El Valle, Panama Vacation Guide
El Valle is one of the most special destinations in Panama. Only two hours away from Panama City, it is also a perfect weekend escape from Panama's lowland heat! El Valle is a fertile volcanic valley filled with bright flowers, square trees and golden frogs. Looking into El Valle it looks like a huge broccoli field – most of the houses are surrounded by trees that make for a green and unspoiled impression. The temperatures are moderate throughout the year and it cools down at night.
There are many places of interest for tourists in El Valle: You can hike to the top of Cerro de la India Dormida which can be seen from town or go birdwatching in the could forest of the Gaital National Reserve. El Nispero is a pleasant zoo with a wide selection of native animals and birds including the Golden Frog. Several waterfalls are situated around the valley – they are beautiful and even more exciting during the rainy season from April – October and may be explored horseback riding. At El Macho you can try the Canopy Adventure that is also an elegant way to get a bird’s eye view over the rainforest. At only $1 entrance fee, the hot thermal water pools at the village thermal springs are the cheapest in the hemisphere. For an additional $2 you can indulge in a therapeutic volcanic mud bath and even buy some mud to take home. This place is always filled with Europeans and Americans and has got to be the best health bargain anywhere. Tourists that enjoy walking and birdwatchers will find plenty of attractions too!
Another attraction is the market held every Sunday morning in the market place in the center of town. Next to vegetables, fruit, plants and flowers, you can find handicrafts such as wooden bowls, paintings on wood, hammocks, molas, baskets and ceramics. Prices are usually negotiable. The popularity of the market has encouraged a string of handicrafts shops to open nearby.
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