El Cacao Cave, the Cave Where Victoriano Lorenzo Hided

El Cacao Cave

After a few days without taking a trip, Kilo invited me to visit El Cacao Cave in Capira, Panama, and to my surprise I learned much more than that.

We went on a weekday, I arrived on time, but I had to wait for the rest of the group, who had a problem on the way and were delayed.

Our meeting point was a store (chinito) in Caimito and from there we left for El Cacao.

El Cacao is a township, the place I went to belongs to it, but it is not in the town of El Cacao.

From Caimito it is 40 minutes by car. It is an asphalt road, however, there are some parts that are not in good condition and by the time I went, they were working on one part.

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Up to this point the road is asphalt. Then you go down on the left and park the car.
Up to this point the road is asphalt. Then you go down on the left and park the car.

We parked the cars next to a river and get ready to hike, only took what is necessary for hiking (especially in the jungle), it is always important to carry what is necessary, but not overload.

On this trip I met Jonathan, another traveler and guide that I met on a previous trip.

Here we parked the cars, continued by hiking, by the stone road crossing the river (there is a bridge)
Here we parked the cars, continued by hiking, by the stone road crossing the river (there is a bridge).

On the trail

The first part of the hike is quite sunny and has its hills, but it is not very long, it may be about 20 minutes.


If you go by 4×4 car, it is still recommended to park it on the side of the river, because there is a part that it can only pass if the car are modified to be taller and there is no place to park it on the road.

The truth is that I was out of condition and despite that, I climbed it without problems. I think it was because we went hiking slowly and continuously, we did not stop to rest, nor was it necessary.

the trail
First part of the hike. In the photo the road does not look very ugly, but there are some parts not recommended to 4×4 car that are not very high, that is why it is better to do it hiking.

Then we went through a door that is on the side of the road, here we enter a private property, it is not jungle, but we are already hiking between the trees.

We arrived at the family’s house, we have to pay a fee entrance, $ 3.00.

Entrance to the private property that take us to the waterfalls and El Cacao Cave
Entrance to the private property that take us to the waterfalls and the cave.
arriving to the house
House where the $3.00 is paid.

We continue, then we enter a more wooded part and although the trail looks quite defined, there are also other trails and one can make mistakes, so it is good to go with a guide.

On the way you pass some barbed wire fences.

It is true that on other trails you can pay $ 1.00 to pass, however, there are many parts of the trail where they have put handrails and even stairs, of course, rustic, in order to help us to pass.

El Cacao Cave trail
Part of the most wooded trail.

La Golondrina Pool

After hiking another 20 minutes we reached the river, some took the opportunity to jump in and cool off, then we crossed it and went down (the part where it crosses is not deep, but the sneakers get wet anyway, the river is known as La Golondrina Pool.

La Golondrina Pool
La Golondrina Pool.
toboggan at El Cacao Cave
It looks like a toboggan, but it’s not really, Jonathan just posed for the picture jijij. From this part you can go up, after jumping into the river.
Part of the handrails that have been placed
Part of the handrails that have been placed.

La Cortina Waterfall

Then we went down to see La Cortina Waterfall, we stayed a while, we all took the opportunity to take some photos.

For me it was a surprise, because I only expected to go to El Cacao Cave, I did not imagine that I would see other places.  These are the things that make trips even more special.

La Cortina Waterfall at El Cacao Cave
La Cortina Waterfall.

El Cacao Cave

We continued downstream, part by river, part by jungle and we arrived at El Cacao Cave, I had seen photos and I imagined it small, but it is very high, although not very deep.

We entered, despite its dimensions, it is quite dark, there are bats inside and it doesn’t smell good.

When you approach the cave, you can see on one side of it a small waterfall, which is called La Golondrina.

El Cacao Cave
View from inside the El Cacao Cave . The cover photo is The Cave on the outside.

Kilo told us that Victoriano Lorenzo hid this cave and he stayed there for several days.

Although doing a little research, I did not find information about this event, but of the history of Panama, there is, well there is little in the books.

Who was Victoriano Lorenzo?

He was a leader indigenous and Colombian revolutionary (he was born in Coclé, Panama, but at that time Panama was a State of the United States of Colombia).

He fought against the injustices that were committed

Victorinao lived in El Cacao, was imprisoned, participated in the Thousand Days´ War, was a major general of the liberal troops, was shot (in what is now known as The Square of Francia) for not agreeing with the Neerlandia pact.

El Salto Waterfall

We continued to advance a little more and we reached the El Salto Waterfall, this was our last spot of the trip.

we took the opportunity to rest for a while, have a snack and one that another jumped into the water.

El Salto waterfall at El Cacao Cave
El Salto waterfall.

Back

It was time to go back, we went through all the spot again and it was inevitable not to take another photo, it was a great tour.

We were a small group, the day was not sunny, so we did not have the sun that can be exhausting.

We met some beautiful places and at the end of the tour, the family gave me an orchid plant of the flower of the Holy Spirit (national Flower).

By the time it was, we didn’t have time to go to lunch, it was like 4:00 p.m. and  a traffic jam awaited me, so I thanked my torregitas that calmed my stomach.

fence
This could be the hardest part of the trail and it still goes easy.

The river water is turquoise and it looks delicious to cool off for a while, there are no deep part, but it is deeper than no, just to know and be careful if you go with children.

I personally recommend this tour, not many conditions are required, it is almost for all ages, if you can hike in the Metropolitan Park, you can visit this place

In the end, from where we parked the car to the last waterfall, it was like 1 hour only by hiking, we made 5 stops, the house and spots, where we rested, had a snack and some of us swam.

Note

A few minutes after leaving the Pan-American Highway, the cell phone signal is lost.

Turquoise waters
Turquoise waters.

Advices

  • Bring water,
  • Light snack,
  • Sunscreen,
  • Swimsuit,
  • Go with a guide, you can contact Kilo,
  • Dry Fit clothing (such as exercise clothing) that covers the arms and legs, no jeans,
  • Waterproof bag for your things like cell phone and camera,
  • Sneakers or boots with traction and that can get wet (no sandals or flip flops),
  • A complete change of clothes (leave in the car for the return),
  • Do not leave anything, you can take a bag to collect the garbage of packages, juices and other things that you carry and of course do not leave the bag in place.
back from El Cacao Cave
Back.

Prices

  • $10.00 guide
  • $3.00 fee entrance

My guide

Miguel Salcedo (Kilo), a local from Caimito, Capira, (507) 6860-9634.

Tour only in Spanish.

My investment

  • $15.00 (fuel and tolls)
  • $3.00 (snack: torregitas, juices)
  • $3.00 fee entrance. 
  • Total $21.00

How to get to El Cacao Cave?

Take the Pan-American highway and enter El Cacao street in Capira (this is how you can see it on Google Maps (after Delicias Margot it is less than 1km).

Continue to El Cacao Tonw, continue along the street on the right until you see the sign from Abarrotería Angelica (a grocery store).

Then you must go down the stone trail, it is only about 100m and park the car (it does not matter if you go by sedan or 4×4).

Continue the road along the bridge over the river, from now on you need a guide.

Other places you may like

Jimara at El Cacao Cave



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