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.
Photos by myself and @jerryfit
HOW TO GET TO LA INDIA DORMIDA HIKE
La India Dormida hike is a loop trail although I guess you can do an out and back to the top of you prefer. That means there are two entrances. However, as you hike up in the dark, it really doesn’t matter how each route looks as you won’t see anything. Therefore it might be best to take the easiest route to the summit. By starting the route at Piedra Pintada, which is on Google Maps below when you zoom in, you hike quickly up to the best viewpoint. This is the head of the Indian.
The beauty of starting at this point is that you get to the summit early and first and then once you wait for the sun to rise while at this viewpoint the trail will slowly be illuminated. Now you can enjoy the whole trail along the edge of the crater in sunlight to take full advantage of the epic views.
To reach Piedra Pintada, which is the trailhead entrance, from the town takes about 10-15 minutes from the central point. There is a little archway and depending on whether someone is manning the station or not you may have to pay an entrance fee of $3. We didn’t and I haven’t paid an entrance fee yet in Anton Valley, although it is low season.
LA INDIA DORMIDA HIKE
At 4:30 am, we grabbed a coffee and made our way out of Bodhi Hostel in a group of five. It took us about fifteen minutes to reach the Piedra Pintada trailhead. Leaving behind the streetlights and steady ground, we flicked on our torches and phone lights as we began the trek up to the summit.
This early part of the trail is actually quite beautiful. There are lots of little waterfalls, wooden bridges, and river crossings. You won’t see any of them in the dark. What you will get is incredibly sweaty as the humidity under the canopy and the intense incline will have you sweating bullets.
It took us the best part of 45-minutes or so at a steady pace to reach the top or the head of the Indian, which is the key viewpoint. Make sure to check the night before for the official sunrise time. I would then leave yourself a minimum of 1 hour from when you leave your accommodation but if you want to guarantee you witness the sunrise for all your effort 1.5 hours is perfect.
We arrived at the summit at the end of the blue hour, which is the hour before the sun rises when the sky is a rich blue. The summit was windy but not cold. One big tip is to take a spare t-shirt for the top or as I did, keep a jacket in your bag and then remove the shirt and replace with the jacket. This allowed me to take off my wet shirt that was dripping in sweat and getting cold in the wind. Minor creature comforts but not hard to plan that ahead!
Unfortunately for us, the clouds seemed to want to ruin the show although above the clouds the sky was clear. We hung out at the top of the mountain, which was slowly coming to light. Slowly the sun managed to break its way above the top of the clouds and then she burst through. In what is the rainy season, we were counting our blessings to have a dry, clear morning and now the sun was coming through with beautiful light for us!
Now that the mountains were fully lit, we continued our journey along the cliff-edge path. The views of the crater were amazing and we couldn’t believe how good the weather was or our hike. The glass glowed in the sunshine and we found a few great vantage points to take in the Anton Valley Crater.
Slowly the path leads you down and down until you emerge back into the streets of Anton Valley and it once again only takes 15-20 minutes to return from the exit of the trail. You could do it in reverse, but as I mentioned you would be along the cliffs in the dark although you would enjoy the waterfalls in daylight. My suggestion is to do it in the order I did and if you are so interested in the Piedra Pintada waterfalls to revisit them during the day from the Piedra Pintada entrance, which will take you just 10 minutes.
THE LEGEND OF THE SLEEPING INDIAN
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.
This is the legend of the Sleeping Indian.
CONTACT JERRY THE LOCAL GUIDE (MY BEST FRIEND IN PANAMA)
If you need a local guide or are looking for tips to travel through Panama I suggest contacting, Jerry, one of my best friends from Panama. He runs group tours to off the beaten path locations like Escudo de Veraguas and Bayano Caves. He is a local, indigenous guide who is incredibly funny, honest and knows Panama by the back of his hand. We explored all of Cocle together and went on some insane adventures and he became like a brother to me. If you have any questions or want help, tours, guides or tips he is your man.
WhatsApp: +507 6153 8924
ADVENTURE BAG FROM LA INDIA DORMIDA 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!