Our visit to Cerro Punta included a tour of Finca Drácula, a farm specializing in Central and South American orchids, with more than 2,200 species from around the world.
Finca Drácula began as the hobby of Señor Andrew Maduro back in 1969, when he acquired what was then an almost treeless cattle pasture, or potrero; in the forty years that followed, Maduro transformed these 22 acres into a rare and precious orchid nursery, surrounded by a garden designed to recreate wild orchid habitats and shaded by a number of tall trees planted since the finca’s founding.
Maduro’s Finca Drácula represents an environmentally-conscious enterprise in Panama that is as beautiful as it is lucrative. Some of the rare orchid species housed here go for more than $5,000 apiece. The name originates with the peculiar Dracula orchid, of which 124 different species exist worldwide, many of these represented among the farm’s collection. A lesser-known reason for the farm’s name: owner Maduro was reportedly partial to classic Dracula flicks.
We took a guided walk through the orchid nursery, macro lens in hand, and were able to capture some great images to illustrate what it’s like to explore this wonderful little finca.
If you’re in Panama and planning to explore the cloud forests of Chiriquí, strongly consider a visit to Finca Drácula. The following slideshow may convince you of all the delicate beauty not to be missed.
When to Go
The majority of orchids will be in bloom during March and April, so the best time to visit is from late spring into early summer. This is also when you’ll encounter the fewest other travelers, so you’ll very likely have this magical orchid nursery all to yourself. Stop in at the finca any day of the week between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. and the knowledgeable staff will be glad to lead your tour.
How to Get There
Take the road leading up from Concepción towards the highlands villages of Chiriquí, crossing first through Volcan to reach the road’s terminus in Cerro Punta. Just 5 minutes outside Guadalupe (a small town within the Cerro Punta region) a path will lead you through the woodlands to reach the finca.