The recently inaugurated province of Panama, has beaches, forest parks and activities close to Capital City
Since 2014 this sector was called West Panama (Panama Oeste) became the tenth province of the country. It is made up of five districts: Arraijan, Capira, Chame, La Chorrera (the capital) and San Carlos. It is located on the Pacific Ocean coast on the western side of the Panama Canal.
This province is the easiest to get to from Panama City since you only have to take a bus from the Albrook Terminal that goes to the districts of West Panama, there are even buses that go to destinations such as Veracruz, Chica and Campana. Most public transport goes to Arraijan and La Chorrera. By car you just have to go through the Panamerican highway to reach the different destinations for you to enjoy in just 30 minutes.
This route will soon have a transportation solution with Line 3 of the Panama Metro (under construction) that will depart from the Albrook terminal, and will run through Arraijan, Nuevo Chorrillo until you reach Ciudad Futuro.
—-Altos de Campana National Park—-
Near the coast of Chame Bay, 60 kilometers from capital city, you will find Altos de Campana National Park and Biological Reserve, within Capira district. This is the first national park in the country founded in 1966, and has a 4,925 hectares area. The tropical richness is due to an igneous extension of El Valle de Anton extinct volcano from where Campana is born.
Due to its volcanic past, these lands have lava fields, large cliffs, microclimatic forests with temperatures that range at 24 ºC.
Among the trails that we advise you to follow is Sendero La Cruz, at 35 kilometers, from the park entrance, it is short but with slippery sections and paths full of roots. There is also the Podocarpus trail, a simpler, wider route, recommended for you to take your children. On the Zamora trail you will have a more challenging experience surrounded by wild nature
—-Las Mendozas International Racetrack—–
If you like speed and car racing, at 20 minutes from the capital city is the first International Automobile Racing Track of Panama, a 50-hectare piece of land in La Chorrera District. It has three tracks: the quarter mile track, acceleration racing circuit and the last one for 4 x 4 (SUV).
With a 2.3 kilometers length, the design of the circuit was supervised by the International Automobile Federation with slopes, descents, a blind spot, and many hairpin turns (17 curves).
This autodrome is in an expansion phase, it has 10,000 spectators capacity with two areas for the public: Panoramic and Pits.
You quickly recognize this region by its “finger shape”, a peninsula bathed by the Pacific Ocean. It is only an hour and a half from the capital city, and this sector was previously an old shrimp town, which has gradually become a tourist spot of great importance.
The small peninsula is surrounded by 35 kilometers of white sand coastline. It is the first stop in a series of beaches that includes West Panama and joins those of Cocle province. Along the way you will enjoy views of Cerro Chame, Cerro Campana, Taboga, Otoque and Bona.
Punta Chame has two beaches: the north beach, which is quieter to relax, and the south beach, with higher waves, perfect for practicing sports such as kiteboarding (board and kite) and windsurfing (board with sail).
—-San Carlos Lagoon—-
On the slopes of Cerro Picacho, about 850 meters above sea level, you will discover this mysterious place. Scientists from several countries have tried to establish its origin and depth without any success. They have dived up to 18 meters deep without reaching bottom.
Here you can enjoy a picnic, fish, make campfires away from the trees, take a boat ride or climb Cerro Picacho (start of the trail). You can enter paying $1.00 per person; park cars for $3.00 (sedans) up to $10.00 for buses. Camping at night cost $6.00 per day for two people, $8.00 four people and $10.00 eight people.
To get to Laguna de San Carlos you must drive along the Pan-American highway, and enter the street that goes to Las Lajas through Coronado. From there continue straight until the road ends, where there is a sign indicating where you should take to get to the lagoon.
Located at Bejuco Town in the Chame district you will find the mountain village of Sora, whose name is a tribute to the cacique “Soro” (old man), who was the chief during the period in which the conquerors arrived. Sora is a traditional an ecotourism destination site, full of nature and tranquility, located an hour and a half from Panama City. It is considered the “Highlands” of West Panama, together with Altos de Maria and Chica.
It is a place that invites you to be known with trails, streams and viewpoints from where you can see the Pacific Ocean. People from Sora like to talk about their beliefs, customs and legends.
To get to Sora you have to go through the Panamerican highway to Bejuco town. From there, turn right whose entrance says Altos de Maria, which can be seen with the naked eye, right next to a square. As soon as you enter, at about 20 minutes you will find the mountainous town of Sora.
—–Things to Do—-
Go with a group of people to learn about local agrotourism projects in the Loma Larga area; You will go to the river and stay at a large patio for camping. Information: www.acampaspots.com or IG: @hidalgotours.
Take a trip to go fishing at Punta Chame. At hotels and hostels in the area you will receive information about “panga” rentals and contact a boat captain, 8-hour fishing trip costs approximately $60.00, for six people.
Learn all about Altos de Campana National Park and Biological Reserve. They have well defined and enabled trails: Sendero La Cruz, Podocarpus and Sendero Panama. You can go with a maximum group of eight people. Hours from 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Reserve in advance to E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the residential and tourist complex of Altos de Maria. You will enjoy an adventure ride on the Explorer Truck, go through ecological trails, parks, and you will take a dip in the “Las Doncellas” waterfall. You need a permit to enter. Contact: www.altosdelmaria.com
Relax in a charming and quiet place like La Laguna de San Carlos. Here you make a day visit or spend the night watching the stars. Open Monday through Friday (9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.), Saturday and Sunday (8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m.).