Sarigua National Park

A stifling heat, incredible colors of scenery, eroded land, picturesque rock formations with copper appearance , like ghost dead and broken trees, cactuses, burning sun and straw balls that roll with the wind this all you can experience walking by trails in Sarigua National Park. It is interesting and unique experience stay himself alone surrounded by a desert and its hostile beauty.

Sarigua National Park is located in the district of Parita in Herrera Province approximately 240 kilometers from Panama City. It was founded in 1985 and has an extension of 8,000 hectares. Sarigua is not really a desert but it is an area that was completely changes because of massive deforestation by the colonizers which inhabit this region in the second half of the 20th century. The strong salting process caused by tides who hold the salt in the soil converted the area to the saline (area of soil with salt). Adverse weather conditions, strong winds, rain shortage and high temperatures greatly limit the growth of vegetation and cause strong erosion .

The park has a Visitor Center that provides basic information about the area and an also the observation tower which allows overlook entire area of the National Parak. Visitors can use the instructive trails and walking through the desert and look closely all the attractions of the park. At the day the temperature can reached 43 degrees centigrade in the shade (and in this area there is no shadow) so do not forget to bring your water to do not have bad luck like the Mr. Burke and Mr. Willis. Walking is the best way to enjoy the beauty of these landscapes devoid of all vegetation and crossed by deep cracks and gullies caused by erosion.

The park is located in the most arid region of Panama, with an average annual rainfall of 1,100 mm. During the dry season the wind picks up large clouds of dust and sand that cause a huge impact on the land and inhabitants of adjacent areas. Those clouds can sometimes reach up to the Canajagua hill, located 45 km south of Sarigua and 830 meters above sea level. This area is also important archeology site. There was find a rest of fishermen settlement 11.000 years old. This is the oldest inhabited site on the Isthmus of Panama.

More information can be obtained at the Visitor Center ANAM. There the visitor has to pay the park entrance fee $ 3.00 (status 24.10.2009)

Como Llegar

From the capital city you should take the Pan American Highway, drive through the city Agua Dulce (197 km) and when you reach Divisa (215 km) turn left to Chitré on the first big crossroad. But what the trick! It is an elevated crossing then if you want to go to the left, first you have to turn to the right. Then follow the road until you reach the town of Parita (238 km) and here take the access road to the park and in 15 minutes you will be at the visitors center. The turnoff is marked with a wooden sign and is rideable (more or less) all the year. If you are approaching from another side, driving from Chitré, there is the “Puerto Limon” sign on the access road. Total distance is 240 kilometers and you will drive about 4 hours. To go to the National Park Sarigua, you can take a bus to the city of Chitré in Gran Terminal de Transporte in Albrook, Panama City. At Chitre you have to board a bus which go to Parita or a taxi. From Parita have to walk half an hour to reach the park entrance. From Panama City you can take a 35 minute a plane ride to Chitre in the province of Herrera and then by taxi to a town named Parita and than to the Sarigua National Park.

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