Barú Volcano National Park

Barú Volcano, the highest peak in the Republic of Panama at an altitude of 3,475 meters above sea level, is within the Barú Volcano National Park. This park, which covers an area of ​​14,322 hectares, was created in 1976 in order to preserve its natural wealth and rich biodiversity. The region enjoys a pleasant temperature of around 20 degrees Celsius, though it can drop down to 0 degrees Celsius at night. From the summit you can clearly see, as if looking down from a plane, both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea.

summit. The last eruption, over 500 years ago, caused the snow to melt and unleashed an avalanche of mud and lava. Barú is now an inactive volcano.

Barú Volcano is surrounded by a tropical rainforest. The towns on its slopes (Boquete, Volcán, and Cerro Punta) have a high agricultural productivity thanks to the fertile volcanic soil and deposits from the Chiriquí and Caldera rivers that irrigate the land. 

Climbing to the summit of Barú Volcano: You can select from several trails to climb the volcano, starting from either the Cerro Punta or Boquete side. The easiest and most practical is to approach it from Boquete, following a road (in quite bad conditions) to the summit. If you leave at around 1:00 a.m., you will reach the summit at dawn, when the sky is clear and affords a view of both seas. The altitude makes this a very strenuous hike that can easily take 13 to 15 hours roundtrip. Dress warmly and bring a good hooded rainjacket in case of rain.

Location

  • It is located in the province of Chiriquí, along the Pacific slope of the Talamanca Range.

How to arrive

  • Car: From Panama City, take the Pan-American Highway in the direction of David - Chiriquí. Upon reaching the city of David, continue straight towards the border, and about 15 minutes after leaving the city limits you will find the entrance to the town of Concepción. Enter Concepción and continue to climb for another 25 minutes until reaching the town of Volcán. The park is accessible by car only from the towns of Boquete (on its eastern slopes) and Cerro Punta. It lies 33 kilometers from the highway.
  • Bus:The buses to Cerro Punta, with stops at Volcán and Concepción, leave the terminal in David every half hour, reaching Volcán in one hour and 45 minutes

What to bring

  • Light-weight clothing
  • Warm jacket
  • Water bottle

If you make the climb up at night, it is recommended to bring a flashlight with an extra set of batteries, winter gloves, and snacks. You will want to eat only very light meals to replenish your energy stores from the continuous exercise, as anything too heavy could exacerbate altitude sickness. 

Activities

  • Hiking
  • Mountain climbing
  • Canoeing or kayaking