Located just two hours away from Panama City, this mountain town is a favorite of both locals, which have built their summer and weekend houses, and tourists. The scenery, the mountains, the vegetation, the reach soil, the cool climate and fresh crisp air attracts them all.
The town is settled on the crater of an extinct volcano, that left, some 5 million years ago, a five kilometer crater, and which is probably the second largest crater in the world.
We highly recommend spending a Sunday at El Valle, as it is the best day for its famous Market: Small farmers and locals from the town and mountains bring their goods and handicrafts. It is a beautiful site full of color, with a large variety of handicrafts, including hand made panama hats, carved hardwoods, hand woven baskets and more.
The natural surroundings are perfect for hiking. There are many trails to go up the different hills and mountains, including the famous Sleeping Indian or "India Dormida" mountain. Many of these trails are perfect with small children, such as "El Pastoreo" which offers an easy hike with a a gorgeous view at the top. Adventurous souls can also hike all the way to the Caribbean Ocean.
Of course, it is also a great place for bird watching, specially along the trails. Some locals have also opened their farms and mini zoos for visits; one of these is El Nispero, which showcases many animals and exotic birds, most of them native to the region.
Biking and horseback riding are a pleasure in El Valle, and you can rent both there.
The Canopy Adventure will offer you a thrilling ride among the top of trees, all in the safety of a harness. It also offers a great hike in the forest, ending on a beautiful waterfall.
Some of the ancient dwellers of El Valle left some of their history for us in the form of Petroglyphs on a large rock which the locals call "La Pintada". These have been interpreted to be a map of the area, showing waterfalls, hills and ancient towns. Getting there is a simple, easy hike.
There are several waterfalls in the area, such as the "Los Novios", located just after the Petroglyphs, and the "Chorro el Macho" which is 85 meters high. You can swim in a natural pool just a few meters away from it, in the crisp mountain waters.
Press here for Hotels in El Valle. For a Picture gallery on El Valle, press here.
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