Presently we do not offer in-house tours. However, many arrangements are possible – which will be featured on the site later on.
Bird watching tours
Santa Fe is great for birdwatching, but very little is known about it. Up until several years ago, most of the area was only accessible on foot or on horseback, but roads have improved vastly since then. Soon there will be a paved road going through the national park. Don’t worry about impact, the road leads to nowhere and the increase in tourists will make the park more valuable to locals.
Blue crowned Motmot, a common garden guest
Santa Fe’s national park spans almost 73.000 hectares and is 95% forested. It is adjacent to the largely virgin territory of the indigenous Ngöbe-Bugle as well as the mostly inaccessible Atlantic coastal areas. It is home to at least 300 species of birds: toucans, parakeets, tanagers etc. This has caught the attention of the Smithsonian Institute, British ornithologist Rosemary Low and many other biologists.
A half day tour will cost you $40 per person. Our program will depend on the particular bird species you’re looking for as well as your physical condition, and may include some off-road driving or hiking.
Spectacular 4×4 trip to El Salto waterfalls
If you’d like to see ‘La Rusa Dura’ taken to the max (or if you like to see waterfalls without much hiking), this tour will certainly be to your liking. During this trip we will climb Cerro El Sapo, or frog mountain, take impossible steep slopes, cross numerous streams and eventually arrive in the valley of El Salto. We will there walk to one or two big waterfalls, followed by lunch cooked by one of the locals made from organic produce.
On the way back we will hike to the top of Cerro El Sapo from which on a clear day you can see all the way down to the coast. We will finish this trip with a refreshing dive in the Santa Maria river.
Cascada la Orquidea
This all-day trip will cost you $60 per person and includes lunch (minimum of two)
Volcanic tour of La Yeguada
On this tour we will explore traces of volcanic activity of Vulcan La Yeguada, Panama’s third potentially active volcano. Although La Yeguada’s last eruption took place 32.000 years ago, she has not passed away yet. Tiny embers remain, powering hot water sources and emitting gas on several locations. During our trip we will explore three impressive, beautiful and mystical locations, testament to the vast power that lives underneath our feet.
We will drive down to San Francisco and visit its beautiful church. Founded around 1727, it is one of the oldest and best preserved churches in Panama, with centuries old painted wood carvings. A small token to maintain this church will be appreciated.
The church of San Francisco
Continuing east, we will pass the San Juan river which cuts through ignimbrite volcanic deposits in spectacular fashion. It is a good place to stop for a snack and have a swim should one feel like it.
We will then pass Calobre and go off road until we reach the trail head leading to the hot water sources. The hike takes 30 to 45 minutes during which we will have to cross a shallow river several times, so sandals or flip-flops should be your footwear of choice. The hot water sources are located in a pristine area and perfect for bathing. We will enjoy our lunch here.
‘La Rusa Dura’ near hot water sources
In the afternoon we will head up towards the top of the volcano of La Yeguada. In a short distance the road will climb 1800 feet until we reach the caldera (crater) lake. This lake is surrounded by a forest reserve of Caribbean pine tree. A big waterfall can be found in the proximity of the lake. This extremely beautiful lake completes our tour and is yet another perfect swimming spot.
La Yeguada caldera lake
On our way back with the sun setting, we will pass several spectacular view points with opportunity to take pictures.
The complete schedule:
- 8.00 Leave Santa Fe
- 9.00 Arrival in San Fransisco; visit the church
- 10.30 Coffee break at San Juan river
- 12.00 Arrival at the trail head
- 12.45 Lunch at the hot water sources
- 14.30 Continue the journey to La Yeguada
- 15.30 Arrival at caldera lake
- 17.00 Head back to Santa Fe
- 18.30-19.00 Arrival.
This all-day trip costs $75 per person including lunch and snacks (minimum of two persons)