Off-road Panama

11개월 전

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When you hear “Panama”, first come up its canal connecting the Atlantic Ocean with Pacific and money laundering banks in Panama City. The canal is an architectural masterpiece and banks are hmm… useful, but HEY! They have much more to offer than Panama City and Bocas del Toro islands. Of course, if you have only two weeks of holidays and want to relax with a drink on the golden sand beach, then you might not be interested in what we want to propose today. From the other hand, if you are born to explore and during even short vacations, want to find undiscovered and off beaten paths, please sit tight 😊 Here we go:

We will focus on the northern part of the country, which is yellow fever free. You can travel safely without worrying about vaccination, which might be an expensive add-on in your country. Of course, if you are jungle lover and well prepared, we highly recommend seeing Darien National Park, called Darien Gap. We skipped it because we haven't been vaccinated. We took jabs later in Bogota, completely free of charge.

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The legal tender in Panama is the American dollar. This makes shopping a lot easier, but not the cheapest country in Central America. Well, still you can easily travel on a backpacker’s budget, like us.

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The first point worth to stop by and visit in Panama will be Valle de Anton (Eng. Anton Valley), which is just a stone’s throw away from the Panama City.

TIP: You can find cheaper accommodation in the capital of region – Anton. The town is about 45 min away from the valley and believe us, this is a dead city. There’s nothing to do and where to go. It is slightly cheaper than Valle de Anton, but we don’t recommend staying over there and struggling with buses and boring town.

Interesting fact about Valle de Anton is, that city was built in a crater of an extinct volcano and is surrounded by beautiful, mountainous landscapes. From there you can choose shorter or longer hiking trails, everyone will find something for themselves.

Below are some of the routes:


La India Dormida – sleeping Indian, a quite easy route, but might be tricky. Use maps.me app, which has all trails marked, so you won’t get lost. If there’s someone to collect money, then the entrance cost 3$. If you go through the northern entrance, you will find a huge rock covered with petroglyphs (esp. Piedra Pintada), which is dating back from the Pre-Columbian era, possibly to 8000 years ago. There’s no exact answer about the meaning of drawings which cover the rock.

Cerro Gaital – the highest point in Anton Valley at 1185 meters. You will need whole day to finish this trail. Unfortunately we couldn’t do it ☹

El Chorro Macho Waterfalls – 5$ entrance fee

Because of lack of the time, we hadn’t had a chance to do all those trails. On this blog, you will find all the details about the valley and more details regarding trails

Some of our shots from the trekking to La India Dormida and some unknown trails.

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Valle de Anton in the crater

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Piedra Pintada, huge isn't it?

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Some petroglyphs

Next place where we’d like to take you is Calobre. You can catch a direct bus from Panama City to Santiago and then change for a local one, going directly up there. You won’t find there any hotels or a different type of accommodation, there’s only one little hostel which offers two double rooms with AC and TV for about 15$ a night. When you call them, you’ll get a better price than from booking.

This was our starting point for hikes to:

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Volcano la Yeguada
– there are no trails, no signs, no public transport, just nature. We have arrived too late and had not enough time to reach the peak, but still, it was one of the best hikes with breath-taking views in Panama, pics below.

TIP: To get there just hop on the bus going to Chitra, the tiny village and ask a driver to stop at La Yeguada camping spot. From there you need to go and/or try to hitch-hike, or if you will have some luck, you might spot a pickup truck with extra seats outside the cabin, as a public transport, which will take you to the beginning of the trail. You must be prepared with food and lots of water because there are no shops at all. It’s a very remote area.

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You can camp for free by this lake

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La Silampa – we called it a hidden paradise

TIP:To get there you must catch a bus from Calobre or Santiago to Chitra again, but this time ask a driver to stop by an entrance to La Silampa. You won`t find there any stores, so be prepared with food and water for a whole day. It’s not the easiest trekking and might take a few hours to reach, especially when you get lost like us, but it’s absolutely worth every drop of your sweat. You can start a hike around 10 am to be sure there won’t be any people at the waterfall. Most of the tourists come very early in the morning to enjoy the sun, but we preferred to be alone. Just check out this gorgeous place.

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We have visited also one very small village, between nowhere. Lady who gave us the ride invited us to her house deep in the jungle. This sounds funny, but we never asked for its name. 90% of people live there without electricity. On top of that, we got bitten by bedbugs, which is a truly unforgettable experience.

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On the way to our house

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Worth to notice is that hitch-hiking works really well in Panama. Usually, after 5 to 10 minutes we had a ride.

