El Valle de Anton – Panama
Relax in a Volcanic Crater
A very popular place to go to relax in Panama is the quiet village of El Valle de Anton (usually referred to El Valle). El Valle is is located in the crater of the second largest inhabited volcano in the world. The crater has a radius of 6 km and was formed about 1.1-1.3 million years ago. There are approximately 6000 full time residents in El Valle. El Valle is in Panama’s Cocle Province about a 120 km (75 miles) drive from Panama City.
El Valle has a tropical mountain climate at its best. The area sits 600 meters (2000 feet) above sea level and has a mild climate year round. The average daytime high temperature is 28° C (82 degrees F), and the average nighttime temperature is 20° C (68 degrees F). The dry season starts in the middle of December and lasts until the end of April. During this season, the weather is sunny and windy. But El Valle is also worth a visit in the rainy season because in the end it only rains two hours in the afternoon and the place is more quiet than during the dry season.
So much for geography. Visitors and locals with weekend homes go to El Valle to literally get away. It is quiet, beautiful and private. There are also many things to see and do during your time in El Valle.
Probably the most famous attraction is the arts and crafts market which is held in the center of the village on weekends. You can buy everything from y fruits, ornamental plants, flowers and orchids, ceramics, bateas (wooden trays), woven baskets, hats and Kuna Molas.
See the Sleeping Indian Girl (La India Dormida) is a mountain that is shaped like a sleeping indian girl. Legend has it that the mountain took the shape of a young indian girl whose love intentions were not fulfilled.
Below the Sleeping Girl you can study the La Piedra Pintada petroglyphs which date from El Valle’s pre-Columbian culture and remain undeciphered to this day.
See the “square” trees which you can find behind the Hotel Campestre. These are cottonwoods with rectangular trunks that are only found naturally in Panama and Costa Rica.
The Chorro El Macho Waterfall drops 70 meters (300 feet) and is a half hour walk from El Valle’s town center. (There are other waterfalls close by.)
Rejuvenate in the Las Pozos Termales hot springs.
Visit the El Nispero zoo. Or go to the separate Snake House.
The nonprofit organization APROVACA is dedicated to cultivating and conserving endangered local and regional orchids. At the moment 100+ different kinds of orchids can be seen at their facility.
El Valle is famous on the international bird watching circuit. Many bird (and hiking) aficionados like to go to the cloud forest of Cerro Gaital Natural Monument.
You can go horseback riding for the day.
Since you are in the mountains, the hiking among the local peaks is excellent.
Rent a bike and ride.
Or, you can kick back in your hammock and enjoy your favorite drink in well-deserved peace at one of the boutique hotels that are available.
All of this is can be found in El Valle de Anton. Enjoy!
El Valle de Anton