Yes adventure is to be had in the wilds of Panama. There is something for everyone. The point of this type of adventure is to get close to nature. For those who want to get started in along the adventure tourism trail a first step would be trail walking. There are several types of adventure walking and they are differentiated just by the difficulty of the trail itself. Trail walking is just walking on a well marked trail through the woods or one of Panama’s nature reserves. Trail walking is something that can actually be done within the City of Panama in the Parque Natural Metropolitano which is between Albrook and El Dorado and has several fairly gentle trails. If you want something very urban but with a bit of exertion you could try walking up the Cerro Ancon. These two suggestions are in the city and will not take more than a couple of hours depending on your physical condition.
Once you are ready to try more aggressive trails you can try other parks a bit farther away like Parque Nacional Soberania which has the “Camino de Cruces” or the Pipeline Road which depending on the starting point can take anywhere from five to eight hours of walking. The Pipeline Trail is also good for mountain biking and bird watching. These trails are still close to the city and these adventures can be done in one day. It is recommended that you leave early in the morning to take advantage of the softer sun.
Now if you want to get really, really close to nature you can combine it with camping and take it on the road to trails in Darien and Chiriqui. In Darien you can try the Cana and Patiño trails where you might see monkeys, harpy eagles and many other species. If you would like to see quetzals the highlands of Chiriqui would be best. The lagoon at San Carlos is also a wonderful place for camping and does not require much walking to get to it.
Extreme trekking can also be experienced in Panama. Extreme trekking would be a much longer trip including camping, rappel or maybe even wet rappel. This kind of adventure would require the participant to have excellent physical condition and is not for the faint of heart or body. Some of the best trekking trails are in Parque Nacional Chagres starting in Espave, there are also the trails in El Valle, just to name a few. There are thousands of trails in Panama for very different levels of expertise. This being the case it is best to do any adventure tourism with an experienced guide or one of the trail groups in Panama even though you may be experienced in the sport.
To get your feet wet in these types of activities from Friday, January 29th to Sunday, January 31st, a camping fair in Las Huacas de Buena Vista de Chame where there will be some trail walking, camping, bonfires, brief conferences all pertaining to outdoor activities. Entry fee is $5.00. For directions on how to get there call 393-8956 or go online at http://www.ceipanama.com email: firstname.lastname@example.org. This activity is organized by the Isthmian Explorers Club. In February another camping activity will take place in Summit (Parque Nacional Soberania), called “Acampemos” designed to provide a pleasant easy camping experience for complete camping rookies. This activity takes place from the 26th to the 28th of February and is organized by the Panamanian Association of Adventure and Hiking (in Spanish APAVE, http://www.apavepanama.org).
Some other organizations or companies that can arrange for this type of trip suited to your needs and level of expertise are:
There is no excuse. Let’s go walking.
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