El Nispero is a beautiful botanical garden and plant nursery with endemic exotic plants and flowers such as orchids.. The zoo includes birds, reptiles, turtles, monkeys and other animals in cages... The unique 'ranas doradas' - gold frogs - were temporarily put in a small glass container with plants, when I visited, and you could see nothing; but...more
The place is one of the most beautiful spots in the valley located in a most verdant part of the forest with very tall trees and a river running through. The path leading to the waterfall is not long so take your time walking it and try to enjoy every step. It won't take you more than half an hour to reach the beautiful 70 meter high waterfall,...more
On Sundays the Handicraft market in El Valle becomes very lively as indigenous people from the surrounding areas come to sell their beautiful products. They are mostly of the Ngobe-Bugle tribe and some Embera. They are selling molas, baskets, tagua carvings, flowers and plants, jewelery made of beads or semiprecious stones, and fruits and...more
There is a big rock in the forest with some shapes etched on it some lines of which are pointed out with chalk. These are actually a map of the area said to have been etched by natives in Pre-colombian times. Animals, flowers and humans are also depicted in the strange shapes.The most exiting about it is the walk along a shady path among the...more
They are tiny and impressive with their black-spotted golden skin. A small forest in El Valle is one of their last natural habitats and even there their number is small. This species of amphibians, endemic in Panama, is almost extinct due to human behaviour. They have been captured to be sold as pets... and also their natural habitat has been...more
Up from the main square, you can find the Colored Stone - la Piedra Pintada. It is a large boulder set alongside a rambling creek etched with ancient petroglyphs. Local children will help you out with an ‘explanation’ of the stone’s meanings. The Lonely Planet author for the Panama volume suggests that maybe some of the stories are not as clear as...more
Chaco de las Mozas, in English, the Young Womens’ Falls, is near where the original breach in the volcano’s sidewall occurred. If you have a female waterfall, you should probably have a male one and here at the same place as the Canopy Adventure, you have the Chaco de Macho, or Manly Falls. You pay $2.50 to the people at Canopy Adventure, for they...more
If a tour is listed as an ‘ecotour’, in my experience, it usually means that the promoters are overcharging. Canopy Adventures is no exception. For $42 you get some gloves, a hardhat and a harness to hook into the wire cables that are laid out through the trees. You can rationalize spending the money by saying your goal is to see the rainforest...more
Corregimiento de El Valle, Distrito de Anton, El Valle de Anton, Panama
Good for: Business
Ambience was good. Crowded. Outdoor seating. Service- horrible. Sodas came first. Water took an hour.Food took forever.Pizza came out in about 30 minutes, the next 4 plates came out with out silverware, 1 1/2 hours after we sat. 5 more minutes to receive silverware, food on the verge of being cold.Final dish came out 10 minutes later without...more
There is a restaurant on the ground floor of Don Pepe hotel with very decent food. The menu has a great variety of meat and fish dishes, plus pastas, and several local specialties. There are fresh fruit juices and coffee. Main dishes are around 8$, average for the local prices.more
This was my favourite and was recommended to me by other travellers. It has a cozy family like atmosphere, very friendly owners serving you with great care and wonderful prices, almost half as much as in the other restaurants. Food includes Panamanian and Chinese recipes and definitely has a home made taste. There are noodles, salads made of...more
There are buses regularly running the 2 hour ride to El Valle from Panama city. From David you will get off at the junction which will take about 4 hours and get on a bus going up the mountain. The one hour journey to the highland valley is beautiful.
Food in the restaurants is satisfactory but still it's a good idea to try to supply yourself with local products as veggies and fruits from the market or home made local cheese and milk sold in the houses. It's delicious and pure. Ask around...
Locals are now quite used to tourists here in El Valle. The children were quite friendly calling for their photos to be taken. I was not able to find out whether they were just being photogenic or trying to cash in on the San Blas custom of the Kuna - $1 per picture, please. I obliged them with this picture with which I shared with them.more
99 Reviews and Opinions
Watch out for unmaintained vehicles and do not assume your rental car has airbags.
We rented a car in Panama City from Thrifty on Via Espana in May of 2006. It was a 2006 Toyota Yaris with 2100 kilometers on it in excellent condition. It DID NOT have airbags.
I mention the airbags because:
Leaving El Valle on our way back to PC on the morning we were to return the car we were involved in an accident. As we rounded a series of hairpin turns climbing out of the valley, we were confronted by a 10 wheel Mac dump truck entirely in our lane and entirely out of control. As I swerved to the right and left the road to avoid being hit by it, it tipped over in our lane and slid down the hill. It was fully loaded with gravel. Had we been hit head on by it the
airbags probably would not have mattered. However, had we hit a tree or some other obstacle in the ditch we went into, airbags could have made a BIG difference. We were very lucky to have lived through this experience and so was the driver of the truck, who had only very minor injuries.
The truck had no less than three tires worn to the point of the cord showing. It had various hoses and brake lines tied to the undercarriage with old T-shirts. The bed of the truck had so many rust holes it was a wonder it could even carry gravel. The driver said his brakes had failed...small wonder!
The Toyota had a bent wheel, bent front fender and scratches along the entire length of the passenger side.
The point is: vehicles are often not maintained to the same high standards as in North America. Rental vehicles may have been manufactured to international standards and may not be equipped with the safety equipment you have come to expect in the developed world.
It looked like you might be able to rent horses from some of the farms in El Valle. It might be fun to explore the area on horseback with a local guide. I'm not much of a horsewoman though, so we didn't try.