documentary Short, Animated Short, New Directors of Panama Award, and Très Court: Very Short Films (max 3 min), awarded by the Alliance Française.

As of this past Sunday, July 6, Iberia is offering daily direct flights from Madrid to Panama. This represents a 40% increase in aircraft capacity (600 additional seats), bringing the Spanish airline's total availability up to 2,000 people per week. 

The cruise season in Colón will start warming up in October as ships from Celebrity Cruises, Holland America, Princess Cruises, and Pullmantur lines pull into port. 

The centenary of the Panama Canal has become one of the most transcendental moments in the history of this Central American country and the world at large. The 2014 anniversary celebration is slated for August 15, the historic day when the ship S.S. Ancón crossed the Canal for the first time, and it will take place a hundred years after the construction of this extraordinary work of engineering that has made it one of the main shipping lanes in the world. 

According to the Agency for Promotion of Investments and Exports (Proinvex), Panama has greater potential and comparative advantages in several sectors, among them tourism for its legal security and transparency generated by an effective public administration. 


We toured the city dubbed ‘the Dubai of Latin America’ or ‘Little Miami’, in search of the best in Spanish fashion.