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El Valle de Antón is a sleepy mountain village nested in the valley of an extinct volcano, only two hours away from Panama City. With a fresh micro-climate, it is a natural sanctuary made up of waterfalls, hiking trails, horseback-riding routes, butterfly farms, hot springs, and handicraft markets. Here are the 10 top things to see and do in El Valle de Antón, brought to you by Culture Trip.
La India Dormida (The Sleeping Indian) is a mountain range located along the edge of El Valle’s volcano crater, which resembles the figure of a sleeping indigenous woman. One of the most famous and challenging hikes of the area, it offers an astonishing view of the valley once you reach the summit.
El Macho Waterfall is the largest waterfall within El Valle de Antón. You can view it after crossing a high suspension rope bridge in the forest. Though swimming in the lake is not allowed, the view is worth the detour.
El Mariposariois a butterfly farm where visitors can immerse themselves amid hundreds of extraordinary tropical butterflies. A guided tour explains the evolution of a butterfly’s life through all its stages.
The golden frog is a species of frog that is endemic to Panama. Once in El Valle, pass by the Golden Frog Inn and ask to be shown the entry to the Golden Frog Hike. The walk is an easier one and offers panoramic views over the village.
The hot springs (or pozos termales) are rich in minerals that benefit your body. They provide an alternative remedy to fatigue and all sorts of aches. Bathing in thermal water is a fun experience for both adults and kids who typically have a blast exfoliating their skin with natural mud.
El Valle hosts a very popular market located right at the heart of town. While vendors focus on selling fruit and vegetables during the week, they take out artisanal crafts and handmade objects at weekends. Sundays are particularly festive, indeed the best days to visit the market.
Frank Gruber is a herbalist specialising in medicinal plants. He has spent over 30 years studying and collecting local plants and organises private tours in El Valle to teach about natural remedies.
Crater’s Edge Brewery is a microbrewery founded by Michael, an expat with 20 year’s brewery experience. Michael brews beer in his garage and welcomes visitors into his property to taste his Golden & Red Frog Ale.