What struck me most about Panama was how beautiful and pristine the country is. I had the pleasure of seeing the northern part of Panama riding by bus from the Caribbean side to the Pacific side. It was one of the most beautiful bus rides I had taken.
|Coffee berries drying in the sun|
My favorite place I stayed was Hostel Refugio del Rio. How cool is it to stay in a hostel and camp down by the river! These tents were provided by the hostel equipped with twin size mattress. For the same price of a bunk in a shared room you could get your own private tent. I LOVED IT. Nothing better then laying down listening to the running water of the river 10 feet away.
|My private tent!|
|The hostel grounds|
One of the reasons I choose to come to Panama (besides the coffee farms) was to hike Volcan Baru, the highest volcano in Panama. I was able to find a group night hike that left from Hostel... we started our hike around midnight to summit the volcano at dawn. It was a very cold, long overnight 19 mile hike. We had to slow our pace several times to prevent summiting too early and waiting in the frigid temps to see the sunrise. If you want to do the hike and are in pretty good shape I would suggest starting later then midnight. But for me as a single traveler this was my best option, so I stayed with the group hiked slowly and froze my butt off! The trail itself was nontechical mostly steep fireroad, easy enough to climb at night with a headlamp and not get lost.