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We are sure, that Panama has more beautiful places to go, but people we met there seemed to us quite weird and after a month of travelling across the country, we have decided to not come back. At least for some time.

Do you have any experience or memories from Panama?

Thanks for staying with us,

M&D

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Hiya, @livinguktaiwan here, just swinging by to let you know that this post made the Honorable mentions list in today's Travel Digest #374.

Please drop by to check out all the rest of today's great posts and consider upvoting the Travel Digest if you like what we're doing.

Oh WOW! The only question left is where's the @curie upvote?????

Hahaha I haven't heard the word petroglyphs since basic school :D Cool to dust it off :D

Wait but that green bug isn't the bedbug right? Both look/sound scary tho. Must have been amazing experience to sleep in such hut. I was in similar one in pakistan but just for a tea, we didn't sleep there. Hah I kinda wish I'll manage to hitchhike in Middle/South America in my life, altho I'm getting older and older and still not executing it :)

Btw there are 2 amazing steemians based in Panama - @el-cr and @evecab. That's why I'm thinking about getting there. Your last couple of sentences scared me a bit haha :D

#steemitbloggers

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hey bro, thanks for bringing me to this post. Don't be scared, you have me and @evecab here to take care of you.

I really don't know what he means by "weird" people. We just came from Poland, and polish people we met in stores, coffee shops etc, were weird for us too, no sense of humor and difficult for them to smile when you say "hi", but we liked Krakow a lot. I guess is all about perspectives plus a bit of cultural differences. Take care.

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@el-cr that's what I'm talking about, I'm not saying every panamian is weird, but who we met. Like Poles for you :) BTW we're from Poland, and we have the same feelings like you about our nation, except our friends of course :)

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haha wow, I saw you posted a welcoming for steemians in Krakow, how come you were not there? I am assuming you are still in latin america?

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Yes, we are in Costa Rica and then weekend in Mexico and Italy so we'll land in Krakow on 10.12, so we could only share a post with the others.

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@el-cr Monika is saying, if we'd say to Panamians Hi instead of Hola, they wouldn't smile back to us. So next time you'll go to Poland you should think about saying sth in our language, like Dzień Dobry - good morning in polish :) We're pretty sure they will smile back :)

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I did, I learned how to say "thank you" as well, not everyone was like that though. We met a nice woman that went to Brazil before, she was very friendly. The experience I had in most of countries in Europe I have visited, people is more cold. If you ever decide to come back one day, let us know =)

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@matkodurko thanks, but maybe we're not that visible or quality isn't that good so we didn't deserve for @curie upvote :P the bug on my tablet just jumped from the jungle, and bedbugs are literally invisibly hidden in beds. Now with very lot of airlines you can get really good deals for flights from EU. And weird people are just weird, don't smile to much, helpless sometimes, closed and they didn't tell us straight what they wanted so sometimes we were surprised with their spontaneous actions. Anyway, if we knew before about steemians on Bocas we'd definitely visit them! :)

The trip looks amazing..that lake..I wouldn't move from there...

Dear @route-m-d,

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The water!! I love water and it looks crystal clear there :-)
And to be honest yes, when I hear panama....
That's money laundering haven :-D

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When we hitch hiked one of the drivers told us about this beautiful place.

Congratulations @route-m-d! This post was selected by the @steemitbloggers community as today's Member Boost Post :) It will also receive a complimentary upvote from @Appreciator throughout the course of the day!

You can find the community announcement on Discord :) and it has also been shared on our Steemit Bloggers FB Page and Twitter feed.

This post is sponsored by @SteemitBloggers in collaboration with @appreciator. Just keep up the good work.



Breathtaking views, @route-m-d! Totally worth paying the price of not having electricity and getting bitten by bedbugs. Or not… LOL

Stopping by from #steemitbloggers

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At least we'll remember Panama for long :)

What an awesome trip through some non-tourist parts of Panama. Thanks for sharing your discoveries with us and some great scenery to enjoy - just hope those bed bugs didn't cause too much mischief :)

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After that we stayed in hotel room for 4 days to get cured wash all the clothes. Now we know those insects are just annoying but not dangerous :)

Very cool post @route-m-d

Packed with useful information about the alternative options. Great photos as well.

What insect is that, chewing on your laptop? 😁

I live in Bucharest, Romania and the football team I support here, Dinamo, has two Panamanian players, believe it or not!

Keep up the good work.

Gaz

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Oh wow, they must a decent players, because Dinamo isn't that bad club! I don't know what insect is that, came from the jungle :p

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The insect looks huge! Or is the laptop tiny? 😁

The players both play for the national team. They are decent if unspectacular.

