Wow, wow, wow! This place took our breathe away – literally! This is such a beautiful and cute little town that we strongly recommend visiting. We spent one night here and immediately regretted not spending more time. This place is perfect if you’re looking to get away from the big city, be immersed in nature, and feel like a Panamanian local. Keep reading below for our recommendations on top things to do in Anton Valley.
You can get here via an excursion package, driving, or taking the bus. Since we were staying a night here, we opted for taking a bus. A round-trip ticket costs $3 each, while an Uber was around $100 one-way. So the bus was a no-brainer for us. The bus terminal in Panama City is located at the Albrook Mall. The ride into the small town was about 3 hours with stops. The bus we were on was small but comfortable with air conditioning and good seats. We only had backpacks with us and had room to keep them between our feet. Not sure what the storage situation is for larger luggage.
Where to Stay
There are a handful of places to stay here, including AirBnB’s, so finding a place wasn’t hard. You have your pick between hotels, hostels, or camping.
We stayed at Cabanas Potosi and it was such an enjoyable stay! The receptionist was very friendly and welcoming. We were greeted with some fresh apple juice and fruit. We got a tour of the grounds and our room. The room was actually a small cabin with tall ceilings. It was spacious for the two of us and had everything we needed. This cabin is a little far from downtown. We estimated about a 15-20min walk one way to town. Reception was able to call us a cab and took us there for $3. They also provided a map of the area with things to do in Anton Valley which was very helpful.
Use this link AirBnB to get $55 off your first AirBnB stay!
Where to Eat
There are a few small restaurants here, convenience store, and a farmers market on the weekends. We were lucky enough to catch the farmers market for some fresh fruit. For beer and snacks we stopped at the convenience store. All-in-all this little town had everything we needed for a weekend escape from the city.
Carlitos Pizza & Empanadas
Get the empanadas here. They are the best we ever had! We didn’t try anything else. Tried them once and we were hooked. They have a couple different kinds: beef, chicken, cheese, veggie. It’s the perfect spot for lunch.
Ok, now to the good stuff. Chances are that the reason you are reading this blog is for the hikes. So, this little town is situated inside of a volcanic crater! Most, if not all the hikes around this town take you to the top of the crater with walking trails right along the crater’s edge. The views are stunning from every direction and are perfect for sunrise or sunset hikes. We managed to squeeze in two hikes while visiting Anton Valley. We highly recommend going on a hike or two, it’s one of the top things to do in Anton Valley, and what the area is know for. You will not be disappointing, the views are amazing.
La India Dormida
Well if you want a taste of what a hike in a rainforest would be like, this is it! Although this hike was challenging, it was beautiful. Lush green landscapes with random streams and waterfalls surround you as you climb up. They say that the hills at the top of this hike look like a sleeping woman. Google the story if you’re interested, but we weren’t able to see it lol.
This hike is mostly uphill but plenty of spots to pull over for a water break exist. There are a couple rocky spots where you have to climb over, but nothing too extreme. Once you get to the top, walk around the trail to find a spot to park it and take in the views. We got there on a really windy afternoon but it was still enjoyable to watch the sunset. If you do a sunrise or sunset hike, we highly recommend bringing a powerful flashlight to light up the path. It got dark quick under the thick tree canopy. We used our smartphones but a flashlight would’ve been nice.
The next morning we set out for Cerro Cariguana, which is on the opposite side of the crater from India Dormida. Check out the map below for the trailhead location because there really aren’t any signs and not on google maps. Again, this hike is pretty much ALL uphill. It wasn’t as pretty as India Dormida because this trail was pretty much on a rocky road. It’s not till you get an abandoned cabin where the trail transitions to a narrow dirt path. From there you can pretty much hike along the southern crater. The views from here are pretty incredible, with views of pretty much the whole crater and a great view of the town below.
Until Next Time. We loved this little town and we enjoyed these two hikes that we wish we had more time to do more hikes and explore the town a little more. For more on all the hikes in the area, check out this blog, where we did most of our research prior to hiking here: https://www.journeyera.com/el-valle-de-anton/
I hope you found this guide of the top things to do in Anton Valley helpful in planning your trip to Panama. Be sure to check out our guide to Panama City and Casco Viejo to help you plan the ultimate Panama trip.
Check out our other post here for more helpful travel guides and tips.