Santa Fé has fresh, clean air and bucolic surroundings, yet it sees relatively few foreign visitors. With the lush mountainsides, waterfalls, mountain streams and accessible swimming spots of Santa Fé National Park on the town's doorstep, it's a great destination for hikers, birdwatchers and those simply wanting to soak up the beauty of the highlands.
This tiny mountain town 53km north of Santiago lies in the shadow of the Continental Divide. At an altitude of 500m, Sante Fé is cooler than the lowlands, and much of the surrounding forest is as it was when the Spanish founded the town in 1557. From here, a rough road to the Caribbean coast is under construction, which will eventually bring access to some of Panama's most remote outposts.