Panama is famous for its attractions, such as the Panama Canal, Bocas del Toro, and San Blas Islands. These hidden gems offer unique experiences and an opportunity to explore the country’s diverse natural and cultural heritage. However, many lesser-known destinations in Panama are worth visiting. This article highlights some of the off-the-beaten-path destinations in Panama that are worth a visit.
Cloud Forests of Boquete
The cloud forests of Boquete are a hidden gem in Panama that offers a unique opportunity to experience the country’s biodiversity. Boquete is a small town located in the highlands of Panama, surrounded by the Baru Volcano and the cloud forests of the Chiriqui Highlands. The cloud forests of Boquete are home to various plant and animal species, including the elusive Resplendent Quetzal. The cloud forests are also a birdwatcher’s paradise, with over 300 bird species recorded in the area. Visitors to Boquete can explore the cloud forests on guided hikes or zipline tours or enjoy the stunning views from one of the many coffee plantations in the area.
Embera Indigenous Communities
The Embera indigenous communities are another gem in Panama, providing a distinctive cultural experience. They are one of the country’s seven indigenous groups, recognized for their intricate handicrafts and traditional way of life. The Embera communities are in the Darien Province, near the border with Colombia. Visitors to the Embera communities can learn about their traditional way of life, food, clothing, and ceremonies. The Embera people are known for their intricate basket weaving and woodcarving, which make great souvenirs for visitors. Visitors can also enjoy a traditional Embera meal, which typically includes fresh fish, plantains, and coconut.
Darien National Park
The Darien National Park is one of Central America’s largest and most ecologically diverse parks and it is located in the Darien Province, one of Panama’s least developed areas. The park is home to various plant and animal species, including jaguars, tapirs, and harpy eagles. The park also contains important cultural sites, including pre-Columbian burial grounds and petroglyphs. Visitors to the Darien National Park can explore the park on guided hikes, canoe trips, or birdwatching tours. The park is also home to several indigenous communities, including the Embera and Wounaan people, who offer cultural experiences for visitors.
In conclusion, Panama has many hidden gems that offer unique experiences for visitors. The cloud forests of Boquete, the Embera indigenous communities, and the Darien National Park are just a few of the lesser-known destinations in Panama that are worth visiting. These destinations offer an opportunity to explore the country’s diverse natural and cultural heritage and to experience Panama off the beaten path. Whether you are a nature lover, a cultural enthusiast, or an adventure seeker, Panama’s hidden gems have something to offer everyone.