Valle de Anton
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Directions to Valle de Anton
This small town, which residents simply know as 'El Valle', has long since trapped Panama's elite with fresh spring weather and natural attractions. It is two hours away by car from Panama City, and the last 45 minutes are on a winding route that exhibits spectacular landscapes.
There is so much to see in El Valle, that it is worth visiting for a whole weekend instead of going a single day. It has hot springs, hiking trails and habitats for butterflies, snakes and the famous Panamanian golden frog (in danger of extinction).
This is the only place in the world where you can see trees with a square trunk and one of the largest inhabited craters on the planet. There is a small tourist trail that crosses El Valle, which has several small, cozy inns and food houses. The best of all, the local market of El Valle, which is a delight.
Packed with fresh produce, plants, flowers and crafts, it has something to offer every visitor.
Location and Geography
The town of El Valle de Antón is located in the province of Coclé, 120 km from the city of Panama. The town is located in the caldera of the second largest inhabited volcano in the world. It is named by the 'Valley of the Volcano', a Stratovolcano. 'El Valle de Anton Caldera', with a radius of 6 km was formed around 1.1-1.3 million years ago. Nowadays, the caldera forms the land for the small town of El Valle de Antón, with its 6,200 inhabitants.
The subsoil of the valley is formed by the deposits of the old lake of the caldera, full of thermal hot water. The valley is defined by the dome of the lava complex that is formed by the East - West movement of the caldera. The peaks are known as 'El Cerro Gaital' (1185 m), 'El Cerro Pajita' (616 m) and 'El Cerro Caracoral'. The most recent major eruption in the subsoil was 13,000 years ago. It happened when the hot magma met the water of the caldera lake. Some of the last volcanic activities were measured in 1987.
Panama is located in the hot and humid tropical climate. The Valley, located 600 m above sea level, has a mild spring climate constant. Throughout the year the average high temperature is 28 degrees Celsius, and the minimum nighttime average is 20 degrees, with little variation between summer and winter. The dry season starts in mid-December and lasts until the end of April. In that season the weather is sunny and very windy. The Valley is also worth a visit in the rainy season because in the end there are only two hours of rain in the afternoon and the place is quieter than during the dry season. The rainy season is also called the Green Season: in this season nature is shown in its best appearance. The months with the highest amount of rain are October and November.
The local population is mainly descended from the indigenous Guaymí tribe. Today, the place attracts more and more tourists, retirees from the United States and weekend tourists, particularly from Panama City, who prefer a moderate climate and the fullness of nature. Many rich Panamanians, politicians and businessmen, have their weekend homes in El Valle. The population (permanent residents) is close to 6,500 people, but weekends and holidays grow to 8,500.
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