Zoológico El Níspero

El Valle

About 1km north of Av Central, this zoo set in the forest is home to everything from tapirs and capuchin monkeys to jaguars and more than 50 species of bird. It is also the best place to see Panama’s endangered ranas doradas (golden frogs); the strikingly colored toads are housed in the Panama Amphibian Rescue & Conservation Project Center, which is located here as well.

As the frogs are extremely sensitive to human intrusion and climate change, their numbers continue to diminish; it's thus very unlikely you will see them in the wild.

Lonely Planet's must-see attractions

Nearby El Valle attractions

2. Museo Victoriano Lorenzo

0.56 MILES

The exhibits in the three rooms of this small museum east of the center focus on local history and the eponymous mestizo national hero. The most…

3. Museo Histórico Padre José Noto

0.78 MILES

The most interesting exhibits in this small, very central museum divided into seven sections are the ones focusing on petroglyphs and ceramics produced by…

4. Butterfly Haven

0.78 MILES

One of El Valle's top attractions allows you to walk among up to 250 butterflies as they flutter by in a screened 'flight house.' Learn more about these…

5. Aprovaca

0.84 MILES

For the largest selection of orquídeas (orchids) in the region, visit this idyllic, not-for-profit garden east of the center, run by the local association…

6. Square-Trunk Trees


El Valle’s peculiar árboles cuadrados (square-trunk trees) are located northeast of the Hotel Campestre. After a 30-minute hike through the forest and…

7. Chorro El Macho

1.31 MILES

The most famous waterfall in the El Valle region is 35m-high Chorro El Macho, one of four cascades located about 2km north of town; it's a 15-minute walk…

8. La Piedra Pintada

1.47 MILES

Located in the northwestern corner of the valley, La Piedra Pintada is a huge boulder adorned with pre-Columbian carvings. Locals sometimes fill in the…