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Golden frog © Ruben Engel / Unsplash
Golden frog © Ruben Engel / Unsplash
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Top 10 Things to See and Do in El Valle de Anton

Picture of Martina Gili
Updated: 20 September 2017
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.

View La India Dormida

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 Valle de Antón, Panamá
El Valle de Antón, Panamá | © Lee Siebert / WikiCommons

Hike to El Macho Waterfall

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.

© Isabella Jusková / Unsplash

Visit the Butterfly Farm

El Mariposario is 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.

Tropical butterfly
Tropical butterfly | © Michael Fleming / Unsplash

Go on the Golden Frog Hike

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.

Golden frog
Golden frog | © Ruben Engel / Unsplash
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Stay at the Boutique Hotel & Spa Los Mandarinos

Los Mandarinos is a historic boutique hotel with a spa that is dedicated to providing a combination of wellness and adventure to its guests. Ask the hotel staff and they will help you choose the right activities, whether you are looking to descend the zipline, climb mountains, spot wildlife or bathe in jungle waterfalls.

Boutique Hotel & Spa Los Mandarinos, El Valle de Antón, Panama | © Courtesy of Los Mandarinos

Relax in the hot springs

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.

© Isabel Winter / Unsplash
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Discover the Orchids Center

The Orchids Center gathers over 150 species of beautiful local orchids that are unique to Panama. The center has an onsite hostel (the Orquidea Hostel) that provides affordable accommodation in an enchanting setting.

Orchid | © Jian Xhin / Unsplash

Shop at El Valle Market

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.

Emberá crafts
Emberá crafts | © IrenaVision/Shutterstock

Learn about medicinal plants with Frank Gruber

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.

© Neslihan Gunaydin / Unsplash

Drink a beer at Crater’s Edge Brewery

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.

Brewery
Brewery | © Martin Knize / Unsplash