We just returned from our latest weekend trip to Cerro Punta, a lovely farming community northwest of Boquete and on the far side of Volcan Baru. It’s one of our favorite places for a weekend visit, and at 6,000 feet, it’s a good place to do some hiking and work on our altitude tolerance for our upcoming trip to Peru in the fall. Yesterday, we spent the morning hiking Amistad (Friendship) National Park, so named because it straddles the Panama/Costa Rica border and is managed by both countries.
Starting from the Las Nubes Ranger Station, we huffed up to 8,000 feet on Sendero La Cascada (Inca Trail, here we come!) and then back down into a steep ravine to reach a lovely waterfall.
We were pleasantly surprised to find an almost-paved road all the way up to the Las Nubes station, much improved from our previous visit to Cerro Punta. The ranger station is easy to find, a few klicks northeast of town. For more information about Cerro Punta, here’s a post we did from a previous trip.
As the largest nature reserve in Central America, Amistad is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a true cloud forest. Even in this month, the driest in Panama, the forest was dripping and other-worldly. Since the panoramic views were shrouded by fog, we took in the fantastically detailed flora instead. Surrounded by so many exotic plants, much of them looking like holdovers from some prehistoric age, we kept expecting a velociraptor or T-rex to surprise us around the next bend!