Ancón Hill, Tropical Humid Forest and Viewpoint of Panama City

View of Panama City from Ancón Hill
View of Panama City from Ancón Hill.

One of the things that one can do any day of the year is to climb Ancón Hill, National Historical Heritage, enjoy a hike and the beautiful views from the top, in addition, there is the largest flag of Panama.

It is the highest point in Panama City, 199m above sea level, with a 48.25-hectare nature reserve of a tropical rain forest in the middle of the city.

The hike

The hike is of little difficulty, which makes it suitable for the whole family, it goes up an asphalt road and you can use the stairs for a faster ascent and to be a little closer to nature (at the time of my visit was closed for work on the tower).

On the trail and on the top you will find several benches where you can take a break.

There are people who use this place to exercise, some by bike, others running or hiking.

Booking.com
Benches on the road
Benches on the road.

On the way, you can enjoy the sounds of nature and you will most likely see the odd little animal, please do not make noise or feed them.

Among the animals that can be seen are sloths, deer, armadillos, toucans, butterflies, ñeques, the latter can be seen both at the bottom and at the top.

There are 68 animal species and 212 plant species.  This place is also used for bird watching.


Another thing that I liked is that as you go up you start to see Panama City.

Ñeque.
Ñeque at the beginning of the road

On the top of Ancón Hill

Upon reaching the top one can sit down and simply enjoy the views (there are several viewpoints) of the Panama City Buildings, Miraflores Locks, Cocolí Locks, the port, Bridge of the Americas, Centenario Bridge, Casco Antiguo and Taboga Island.

Also at this point are the country’s television antennas. It is a beautiful sight, although all the noises of the City are heard.

In the surroundings, you will see several signposting with information about the site, the new ones, most of them, are in Spanish and English.

The biggest flag of Panamá

It is the point where this beautiful Panamanian flag of Ancón Hill, the largest in the country with measures of 15m x 10 m.

This flag and the one on the viaduct of the Cinta Costera 3, are the only ones that are allowed to be hoisted permanently, by a decree law.

The raising of the Ancón Hill flag, as its descent is a real challenge, it is only done when it deteriorates or damages.

That can be between 1 day and 1 month, it depends on the weather conditions, although normally it is 15 days up to 4 repairs are made to each flag.

Panamanian flag, the largest in the country at Ancón Hill
Panamanian flag, the largest in the country.

Other things

In Ancón Hill there is security, on my visit I saw both at the top and some motorized vehicles that were touring the area.

I saw a water seller, I will explain, in a very enthusiastic way, to the tourists a little of the history of Ancón Hill and I thought it was excellent, I was able to learn a little about the place and consult any doubts I had.

Another thing you can see is the statue of Amelia Denis de Icaza, a Panamanian romantic poet who wrote the well-known poetry “Al Cerro Ancón”(To Ancón Hill).

Ya no guardas las huellas de mis pasos,

(You no longer keep the traces of my steps)

ya no eres mío, idolatrado Ancón.

(You are no longer mine, idolized Ancón).

Que ya el destino desató los lazos

(That fate has already untied the ties)

que en tu falda formó mi corazón.

(that in your hillside formed my heart.)

Part of the poetry Al Cerro Ancón
Statue of Amelia Denis de Icaza. In the background a viewpoint with benches to rest
Statue of Amelia Denis de Icaza. In the background a viewpoint with benches to rest.

Some history

The importance of this hill begins when Panama must change its city and this hill served as a surveillance point for the Spanish (1671), it also had a spring that provided water to the population.

It also served as a planning point for the construction of the Panama Canal and was under the control of the United States Southern Command, as part of the canal zone until 1977.

The place has a Bunker built in 1942 for World War II, in case of a military attack.

Definitive is a place, full of history and a viewpoint with great views of the city, where I 100% recommend your visit.

Hike time

2 hours, approximate time between going up, going down and enjoying the place.

Distance

2 km each way.

Facilities

At the top there are public restrooms (they may not be clean).

Advices

  • Get up early,
  • Bring water and snacks,
  • Do not take anything from nature,
  • Leave nothing,
  • Sneakers,
  • Sunscreen,
  • Fresh clothes or Dry Fit type, such as exercising, not jeans,
  • Do not make noise,
  • Do not feed the animals,
  • Cap in case you have to walk to get to the trail.
Hiking ancón hill
Hiking Ancón Hill.

Hours

  • Monday to Sunday,
  • From 8:00 am. to 4:00 p.m.

Price

  • Free: climb the Hill
  • $5.00 parking in Mi pueblito.

Note

  • Due to the Covid situation, the entrance fee is not being charged,
  • No booking is required.

National Parks and Protected Areas Regulations

  • Do not enter alcoholic beverages,
  • No pets,
  • It is forbidden to feed the fauna,
  • No Smoking,
  • Do not carry or take out, species of fauna and flora or parts and sub-parts of these.

How to get to Ancón Hill?

From the Panama Canal Administration building: you can go up through the back of this building, on Tomas Guardia street (entering through the Mcdonald’s traffic light street, take the street that goes up), then Gorgas street, you will see the signposting for Ancón Hill.

Before the checkpoint, you will see spaces to park (free) (Quarry Heights street), there you will have to leave the car and continue by walking.

At the beginning of the road you will pass through a residential area then you will have to pass through an area on the side of the road, without cyclone wire, because the road is closed so that unauthorized vehicles do not pass there. You can go by bus, although you will have to walk a long way.

From Mi Pueblito: at this point you will have to park the car, cost $ 5.00 and continue by walking, you start with some stairs (somewhat heavy) and then the road joins the one indicated above.

What is the best option? I have done both and for me it is the one in the Administration Building, because the ascent is much more comfortable as it does not have the stairs at the beginning, parking is free and it is shaded.

Note: before you could go up to the top by car, it is no longer allowed, it is only used by vehicles that are doing some work.

By bus: From the Albrook Bus Terminal there are many that you can take, such as the K and the M, I recommend asking if they pass by the Ancón National Police bus stop.

Then I recommend continuing with Google Maps, since there are several streets (20 minutes walking).

If you are on 5 de Mayo or Los Martires Avenue, you could walk to Mi Pueblito (be careful with the street, the sidewalk is very narrow) and take the trail that is right there (take into account the hours of Mi Pueblito ).

You could also take a taxi or a transport such as Uber, Cabify or others.

Updated: 2021.

Other places you may like

Panama Canal
View of the Port, the Panama Canal, Miraflores Locks, Cocolí Locks and Centenario Bridge.

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