Just under 2 hours from Panama City is Valle de Anton. In the middle of the mountains and greenery, this is a popular valley to visit by locals. Mainly on the weekends, they like to go out and visit this little town. It was told that the valley was created by a volcanic eruption. So actually it is located in a crater. We’re not sure, but from the top of the mountains there’s something to be said for it.
What to do in Valle de Anton? For Valle de Anton, you don’t have to set aside much time to stay there for a long time. There are several activities you can do though, such as going to hot springs (Pozos termales), visiting the zoo or butterfly garden, or visiting the art museum. However, most people are here for a few hikes and waterfalls.
India Dormida hike
The most famous walk is the India Dormida, called the sleeping Indian girl. It is a hike that takes you up to the ridge with beautiful views of the valley. The ridge appears to be shaped like a reclining sleeping woman, hence the name. Because you are walking toward the ridge, you are walking mostly uphill. The walk is divided into 3 sections. The first section is relatively flat and you pass a waterfall and a rock with drawings in it of ancestral tribes that lived there. The second section is steeper and sometimes requires climbing. Again, you’ll pass a number of waterfalls and walk along the river and through the forest. The last stretch is the steepest, but then you are already walking on the ridge. This part is optional, because you can enjoy the view even without walking this. However, if you walk further, you will see a very beautiful environment. Do expect to really climb and sometimes continue on all fours (especially in the rainy season when it can be a bit slippery). It is a beautiful hike and you have a great view of the area.
You get there by walking from the center to the hike (about 10 minutes, Google India Dormida ). At the entrance there is a map with the walk and the different sections explained. You pay $3 per person and is open daily from 8 a.m. – 4:30 p.m. It is a well-maintained path. Do you have any doubts about a split? Always keep to the left or ask other people you meet.
Chorro el Macho
The Chorro el Macho is another hike you can take. But not just a hike to a waterfall, there are more activities offered at this site, think ziplining and swimming. The grounds are open daily from 8 a.m. – 5 p.m. and cost $5 for such things as the waterfall that can be visited there. Several activities are possible with different prices.
If you want to hike more you can do the Iguana Gaital or Cerro la Cruz hike . On the final hike, you’ll head to a viewpoint over Valle de Anton.
How do you get there and back?
You get to Valle de Anton with a direct bus connection to Panama City. The bus leaves from the Albrook bus station for about 1.5 hours for $3.50. If you’re coming from Santa Catalina travel first to Soná, transfer to a direct bus to Panama City. If you are coming from Santiago take the bus to Panama City as well. In either case, get dropped off at the Las Uvas point (after about 3.5 hours) and from there take a minibus to Valle de Anton across the road. The last part takes about 30 minutes for $2. For the routes from Valle de Anton, the same applies for the different destinations.