For waterfall lovers, Panama is the ideal destination. From one side of the country to the next, there are hundreds of stunning waterfalls to visit, swim in and take a well-deserved break by! Panama is known mostly in the tourism sector for its beaches and its many forts and ruins, and its indigenous reserves. What is overlooked for much of the time is the beauty of the cascades rushing down the foothills of the Panamanian landscape.
The waterfalls in Panama are some of the most impressive and extremely diverse in the world, and while it is achievable to do a waterfall tour and visit almost all of them, this is a guide on the best waterfalls in Panama, where they are, what to bring and what to do!
What to bring when visiting waterfalls in Panama?
The best thing about visiting waterfalls in Panama is that you are able to complete two activities in one — hiking and sightseeing! Panama offers an astronomical range of beautiful hikes! They are easy to gauge and they are in varying difficulties. You can take an easy nature walk, or a serious trek, but one thing is the same: nature is beautiful!
Since you are going to be walking in a tropical rainforest for much of these hikes, it is recommended to exercise a high degree of caution with respect to reading your environment. Do not touch the wildlife and interfere with their daily natural activities. It is potentially unsafe for both yourself and the animal or organism, and generally just not a very nice thing to do. Make sure to bring trekking shoes or hiking gear to pack some essentials and to be able to walk through the highly varying terrain under your feet. Make sure they are waterproof as hiking trails can be unpredictable and rivers can sometimes swell, leaving you to either hike around soft and wet soil, or walking through a bit of the water! Mosquito and insect repellent is an essential and is important to apply to yourself, so you can protect yourself from any insect-borne ailments.
Read our detailed guide: Safety in Panama
For clothing, it is recommended to bring light and airy but athletic clothing, as well as some light rainwear if you are travelling in the rainy season. Now, enough about the technicalities. Let’s look at some waterfalls!
The Lost Waterfalls of Panama
Located by the beautiful small town of boquete at the foothills of Panama, the Lost Waterfall hike is one of the best attractions that bring people from all over the world to the town. Tours can be arranged that will be able to take you to the waterfalls, but you do have the option to go by yourself. Every half hour, there is a bus that will take you to the hiking trail, or you can alternatively take a taxi. Entrance fee is 7.00 USD, and the hike begins. Throughout the lush forest there are three of these lost waterfalls. The trick it to listen to the waterfalls as you go, and you will be able to find them. Listen to the cascades fall into the crystal clear gorges. The good thing about these waterfalls is that you do have the option to take a dip or a bit of a refreshing shower as a welcome escape from humidity.
Anton Valley Waterfalls
The Anton Valley area is one of the most beautiful places in Panama. Located in the crater of an extinct volcano, past eruptions made the area extremely fertile and ripe for forests to grow and water formations to go in different directions. With this, the Anton Valley waterfalls formed. The two most famous are the El Chorro Macho and the Lovers Falls. Nestled deep inside the forest, El Chorro Machi is a delightful place to view the beautiful turquoise cascade rushing down the cliffs. The combination of the water and the green colour of the surrounding forest makes a beautiful sight to see. The Lovers Falls is ideal for a bit of a treat for nature lovers! The forest turns into a rocky path with cool spots to lounge in as well as the allowance to take a dip under the falls. The Lovers Falls are a tamer than other waterfalls, so you can splash around at your leisure!
Flowing down near Penonome, Yayas Falls is a great place to spend a great conclusion to a somewhat arduous stair-based hike. This is definitely the perfect hike for people who like to trek to a beautiful goal on top! This one is great because it is a hike less traveled by, and paths that have less tourists are more popular with locals to traverse. This stunning waterfall is definitely worth a visit, and is great for photo opportunities as well as an enticing place to have a bit of a snack with the atmosphere of the rushing waters by you.
Also, read our guide: The Best Beaches in Panama
Chorro de La Chorrera
This waterfall may not be too grand and dramatic, but it is a perfect place to find a relaxing and quiet time and to take a small dip in the gorge below. It is definitely one of Chorrera’s principal attractions. Take an easy stroll from the residential quarter of the city before arriving at the base of the waterfall. Here, you can set up a picnic or have an afternoon snack under the sun, while watching a beautiful waterfall rush past you! It is not exactly for bathing, but it is a perfect place to admire a nice natural attraction for an afternoon promenade in Panama’s second busiest city.
The Aguila Waterfalls is one of the perfect places where you can step into a whole new world. It is a bit of an interactive height, so be prepared to walk through the crystal clear and cool waters of the Panamanian forests. The ferns and trees shooting into the sky with the tropical sunshine peeking through the forest. The terrain varies greatly as you approach the waterfalls. It goes from dirt trails, to multiple rive crossings, through to rocky canyon ways while finally reaching the multitude of waterfalls. A beautiful wall of water to reach with a cave option to explore as well! Admire the blue waters, vine covered boulders, and pleasant sunshines!
From seaside attractions to the Panama Canal, it is not worth forgetting to visit the amazing nature walks that dot this beautiful country!