37 AMAZING HIKES IN PANAMA
Panama is an awesome country to explore if you love hiking. There are so many day-trip hikes and overnight adventures on offer. I spent 100 days in Panama and hiked my way from the east to the west. My three favorite towns to base if you are a hiking enthusiast are Boquete, Santa Fe and El Valle de Anton.
I hiked all of the trails below and I’m sure you will enjoy them al! I have categorized them by region so it is a bit easier for you to plan out which ones you would like to do. I’ve written an individual blog post for almost all of the hikes on this list. You can click on any of the links throughout each section to go to a more detailed recap of the hike, with suggestions, more photos and tips.
I hope you enjoy my list of the best hikes in Panama. I endured quite a lot of scratches, falls, mishaps and awesome memories while exploring all of these trails!
1. THE LOST WATERFALLS TRAIL
On one of the most stunning jungle trails in Panama, we searched for the lost waterfalls of Boquete. Through luscious jungle, we trekked. Over muddy paths, we slipped and stumbled. From one patch of wildflowers to the next we discovered. Until we reached three, breathtakingly powerful and mind-blowingly beautiful waterfalls. The Lost Waterfall Trail is one of the best hikes in Boquete and even in the whole of Panama.
It is one of the most popular hikes in Boquete for obvious reasons. The Lost Waterfalls Trail is the first thing most visitors do in Boquete. It is $7 entrance but quite easy to get to and only a short hike but it gives great value with three amazing waterfalls. It is the crowd pleaser and great for those who want a bit of an adventure, a waterfall but only half a day worth of effort. For those who want to see epic waterfalls, beautiful jungles, and wildlife but only spend a few hours out in the wilderness, this is your trail.
View the full blog post: THE LOST WATERFALLS TRAIL HIKE
2. THE PIPELINE TRAIL
The Pipeline Trail is another great hike in Boquete in the Bajo Mono region. We walked alongside the river through the jungle until reaching a massive yet slow-descending cascade at the end of the trail. On the way, you will discover a thousand-year-old tree and some unique wildlife. The trail takes about two hours and is a great way to spend a morning or afternoon when you are staying in Boquete town.
The Pipeline Trail is a nice short walk through the jungle, with a great chance of spotting a Quetzal bird. They say this is one of the best things to do in Boquete for spotting the Quetzal. we also spotted a snake, caterpillars and lots of beautiful plants along the way.
The waterfall is quite high but more of a trickle than an aggressive flow like those on The Lost Waterfalls Trail.
View the full blog post: THE PIPELINE TRAIL
3. EL PIANISTA TRAIL
El Pianista Trail fast became my favorite jungle adventure and one of the most unique hikes in Boquete with its narrow canyon-esque path. The trail is just 4km out of Boquete town and is a 3-4 hour out and back trail with more than 2000 feet of elevation. The trail leads you into a cloud forest, which essentially means at least half of the trail is inside the clouds. This turns the scenery into a dripping rainforest, where life is buzzing, water droplets are falling to the floor from every leaf and wildflowers and birds are plentiful. I honestly loved being inside this rainforest!
We felt like the path was leading us through an undiscovered land. It was a truly immersive hike and being in the cloud forest was like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. I’m sure there are plenty around the world but I will really be seeking them out from this point onwards.
This trail harbors some dark secrets. In 2014, two Dutch girls in their early 20’s made it to the summit and then went missing. There was no sign of the girls until a few weeks later. There are huge holes in the story of what happened and how the investigation unfolded. The girls’ backpack was found 8 weeks later, bones including a foot still inside a boot were also found weeks later. The girls had hiked down past the summit into the continental divide, the area between Costa Rica and Panama. A tribe were the people to discover the backpack and would have been the first contact for the girls had they come into trouble and looking for a way out according to the reports.
The conclusion from local police was that it was a hiking accident. However, some locals and sources think there was a third person involved and the girls were met with foul-play out in the jungle or others suggest that the girls were eaten. It remains a mystery. There is now a memorial for the girls at the top of the summit. It was definitely one of the eeriest hikes in Boquete, knowing this story and the moody vibe due to the clouds in the forest.
View the full blog post: EL PIANISTA TRAIL
4. LA PIEDRA DE LINO HIKE
It is one of the shortest hikes in Boquete but La Piedra De Lino will hurt your legs the most! This hike was a grueling 434 meters in elevation during just 1.3km of distance. That means for every three meters you walk forward, you walk up one meter. That is a painful equation. However, the view of Boquete from the top rock is worth the climb.
