Mountain Town Full of Ecotourism Activities
Waterfalls, rivers, ecological trails, delicious gastronomy and cool mountain climate. It is a mountain town with a micro spring climate. It is the most touristic village in the Anton district. Its name has to do with
Waterfalls, rivers, ecological trails, delicious gastronomy and cool mountain climate.
It is a mountain town with a micro spring climate. It is the most touristic village in the Anton district. Its name has to do with its origin because it is “El Valle de Anton Caldera”. According to geologists, El Valle is a crater or caldera of an extinct extra volcano a type of volcano. It is located 600 meters above sea level and is one of the most visited places in Cocle Province by locals and foreigners.
How to get there?
Take the Panamerican Highway going from Panama City, after one hour and a half, there is a sign indicating the road to El Valle. From there, you have to drive 30 kilometers to get to the center of this town. You can also go by bus from Albrook terminal, taking the bus that stop a few steps from the Artisan Market, in the central street of this town.
There is a great variety of activities to be carried out, emphasizing ecological adventure, hiking, climbing mountains and hills, hiking to rivers and waterfalls, but there are also more cultural and leisure options such as tours of gardens, zoos, biological study centers and historical museums.
The Sleeping India (India Dormida)
This hill is the most famous in the town, for the way it evokes a woman saying on the floor. The legend that has been told for generations tells that the daughter of the indigenous chief Urraca, named Flor del Aire, fell in love with a Spanish conqueror, who didn’t feel as expected breaking her heart. It is said that she lost her life lying on top of the hill looking up at the sky, having the mountains wanted to perpetuate the figure of who could have become the princess of El Valle de Anton.
To climb to the top, you must enter where the Painted Stone is located. Its complete tour takes about four hours round trip. You can also go up in a 4 x 4 car on the Camino de la Cruz road.
Victoriano Lorenzo Museum
It is found throughout Central Street and is easy to recognize by its adobe and brown color. In one of its rooms it tells the story that unites the guerrilla Victoriano Lorenzo with El Valle. Other of its spaces is the Volcanic Room, where the rising and creation of El Valle is exposed, also there are volcanic stones up to microcrystalline quartz that can be seen. In this garden there is a replica of a “quincha” house (a traditional house made by local people)
Father Jose Noto Museum
Its name is inspired by its creator, a father of Italian origin, who wanted to safeguard local history, becoming one of the forerunners of museology in this region. There the history of Valle de Anton is presented divided into seven sections. His main focus is on pre-Columbian petroglyphs and ceramics, religious art, and 19th and 20th century ennographies. It is located between the San Jose church and the Library.
El Mariposario (Butterfly Haven)
Just a 10 minutes walk from the market, you will find this butterfly enclosure, which is divided into three zones: a display about its life cycle, a breeding laboratory and a 1,500 square foot flight house with more than 250 fluttering butterflies, which usually perch on visitors.
APROVACA (El Valle and Cabuya Orchid Producers Association) cultivates local and regional orchids in danger of extinction, with the support of the Japanese government. You can see about 147 different types of orchids.
It is a Zoological Garden within a seven hectares land where tropical animals and native birds are conserved. In this enclosure there are species from different continents such as felines, coyotes, exotic birds, monkeys, reptiles and a diversity of flora. Located 2 kilometers from the main road.
The Golden Frog
To learn more about this particular species and seven other amphibian colonies, you must visit their new home at the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center (EVACC), located behind the pool of Hotel Campestre. A study center sponsored by the Houston, San Diego and San Antonio zoos, where the golden frog, an endangered species, is studied in particular.
The Painted Stone
At the foot of the mountain of the India Dormida, there is a series of rocks with pre-Columbian symbols or petroglyphs which they call painted stones, where the indigenous people shaped part of the history of El Valle. The researchers estimate that the interventions on its surface are related to religious elements or the harvest calendar.
Near the Anton River and on the shores of Cerro Cariguana, these waters with a high mineral content can reach temperatures of 40ºC, due to the fact that it emerges from the volcanic subsoil at 1,200 meters of depth. There are five pools of different depths and temperatures. It is recommended to take no more than 45 minutes to absorb its thermal benefits. Healing properties are attributed to rheumatism, arthritis, and skin diseases.
Waterfall El Macho and Zip Line
You must reach the viewpoint to have access to both the waterfall, as well as the signposted trails, hanging bridges and the area to go on the Zip Line. It is located 30 minutes from the town. The waterfall is the largest in the vicinity. Open every day from 8:00 am – 5:00 pm. The entrance to the viewpoint and the trails is $5.00, and to bathe in the pool next door is an additional $5.00.
If you want to enjoy an adventure from 100 feet high and go over a waterfall, ask about the two zip line options: $20.00 short section or $65.00 full tour of the four platforms.
Where to Stay?
There are more than seventy hotels and hostels in Anton Valley. All tend to offer promotions of thematic and rustic accommodations, or “Lodging” style, near the places for hiking and zip line, to the more secluded Boutique Hotels with Holistic Spa for those looking for a place to meditate. El Valle also has alternatives for longer stays such as cabins.
Things to Do
• Go to the kiosk of the Panama Tourism Authority (ATP), to request tourist information. It is next to the Artisan Market, there they have information and maps that will guide you to the places you want to visit.
• Take a guided tours to the various trails. Hire the services of a tour guide such as El Chacal Tourist Adventures, call (507) 6607-5174.
• Learn more about the flora, animals and the ecosystem of El Valle, including other countries, visiting the Zoological Garden El Nispero. Open every day from 7:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. Ticket price: $2.00 adults, $1.00 children, $5.00 foreign adults and $2.00 foreign children.
• Visit the hot springs to beautify your skin with mud. The entrance fee includes the use of face and neck mud, but you can buy a pot of mud to spread it all over your body.
• Relax watching Panama’s national flower and the most sought-after orchid: the “Flower of the Holy Spirit”. You can find it in the Orchid Center, next to MiAmbiente headquarters. Open every day from 9:00 am – 4:00 pm. Tel. (507) 983-6472.