Mariato, a singular paradise in southern Veraguas

One of the perfect places to escape from the city and feel like you enter a paradise of beaches and unique landscapes, where visitors and even locals are amazed by the area's ecological benefits, is the tourist site of Torio, located in the district of Mariato, in the southern area of Veraguas province.

This destination has turned into a global leader for fishing and surfing, given its location on the coast of Morrillo. According to international experts, its wave is second best in Panama, after Santa Catalina.

The Norwegian investor Ludving Arne invites visitors to enjoy the beaches, where they may be surprised by a majestic dance of dolphins.

“In the mountains you can spot the squirrel monkey and diverse animals, as well as enjoy views of waterfalls and refreshing rivers while horseback riding, sailing to nearby islands or on fishing trips, and--why not?-- enjoy the tranquility that you have always dreamed of,” Arne said.

According to the locals, the name of Mariato refers to a woman (María Ato) who once lived in the region.

The transition from María Ato to Mariato is easily explained, since it was common in the Spanish spoken in the region to combine a person's first name with their nickname and thus form but one word, and so the pronunciation of María Ato would have become María-ato or Mareato.

Other accounts state that the name came from an indigenous chief who ruled the region at the time of the arrival of the Spanish conquistadors.

Fifteen hostels are being built in the region, and the number of bed and breakfasts and bungalows have also increased.

The mayor of Mariato, Ángel Batista, said that the sun and the coasts make this region appealing, although its proximity to two parks also allow the community to grow and the  economy to improve through associated tourism.

Einar González, a resident, pointed out that the construction of new hotels creates temporary jobs, but when locals are then hired to cater to tourists it generates a stable employment and improves their quality of life.