Panama: Hiking - Walking
Miami of the South
Located only one hour from Panama City lies the mountain development of Altos del Maria. To arrive at Altos del Maria you drive from sea level straight up into the mountains that look down upon the Pacific beaches.
The development has a number of hiking trails and waterfalls and it is possible to walk to a point in the mountains where you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans at the same time. When you find this point you immediately think New York on one hand and San Francisco on the other. The development also has an extensive reforestation project in which you will find not only Caribbean pine trees, but also local trees such as Cedro Espino and Caoba Nacional.
If you like gardening then you will love Altos del Maria: the rich volcanic soil makes gardening fun: you will see flowers and plants that you would normally buy in a nursery in the U.S. growing in the wild. If you decide that you want some nightlife beyond the mountains, the drive from Altos del Maria to Panama City is an easy one. The road has recently been upgraded so that there are two-lane highways going into and out of the city. And in the near future a new bridge will be built over the Canal that will shorten the trip from Altos del Maria to Panama City from an hour and a half to one hour.
I highly recommend Altos del Maria to anyone who is thinking about locating themselves in Panama: clean, cool air without the noise of the city. The international airport is only an hour and a half away and the beaches below Altos del Maria offer sun, surfing, fishing and modern services.