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  • Off the Beaten Path in Panama: 3 of Chiriqui’s Hidden Gems

    Islas Secas

    Among must-sees such as the Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriqui and Volcan Baru, Chiriqui plays host to a number of lesser-known attractions. A variety of ecological, geological, and cultural wonders lie just off the beaten path, waiting for curious travelers to stumble upon them…

    However, you’ll be ambling in like a local once you’ve got the inside scoop on Chiriqui’s hidden gems. Check out our top 3 picks for the un-tried but true adventures you can find in Chiriqui’s green highlands:

    1. The Carta Vieja Rum Factory

    Miles and miles of sugarcane fields stretch to the west of the city of David, concealing one of Panama’s oldest factories. After nearly a century of operation, Carta Vieja has achieved a certain renown for its signature rum, the Carta Vieja Anejo. This spirited blend, considered by many to be the best rum in Panama, features a sweet aroma, full-bodied flavor with notes of anise and licorice, and a smooth finish. Each batch of Carta Vieja Anejo is brewed in a cask made from the heartwood of a white birch tree and is aged for four years.

    The Carta Vieja Rum Factory offers weekday tours that start in the canefields and end in the distillery with plenty of samples along the way. For an unforgettable tour of this Panamanian institution, visit Panama during Holy Week (beginning on April 1st in 2012) – you’ll witness nearly 10,000 religious devotees making their annual pilgrimage to the neighboring village of Alanje to pay homage to a “miraculous” sculpture of Christ.

    The Carta Vieja Rum Factory, also called the Central Industrial Chiricana, is easily accessible to Chiriqui travelers, located ten minutes from David’s city center.

    2. The Islas Secas Archipelago

    Islas Secas

    The Islas Secas Archipelago is a privately-owned string of sixteen jungle-covered islands near the southeastern edge of the Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí. Located about 45 minutes from Isla Palenque, these islands offer scenic hiking trails and a wealth of ocean wonders just offshore. The Isla Palenque team will be leading regular scuba and snorkeling expeditions to Isla Secas, where the warm Pacific waters mean wearing a wetsuit is optional. Prime sport fishing opportunities abound; healthy populations of spirited marlin, billfish, and tuna churn the crystalline sea into froth to give anglers a thrilling experience.

    3. Tolé

    The Ngöbe-Buglé settlement of Tolé is more accessible than any other outpost of the Ngöbe-Buglé, yet it remains an oft-overlooked attraction in Panama. 50 miles from David and an easy drive down the Inter-American Highway, Tolé makes for an engaging day-trip. This settlement spans the foothills of eastern Chiriqui, not far from Boquete, where many Tolé residents commute to work seasonally on coffee plantations. Within their own farming community, whole families of Ngöbe-Buglé work together to cultivate a variety of crops: corn, rice, beans, otoe, tomatoes, peppers, mangos, oranges, nance, and cacao. Visit Tolé to taste the ripe fruits of their hometown harvest, all organically-grown with no preservatives, chemicals, or hype – the Ngobe-Bugle have simply been growing this way for centuries. Women of this indigenous group continue to practice traditional handicrafts, making their signature nagua dresses and colorful beaded necklaces known as chaquiras.

    Whether you’re interested in sampling native Panamanian flavors, immersing in lively local culture, or discovering the beauty of Panama’s unspoiled wilderness, you’ll find any of these attractions a memorable escape from the ordinary. As the Ngöbe-Buglé say (forgive the phonetic translation)… Bron hoovay: Let’s go!

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    Post by the Isla Palenque team

    If you imagine us hiking jungle paths, sipping exotic cocktails, encountering wild species, and exploring beyond the gorgeous beaches of Isla Palenque... you're not far off. Meet the island team sharing stories from travels in Panama.

    More posts by the Isla Palenque team

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    4 Responses

    1. Doris says:

      Hello Rachel,

      Thanks for the info the pics at the site are really awesome. This is just increasing my interest more and more.