La Piedra De Lino means the rock of Lino. Lino is a small section of Boquete only about four kilometers from the center of Boquete town. There was a lot to see on the way up with flowers, berries, and glimpses of the view as we made our way to the top of the rock. Every time I turned back to look at the incline was an epic little view. There was no-one else on the trail at all and we felt like we were out in the jungle even though we had views back towards Boquete town!
The cool part about La Piedra De Lino is that you have views in multiple directions. It is essentially a 360-degree platform. You can look out to Volcan Baru, back into Bajo Mono or up to the east of Boquete. There were tons to look at and it was one of the most scenic hikes in Boquete if you are looking for an expansive view. It would be a great sunset spot but unfortunately, we only head stormy weather. It was still a great adventure and one I would plan to do with the possibility of a sunset if you have the chance. It was one of the toughest things to do in Boquete for your legs although the pain is shortlived as the trek is only small.
View the full blog post: LA PIEDRA DE LINO (THE ROCK OF LINO) HIKE
5. LA PIEDRA DE ARTILLERIA HIKE
La Artilleria hike is a beautiful trail up to one of the most epic viewpoints in all of Boquete. However, it is a strange one. The hike is suggested as a hiking trail on a poster in Mamallena hostel but apparently on private property, of which the owner wants no hikers coming onto. We were rejected by the owner of the property but managed to sneak our way to the top of the viewpoint. My philosophy is always if you aren’t doing anyone or anything harm, there should be no harm in doing it. If I have to bend the rules a little as long as no-one is negatively impacted in the process. Having said that, you can decide where your morals lay with trespassing!
At the top of the trail, we scrambled up the rocks and watched the clouds part to show us an amazing view of Boquete! It was definitely one of the best views from the hikes in Boquete and something I will never forget. In the opposite direction, we had rolling mountains with several layers and even a rainbow appeared. It was a day where everything seemed to turn out perfectly although this is one of the things to do in Boquete that won’t be recommended at your hostel.
View full blog post: LA ARTILLERIA HIKE
6. LA PIEDRA DE LA INDIA VIEJA HIKE
La Piedra de la India Vieja hike has in my opinion, the coolest viewpoint of all the hikes in Boquete. However, it also has the worst trail or from what I found… no trail. My legs had many a battle scar after this hike but boy was the rock viewpoint at the top worth it all and more. If you are up for an extremely tough jungle adventure, go for it. Otherwise, enjoy my photos and head to one of the other beautiful hikes in Boquete. That’s genuine advice, not a challenge. This was one of the toughest things to do in Boquete!
At the summit, the view was totally unexpected. A jagged rock wall curved around right beneath me while mountains in all directions created an immensely atmospheric backdrop. Despite the rough journey up and the imminent rough journey down, I felt like I was on top of Boquete and I really was out here alone. I hadn’t seen a soul and I’m pretty sure no-one is hiking this trail for good reason! I hung out up top for just under an hour shooting the mountainscape from a multitude of angles.
View full blog post: LA PIEDRA DE LA INDIA VIEJA HIKE
7. SENDERO LOS QUETZALES
Los Senderos Quetzales, translated to the Quetzal Trail, is one of the most popular hikes near the small town of Boquete in Panama. The Boquete region has a variety of trails to choose from yet Los Senderos Quetzales remains near the top of the list for visitors. The popularity of Los Senderos Quetzales is because this trail, in the Volcan Baru National Park, provides hikers a great opportunity to spot the elusive Quetzal bird.
The Quetzal is the national bird of Guatemala as it plays an important role in numerous types of Meso-American mythology. Additionally, the Quetzal is a very striking bird with impressive green feathers on its back while on its front it is covered in striking red feathers. The Quetzal also has a long tail. All of these features make it an attractive bird for bird-watchers to travel all the way to the Chiriqui region of Panama. El Sendero Los Quetzales is one of the most popular things to do in Boquete.
View full blog post: SENDERO LOS QUETZALES: THE TRAIL OF THE FAMOUS QUETZAL
8. HIKE TO THE SUMMIT OF VOLCAN BARU
At 11:45 pm we set off in darkness, climbing a steep path into the mist of the night. Our mission was to reach the highest point in Panama in time to watch the sunrise from our viewpoint above the clouds. We were attempting the strenuous, overnight hike up Volcan Baru near Boquete, Panama.
