La Amistad International Park (PILA) - Panama
This is one of the wettest areas in the country so be prepared with waterproof clothing and shoes. You should also bring your own supplies and camping gear if you are planning to spend the night.
Are you a business owner in Panama?
Promote your business 365 days a year with the #1 Guide to Panama.
- Gain MAXIMUM EXPOSURE with a 'Dedicated Business Profile'
Directions to La Amistad International Park (PILA)
Things to do in Panama
La Amistad International Park is a UNESCO World Heritage site created jointly by Panama and Costa Rica governments in order to protect several endangered species that live in the shared region that lies along the Talamanca mountain range.The park is popularly known as PILA for its spanish intials (Parque Internacional La Amistad) and it covers an area of 401,000 hectares, 207,000 of which are in the Panama side.
PILA is located along both Bocas del Toro and Chiriqui provinces and even though the majority of the area is in the Bocas del Toro side, the park is extremely difficult to access from there thus it is always visited from the Chiriqui side.
The park encompasses a beutiful area of remote wilderness, featuring most of Panama’s endangered animals including the jaguars and tapirs, more than 400 bird species, 25 reptile species and 32 amphibian species. In addition, the area is also home to members of three indigenous groups: the Naso (Teribe), the Bribri and the Ngöbe-Buglé.
PILA is also very popular for having great hikes both easy and challenging.
The most popular softer options are the following:
- Sendero Panama Verde, also known as El Puma: It is an easy 15-minute incursion into the forest.
- Sendero El Retoño (1.3 miles / 2.1 kilometers): It is a mostly leveled terrain with great scenery including a bamboo tunnel, excellent bird watching opportunities, and relatively easy jungle streams.
- Sendero La Cascada (2 miles / 3.4 kilometers): It is relatively strenuous uphill climb with nice views of the surrounding mountains, valleys, even the Caribbean on a clear day and a wonderful waterfal, for which the trail took its name(Cascada). This trail is one of the most popular trails in the park because it is well-maintained.
If you are well fitted and have an adventurous spirit looking for an extreme hiking experience, you can also find it in PILA. The options are:
- Cerro Picacho trail: A 3 ½ hour trek over challenging terrain to a height of 2,937 meters(9,635 feet) to get a magnificent view encompassing both the Pacific and the Caribbean coastlines.
- Vereda La Montaña: A 4 kilometer uphill hike through the jungle towards a mountain.
- An unmarked eight-hour hike through dense forest to reach hot springs.
It is possible to camp in the park if you want to do a multiple day hike, but make sure to talk to the park ranger for guidance.
Admission Fee: USD 5 per person
Office hours: 7:45am - 4:00pm
Since several areas of the park are unexplored, there is no map to guide you through it, except for some trail maps. Therefore, it is highly recommended to hire a professional guide to take there. The jungle can be a very dangerous place.
In addition, if you are driving, make sure to ask about the road conditions before going there. They might be rough and a 4x4 vehicle might be necessary. Taxis from the local area can take you there on request.
You may also like
The Buenaventura Zoo is a wildlife rescue center that invites you to find out more about conservation and have a closer relationship with nature. It is a rehabilitation center for animals that, in turn, provides a learning experience about animals and their conservation for the whole family.
Escudo de VeraguasVeraguas,
Hidden beaches, crystal clear waters, white sands and thick jungle make this destination an earthly paradise. There lives a gnabe community and animals as wonderful as the lazy pygmy and the red frog.
Isla IguanaLos Santos, Panama
Isla Iguana is the top natural attraction of the Azuero Peninsula offering the only white sand beach and the best preserve coral reefs of the region.It is a snorkeling an...
La Yeguada Forest ReserveVeraguas, Panama
La Yeguada is the first forest reserve in Panama and due to its spectacular scenery with mountains, lakes and even a waterfall it has become one of the most popular campi...
Cebaco Island has 8,500 hectares with a population of approximately 650 people. Most of the inhabitants are native fishermen, humble and hardworking. Isla Cebaco offers a phenomenal setting for diving, snorkeling and other water sports.
Coiba National Park - Isla CoibaVeraguas, Panama
Coiba National Park is one of the most beautiful places in Panama. It offers diverse marine life, coral reefs, wildlife, hiking trails, sport fishing and great swimming b...
International BrewersCauseway, Panama City,
Welcome to The Crew
Every day, homebrewers around the world create delicious brews, but they can only share them with their closest friends. Today, in order to reach a greater audience, brewers have to invest hundreds of thousands of dollars in expensive equipment, locations, licenses, marketing, and distribution.
Golfo de MontijoVeraguas,
The tropical humid forest predominates, there are also pastures, savannahs, ciénegas and secondary vegetation. In the Gulf, the mangrove forest predominates, with different representative species such as red mangrove, black mangrove and white mangrove.
Volcan BaruChiriqui, Panama
Volcan Baru National Park houses the highest point in Panama and offers a challenging hike to conquer the summit of the only volcano in the country giving you a view of P...
Wet-Rappel and India DormidaCocle,
Ideal activity for groups of friends who love nature, requires some physical conditions for the hike on the sleeping Indian trail, you walk approximately 20 minutes to reach the salto del sapo waterfall where rappelling takes place and then 45 min to the top of the sleeping Indian.