El Peñón Hill, the Highest Site in Panama Norte

Vista desde el Cerro El Peñón.

In Panama City there are more natural places to visit and one of them is El Peñón Hill, the highest site in North Panama and the second in the Capital.

My adventure began at Pío Pío, which is near the entrance to La Cabima, where we met with the guide to visit El Peñón Hill.

We continued by car (the road is nice and quiet, and there are almost no houses) until we reached a site where we could leave them (there is no parking, but some cars can be left on the shore, without obstructing traffic).

Be careful on the road, because the street (asphalt) is very narrow and it seems that it is only one lane.

El Peñón Hill View from the Fourth Viewpoint
El Peñón Hill.

After a short time hiking, we reached the entrance of the trail, if it weren’t for the guide, I would continue on, because it is not obvious, nor is it signposted.

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Once we entered the trail, the real climb began, almost everything is steep, I thought it was going to cost me a lot, because after a year without climbing hills and with the recent quarantine in Panama, I had been several days without going out for a hike.

However, my legs did not fail me, of course I got a bit exhausted and took a couple of short breaks to get air, but with everything, the mask, a steep trail and without physical conditions, I was able to climb it quite well.

hiking the hill
Hiking El Peñón Hill.

The Peñón Hill trail has many leaves on the way, which can make it a bit slippery, so be careful where you step and also where you grab.


Our guide told us that there are poisonous snakes on the trail, fortunately, we only saw spiders and many birds .

Almost the entire trail is covered in trees which makes it pretty cool.

When the light begins to appear at the peak, a small pre-viewpoint begins to appear, which gives us a glimpse of what is coming, but we still have to continue climbing.

hill trail
Huge rock along the trail..

Viewpoints

At the peak there are 4 natural viewpoints, which are actually large rocks and from where you can see a large part of Panama Norte and the Metropolitan area, especially in the last viewpoint.

At each viewpoint we were amazed at the amount of birds that could be seen flying over the hill.

In these viewpoints you have to climb some high rocks, especially with the fourth one, the one that I climbed practically dragging myself and to get down they had to help me, because, I slid as much as I could and did not touch the lowest rock.

View from the First Viewpoint
View from the First Viewpoint.

On the way I saw a good place to have a picnic in the shade, yes, remember not to leave anything, nor organic garbage, it only has to drop the remains of native plants of the place.

First viewpoint

From here you can see from Costa del Este to the Panama Canal area.

Second viewpoint

You can see from Alcalde Díaz to a small part of Panama City. These first ones are the easiest to climb, because it feels like climbing stairs, and the rocks are not very high.

El Peñón Hill
View from the Second Viewpoint.

Third viewpoint

You can see from Chilibre to Panama City.

Fourth viewpoint

In the fourth viewpoint you can see from Colón to Panama City.

From the viewpoints you can see a lake, they tell me that it is contaminated and they want to clean it so that it can be a tourist and recreational place.

Imagine that you can go, rent a kayak or paddle, eat in a restaurant or do sport fishing and everything in the Capital.

trail
Group photo – no intentional.

Abdiel tells me that people camp there, although we do not know where or how.

Since there is space to put a tent, everything is rock and it is very easy for it to break and although I saw some trees, I did not see one good branch to put a hammock.

I thank Daniel of Descubre Panamá for the invitation and Abdiel of OBC Panamá Norte for guiding us.

On this trip I also met the girlso of En Esto Andamos, who I hope to meet on another trip.

Abdiel is a resident of Panama Norte and has an organization that aims to help the sector to be sustainable, part of that is to make these places known, so that residents can guide people, sell their products and others.

El Peñón Hill
View from the Third Viewpoint.

Advices

  • Use sunscreen,
  • Sunglasses,
  • Cap,
  • Wear good sneaker for climbing the hill or hiking shoes,
  • Long pants, not jeans,
  • Snacks, water,
  • Do not leave garbage,
  • Go with a guide because the place is not signposted and it is easy to get lost,
  • Do not go near the edge or the rock and only go where the guide tells you to go,
  • Be careful where you step and grab, there is be poisonous snakes,
  • Do not go with children, on the one hand, because of the steepness and on the other hand, because the viewpoints are rocks, not very spacious.
  • Do not go with pets.

Hours

  • There is no hours, but I suggest going up early around 6 in the morning to avoid the intense sun and going down during the day.
El Peñón Hill
Arriving at the last Viewpoint.

Price

  • $ 5.00 per person, it depends on the number of people.

The cost is to cover the rescuer’s payment, also go a guide.

My guide

Abdiel of OBC Panamá Norte: +507 6821.6023.

Tours only in Spanish.

How to get to El Peñón Hill?

Take the Transístmica highway towards Colón and after passing La Cabima take the U-turn.

Then enter through El Peñón street, at the entrance it says “El Peñón”, it is a large sign.

From there you will need a guide, since there are people who have been lost even entering the trail

Other places you may like

El Peñón Hill
View from the Fourth Viewpoint.



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