After 13km of hard work, we made it to the summit! All that effort in the cold and the dark and now we were on top of the world. We looked out over to the horizon and all we could see was a blanket of clouds below us, the sign was trying to break through and then, it did just that.
This was one of my favorite things to do in Boquete and if you like a bit of adventure this one is definitely for you! I hope you get a beautiful sunrise.
View full blog post: 27KM VOLCAN BARU HIKE OVERNIGHT FOR EPIC SUNRISE
9. CERRO TUTE HIKE
To find the trailhead you just head down to the town center and head south along the main road towards the ‘Alto De Piedra; sign. As you walk south down the road out of the town center this ‘Alto de Piedra’ sign will be on your right. Walk past this for another 20 meters and there will be a dirt road, big enough for a car, on your right. This is the start of the trail.
The trail is dirt the whole pay and a car-width the whole way. You will only need to make two turns and I will make it clear where those are with photos. It begins alongside some houses and quickly becomes quite muddy. The mud was only in this early section, which also had a couple of easy river crossings. Stepping stones made it possible to cross without getting your feet wet.
As I neared the mountain, I thought I was going to have to find a small trail but you continue all the way to the back and there is a very clear, wide path that will lead you all the way to the top. Below is a photo of the trail you need to take to lead you to the summit.
I ran up the third rock and there is actually a decent path that will lead you there if you don’t mind a bit of a scramble. It isn’t too crazy but definitely not for everyone. As always know your limits and just trust your instinct whether a climb, jump or trail is for you.
I really loved Cerro Tute and it was a great first experience in Santa Fe, Veraguas. I recommend doing it as your first Santa Fe hiking trail even though it is quite long. You will get great views of the area and can even pick out a few other peaks you might want to summit also!
Read the full blog post: EPIC CERRO TUTE HIKE
10. ALTO DE PIEDRA WATERFALL HIKE
From Santa Fe town you have three options. Walk, Bus, Taxi (or private car). Normally, I am all about the walk. This is an adventure blog, not a luxury travel blog that pretends to be adventurous from time to time. However, this walk was not that fun!
The walk is on a road the entire way from Santa Fe town. It is 5km of pure incline on a road as cars speed past you. It didn’t feel like hiking and it was far from it. It is, of course, the cheapest option and wasn’t a horrible afternoon but the other options might provide a better option and one I would suggest. If you do walk this is the road to the left you will take.
I think you should catch the bus from Santa Fe town. Catch the bus headed to Guabal from the central bus stop and tell the driver to let you out at Alto de Piedra Waterfalls. The bus driver will know the one as he drives past the sign every single day and it is a pretty common hike.
Not long after the jungle had engulfed me on all sides as I descended down to the first of the Alto de Piedra waterfalls. The trail is pretty easy and worn as this is a common hike for many tourists staying Santa Fe. However, it is still pretty wild and not for everyone.
The first waterfall was a beautiful 20-footer that quietly flowed into a small blue pool. Vines and ferns crowd the small amphitheater in what as a very peaceful spot. I hung out here for almost half an hour by myself taking photos and then I just sat on the rocks taking the tranquility in. That’s the beauty about Santa Fe, you don’t have to share it with many other tourists.
I continued on to another trail that I stumbled across and this waterfall was quite unique. It was several tiers in a slot canyon. The landscape here was quite bizarre with water flowing in all directions. I had never seen something quite like it and climbed down as far as I could to explore.
I now backtracked all the way to the front gate and decide that I would try the trail on the far left. It was the only trail I had not yet visited because I entered the far right trail and emerged in the middle trail. I had seemingly done a loop. But I hadn’t yet visited the far left trail so off I went. It turns out that this is actually the trail to the biggest waterfall and maybe the most popular as the trail had tires placed to help with the mud and was the most well defined and easy to follow.
At the bottom of this trail was a huge waterfall, the biggest of the day. I felt like the waterfalls in this region just never ended but that’s Panama for you. A shallow pool once again collected the water at the bottom of this pool. It wasn’t the best place for swimming in waterfall pools. However, there were lots of swimming spots along the route. Just none at the foot of a waterfall per se. Having a shower under the waterfall would definitely be possible.
This was one of the best Santa Fe hiking trails with multiple waterfalls to explore and so much action!
