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In 1981, UNESCO declared this park a Biosphere Reserve of
Humankind because of its extraordinary biological diversity and its incredible genetic
value as well as for the indigenous tribes that still maintain and practice their
ancestral customs. This marvelous tropical rainforest of 579,000 ha (1,400,000 acres) is
situated in the eastern part of the country, bordering on Colombia and is the largest
protected nature area of Central America and the Caribbean. Its prodigious nature includes
mountain ranges reaching 2,500 m (7,500 ft) and navigable rivers (Tuira and Chucunaque).
The forests of this park house many extraordinary plant species that are unique in the
world as well as some extraordinary beautiful animals, like the Jaguar (Felis Onca
) and the Harpy Eagle (Harpia Harpyja).
How to get there
The Darien National Park is a magical jungle
paradise that can be reached in several ways. From Panama City the best way to get there
is by air to El Real, which is the closest town to the park. But if you feel more
adventurous you can go by car to Yaviza and then take a boat to El Real. Either way, you
will enjoy the beauty of the landscape and the virgin forest.
We suggest that for any visit to
this park you make all the arrangements through one of the tour operators in Panama
City, this way it will be easier and safer for you to find some lodging in the park.
The park has a few lodges in the stations of the National Environmental Authority (ANAM).
These stations are located at El Real, which is the regional Headquarters, Cerro Pirre and
Cruce de Mono; these are stations built for the protection of the park.
What to do and Where to go?
This park is an adventure site that can give you unique experiences. The contact with the
forest and the Indians that live in the area is a great mixture of extraordinary beauty
and mystery. The forest offers activities like flora and fauna and bird watching, hiking
through the jungle and boat trips on the river. The Indians of the Emberá and Wounan
tribes may entertain you with dances and other typical customs which can only be carried
out in Darien.
In the Cana area, in the middle of the park, you can find the remains of the famous
Espiritu Santo Gold Mines now overgrown with tropical vegetation. This is considered one
of the ten most important places in the world for bird spotting
|Remains of the famous Espiritu Santo Gold Mines|