Darien province in Panama is well-known for being wild and exuberant. It is the largest, but least populated province in Panama. The culture in this area is very rich and varied. The population of the province is characterized by being scarce, dispersed and heterogeneous and is located in small towns linked to water courses. Without a doubt, a province with a great tourist interest due to its fauna and flora. In Darien you can eat delicious lobsters, shrimp, and enjoy its exotic tropical jungle.
Darien province is also well-known for beholding three of the five Panamanian comarcas in their territory: Wargandi, Embera and Wounan. This is a destination for those who love nature in its actual estate: wild and untouched by the human hand.
It is also called the Darien Gap or the Panamanian Amazonia because of its impenetrable borders with Colombian jungle, reason why the Pan-American Highway is interrupted. The Darien Gap (“Tapon del Darién”) is a vegetable block that extends along the border between Panama and Colombia. It is the most important natural reserve in Panama and Central America’s second largest and most biodiverse behind the Amazon. Its most common species are the macaw, parrots, tapir and the harpy eagle; the latter is the national bird of Panama. In this area there are pre-mountain and mountain forests, cloud forests and small forests, and large mangroves. Darien is a very wet and rainy area.
The main lodging and hospitality sites of Darién are located in La Palma, its capital. In this place you will find some hotels where you can stay surrounded by an environment where fauna and flora are its main characteristics.
Darien is surrounded by dense nature, which facilitate activities to do for days for all those visiting this lovely province. Unlike most of the other Panamanian provinces, Darien is not the place to go to visit beaches. Even if, of course, they have access to many beaches thanks to their location in the Pacific coast. Visitors who spot Darien, look for wildlife, adventures and a tropical forest to walk through.
The biological corridor is an area that, due to its environmental characteristics, favors the movement of wildlife species and the genetic exchange of populations, thus preserving the biological diversity of two or more defined areas. This project includes the “Punta Patiño” Nature Reserve, the largest reserve in Panama; the Chepigana Forest Reserve, the Darien Natural Park with more than 500,000 hectares. The famous gold mines of the “Espiritu Santo” or Cana are located in the heart of the park. There is also an important site for bird watching: The Environment Centre and Research Station Cana, where tourists can visit and opt for a guided tour.
Also of interest, is “El Real de Santa Maria”, a small town that serves as a path through the river to the Darien National Park. Yaviza is also the end point of the Pan-American Highway. Its population is of black origin. Here are the remains of the old Spanish fort that protected the entrance to the gold mines of Cana and Turqueza river.
If still wanting to visit beaches (which is why you are in a country with access to 2 seas)
It’s a tourist complex in “Bahia Piñas” near Jaque. Rated world’s best saltwater fishing resort. In its waters, people generally find Black Marlin, Blue Marlin, Sailfish, Yellow fin Tuna, Dorado, Roosterfish and Cubera Snapper. Resort’s restaurant offers international and national food. Every day the fresh “catch of the day” is provided. Some other great attractions of the resort are: access to the beach, swimming pool, and great views of the bay.
“Bahia Piñas”; has been the scene of innumerable competitions, in which more than 250 world brands have been broken. It is visited by people from all over the world.
In Bahía Piña, fish conservation campaigns are being carried out, through the use of circular hooks and the capture and release policy, in order to guarantee the sustainability of the species within Panamanian waters, so that future generations can enjoy the touristic sport fishing.
Amazing wildlife, imponent rivers and waterfalls and delicious fresh seafood awaits in Darien. Make sure to have appropriate clothing for extreme walks and water.
Here are some selected tour operators from the region Darien.