Read the full blog post: ALTO DE PIEDRA WATERFALLS HIKE
11. BERMEJO WATERFALL HIKE
Bermejo Waterfall was a scene of beautiful destruction. As I sat atop a wet rock, alone in the amphitheater of Bermejo, I could only envision the events that had unfolded over the years to leave this magical place in the state it remains today. Boulders the sizes of houses are covered in moss with trees growing readily from their surface. Freezing cold water swirls viciously, inviting you to test the danger. And then there is the waterfall itself. A multi-tiered, dual-directional flow of pure aggression, which slices through the earth in the middle of the Santa Fe Jungle with an exclamation point.
There was a defining moment. A fork in the trail. The waterfall could be heard to the left but I thought I would stick to the straight trail. This turned out to be a mistake but an adventurous one. If you want to visit the waterfall you need to take this left.
It’s an aggressive waterfall without a place to swim directly below it. However, the first pool is deep enough to at least cool off. I definitely suggest packing lunch and hanging out in this area for a few hours to appreciate the region and recover from your trek in!
Read full blog post: BERMEJO WATERFALL HIKE
12. EL SALTO WATERFALL HIKE
On my last day in Santa Fe, I decided to head out to find El Salto Waterfalls. It was an incredibly hot day and a pretty strenuous hike up some serious hills. However, after arriving in the small village, what I found was nothing short of amazing. El Salto is a collection fo 22 waterfalls (if not more) in the middle of the mountains near Santa Fe. I explored two by foot and one other with the drone. It is possible to explore all of them but takes expert knowledge of the area, ropes and some serious skills and planning.
When I arrived at the waterfalls, I was pretty tired. I didn’t think this was such a big trek from the bus stop. I had gone for a 10-kilometer run that morning, which was an indication of what I thought this adventure would be like. The hike in was incredible. There were beautiful views of the mountains in all direction, maybe the best I had in Santa Fe. You can even see several waterfalls on the other side of the valley as you near the village.
I finally, made it up the hill and was ready to see what El Salto had in store. The first falls were a great little spot with two waterfalls coming down into a small pool. This is the spot where I swam in the refreshing water. The striking part about El Salto was the huge boulders that were scattered throughout the canyon. I always love to consider the crazy situations in which these sorts of landscapes were formed. Just imagine the force needed to drop a boulder the size of a house into the river.
The second waterfall was where things started to get very impressive. Three waterfalls streamed down the flat cliff. It was almost like a water feature. It wasn’t a booming fall like Golondrinas, it was an elegant, triple waterfall tucked away in a corner. From the observation spot of the second waterfall, I spotted the third.
Up in another canyon, a third waterfall looked even more impressive. It was the waterfall you could see on the other side of the valley while on the hike. It looked very tempting, but the rocks were very slippery, I was by myself and I just thought it was an adventure for another time. I did, however, explore it quite thoroughly with the drone and it was my favorite of all three waterfalls. If you can it would be explored to explore the third waterfall with ropes or a guide and maybe even more of the 22 waterfalls in El Salto.
It’s definitely one of the longer Santa Fe hiking trails but you usually get out what effort you put in and it’s is true in this case. Remote paradise!
Read full blog post: EL SALTO WATERFALLS
13. NUCA DEL TORO HIKE
Amidst a myriad of amazing waterfalls and trails, Nuca Del Toro, is a basic trail without much of an epic viewpoint. However, if you give the trail a chance it can be a fun afternoon activity with a change of scenery from the Panamanian Jungle. Huge pine trees surround you on top of the hill with snippets of the mountain range visible depending on what giant boulder you can clamber onto.
It’s always an adventure in Panama and this short but fun hike was no different.
The trail led to the top of the hill, where I found two crosses. I think this may be a burial site at the top of the hill. Trekking to the top took less than ten minutes again. I had prepared for a couple of hours of hiking but it turned out to be a hill, not a mountain. The environment was much different from the other hikes. Pine trees and a forest vibe were par for this hike.
At the top there as no real viewpoint, which is a bit disappointing. Not because you have hiked for hours but because the bus journey and the effort to get here is quite a lot for being stuck in the middle of some grass. I decided to power on and found my way onto some huge boulders. Here I had a decent view of the mountains beyond Nuca Del Toro.
There was a rock platform in the middle of the pine trees, which turned out to be my favorite part of the entire hike. I hung out here for a while in the middle of this little forest, on the hill all by myself taking it all in. The drone had a little run from this rock also.
If you only have a couple of days in Santa Fe I recommend some of the other Santa Fe hiking trails and waterfalls in the area but if you are into your second week in Santa Fe like myself, then it is a fun little adventure!
