El Valle de Antón, commonly known as El Valle, is a picturesque town located in the Cocle Province of Panama. It is situated within the crater of an extinct volcano, making it one of the few inhabited volcanic calderas in the world. El Valle is approximately 120km west of Panama City, the drive takes about 2 and a half hours.
The town is nestled in a lush valley surrounded by mountains, offering a cooler climate compared to the coastal areas of Panama. Due to its elevation of about 600m (2,000 ft) above sea level, El Valle enjoys pleasant spring-time temperatures, with an average of 72°F (22°C) year-round, though be prepared for more rain in El Valle than at the beach area or in the city.
El Valle is famous for its colorful daily market, where locals and tourists gather to browse through an array of handicrafts, fresh produce, flowers, and traditional Panamanian snacks. The market is a vibrant display of the town’s culture and a great place to experience the local way of life.
Along the main road of El Valle, you will find murals of local animals painted across the benches and trash cans as well as on the walls of local shops. There are many restaurants offering a variety of different cuisines and lots of cute boutique shops. El Valle has plenty of attractions including botanical gardens, a butterfly haven, and an orchid nursery, as well as ziplining and rappelling for adventure seekers.
Another notable feature of El Valle is the El Chorro Macho waterfall, situated just outside the town. It is a popular spot for hiking and swimming, and visitors can take a refreshing dip in the natural pools formed by the cascading water – friendly warning though it is ice cold and not for the faint-hearted!
For nature enthusiasts, El Valle offers a plethora of outdoor activities. There are several trails for hiking and birdwatching, where you can explore the surrounding mountains and forests. The Gaital National Park is a fantastic spot for nature lovers to enjoy and see the local flora, fauna, and wildlife. A popular hike is La India Dormida (The Sleeping Indian) so named because the shape of the mountain formation looks like a woman lying down. There is a legend to accompany the name as well…and while versions vary a little the idea is that a long time ago, the first people who inhabited the volcano crater were the Guaymi Tribe. They were fighting against Spanish Conquistadors for their land. The daughter of Urraca, the chief, fell in love with one of the Spanish soldiers. However the strongest fighter of their tribe, Yavari, was in love with her and when she did not reciprocate his feelings, he threw himself off the mountain in front of her. The chief’s daughter never saw the Spanish soldier again and instead ran away. She crossed mountains and valleys bitterly weeping over her fate. She died looking back at the beloved mountains where she had been born and the mountains were so touched by this sad love story that they decided to form her shape. The hike to the summit of La India Dormida will take roughly an hour and give you the most breathtaking views of the whole crater of El Valle.
A fun excursion in El Valle is to head to the hot springs. These geothermal springs are believed to have therapeutic properties due to their mineral-rich waters. Many visitors indulge in relaxing baths and mud treatments at various resorts in the area. It’s meant to be very good for the skin.
Overall, El Valle is a charming town. Its natural beauty, pleasant climate, and diverse range of activities make it a popular choice for both locals and expats to call home.
Have you seen our El Valle video yet?
The property here is a real mixed bag. You won’t find any condos or resort developments but plenty of houses of all shapes and sizes. We have a large number of properties in El Valle available but here are three that we’d like to highlight:
First up is this incredible colonial mountain villa sitting on a 1-acre lot. You get a three-bedroom main house, a one-bedroom guest house, a pool, a pond, parking for ten vehicles, and beautiful architectural features.
Next is this spacious four-bedroom single-story property with amazing covered outdoor spaces for dining and entertaining, an American-style kitchen, and one of the biggest pantries in Panama.
Finally, we have this four-bedroom, two-story property which has a stunning outdoor living space including a heated jacuzzi and a swimming pool. This property also features its own movie theater.
If you’re interested in a move to El Valle don’t hesitate to get in touch!