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It's a small tablet pc, but insect was huge, never seen that big before :)

Interesting read and tips on travel in the area, each country has a beauty of it's own, enjoyed reading what you did @route-m-d

Superb photography shares, I don't think I will ever get there, this is travel through your lens today.

#steemitbloggers

Looking at the route, scene of mountainous area, pretty similar to Indonesia especially the mountain in Aceh. Love to see it, thank for sharing this with us @route-m-d. #steemitbloggers

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Wish we could see mountains in Aceh one day :) thanks for stopping :)

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You can come anytime to my homeland, accommodation and food on me @route-m-d! :D

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Thanks! So after we come back to Europe and save enough for tickets, will let you know when we'll arrive :)

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Thing about Feb or Marc 2019, My friend from UK has planned to come as well, and then we will have short trip to the mountain for observation it may take 7-10 days in the jungle @route-m-d

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Feb - March we'll be working. We're coming back home in December totaly broke :) I think we need like one year to get enough money for another gap year :)

Looks like a really interesting place, those people who decided to build the town on an old volcano must have had some great confidence in it being extinct and not coming back to life anytime soon.
I don't know that I could do that and sleep well at night.

Definitely a perfect place to trek and relax in the river

It's beautiful
Camping for Free by the lake sounds like a plan
Thank you for sharing your adventure with us :D

A lovely travel post @route-m-d. I really like the photographs of the landscapes you traveled in panama. Also, I like how you've included useful info in regards to prices, concerns when travelling the different areas of the country and all the stuff that I'd need to know as a potential backpacker. It sounds like you are having a real adventure :-)

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Hell yes we do! Thanks for stopping by! We are trying to create memories blog with useful info for others, because we should share our experience and knowledge each other :)

New follower here
Love your honestly especially at the end you made me laugh.

We are sure, that Panama has more beautiful places to go, but people we met there seemed to us quite weird and after a month of travelling across the country, we have decided to not come back.

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Great we made you laugh! We're always honest in our thoughts, so maybe that's why people like to read them :)

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I looks great there so I'm thinking it's one of the places on my list

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I looks great there so
I'm thinking it's one of the
Places on my list

                 - wales


I'm a bot. I detect haiku.

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These nature in Panama look so amazing!

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It is indeed! Nature > people, that's how it looks in Panama :)

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Looks like you guys had an awesome trip! I'm pretty surprised that Panama's currency is the USD. Do they not have their own at all?

Let's go hiking sometime! You guys look like you'd be fun to hike with. :-)

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They used to have one, called Balboa, but now they have just coins 1 Balboa, 0.5 balboa, 0.25 balboa, which equals to 1, 0.5, 0.25$ and that's all :)

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Interesting. Thanks for the knowledge. :-) I like the name Balboa.

What a cool trip! That view over Valle de Anton is awesome, and that waterfall is beautiful. It looks like a really good spot for some cliff jumping!!

Looks absolutely lovely, and underexposed to general tourism! Thanks for sharing, and enjoy the rest of your journey!\n\n#steemitbloggers

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Thank you for kind words! :)

Hello @route-m-d, thank you for sharing this creative work! We just stopped by to say that you've been upvoted by the @creativecrypto magazine. The Creative Crypto is all about art on the blockchain and learning from creatives like you. Looking forward to crossing paths again soon. Steem on!

hey @route-m-d nice travel tip post about El Valle in Panama, it is very nice to see steemians passing by and writing about their adventure here. I totally agree with you, Panama is a small country and there is so much to see and enjoy from Nature than just Bocas Islands (where I live) and PTY.

Sorry about bedbugs a backpacker without bedbugs bites is not a real backpacker, many said lol.

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Wow, thanks for sharing this with us, it makes me want to travel there. It looks like you guys enjoyed it so much there. Anyway, Have a wonderful week!

Looks like a hiker's paradise! Wonderful views in your photo series! Thanks for taking us along on this adventure! 😊

Wow! What a place to be! Those petroglyphs are really interesting too and that huge rock, you wouldn't see me that close to it like the people in the background for fear of it falling over lol.
Thanks for sharing. A new place for me to learn about ^_^

Your photos are amazing! The views from the top were stunning! I am sorry to hear you guys got bitten by bedbugs. These pesky insects are a sad reality, just like the lack of electricity for the indigenous population. I was happy to read that you guys considered Valle de Anton boring. I wanted to visit it two times, but when I saw the accommodation prices in there I changed my mind. Glad to see I did not miss much.