Read full blog post: NUCA DEL TORO HIKE
14. NATURE NIGHT TRAIL
Take a walk into the dark, armed with your flashlight! In the jungle at night the creatures come out to play and we had an epic time exploring. We saw frogs, snakes, a shy sloth, cicadas, butterflies, tarantulas and all kinds of crazy bugs.
The interesting part is that in Santa Fe there are lots of motion-sensor cameras and Edgar showed us the photos they had captured within the last 2 years. It is pretty shocking. Jaguars, Ocelots, Pumas and lots of other large mammals are out here in the jungle, but they are seldom seen!
We walked for about 1.5 hours total admiring all of the amazing creatures along the way. Let’s just see the bugs are bigger in Panama. If you are interested in this experience I do recommend it. Just drop into Hostal La Qhiaand let them know. Edgar is so stoked on the creatures and you can tell he really loves that part of being involved at the hostel. It was $25 per person and the only paid tour I did in Santa Fe. The rest of the Santa Fe hiking trails were free!
Read full blog post: NATURE NIGHT TRAIL IN THE JUNGLE
15. LOMA GRANDE WATERFALL HIKE
Loma Grande Waterfall near Santa Fe, Veraguas is one of the most spectacular little spots to visit in the region. Not only is this waterfall an epic natural sight but the amphitheater within which it is found is out of this world. Slopes on either side are covered in tropical plants, dripping from the spray of the waterfall. Moss covered rocks are scattered throughout the stream that leads up to the fall. The best bit, however, is the unexplainable pool of blue water that sits to the side of the waterfall.
The trail down to Loma Grande Waterfall is pretty raw. Along the way, you will find banana plants and huge century old trees. I was waiting for a jaguar, a huge snake or something to jump put the whole way. I really felt deep in the jungle and I guess I was. Santa Fe was miles away and so was Guabal. There was nothing out here except the promise of an epic waterfall.
A few cuts and bruises later, I laid my eyes on Loma Grande and what a sight she was. This amphitheater really blew me away. It was almost like the pool of youth next to the fountain of youth. An unbelievably blue pool sat still, next to the beast of a waterfall, which came crashing down just meters away. I think this might have just been my favorite Santa Fe hiking trail.
Read full blog post: LOMA GRANDE WATERFALL
16. LAS GOLONDRINAS WATERFALL
I had heard about this goliath waterfall but never envisioned it to be quite so epic. Las Golondrinas Waterfall is a mammoth falls near Santa Fe, Veraguas. The trek to the falls takes only 20 minutes but leads you through a wonderland of vines and river crossings before revealing the gigantic waterfall.
The trail is very clear to follow and has handrails in some points. However, because of the conditions, it is very muddy and you will get wet and dirty on this trail. If the trail doesn’t get you wet, the river crossing will.
You need to cross the river at least two times to reach the waterfall if you access the waterfall from the left trail. It was pouring anyway so it didn’t matter to us. After about ten minutes we got our first glimpse of the waterfall. From this far back, it looked incredible. I let my friend, Angel, wander ahead and shot a few photos of him on the rocks for scale. It felt like a magical place. Two small adventurers in wonderland, no-one else about. Just the roaring thunder and rain hammering down on us.
Finally, after lots of photos, rain, and adrenaline running high, we reached Las Golondrinas Waterfall. What a beauty! There was a slalom at the very top of the waterfall that weaved in and out before it all came crashing down with extreme force into the pool of blue water below.
There are several nice viewing spots to the sides or you can get up close and personal… and wet if you so desire. It is one of the shortest but most rewarding Santa Fe hiking trails for those who want an epic waterfall without all the effort.
Read full blog post: LAS GOLONDRINAS WATERFALL TRAIL
EL VALLE DE ANTON
17. LA INDIA DORMIDA ‘THE SLEEPING INDIAN’ HIKE
La India Dormida hike is one of the most popular sunrise viewpoints in all of Anton Valley. The hike only takes about 45 minutes to summit from the town, making it a perfect way to start your morning. The loop trail takes you along the edge of the beautiful mountains of the crater, which resemble the body of a sleeping person. This is where the hike gets its name and we will delve into the Legend of the Sleeping Indian in this blog post as well as everything you need to know about hiking La India Dormida to enjoy an epic sunrise.
