My first hike in Cocle was a short, sweet, and eventually very wet trek to the summit of Cerra Cara Iguana. El Valle de Anton 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.
CERRO CARA IGUANA HIKE
On this day I had the luxury of being with some friends from Panama City. This meant that we drove quite a way up the trail itself. It’s okay to cheat every now and again, especially when you are doing a double hike day. As you walk along the road up towards the trail, keep an eye out on your left for the official trailhead, which is signposted. There is also a little building at the trailhead, which makes it hard to miss.
The trail begins in a small forest and leads you up a steady incline toward the edge of the crater. Despite the short distance to the edge of the crater, some of my Panamanian friends were feeling the incline.
Once you reach the edge of the crater, the trail takes you along the edge. There is no need to ascend anymore you simply walk along the edge of the crater to the Cerro Cara Iguana ridge, which is impossible to miss. I really enjoyed this ridge and it reminded me of Olomana Trail on Oahu, Hawaii.
As we headed out to the ridge a storm was brewing big time. We quickly scurried out to the edge, which overlooks Anton Valley town. From here you can see lots of small properties hidden in the mountains and take in the layout of the town. It is here that you get a clear idea of the extent of the crater. It is quite a large crater compared to some of the more distinct volcanic craters you might find in Oahu, Hawaii, where I used to live.
The storm really came hurtling in as my drone was up in the air so I quickly reeled her back in. Unfortunately, I was only able to grab a few frames to show you guys but I’m sure you will enjoy seeing it for yourself anyway. This is a great hike to do for sunrise if you are an early riser. In the summer you are more likely to get some colors in the sky but even in the winter, the low fog can be a spectacle in itself. If you do go for sunrise, probably take a flashlight to help you find your way in the dark.
CERRO CARA IGUANA TRAILHEAD AND LOCATION
To get to Cerro Cara Iguana trailhead you can walk from the town in 20 minutes. In total from the town to the summit of Cara Iguana will take you about an hour. The map below is accurate and will take you from the trailhead to the summit. The trail is well-defined and is a moderately easy trail despite some inclines.
ADVENTURE BAG FROM CERRO CARA IGUANA
This is an adventure bag. It is full of trash. Every time I go on an adventure I collect one adventure bag full of trash. It’s my small way of saying thanks to mother nature for allowing me to enjoy her beautiful creations. If we have time to go on an adventure we have time to collect an adventure bag on the way back out of the trail once we have enjoyed the waterfall, the hike or the beach. Adventure hard!
HAVE YOU CHECKED OUT MY OTHER PANAMA GUIDES
- 70 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN PANAMA: The ultimate guide to exploring the whole country!
- 26 AMAZING WATERFALLS IN PANAMA: The ultimate guide to waterfall chasing in Panama.
- 6 BEST CLIFF JUMPING SPOTS IN PANAMA: The guide for thrill-seekers and adrenaline hunters.
- 37 AMAZING HIKES IN PANAMA: All of the best hiking trails. Many you’ve never heard of!
- 18 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN BOQUETE: Hiking, waterfalls, and volcanoes.
- 12 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN EL VALLE DE ANTON: My favorite place to base in Panama.
- 10 AWESOME THINGS TO DO IN SANTA CATALINA: Surf, hike, swim, kayak, and explore.
I hope you enjoy my guides and have a great time exploring Panama!
BEST INSURANCE FOR TRAVELERS
Don’t wait for an accident to happen… get insured! My travel insurance is HeyMondo which offers low-cost travel & medical insurance. That’s me on the left with three teeth knocked out after a motorbike crash in Bali!
You can click to read my Full Review of the Best Travel Insurance.
I’ve made several successful claims with HeyMondo and find their customer service very quick and helpful. Click the button below to get a 5% DISCOUNT
3 MOST POPULAR TOURS IN PANAMA
These are the three most popular activities for tourists in Panama. Personally, I love the San Blas Islands boat trip!
- San Blas Islands Boat Trip: Explore the tropical paradise of the San Blas Islands, the most beautiful region in Panama. Easily the most amazing activity I did in Panama.
- Taboga Island Catamaran Cruise: Admire Panama from the water on a sightseeing catamaran cruise to Taboga Island. Admire the city skyline, dive from the boat for a swim, relax on a beach in Taboga, and enjoy snacks and an open bar.
- Half-Day City Tour & Panama Canal: Connect with the beautiful and modern Panama City on this shared or private city tour. Stroll the narrow streets of the Old Town and watch ships sail through the Panama Canal