El Caño Museum and Natá de los Caballeros Church

The El Caño Museum is an area of ​​8 hectares out of a total of 50 hectares where an indigenous community that numbered more than 30,000 people once dwelled, according to the chronicles of the conquerors. 

Basalt stones are still visible in the zone, thought to have been used to mark a boundary or market or as a competition area. Part of this archaeological wealth was discovered when the owner of a sugar cane plantation that covered the entire area used a tractor to level one of many mounds to prepare for planting. Once the soil was removed it revealed ceramics and metalwork, and upon a full excavation of the mound it was discovered to have been burial grounds.

In view of the area's great wealth that allowed this group to live off the land and sea, with easy river access on the Río Grande, the colonizers decided to settle in what is now known as Natá de los Caballeros. This village houses the most ancient church remaining in the American Pacific, since those that existed in Old Panama were destroyed during attacks by Pirate Morgan. Today, locals and foreigners who visit this historic site marvel at how the Indians left evidence of their customs and traditions in their decorative carvings.

Location

It is located 183 kilometers from Panama City on the Pan-American Highway.

How to arrive

  • Car: You have to be alert because the entrance to El Caño Museum is not well marked. The lefthand turn-off is about 5 kilometers before reaching Natá de los Caballeros. Follow the main road, and at the park turn left on to the road that leads directly to El Caño. Natá is on the Pan-American Highway just past the turn-off for El Caño. Turn left off the Pan-American Highway, and the church is in front of the park.
  • Bus:  From the Albrook terminal in Panama City, take the bus bound for Natá.

What to bring

  • Sunscreen
  • Swimsuit
  • Water bottle


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