Legend has it that Luba, known as ‘Airflower’, was the youngest daughter of heralded Chief Urraca. Urraca was the leader of one of the many Guaymi Tribes in Anton Crater. Luba was a rebellious girl and despite her tribes fighting with the Spanish for years, she fell in love with a Spanish official who lived in the town. Yaravi was a brave warrior from the tribe who loved Luba but she didn’t love him back. Yaravi couldn’t handle this and took his own life, throwing himself off of a mountain while Luba stared in a perplexed fashion. Luba didn’t want to betray her town and in a desperate panic of crying and mourning she loses herself in the bushes and dies
Need more information? Full blog post: HIKING LA INDIA DORMIDA FOR SUNRISE
18. CERRO CARA IGUANA
My first hike in Cocle was a short, sweet and eventually very wet trek to the summit of Cerra Cara Iguana. Anton Valley is actually a giant volcanic crater. It is said to be the only volcanic crater, which is inhabited. It’s pretty crazy to think that at some stage a key-decision maker decided that the best place to set up camp was inside a volcanic crater.
What you have now is a beautiful town surrounded by epic mountains. In short, the Anton Valley unintentionally placed itself as a future adventure tourism destination. Cerro Cara Iguana gives you a great view of this crater. The ridge of Cerro Cara Iguana extends out towards the middle of the crater, more than any other point and it was great to do this hike early in my stay in Anton Valley. It gives you a great idea of the layout of the town.
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO CARA IGUANA HIKE
19. CERRO GAITAL
Often labeled as ‘The toughest hike in Panama’, Cerro Gaital hike will definitely challenge you while making your way up to the epic viewpoint.
Cerro Gaital leads you through a tunnel of the dense forest before hitting you with intense vertical rock-climbs into the foggy summit. The hike takes less than three hours depending on how long you spend at the top. It is possible to walk to the trailhead from Anton Valley Town or you can catch a bus to the trailhead for $1.
From the top of Cerro Gaital, you have views over the whole valley and beyond. I sat atop the small cement hut eating my lunch enjoying yet another empty mountain in El Valle de Anton!
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO GAITAL HIKE
20. CERRO LA GAITA
Although it is not directly in El Valle de Anton, Cerro La Gaita is only a short drive or even a bus trip away from the town center. This makes it one of the best things to do in El Valle de Anton or at least nearby.
Every mountain in Anton Valley seems to surround you as you emerged from the jungle to rise above the canopy on a wooden platform. For an hour you trek up the slippery path and then the stairs that pierced through the dense jungle. You will reach the summit of Cerro La Gaita and the view over Cerro Picacho and San Carlos Lake was is beautiful.
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO LA GAITA HIKE
21. CERRO LA SILLA
Cerro La Silla is a short journey to an epic viewpoint atop the mountains to watch the sun rise over the horizon with views of Valle de Anton and beyond! It’s interesting that Cerro Cara Iguana and India Dormida hike are the most suggested but you don’t hear a lot about Cerro La Silla. Having experienced all three I would say it is hard to separate them all but La Silla possibly has the best views.
Just before the sun was about to break over the horizon we made it to the summit where we sat down beneath the giant cross, which seems to be common at viewpoints in Valle de Anton. We could see all the way back into the crater of Valle de Anton but also out to Cerro Picacho.
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO LA SILLA ‘THE ARMCHAIR’ SUNRISE HIKE
22. CERRO PICACHO IN SAN CARLOS
Overlooking San Carlos Laguna, the Cerro Picacho hike in San Carlos (West Panama) is one of the best viewpoints in the region. It is a steady incline through the dense forest, which leads you over roots, through muddy paths, and underneath a beautiful canopy. The tropical conditions mean that as per usual you will be sweating, hot and searching for air when you reach the summit.
There are two viewpoints to Cerro Picacho in San Carlos. The first is a really cool boulder that sticks out of the trail and gives a great vantage point of the lake and the other peak. The other peak is incredibly steep although I have seen a video of someone sitting on top of it. From the boulder lookout, we could see other hikes like Cerro La Gaita platform. It is a great spot to check out the other mountains in the area.
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO PICACHO HIKE IN SAN CARLOS
23. CERRO TUREGA HIKE
Cerro Turega is an epic trail that leads you past waterfalls before up an intense incline to reach the three peaks at the summit with panoramic views! The hike is only a 6km trail. However, the hike is regularly touted as a 4-hour journey and this is because the terrain is incredibly steep and slippery making it very slow going.
There are three epic peaks but as far as I know, you can only reach the first where you can see us standing in the photos. They are very steep and I would be surprised if peak two and three are accessible. The views are beautiful and we got a few glimpses amidst the fog and stormy clouds.
