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Los Helechos Loop - Omar Torrijos National Park

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The Basics

Type of trail: Loop
Round-trip Distance: 0.8 km (0.5 miles)
Round-trip Time: 45 min – 1 hour
Elevation Gain: 39 m. (128 ft.)
Max Height: 784 m. (2,572 ft.)
Attractions: cloud forest, streams, plants and animals
Activities: hiking, bird watching
Use: Low
Rating: EASY
Activity involves some physical effort, but in relative comfort. This applies to short walks around partially paved roads or well-maintained trails with little or no slope.

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The Trailhead

You must have a 4x4 to reach the park headquarters.

From Panama City (East): 17 km after Penonomé off the Inter-American Highway to your right is the community of La Candelaria. Take a right at the sign announcing Omar Torrijos National Park. Take that road to the community of El Cope (approx. 35 km ) and then keep going up through the community of Barrigón. The asphalt road ends and turns into a dirt road all the way up to the park headquarters.

From Nata (West): 14 km after Natá along the Inter-American Highway is the community of La Candelaria. Take a right at the sign announcing Omar Torrijos National Park. Take that road to the community of El Cope (approx. 35 km) and then keep going up through the community of Barrigón. The asphalt road ends and turns into a dirt road all the way up to the park headquarters.

The Trail

This trail is very accessible and allows you to enter a mature cloud forest with relative ease. There are bridges over creeks and steps at points. There are also interpretive signs with information about the local flora and fauna.

Seasonal Elements:
Dry Season - Accessible
Rainy Season - Path slippery in sections

Facilities

At the ranger headquarters there is a bathroom, cabins are available for rent.

Additional Information:
http://www.anam.gob.pa/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=321&Itemid=322&lang=en

The Tips

Go with a local guide who is part of a community tourism cooperative. This way you won’t get lost and help support the local economy.

Even if you think you know the trail we recommend using a guide that will be there in case of an emergency.

What to Bring:

  • Enough Water
  • Enough Food
  • Shoes with good soles or Hiking boots (do not wear flip-flops)
  • Rain jacket (rainy season)
  • Repellent (optional)
  • Hiking Poles (optional)
  • Head lamp

Hours, Fees, Local Guides

Management: National government (Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente)

Hours: 8AM-5PM

Fee: National Students- B. 1.00, National Visitors - B. 3.00,
Foreign Visitors B. 5.00, Seniors - B. 1.50

Contact Information:
Parque Nacional Omar Torrijos Administration: (507) 997-9077
Regional ANAM Administration office en Coclé - (507) 997-9805 / (507) 997-7538
National Protected Areas Department: (507) 500-0855 / (507) 500-0839

Local Guides:
Macedonio Perez 6549-7321 (only Spanish)

Additional Information:
http://www.anam.gob.pa/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=321&Itemid=322&lang=en

Disclaimer - Caminando Panama is a personal project, a nonprofit website. The contents are based on personal contributions from the authors and /or of partners and general public. No rights can be derived from the information and images that are shown. The data in this website is informational only, may contain errors, or be slightly out of date.Caminando Panama is not responsible in any way for accidents and losses caused by people during walks or hikes. Each walker is responsible for their actions and consequences.