Location and Geography
The small town El Valle de Antón is located in the Province of Cocle, 120 km away from Panama City. The village is nestled in the caldera of the second largest inhabited volcano in the world. It is named by the "El Valle Volcano", a Stratovulcano. The "El Valle de Antón caldera" with a radius of 6 km was formed about 1.1-1.3 million years ago. Today the caldera forms the ground for the small town El Valle de Anton with its 6200 inhabitants.
The floor of the valley is underlaid by deposits of a former caldera lake, filled with hot thermic water. The valley is margined by a lava dome complex which is formed by East-West movement of the caldera. The tops are known as "El Cerro Gaital" (1185 m), "El Cerro Pajita" (616 m) and "El Cerro Caracoral". The recent important eruption in the underground was 13.000 years ago. It happend when the hot magma met the caldera lake water. Some of the last volcanic activities were measured in 1987.
Basicly Panama is situated in the hot and humid tropical climate. El Valle, lying 600 m above sea level, owns an all-season mild springtime climate. Year-round average high temperature is 28° C, and the average nighttime minimum is 20° C, with little variation between summer and winter. The dry season starts in the middle of December and lasts until the end of April. At this time the weather is sunny and very windy. But El Valle is also worth a visit in the rainy season because in the end it only rains two hours in the afternoon and the place is more quiet than during the dry season. The rainy season is also called the Green Season: at this time nature shows at its best. The months with the biggest amount of rain are October / November.
The local population is mainly decendend from the Guaymi Indian tribe.
Today the place attracts more and more tourists, retirees from the United States and weekenders, particular from Panama City, which prefer a moderate climate and the full aboriginal of nature. Many rich Panamanians from politics and business have their weekend homes in El Valle.
Come and discover this beautiful town high in the mountains of Panama, on the floor of the largest inhabited volcano crater in the world. Once a crater lake, this quiet village became home to Indians from the surrounding mountains who have been here for thousands of years.
There is so much to see and to do that you can enjoy an active two-day visit, or for a longer stay, relax in this special micro-climate with its cloud forest and exotic animals and plants.
Visit "La Piedra Pintada", a testament to El Valle's pre-Columbian culture. These undeciphered petroglyphs lie below the crater formation La India Dormida. Hike to the top of the Sleeping Indian, as she is called, and take in the sweeping view of the surrounding mountains and the valley below.
Bath in the hot springs, Las Pozos Termales, visit the zoo "El Nispero" and the Butterfly Haven, or simply relax in a hammock with a glass of good Panamanian beer. Enjoy the spring-like climate, listen to the birds and take a deep breath of the clean mountain air.
On weekends this quiet village comes to life as Panamanian weekenders and tourists from all over the world arrive to enjoy El Valle's famous arts and crafts market where locals and also many Kuna Yala Indians offer their colorful goods.
By Sunday night, quiet descends on the village as it falls under the spell of the legendary "India Dormida" – a well-deserved rest after a busy weekend...