Every mountain in Anton Valley seemed to surround us as we emerged from the jungle to rise above the canopy on a wooden platform. For the last hour, we had trekked up the slipper path and then the stairs that pierced through the dense jungle. We had reached the summit of Cerro La Gaita and the view was glorious! In this guide, I will share everything you need to know about the Cerro La Gaita hike in Panama.
CERRO LA GAITA HIKE DETAILS
Hike Distance: The total distance of the Cerro La Gaita hike is 9km
Hike Duration: The hike will take you about 2 hours.
Hike Incline: 609m
MY EXPERIENCE ON THE CERRO LA GAITA HIKE
We parked our car at the bottom of the hill and looked up at the challenge ahead of us and even higher at the ominous clouds. The trail began at a steady incline as we all slipped our way up at a slow pace in the funniest of fashions. If you have hiking shoes with grip this is a hike to bring them out because the early part of the trail, will test your balance. It isn’t dangerous but the clay is very slippery. I ran ahead to grab a quick shot at the crew crawling up the hill with an epic mountain backdrop.
After about fifteen minutes of incline, the calves were burning and finally, we had reached a plateau. It was marked by a barbed wire fence but it was open and there was no need to jump the fence. Once you reach this fence you are halfway… to the halfway point or the start of the stairs. The trail gets muddy from this point on but you only have about 10-15 minutes until your reach the stairs.
Another fifteen minutes from the barbed wire fence and we had reached the stairs. Apparently, it is possible to drive to this point from a road on the other side but without a car and a desire to destroy said car I’m fine with the 30-minute walk. I’ll leave that to the professional tour guides and their specialized 4×4 pickups. However, if you are looking to do the trek and think you can only manage the stairs, I’m letting you know it is an option to keep your sneakers clean and just attack the stairs.
The sign at the start of the stairs said 550 meters. Normally a sign at the start of stairs will tell you how many steps so I had no idea how long 550 meters up a staircase would take. It was a beautiful stairway, winding through the dense jungle. At times it was just pure incline and at others it wrapped left and right at a less intense climb. I’m not sure who built the stairway but it is a great idea and I’m surprised it comes at no cost to tourists as this trail was free as of August 2018. I really enjoyed making me through these stairs and spent lots of time in different sections studying all of the vines and getting lost in the moody atmosphere.
The stairs took me about 25 minutes but we came down in five minutes. I think 15 of the 25 minutes it took on the way up the stairs was due to photos! It definitely is a short and sharp climb to the top. I was expecting a platform above the jungle but what I found exceeded my expectations.
The stairway wrapped around the side of the mountain and it was a steep final ascent to the summit. At the top, we found an empty platform that looked out over many of the other hikes in the region. We were truly on top of the jungle and the view at Cerro La Gaita was one of my favorites so far in Panama.
I literally looked out from this platform and planned my next week of hikes. In every direction, I saw a new adventure and I’m so glad I came up to Cerro La Gaita on my first day for a great look at all of the possible adventures in the region!
CERRO LA GAITA TRAILHEAD AND LOCATION
To reach Cerro La Gaita, you will actually cross over into Panama Oeste, another province. However, this trail is only a 20-minute drive from Anton Valle town. The trail begins at the fork of the Laguna de San Carlos. Here you take the road to the left, which immediately heads up the hill. I have included some photos in the blog post for visual reference of the trail and also this Wikiloc route, which I can confirm is accurate and does indeed lead to the Cerro La Gaita viewing platform.
ADVENTURE BAG FROM CERRO LA GAITA HIKE
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!
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
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