      Regards,
      Doris

    2. Rachel Kowalczyk says:

      Thanks, Doris! I’m glad to hear you enjoyed your Panama Canal tour. For a little background and some fun reminiscing, check out the Panama Canal slideshow on The Ambler (more photos I think you’ll enjoy!). If you take another tour of the Panama Canal in the next year or so, you’ll be able to see progress on the massive canal expansion project – pretty exciting, since the Canal hasn’t changed much since its completion in 1914. Also, I hope you get a chance to check out Islas Secas on your next visit to Panama. If you like to see Panama by boat, then a trip to Islas Secas is right up your alley – a beautiful day out on the water.

    3. Doris says:

      The pictures are awesome, I really need to try these places next time went there. This year I have experienced the Panama Canal Boat tour and it was awesome. I just love the place. I am going there again on my next vacation and if any chance any one want to know more about the canal boat tour then try this link http://thepanamacanaltour.com/ .

    4. Laura says:

      Very cool! I need to take some of these day trips- I’ve heard visiting the community at Tole is an amazing experience

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    Among must-sees such as the Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriqui and Volcan Baru, Chiriqui plays host to a number of lesser-known attractions. A variety of ecological, geological, and cultural wonders lie just off the beaten path, waiting for curious travelers to stumble upon them…
    
    However, you’ll be ambling in like a local once you’ve got the inside scoop on Chiriqui’s hidden gems. Check out our top 3 picks for the un-tried but true adventures you can find in Chiriqui’s green highlands:
    
    1. The Carta Vieja Rum Factory
    
    Miles and miles of sugarcane fields stretch to the west of the city of David, concealing one of Panama's oldest factories. After nearly a century of operation, Carta Vieja has achieved a certain renown for its signature rum, the Carta Vieja Anejo. This spirited blend, considered by many to be the best rum in Panama, features a sweet aroma, full-bodied flavor with notes of anise and licorice, and a smooth finish. Each batch of Carta Vieja Anejo is brewed in a cask made from the heartwood of a white birch tree and is aged for four years. The Carta Vieja Rum Factory offers weekday tours that start in the canefields and end in the distillery with plenty of samples along the way. For an unforgettable tour of this Panamanian institution, visit Panama during Holy Week (beginning on April 1st in 2012) – you’ll witness nearly 10,000 religious devotees making their annual pilgrimage to the neighboring village of Alanje to pay homage to a “miraculous” sculpture of Christ. The Carta Vieja Rum Factory, also called the Central Industrial Chiricana, is easily accessible to Chiriqui travelers, located ten minutes from David’s city center.
    2. The Islas Secas Archipelago Islas Secas
    The Islas Secas Archipelago is a privately-owned string of sixteen jungle-covered islands near the southeastern edge of the Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí. Located about 45 minutes from Isla Palenque, these islands offer scenic hiking trails and a wealth of ocean wonders just offshore. The Isla Palenque team will be leading regular scuba and snorkeling expeditions to Isla Secas, where the warm Pacific waters mean wearing a wetsuit is optional. Prime sport fishing opportunities abound; healthy populations of spirited marlin, billfish, and tuna churn the crystalline sea into froth to give anglers a thrilling experience.
    3. Tolé
    The Ngöbe-Buglé settlement of Tolé is more accessible than any other outpost of the Ngöbe-Buglé, yet it remains an oft-overlooked attraction in Panama. 50 miles from David and an easy drive down the Inter-American Highway, Tolé makes for an engaging day-trip. This settlement spans the foothills of eastern Chiriqui, not far from Boquete, where many Tolé residents commute to work seasonally on coffee plantations. Within their own farming community, whole families of Ngöbe-Buglé work together to cultivate a variety of crops: corn, rice, beans, otoe, tomatoes, peppers, mangos, oranges, nance, and cacao. Visit Tolé to taste the ripe fruits of their hometown harvest, all organically-grown with no preservatives, chemicals, or hype – the Ngobe-Bugle have simply been growing this way for centuries. Women of this indigenous group continue to practice traditional handicrafts, making their signature nagua dresses and colorful beaded necklaces known as chaquiras.
    Whether you’re interested in sampling native Panamanian flavors, immersing in lively local culture, or discovering the beauty of Panama’s unspoiled wilderness, you’ll find any of these attractions a memorable escape from the ordinary. As the Ngöbe-Buglé say (forgive the phonetic translation)… Bron hoovay: Let’s go! [post_title] => Off the Beaten Path in Panama: 3 of Chiriqui's Hidden Gems [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => off-the-beaten-path-in-panama-3-of-chiriquis-hidden-gems [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-12-27 10:53:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-12-27 16:53:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://amble.com/ambler/?p=13585 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 4 [ancestors] => Array ( ) [filter] => raw )