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO TUREGA ‘THREE PEAKS’ HIKE
COCLE PROVINCE (OUTSIDE EL VALLE)
24. AGUILA FALLS AND CANYON
Aguila Waterfalls is one of those locations that takes you into another world. I found myself wading through knee-deep in crystal clear blue water while staring up at huge walls of ferns and vines as sunlight crept in through the canopy, lighting up the canyon. This is an Indiana Jones type of adventure.
Need more information? Full blog post: AGUILA WATERFALLS AND CANYON
25. CERRO TRINIDAD HIKE
Cerro Trinidad is a steep hike through the jungle to an epic viewpoint out over Capiro. It isn’t very popular and subsequently, the trail is quite rough and very steep in some parts. A guide is highly suggested and hikers not in good physical condition may decide to give this hike a miss due to the incline.
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO TRINIDAD HIKE IN EL CACAO
26. CERRO CHAME SUNRISE HIKE
Cerro Chame is a collection of ridges and rolling hills overlooking the region of Chame. The hike takes just over an hour until you reach the cross at the summit, although you can continue on much further along the ridges, which makes it a much longer hike.
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO CHAME SUNRISE HIKE
27. 30KM TIFE WATERFALL TREK
A journey of 30km with over 2000-meters of incline through the forest of Omar Torrijos National Park to reach the epic Tife Waterfall in Panama. It isn’t for the faint-hearted but it is an incredible experience and off the beaten path to say the least! If you are game the adventure to Tife Waterfall challenges you!
Need more information? Full blog post: 30KM TREK TO TIFE WATERFALL
28. OLA WATERFALLS
The waterfalls of Ola are a spectacle that could be argued to be among the best series of waterfalls in Panama. Two huge waterfalls are accompanied by many smaller cascades and watering holes, which on clear days boast beautiful blue waters.
The main waterfall was a sight to behold. It was aggressive and the pool it flowed down into was a scene of carnage. Huge rocks were littered everywhere from previous falls most likely and the water smashed down onto one of the rocks spraying up with pure force.
Need more information? Full blog post: THE AMAZING WATERFALLS OF OLA
29. CERRO PICACHO SUNRISE HIKE IN OLA
Sitting in the long grass on top of Cerro Picacho in Ola, we slowly watched the illumination of the epic ridges all around us until we had become ants amidst a golden glow in what is one of the most beautiful viewpoints in Panama.
The sun rises directly in front of you lighting up the valley, which is littered with other epic mountains. Fog circled many of the bigger mountains and in combination with the layers of mountains, the view was incredible. However, the real view is right beneath you as the ridges of Cerro Picacho slowly take light and you can see the sharp ridges in all of their glory. It reminded me a lot of Kauai and the Na Pali coastline with the severity of the drop-off and the sharpness of the ridges.
Because of these sharp ridges, Cerro Picacho hike in Ola became one of my favorite hikes in Panama. It was only short but the view was just breath-taking. It is like nothing you ever expected from Panama. I think this morning is one of my favorites photography wise as well.
30. MANGLARITO WATERFALL
Manglarito Waterfall in Chame begins with an insane canyon drop, which flows down into an amphitheater with the main waterfall. Both of the waterfalls are beautiful and this jungle atmosphere is one of my favorites in Panama.
Need more information? Full blog post: MANGLARITO WATERFALL IN CHAME
31. FILIPINAS WATERFALLS
Filipinas waterfalls is a series of five different waterfalls easily accessible along a short, but interesting trail that leads you through the jungle to each spot!
The fifth and final waterfall is a double-tiered beauty. At the end of a short but narrow canyon, a slim waterfall shoots down into a little pool of blue water. It is possible to climb up the left side but it is very slippery and can be quite dangerous. However, if you do make it to the top the view is beautiful!
Need more information? Full blog post: FILIPINAS WATERFALLS IN SORA
32. CERRO DE LA CRUZ SUNRISE HIKE
We waited in the cold, curled up behind boulders atop Cerro De La Cruz with the almighty cross the towering above us. It had been an early wake-up call at 2 am and we were now patiently shivering our way towards a beautiful sunrise in the Campana National Park on the Cerro De La Cruz viewpoint hike. After patiently waiting for an hour, the sun finally started to break its way through and we started to see how beautiful the view was with the sun streaming into the valley and up onto the mountain.
