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The charming country town of El Valle is easily accessible from Panama City and the Azuero Peninsula and enjoys a cooler climate than the capital thanks to its altitude, making it a popular weekend hideaway for some of Panama's wealthy urbanites.

The town is nestled in the crater of an enormous extinct volcano, and although the five kilometre concave is less geologically obvious than it sounds, it can be admired from a viewpoint on the road descending into the crater.

The crater feels more like a valley (hence the town's name) and is one of the largest in the Americas, which is thought to be at least three million years old.

El Valle is a tranquil, secret hideaway with few tourists. Cool tropical forests filled with exotic birdlife, waterfalls and mountain streams attract birdwatchers, trekkers and those wanting to escape the hustle and bustle of Panama City for a few days.

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Map of El Valle

Places & hotels on the map