Volcán Barú information
Lonely Planet review
With summit views of both oceans, climbing the volcano is a goal of many visitors. It might not be worth it in poor weather, as the going is strenuous and rough. In addition, there is little to see in cloud cover. You can enter the park on the eastern and western sides of the volcano. The eastern access, known as 'El Salto,' includes a drive through beautiful forest.
From Boquete, the eastern summit access is the easiest, but it involves a strenuous uphill hike along a 14km road that goes from the park entrance – about 8km northwest of the center of Boquete – to the summit. The road is paved to the ranger station and 2km beyond. If you drive or taxi as far up as possible and then walk the rest of the way, it takes about five or six hours to reach the summit from the park gate; walking from town would take another two or three hours each way.
On this route, it’s best to camp on the mountain at least one night; and you should be prepared for the cold. Camping will also allow you to be at the top during the morning, when the views are best.
The other park entrance is just outside the town of Volcán, on the road to Cerro Punta. This rugged road into the park (requiring a 4WD vehicle) goes only a short way off the main road to the foot of the volcano. The view of the summit and the nearby peaks from this entrance are impressive, and there’s a lovely loop trail that winds through secondary and virgin forest. Access from this side is steep and technical.