The national park is located in the province of Darién, situated in the southeastern part of the Republic of Panama, bordering the country of Colombia. This is the second largest park in Central America.
The park was declared a protected area by Executive Law 21 on August 7, 1980. UNESCO designated it a World Heritage Site in 1981, and in 1983 the Darién Biosphere Reserve was established.
How to arrive
Departing from Panama City, take the Pan-American Highway until Metetí, in Darién Province. The Rancho Frío Operations Center is located approximately 13 kilometers from the village of El Real de Santamaría.
Monday to Sunday
7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.
Metetí Offices, Darién
507 - 299-6530
Darién contains villages full of traditions, highlights of which include:
El Real: Afrodescendent community and one of the oldest villages in the province, once used by the Spaniards as a strategic port to extract gold from the Cana mines.
Mogue: Emberá community in the Gulf of San Miguel which offers lodging, observation of the harpy eagle, hiking, craft making, music, and dance.
Peña Bijagual: Emberá community on the banks of Chucunaque River, near the port of Yaviza. They offer traditional accomodations, music, dance, crafts, food, hiking, and bird watching. You can reach this destination by hiring a boat from the port of Yaviza or La Peñita to take you by river to Peña Bijagual.
Yaviza: Afrodescendent community located at the end of the Panamericana highway, where the Tuira and Chucunaque Rivers meet. Interesting sites or tourist attractions include the Ruins of Fort San Gerónimo, the Cultural Center of Afro-Panamanians of Darién, and the Chico River waterfront.
Pineapple Bay: Known for its sport fishing, with activities organized by the Tropic Star Lodge. Sport fishing enthusiasts will encounter several large species like tuna, but what really attracts visitors is the showy catch of a marlin.
Sambú: This village is characterized by its two cultures, Afrodescendents and Emberá-Wounnan, with little intervention by colonizers. Among the attractions are their living culture, Trampa hot springs, and the Pavarando painted rock.
Jaqué: Jaqué has a beach stretching 7 km long, where surfers can enjoy the waves. Other attractions are the performances by Emberá-Wounnan Indians and dances of African descent. The Indians have handicrafts available for purchase.
Pinogana: Afrodescendent community founded on a port on the Tuira River. Attractions include the Cultural Center, Tower Overlook and Trail, and the main entrance to the Alto Tuira and Darién National Park.
Enjoy the area year-round: Calendar of Activities
February 2: Patron Saint Festival in Pinogana, with sports competitions, cultural events, and dances.
Carnival in La Palma, El Real, and Yavia, with culecos, parades of queens, and dances.
March 12: Patron Saint Festival of Yaviza, with the Procession of San Francisco Javier, sports competitions, cultural activities, and dances.
First week of March: Agricultural and Livestock Fair of Darién, held in Santa Fé.
March 19: Patron Saint Festival of Palma de Darién.
April: Holy Week in Tucutí
July 16: Virgin of Carmen festival in Yaviza; Corpus Christi in Garachiné with dance of the devils.
August 15: Patron Saint Festival of El Real de Darién
November 3 and 28: Patron Saint Festivals in Yaviza and La Palma
All month long: Bunde Festival in Garachiné, an Afrodescendent celebration around Christmas time.
December 27: Day of the Darién Province
Name: Cana Lodge
Address/Phone: St. Cruz of Cana B. of the Cupe
Name: El Nazareno
Address/Phone: El Real Sta. Maria / 228-3673
Name: Pensión Ortiz
Address/Phone: Pan-American Highway
Name: Motel La Felicidad
Address/Phone: Pan-American Highway
The Chucunaque is a river that runs across the far eastern portion of Panama, specifically in the province of Darién, in the indigenous territories of Wargandí and Embera-Wounaan. It is the country's largest river (231 km), and the main tributary of the Tuira River, the second largest in the country.
For those who enjoy nature and adventure at sea, Pineapple Bay in Darién Province is the ideal place. This bay, famous for being a paradise for Black Marlin sport fishing, has staged numerous competitions, where over 250 world records have been broken. It is visited by people from all over the world.