Forest parks, rivers, beaches and an indigenous culture that will make you experience nature intensely

It is the most remote province in the country for conserving its captive natural wealth. Its history tells that the government of Darien was established in 1508 and it was in 1510, when Vasco Nuñez de Balboa founded Santa Maria la Antigua de Darien, the first Spanish city on continental land. With the separation of Panama from Colombia in 1903, this land retained the title of comarca until 1922, when it was established as a province.

Darien limits to the north with Panama Province and the Guna Yala region. It is close to Colombia, a country that does not share an established border zone, as it is in a very dense jungle sector such as The Darien Gap. It is the largest province in Panamá (11,896.5 km.) and the country’s biggest natural lung. In this territory there are mangroves, primary forests and different categories: cloudy, pygmy, montane and premontane; being a dense and rainy area. The green areas of Darien occupy 13% of the national territory and are 206 kilometers from Panama.

To get to Darien you can go by land by car or bus (Panama – Meteti) from the Albrook Bus Terminal (four hours). Or take a flight into Albrook’s Marcos A. Gelabert Airport to get to Santa Fe de Darien in less than an hour.

Darien National Park

It is the largest of the National Parks of Panama (1980). In 1981 it was declared a Humanity Biosphere Reserve by the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO). It was also named a Biodiversity Reserve for its biological diversity in 1983.

With its 579 thousand hectares of tropical forest, it is the largest protected area in Central America and the Caribbean. Within this park is the Embera-Wounaan Comarca and the Biological Corridor of the mountainous region of Bagre. In this territory they continue to find endemic species. However, this park, which is widely visited for its scientific interest, is also ideal for ecotourism.

Among the most recommended places to visit are the Pirre Station and the Santa Cruz de Cana Park. In both you can see birds and mammals, especially the woodpeckers and the Monk Frentiblanca and mammals such as howler monkeys or the white face that find more in “Cana”.

Darien Gap (Tapon del Darien)

The Pan-American highway that runs from Alaska to Argentina is interrupted between Panama and Colombia due to “El Tapon del Darien” (Darien Gap) a border forest with 575 thousand hectares of rivers, jungles and steep mountains in the middle of a very complex topography. Just doing the route on foot can take seven to ten days. A region of intense nature like no other place in the country that continues to be protected to keep its nature and flora intact for future generations.

Playa Muerto (The dead beach)

It has nothing dead, it is full of a rich natural life. This paradise is located within the Darien National Park, just two hours outside the town of Garachine by boat. The unmistakable greenery of Darien, gray-black sands and enormous waves, invite you to venture out to discover this hidden paradise. You will appreciate exotic settings with mangroves, fishing communities and a black sand beach. The only Embera indigenous people living in front of the Pacific Ocean live here.

Playa Muerto has limited land access in order to preserve its uniqueness and wild beauty, being an undiscovered paradise to be discovered. But if you are looking for adventures in the middle of the most remote nature, this is the place.

Bahia Piña

It is one of the most recommended places for sport fishing in the Pacific Ocean. The marine wealth that it has is thanks to the fact that it is a destination that does not suffer from excessive tourist exploitation or indiscriminate fishing. It is Darien’s best kept secret, a cult following for high-end fishing experts looking for a more discreet and pleasurable experience.

Among the practices that you will like the most is fishing for a great Black Merlin (a fish that has broken more than 250 world records in competitions) that after a few hours of incessant search and battle to capture it you have to return it to the sea. You can also be amazed during the journey with the appearance of dolphins, turtles and whales.

Bahia Piña is more than a privileged sports destination. Nearby, in the small town you will be able to appreciate the picturesque customs of its inhabitants, from Afro-colonial Embera origin, settlers, among others. Its wooden houses set on stilts, the trails, college campuses with sports fields and community in the middle of the jungle that contrast with any other place in the country.

To get to this bay, take a flight from Marcos A. Gelabert Airport in Albrook, to arrive on a direct trip to Bahia Piña Airport.

Things to Do

Go to Bahia Piña during high season for sport fishing between December and March. However, the rainy season between June and August is when the rivers dump large amounts of sediment into the ocean that attract herbivorous fish and their predators. A different experience. Information:

Take a trip to discover the places where the harpy eagle lives and where they have their nests, all done at a safe distance within the Mogue community. You will also enjoy hiking to spot other birds, as well as mammals and other animals at nearby sites. Information:

Learn how life is in an indigenous family home. It is the opportunity to live with people who make this remote place their home. Enjoy five days and four nights in La Palma de Darien, a town from where you can go fishing, learn about the daily routine, activities and handicrafts. Information:

Visit the Darien National Park with a group of people to explore the jungle, where you can hike one of the five hiking trails in the area. You will hear and feel nature in all its splendor, accompanied by great views of the forest and what remains of old mines. Information:

Relax traveling by boat on the Chucunaque River and the Tuira River. The first is the largest river in the country, which emerges between the border of the indigenous regions of Guna Yala and Wargandi. To fully enjoy the experience, stay in comfortable Dosel camps during your stay in Darien. Information:


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