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)
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
In the Vía Centenario a new meeting point of Panama is born. A point where entertainment and good times are assured. A point where you will find a wide variety of servic
The City of Knowledge
Just a few minutes from downtown Panama City, City of Knowledge is strategically located across from the Panama Canal. Some 120 hectares and more than 200 buildings of wh
Miraflores Visitors Center
Miraflores Locks are on the Pacific side of the canal and are the closest to Panama city. Here you will witness the ships transiting the canal and learn all about its his
Of the most visited spas or rivers in our dry season, for its transparent waters and the beauty of the surrounding environment, it has the particularity that its waters t
Recreational Park Omar
Parque Omar is an oasis in the heart of Panama City with great facilities to enjoy a day with the nature, keep yourself fit by jogging around or playing any sport you lik
Playa Punta Chame
Thanks its geography Punta Chame offers its visitors some peculiar landscapes. It is a narrow and long peninsula with an ocean on both sides and endless white sand beache
Sendero Los Quetzales (Quetzales Trail)
On the outskirts of the Baru Volcano, The Quetzals trail is one of the most beautiful hiking areas in Central America and one of the best places to see the very rare resp
Playa Venao (Vena'o)
Playa Venao is a great year round surfing spot very popular for its consistent beach breaks.It is also very attractive for its great view of the surroundings hills, and .
Las Estrellas Beach
The Bocas del Toro archipelago, in the western part of the country, is made up of 10 main islands and a series of islets where you will find dreamy beaches and is one o
Taboga Island, also known as the Island of Flowers, is located in Panama Bay, 45 minuntes by boat from Panama City. It is a little town, very laid back, perfect as a get