Chitré, the capital of Herrera Province, is the largest city on the Península de Azuero, and the cultural and historic capital of the region. Although the city was founded in 1848, colonial records indicate that there was a village here as early as 1558, which indicates that Chitré is one of the oldest settlements in the country. Today, the city is home to several streets of ornate red-tiled row homes, which hark back to the early days of Spanish settlement.
For most travelers, Chitré serves as a springboard for exploring the peninsula. Highlights include the ceramic shops in La Arena, the Humboldt Ecological Station at Playa El Aguillito, Parque Nacional Sarigua, the historic town of Parita, the seco (a distilled liquor akin to rum) factory at Pesé and the wildlife refuge at Cenegón del Mangle, as well as other spots in neighboring Los Santos Province. The sites of some of the peninsula’s best festivals are just a quick bus ride away, but Chitré does host a few wild parties of its own.