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Climbing Volcan Baru

Volcan Baru in Panama, is a good mountain to climb for beginner mountain climbers. Most of the climb is just an uphill hike. There's a cliff near the summit where the incline is almost 90 degrees but this is manageable even for the beginner. Summer time is the best time to climb Volcan Baru because the trails won't be muddy and slippery and you'll have a greater chance of seeing a clear panorama once you reach the summit.

They say that on a clear day, at the perfect moment, you can see both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans from the top of Volcan Baru. This is the only place in the world this is possible.

Volcan Baru

The majestic Volcan Baru.

Before You Start Hiking

From Boquete, it could take 10 to 12 hours. The perfect time to view both the Atlantic and the Pacific oceans is some time early in the morning. Climbing the mountain by night, though doable, is not recommended. It would be best to climb by day and spend the night near the summit so you could catch that perfect moment to view both oceans.

The highest point in Panama, Volcan Baru's peak, is almost 3500 meters. Preparation for a journey like this is important. If you are coming from Europe and you're used to bournemouth hotels where there are beds and warmth, or even from a place in Dubai, this may be a slightly different journey than what you are used to. So you would need cold weather gear that you'll be using once you're in the higher altitudes. Bring plenty of food and snacks as you will need the energy. Chocolate bars and energy drinks will give you the boost you need for the long hike. Don't forget to bring a tent and a sleeping bag.

There are guided tours of Volcan Baru. From Boquete, you will be picked up and transported to Volcan Baru National Park where you will have to pay the minimal entrance fee. Guided tours are recommended although you can choose to climb Volcan Baru by yourself. Hiring a guide will let you reach the peak the shortest possible time and you could avoid getting lost.

At the start of the climb, you won't need your cool weather gear yet as the temperature would be pretty warm. Dress comfortably. Wear clothes that absorb moisture and use reliable hiking boots.

A Preview of What You'll See

Carribean Sea from Volcan Baru

A view of the Carribean Sea from Volcan Baru.

Don't forget to bring your camera and juice it up with a lot of batteries. Your could just be lucky and spot some of the rare birds and animals while following the trail. Oftentimes you'll just hear the song of the birds but won't be able to see them.

You will pass by fincas or small farms at the start of the hike. Some of these fincas plant only flowers like roses and some tubers and a field of flowers in bloom is a sight to behold. Higher up the slope you should see wild varieties of flowers.

View of Pacific Ocean from Volcan Baru

The Pacific Ocean as seen from Volcan Baru.

Near the peak is the campsite and it could get very cold. This is where your cold weather gear comes in handy. Temperature here could reach 0 degrees and you could expect some frost. By the time you reach the campsite you should be almost exhausted. A comfortable sleeping bag will let you rest well so you could wake up early enough to catch the sunrise and climb the cliff to reach the summit. Be very careful when climbing the cliff.

Once at the summit, and if your timing is right, you should be able to see both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans. You should see the entire panorama of Panama and nearby Costa Rica too.

Photo Credits:

  Chiriqui Adventures

Panama Rafters Chiriqui