El Valle is a charming mountain town 120 km far from Panama City. It was founded in a crater of an extinct volcano because of its fertile land. Nowadays it's a popular destination among travellers and locals visiting El Valle to relax, hike, bird watching and discover its rich wildlife!
Thanks to the short distance from the city, it's the ideal weekend escape for Panamanians from the capital and a great site to buy a country home.
It could be a valid alternative to Boquete for travellers with short time holidays looking for a cool retreat during all the year. Besides this it offers several interesting activities and attractions.
There are many options for any level and duration. The most known is the trail to the India Dormida , a mountain with a sleeping Indian woman shape, according to a local legend.
Another trail leads to Gaital National Park. It starts 3,5 km after the Chorro Macho and is a nice trek of 30 minutes to an enjoyable panoramic point on the valley.
The most accessible is Chorro de las Mozas (Maiden Fall) but the most famous is Chorro El Macho (no need of translation), higher than the first and rounded by easy short trails. For adventure lovers, admire the waterfall from the sky with the Canopy tour.
Reachable with a short walk from the centre of the town, these Pozos Termales are public Thermal Baths (3 USD entrance fee). You will find cement pools of different temperature mineral waters and healing mud for your skin.
La Pietra Pintada is a huge rock with Pre-Columbian carvings still not decrypted, that you can find on the west side of the town after a nice trail.
It's common to meet local children waiting for tourists, to show the site and explain their version of petrogliphs meaning.
In the Museo de El Valle, close to the church, there's a collection of artifacts of that period.
Other attractions are: bird-watching, an orchids collection (Orquideas), the Butterfly Garden, the Nispero zoo with a conservation centre integrated born to save amphibian species. Here it's possible to see the Golden Frog, the Serpentario (reptile) and the Square Trees, nothing more than some trees not exactly rounded...
Also possible horseback riding, climbing and rappelling, kayaking and mountain bike tours.
El Valle is home to a picturesque handicrafts market, that become really crowded on Sundays. Local people offer an impressive variety of products, fruits, vegetables and flowers.
In the town you can find ATM, a tourist information point, a medical centre and many hotels, restaurants , tour operators and bike rentals.
Finally, after your full active day, find some relax in the SPA of the town.
direct bus from Albrook Terminal in Panama City leave every 30 minutes.
From west, take a bus to Panama City and get off at Las Uvas on the Pan American ( if you say El Valle to the driver, he reminds you where to get off). From there, starts the road that goes up to El Valle and busses pick travellers waiting on the street.
at the moment the closest international airport is Tocumen and national Gelabert (Albrook), both in Panama City. The new opening Rio Hato is used only by a few charters.
turn at the sign 5 km west of San Carlos, between Panama Oeste and Coclé provinces and follow the main road until El Valle for about 28 km (less than 2 hours drive from Panama City).