Day ago I took my mother to hike the trails of the Metropolitan Park and thus take advantage of son dry day in the city.
As a child I went on school trips and I think it has changed a lot, as an adult I had only gone to some events that are held there, in one of them I hiked one of the trails.
First of all, you have to go to the main entrance of the park, pay the entrance fee, they will put a wristband on you and give you a little explanation, and if you forget to bring a snack, it’s time to buy it.
Metropolitan Park is known as the Lung of Panama City, it has 232 hectares, it is also a biological corridor.
On the trails, you can find some information placard about plants, animals and in the viewpoint, information about the places that can be appreciated. You will also find benches at some points to rest a bit.
1. El Roble Trail
What I love about it, is the lagoon with turtles, there is quite a lot, just pay a little attention because at first appearance they look like logs, well that’s what happened to me.
On the way, you can see parts of airplanes, since this place was a dump for military airplanes, and they are from the time of the war.
I understand that there are quite a few pieces in the entire park, but only 3 are quite obvious.
2. La Cienaguita Trail
Moderate trail, with some ups and downs, I recommend taking it at the beginning of the climb and going down the Mono Titi Trail.
In this one I had the opportunity to see a ñeque very closely while eating. On this trail, like El Roble, you can clearly see some wreckage of WWII planes
3. Mono Titi Trail
This trail is quite wide, it was once an internal street in the park. It leads to the main viewpoint, it is a moderate trail, but if you start it from the El Roble Trail you can see that it has a steep slope, I took it down.
In the middle, there is a covered viewpoint “Los Trinos” where you can recharge your batteries and continue.
In the highest part there are 2 viewpoints, in one you will find benches and spaces to rest.
4. Los Caobos Trail
Of all the trails this is the heaviest, imagine climbing stairs, many stairs, then a semi-flat aerial to a viewpoint (quite deteriorated) and then going down stairs, many stairs.
It has a distance of almost 1km, I recommend it if you have good conditions and do not have any health problem that could make it difficult for you to finish it.
This trail is under maintenance, it is passable, but on the way, you will see some new parts and others that have not yet been changed, such as the handrails and steps.
It offers beautiful views of the forest, since it seems to border a mountain, which allows you to have small viewpoints of nature.
5. Dorothy Wilson Trail
It is 300 meters, it is quite easy, all paved and with a handrail, it is designed for people with reduced mobility and it even has some writings (braille) for the blind.
This trail starts in the parking lot and goes through a small wooded area.
6. Los Guayacanes Trail
Very small trail with 70 meters that connects Dorothy Wilson Trail with El Roble Trail.
It is the one with the least wooded area, since you will only see it on one side and on the other there is a plain that allows you to see the offices and the Butterfly Garden.
7. Los Momótides Trail
Although it indicates to be an easy trail, the truth is that it has a bit of difficulty compared to the easy trails in this park.
The trail is crossing the street, I visited it in one of the events that the park attends, about a year ago.
Time of the Trails
It will depend a lot on whether you are going to observe, take photos, as an exercise, since they can be done from 10 minutes to an hour and a half (in the longest ones), with everything and that the longest or measure more than 1.1 km.
Imagine that on the La Cienaguita Trail, a man ran me twice as I was climbing, I don’t think he passed more times because I finished training and left hahaha.
For people who like trails and exercise in the middle of nature, you can request a Hiking Card.
You must carry a passport-size photo and a copy of the identity card. You can take it quarterly, semester, or annually.
What to see at Metropolitan Park?
Without a doubt the vegetation is the most abundant in the park. However, if you go quietly, pay close attention, have a good ear and good eyesight, you will be able to see some animals.
On this last visit, I saw 2 ñeques, one was 2 meters from me, eating and the truth was that I was distracted, luckily, I did not scare him away and I managed to see it, a family of howlers (I saw these thanks to one of the keepers of a of the entrances), birds and insects, especially atta cephalote and some trees that could easily be centuries old.
Most likely there were other animals nearby, but many camouflage themselves among the vegetation and it is not easy to see them.
In addition, you can feel various aromas of plants and hear many animals, on my visit I heard birds all the way.
Metropolitan Park also offers a viewpoint to Panama City, Cedro Hill, the highest point in Mono Titi Trail at 150 meters above sea level, another viewpoint is Ancon Hill.
On the way, you can see ruins of previous buildings, the least destroyed is called “El Castillo”, a bunker built by the United States.
The Crane of Metropolitan Park
In the park, you can take a tour at the top with a crane, but it is currently suspended, prices are around $ 25.00 for Panamanians and can only go up over 15 years and 3 visitors at a time.
This part is managed by the Smithsonian and it is intended primarily for scientists.
- Bring water, personally I already have an idea of how much water I consume on each trail, so I take a little more with me and leave another bottle in the car (in the trunk so it doesn’t get hot).
- Snacks, I always recommend nuts, in supermarkets there are little packages that bring peanuts, almonds, blueberries and others, they are very good, and ask your partners if they have it, otherwise they will eat half of yours.
- Rain cape, in rainy weather, since there is only one trail with a place to take refuge.
- You can avoid hats, since you will be practically all the time in the shade of the trees.
- If you are energetic you can start with El Roble, then La Cienaguita, then Mono Titi and return through El Roble, if you still have energy and a lot of courage, you can hike Los Cabos, you will see it on the way to El Roble.
- If you only want to hike a trail, you can try Los Momótides.
- Make silence to be able to hear and see the animals.
- Wear cool and comfortable clothes, not jeans.
- Monday to Sunday,
- The park has son hours that you can entry, you need a booking
- 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m.
- 9:00 a.m. to 10:00 a.m.
- 11:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.
- 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
- 2:45 p.m. to 3:00 p.m.
Due to the situation of the Pandemic, you can only pay in advance by Yappy (Banco General’s app).
Panamanians and residents
- $1.00 adults.
- $0.50 children from 3 to 17 years old, retired.
- $30.00 with guide (groups of 1 to 5).
- $6.00 per person with guide (groups of 6 or more people)
- $4.00 adults, retirees and university students.
- $2.00 children from 3 to 17 years old.
- $50.00 with guide (groups of 1 to 5).
- $10.00 per person with guide (groups of 6 or more people)
- Adults: $15.00 quarterly, $28.00 semester or $50.00 annually.
- Retirees and students: $11.00 quarterly, $21.00 semester or $40.00 annually.
It is necessary to reserve the visit at least 2 days in advance (there is a limit of people per schedule). Click here to reserve.
Note: not all trails are currently open.
How to get to Metropolitan Natural Park?
The park is on Juan Pablo II Avenue (in the capital), you can go down the Tumba Muerte (along the Via Brasil corridor), you will see the entrance to the park on the right hand side.
If you are by Albrook Mall or somewhere nearby, you can take Ascanio Villalaz Avenue or Luis Alvarez E. Avenue (both intersect at the University Dome).
Continue as if you were going to El Dorado, a few meters turn right hand, Juan Pablo II Avenue (there is a traffic light at the intersection and the street it is in front of the Puma fuel station) and a few meters on the left hand you will see the entrance of Metropolitan Park.
If you travel by bus, you must take one that passes through the University Dome, you can take it at Albrook Bus Terminal.
Get off at the University Dome, cross to the street in front (in a safe place, preferably at the traffic light) and skirt the street until you reach the park, it will be on the right side. It is about 8 minutes walking.
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