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Parque Nacional Volcán Barú


Volcán Barú is Panama's only volcano and the dominant geographical feature of western Panama. It is no longer active but has seven craters and its summit, at 3474m, is the highest point in Panama. On clear days it affords views of both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts. The 143-sq-km park provides ample opportunities for hiking, mountain climbing and camping. It's home to abundant wildlife, including pumas and the resplendent quetzal, most commonly seen here between February and May.

The fertile soil and the temperate climate of Volcán Barú's mid-altitude slopes support some of Panama's most productive agriculture, especially in the areas around Boquete and Cerro Punta, which is effectively Panama's vegetable garden. Large trees dominate the volcano's lower slopes, giving way on the upper slopes to smaller plants, bushes, scrub and alpine wildflowers.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby Highlands attractions

2. El Explorador

4.88 MILES

Great for families, this private garden is located in a hilly area 3km northeast of the town center. You can walk to it in about 45 minutes. The 2…

3. Finca Dracula

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This orchid sanctuary, 500m from the center beyond the landmark Los Quetzales Ecolodge & Spa, is one of Latin America’s finest orchid collections, with…

4. Arte Cruz

10.39 MILES

On the west side of Hwy 41, some 3.5km south of Volcán, you’ll spot this workshop where master carver and artist José de la Cruz González makes and sells…

6. Sitio Barriles

13.56 MILES

The pre-Columbian ruins at this site 6km west of Volcán along the Río Gariche date from between AD 300 and 900, when the settlement had as many as 1000…

7. Bosque Protector de Palo Seco

23.57 MILES

This is a lush cloud forest covering more than 167,000 hectares set high in the Talamanca mountains. There are three trails maintained by MiAmbiente in…

8. Iglesia de la Sagrada Familia

25.83 MILES

The Church of the Sacred Heart, facing downtown's central Parque de Cervantes, has a bell tower and dates largely from the 19th century.