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Among must-sees such as the Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriqui and Volcan Baru, Chiriqui plays host to a number of lesser-known attractions. A variety of ecological, geological, and cultural wonders lie just off the beaten path, waiting for curious travelers to stumble upon them…

However, you’ll be ambling in like a local once you’ve got the inside scoop on Chiriqui’s hidden gems. Check out our top 3 picks for the un-tried but true adventures you can find in Chiriqui’s green highlands:

1. The Carta Vieja Rum Factory
Miles and miles of sugarcane fields stretch to the west of the city of David, concealing one of Panama's oldest factories. After nearly a century of operation, Carta Vieja has achieved a certain renown for its signature rum, the Carta Vieja Anejo. This spirited blend, considered by many to be the best rum in Panama, features a sweet aroma, full-bodied flavor with notes of anise and licorice, and a smooth finish. Each batch of Carta Vieja Anejo is brewed in a cask made from the heartwood of a white birch tree and is aged for four years. The Carta Vieja Rum Factory offers weekday tours that start in the canefields and end in the distillery with plenty of samples along the way. For an unforgettable tour of this Panamanian institution, visit Panama during Holy Week (beginning on April 1st in 2012) – you’ll witness nearly 10,000 religious devotees making their annual pilgrimage to the neighboring village of Alanje to pay homage to a “miraculous” sculpture of Christ. The Carta Vieja Rum Factory, also called the Central Industrial Chiricana, is easily accessible to Chiriqui travelers, located ten minutes from David’s city center.
2. The Islas Secas Archipelago Islas Secas
The Islas Secas Archipelago is a privately-owned string of sixteen jungle-covered islands near the southeastern edge of the Parque Nacional Marino Golfo de Chiriquí. Located about 45 minutes from Isla Palenque, these islands offer scenic hiking trails and a wealth of ocean wonders just offshore. The Isla Palenque team will be leading regular scuba and snorkeling expeditions to Isla Secas, where the warm Pacific waters mean wearing a wetsuit is optional. Prime sport fishing opportunities abound; healthy populations of spirited marlin, billfish, and tuna churn the crystalline sea into froth to give anglers a thrilling experience.
3. Tolé
The Ngöbe-Buglé settlement of Tolé is more accessible than any other outpost of the Ngöbe-Buglé, yet it remains an oft-overlooked attraction in Panama. 50 miles from David and an easy drive down the Inter-American Highway, Tolé makes for an engaging day-trip. This settlement spans the foothills of eastern Chiriqui, not far from Boquete, where many Tolé residents commute to work seasonally on coffee plantations. Within their own farming community, whole families of Ngöbe-Buglé work together to cultivate a variety of crops: corn, rice, beans, otoe, tomatoes, peppers, mangos, oranges, nance, and cacao. Visit Tolé to taste the ripe fruits of their hometown harvest, all organically-grown with no preservatives, chemicals, or hype – the Ngobe-Bugle have simply been growing this way for centuries. Women of this indigenous group continue to practice traditional handicrafts, making their signature nagua dresses and colorful beaded necklaces known as chaquiras.
Whether you’re interested in sampling native Panamanian flavors, immersing in lively local culture, or discovering the beauty of Panama’s unspoiled wilderness, you’ll find any of these attractions a memorable escape from the ordinary. As the Ngöbe-Buglé say (forgive the phonetic translation)… Bron hoovay: Let’s go! [post_title] => Off the Beaten Path in Panama: 3 of Chiriqui's Hidden Gems [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => off-the-beaten-path-in-panama-3-of-chiriquis-hidden-gems [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2012-12-27 10:53:04 [post_modified_gmt] => 2012-12-27 16:53:04 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => http://amble.com/ambler/?p=13585 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 4 [ancestors] => Array ( ) [filter] => raw )

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