This viewpoint, which is at 905 meters of altitude, was one of my favorite lookouts in Panama. Standing beneath the cross with such an epic drop below us was an insane way to start the day!
Need more information? Full blog post: CERRO DE LA CRUZ HIKE IN ALTOS DE CAMPANA NATIONAL PARK
33. LA SILAMPA WATERFALL HIKE
A rocky path carves it’s way through the rolling hills of Calobre. For an hour of steep trekking, curious hikers can only imagine what paradise may be found at the end of their journey. The trail finally ends, and what is found is truly an oasis, a crystal clear oasis. Flowing down for a river through the mountains, a waterfall cascades into the azure blue water, which then flows into several small lagoons before finally free-falling into another waterfall to disappear into the river below. This my friends is a mountain paradise.
Silampa is one of my favorite hikes in Panama and its the perfect location for an all-day hangout with a packed lunch and good company. The trek is only an hour one-way, which makes it the perfect weekender.
Read full blog post: LA SILAMPA WATERFALL HIKE
HIKES NEAR PANAMA CITY
34. ANCON HILL VIEWPOINT
Ancon Hill is the most popular viewpoint in Panama City, with views over the Panama Canal, city center and Casco Viejo old town region. The climb up Ancon Hill (Cerro Ancon) in Panama City takes only 30 minutes. The incline is quite steep but it is gradual and on a paved road. This is a leisurely climb suitable for kids, dogs, and hikers of all abilities.
Once you reach the top there are two viewing platforms. Well, there are actually three but only two are legal. The first platform has a bench and a little viewing hut with good views over Casco Viejo old town. The second viewpoint is the most popular with a big seating area and great views back across the city center and the ocean.
The final viewpoint is illegal and you would have to jump the fence to visit it. It would give you views of the Panama Canal and an up close and personal look at the Panama Flag. The flag is actually the same size as a basketball court and towers above Panama City. You can see this flag from almost anywhere in the city. The flag has been flying 365 days per year since 1977. It is a symbol of national sovereignty in the formerly occupied territories. It is dedicated to the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
READ THE FULL BLOG POST: ANCON HILL VIEWPOINT
35. CERRO CEDRO VIEWPOINT
Cerro Cedro is arguably the best viewpoint of Panama City. At just over 500ft above sea-level, you will have great views of Panama City, the business hub of Central America. The part I love about this viewpoint is that you are seemingly in the Jungle staring out at the metropolis through the branches. Howler monkeys scream nearby to confirm that you are indeed in the wild despite your proximity to the urban jungle.
READ FULL BLOG POST: CERRO CEDRO IN THE METROPOLITAN NATURAL PARK
36. PLANTATION TRAIL IN SOBERANIA NATIONAL PARK
Panama City can get quite crazy at times amidst the traffic and the urban jungle. However, the beauty of Panama is that you are never far from the jungle or an adventure. Just a 28km drive from Panama City is Soberania National Park. Inside the park, you will find several trails with one of the most popular being the 14km Plantation Trail.
READ THE FULL BLOG POST: THE PLANTATION TRAIL IN SOBERANIA NATIONAL PARK
37. JAGUAR FALLS HIKE IN KALU YALA
Jaguar Falls is a beautiful waterhole and waterfall at the end of a 5.3km hike through the jungle. It’s called Jaguar Falls because it is indeed a site where the Jaguar is present at night. It is not known how many but sightings are not uncommon. During the day, however, it is safe to visit Jaguar Falls. There is a great cliff jump of about 8m or even higher at the falls too! This is my favorite hike near Panama City.
READ THE FULL BLOG POST: JAGUAR FALLS HIKE AT KALU YALA
MORE PANAMA BLOG POSTS
THE ULTIMATE PANAMA GUIDE: 70 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN PANAMA: THE BUCKET LIST
COCLE GUIDE: 24 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN COCLE PROVINCE
EL VALLE DE ANTON GUIDE: 12 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN EL VALLE DE ANTON (ANTON VALLEY)
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VERAGUAS GUIDE: 18 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN VERAGUAS
BOQUETE GUIDE: 18 THINGS TO DO IN BOQUETE
PANAMA PACKING LIST: THE PANAMA PACKING LIST: WHAT YOU NEED TO PACK AND WHY
BEST WATERFALLS IN PANAMA: 26 AMAZING WATERFALLS IN PANAMA
BEST CLIFF JUMPS IN PANAMA: 6 AWESOME CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS IN PANAMA