Volcan Baru - Panama
Even though a lot of people will say this is an easy trail to do, don’t underestimate it. It is actually quite challenging because of the rocky (sometimes muddy) lands and quite steep hills you will encounter whilst climbing up.
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Directions to Volcan Baru
Things to do in Panama
The Volcan Baru National Park is located in Chiriqui province close to the mountain range of Talamanca with a surface of 14,322 hectares (35,000 acres) and house of the highest point in Panama, The Baru Volcano (Volcan Baru).
This park is of very special geological and ecological value as it is a mix of tropical rainforest and volcanic remains from the last volcanic blast that happened millions of years ago. Six different climate zones can be found here: humid mountain forest, low humidity mountain forest, low humidity mountain rain-forest, mountain rain-forest, very humid low mountain forest and pre-mountain rain-forest.
The park also offers a rich biodiversity featuring 250 bird species including the Resplendent Quetzal, the five species of big cat that live in Panama, the cougar (Puma Concolor) being the most abundant one, as well as several other mammals.
There are many natural trails that will be of great attraction for hikers in this park but as the name of the park suggests, the most popular one is the Baru Volcan hike.
The Baru Volcan is 3,474 meters (11,400 feet) high and it is the biggest hiking challenge in our country. The complete hike (up to the summit and return) can be done in one day but depending on your physical conditions you might want to do it over two. Even though there are several entrances to the park, the easiest access to do this hike is the one near Boquete town. There you will first need to register with the park ranger providing your name and passport for the park records and let the adventure begin. On average, the way up can take from 4 to 7 hours and the way down is normally 1 hour less of what you took going up. If you plan to do this alone, we highly recommend starting very early morning (6am) to make sure you have clear visibility the whole way. However, you can arrange with tour operators for a guided two day hike including camping over night or to do a night hike normally timed to hit the summit for an spectacular sunrise.
From the top of the Volcano you can have an amazing view of both Pacific and Caribbean coastlines. This is the only place on earth where you can do that!
For camping, you can either do it on the camping site called Los Fogones around the 12km mark going up or at the top, near the cell phones antennas.
You also need to be aware that temperatures on this area varies from 20 ° C to a little bit less than 10° C when at the summit, so make sure to bring appropriate clothing.
If you really want to get this experience but feel that you are not suited to do this challenging hike, you can rent a four-wheeler ATV (all-terrain vehicle) in Boquete town and take it to the top.
IMPORTANT: There is no water or food stops on this trail so you need to come prepared with all your supplies.
SPECIAL NOTE: There is another very popular trail in this park called El Sendero de Los Quetzales ( Quetzals Trail) but we decided to talk about it in a separate section to make sure you don’t get confused.
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