Central Provinces

Cacao Travel Panama > Central Provinces


Cacao Travel Panama > Central Provinces


This region is the heart of rural Panamanian culture, it is full of natural beauties and folklore. A large part of the population is indigenous people who have gradually lost their language and become part of the hispanic culture. They are mostly quiet, full of smiles and hardworking.

Los Santos and Pedasí


This is one of the main farming regions in Panama, and one of the first to be colonized by the Spaniards. Cattle raising is quite common here, but there is also rich, local tradition. For decades, Las Tablas was the most popular town to visit during the Carnival celebration, when people from all parts of Panama congregate in small towns.

Pedasi, at the southern end of the Azuero Peninsula has become a recent hot spot for beach tourism, with some lovely boutique hotels close to endless beaches. Isla Iguana, not far from Pedasi, makes a great day excursion with its beautiful white sand beaches and vibrant coral reefs. It also has one of the largest colonies of frigate birds in the Pacific.


Tours and activities:


  • Fishing
  • Surfing
  • Tour to Cerro Hoya National Park
  • Tour to Isla Iguana National Park

– Whale Watching (form June to September)

Penonome and La Pintada


Meet the friendly people of this fertile land, the men that proudly wear their ‘pintado’ hat and who move around mostly on horses.

Penonomé was the capital of Panama for a short period of time after Panama City was sacked by Henry Morgan in 1671. It’s located along the Inter-American Highway in the wide, flat lowlands of the province of Coclé. It is a great place to take in the local culture.

The town of La Pintada is located in the hills about 13 km northwest of Penonomé. The Coclé del Sur River runs along the edge of the town and two kilometers away are located a variety of pre-Columbian petroglyphs.

The factory for the cigar brand Cigarros Joyas de Panamá is located in this town. There is also a small artisans’ market that sells Panama hats and various local crafts.

Tours and activities:


  • Tour to Tavidá waterfall
  • Visit petroglyphs
  • Jungle hikes

National Parks


Hiking Cerro Campana National Park and Omar Torrijos National Park is a good way to discover the fascinating world of mountain and cloud forest. This is a very damp type of forest were you’ll hike steep trails among giant ferns, orchids and the strange podocarpus, the only endemic conifer species in Panama.

Tours and activities:


  • Jungle hikes

El Valle de Antón


El Valle, as its name implies, is a large volcanic valley just 130 km from Panama City and one of the favourite destinations for Panamanian families to visit their weekend homes, thanks to the relatively cool climate. They have built some beautiful houses in the immense crater, actually one of America’s largest and among the few inhabited ones.

There is a popular market every weekend where visitors can buy fruits, vegetables, all kinds of orchids and handicrafts. There is also El Nispero, a botanical and zoological garden where one can visit the amphibian protection project sponsored by the University of Houston.

A few dozen miles west lies the charming little village of Cerro La Vieja, bordered by an odd-shaped mountain. The main attraction here is a spectacular waterfall.

Tours and activities:


  • Visit of the market during the weekends
  • Visit of ”Nispero” botanical and zoological park and Amphibians Conservation Project
  • Visit of la ”Piedra Pintada”, a huge monolith carved by indigenous
  • Hike to la ”India Dormida”
  • Hike to ”Cerro Gaital” cloud forest
  • Zip lining