In what seems to be the middle of a quiet farmland region is one of the wonders of Panama. A lot of places around the world get hyped up but surprisingly Pozo Azul was spoken of as a nice spot but I didn’t expect to encounter such an epic location. In the depths of the jungle, a series of waterfalls flow down from one level to the next into crystal clear azure pools. Rock climbing, cliff jumping and the ultimate waterhole await you at Pozo Azul in Cocle, Panama.
Photos by myself and @jerryfit
HOW TO GET TO POZO AZUL IN COCLE, PANAMA
Pozo Azul is not quite in Anton Valley. You have a couple of options to reach Pozo Azul but a warning, if you aren’t in a group you can expect to do some considerable walking.
- The first option is to go in a group, which entails renting a pickup to take you from Anton Valley on the 30-minute journey. The transport was included in our tour, which cost $15 per person. It was booked at Bodhi Hostel and was run by @jerryfit. He guided us when we got to Pozo Azul, which while not necessary is very handy as he helped us with rope all the way to the top falls. The transport without the tour would need to be sourced and might cost between $30-50 for the return trip at an estimate.
- If you are on a tight budget or traveling solo and can’t get a group together you CAN catch a bus to Penonome and then catch another bus to Pozo Azul. From here you will need to walk down the bumpy road (the pickup truck can drive it), which is a 45-minute walk. All up this DIY transit from Anton Valley to Pozo Azul entrance would take a minimum of 1.5 hours. It is worth it but you should try and ask around at the hostels if anyone is doing group transport or a tour. If you don’t do the tour you will need to pay admission as Pozo Azul is on private property and very, very well maintained. I had trouble filling my ‘Adventure Bag’ of trash and had to fill it outside of Pozo Azul. That’s a good problem to have.
POZO AZUL WATERFALLS IN COCLE, PANAMA
I was expecting a waterfall and a nice spot to swim. But when we got down into the canyon after navigating the slippery stairway, I was completely blown away. I felt like I was transported back to Kawasan Falls in the Philippines, the water was that blue! The canyon went down a hundred meters and then wrapped around the corner.
We laid down our gear and then followed Jerry, our guide, as he led us up the waterfalls. We swam, clambered and dove our way up one waterfall to the next. The difficulty was moderate but got progressively harder as we reached each new waterfall. The second waterfall to the top was my favorite with its amphitheater and calm atmosphere.
We continued to the top and managed to scale all of the falls. It really did feel like a mini-episode of canyoneering in the Philippines. There was hardly anyone at the falls on a Tuesday afternoon and we felt as if we were in a dream.
After the scaling of all of the waterfalls, we sent some cliff jumps on the way down. There are a 6-7 meter jump and several 3-meter jumps. The depth was good but not great and I would check for debris first. It would have been between 2-3 meters on several of the jumps and one middle pool was too deep to touch making it perfect. I sent my first backflip since Joguata Waterfall, which is almost a month ago.
As we scaled the waterfalls, I only took the Go-Pro as it was wet and wild but we scaled the rocks back with the drone and camera gear. The drone struggled big time with hardly any satellites and was whizzing around in all directions. I kept an eye on it but it wouldn’t go above 10-meters in this canyon for the most part. Nevertheless, we had an awesome time in this upper section shooting some shots of these stunning pools and waterfalls with whatever gear we had at the time.
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
Email: [email protected]
ADVENTURE BAG FROM POZO AZUL
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!