Darien, Panama Vacation Guide
The province of Darien is primarily an Adventure Tourism destination! With its 16,000 sq. kilometers of extension it includes many rivers, tropical rainforests, paradisiacal beaches, the highest peak of all Panama, rich flora and fauna, and various indigenous tribes. It is also famous for being the interruption of the Interamerican Highway.
The Darien is a beautiful and wild region, located on the Eastern side of Panama, bordering with Colombia, Guna Yala and the Pacific Ocean. La Palma is the capital of the province where most locals live. The population of the Darien is divided into Africans and the indigenous tribes of the Wounaan and Embera. These tribes are famous for their precious Cocobolo woodcarvings and the weaving of baskets of various size and forms.
The Darien National Park occupies the largest part of the province and on its territory of 579,000 sq. hectares it protects the main and most diversified ecosystems of the region. In 1983 this National Park was declared World Heritage Site by UNESCO with its National Park as principal attraction.
Visitors of the Darien National Park will find the best conditions to observe many different species of birds, among them the Harpy Eagle, and the Jaguar, Ocelot, Howler Monkey, Tapir, Caiman and the American Crocodile. A special treat for Birders is the possibility of seeing the Golden-headed Quetzal which lives here and in neighboring Colombia. Other attractions of the National Park include gorgeous white sand beaches, cliffy coasts, mangroves, waterfalls, and a lot of tropical primary forest.
Within the park travelers will also find the highest peak in Panama with an elevation of 1,875 meters (6,150 ft.). The best season to climb up to Cerro Takarkuna is after the rainy season in January. It is a dream for adventurists and provides excellent opportunities to explore the forest and rivers. The park is under ANAM's (Autoridad Nacional del Medio Ambiente) administration and it is necessary to ask for a permit to visit the park before you arrive. ANAM has constructed simple accommodation, but there are also camping sites.
Location and Map