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.
HOW TO GET TO LOMA GRANDE WATERFALL
Finding Loma Grande Waterfall proved to be a challenge. However, I made it in the end and I can show you a few photos that will help explain the points you need to remember in order to find the trail. One of my friends told me a good rule for this trail. It’s all LEFT, answer all the questions by choosing the left option.
To begin the journey, head to the town center and wait by the bus terminal. There are only three buses. One goes to Santiago, another to Santa Fe Alto and the third to Guabal. You want the Guabal bus. They all have stickers on them so just wait for one with Guabal stickers to drive past. Locals will be waiting and can let you know if you are in the right spot, although they all stop at the same bus stop. You can’t really get it wrong.
I squished into a van with a bunch of locals heading to Guabal and asked the driver to drop me at Mirador de Loma Grande (The viewpoint). The ride cost $1.50. He dropped me a little before this and thought I may just be a little screwed in the middle of nowhere! However, he just didn’t want to stop on the steep hill. I walked down the hill and found the viewpoint!
From the viewpoint, you need to walk about 500 meters down the hill. You are looking for a dirt path on your left. Head down this dirt road and then make your way through the wooden gate. Now you need to really keep your eyes peeled because there is no trailhead marker or sign. It is only about 1 minute past the gate and leads you straight into the jungle. The path was slightly worn and I believe it joins with a drain of some sort. The photo below will help you identify the trailhead.
From here you are set or so I thought. No, you actually are set as this trail leads all the way to Loma Grande Waterfall. However, I got lost and ended up 300 meters downstream and walked my way back up the stream through the water. Adventures are never boring and I made it in the end.
Make sure you don’t go too late in the day so you can get the bus back to Santa Fe before the bus service finishes. I thought I might be in big trouble with a 5-hr+ walk back to Sante Fe up against the hills. It was 630pm and I thought I might have missed the last bus. Luckily a truck driver stopped for me as I hitchhiked and he let me ride in the back of his truck all the way to Santa Fe.
LOMA GRANDE 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.
I reached a bit of a dead-end before the river and I would later figure out I had somehow taken a wrong turn. I bush-bashed my way down to the river and then with no sight or sound of a waterfall I walked to the right down the river. This was my second mistake. Everything on this hike is LEFT, even when you are lost. I ended up flying the drone and managed to locate the waterfall 300m upstream. At least now I knew where it was and was glad to be in the right region.
I decided to head up the stream to avoid getting lost again. It was incredibly slippery but I preferred to know I couldn’t get lost and could guarantee I would find Loma Grande after all of this effort.
I did find a few beautiful, crystal clear pools downstream while getting lost, which was a good consolation.
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.
On both sides, which are both able to be climbed, ferns and plants drip melodically from the spray of the waterfall. You are fully immersed. Loma Grande draws you in and announces mother nature with an exclamation mark as you stand as a tiny human being in her presence. At the foot of this canyon, I felt alive and thankful for this adventure and another beautiful waterfall in Panama.
LOMA GRANDE MAP LOCATION
This map is a rough approximation of the location. It’s much more than I had. If you take this location and the instructions I have given you, the trail should be easy to find. Like I already mentioned, your first marker is the Mirador de Loma Grande, which is more commonly known than the Loma Grande Waterfall.
ADVENTURE BAG FROM LOMA GRANDE
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!