There is no need to arrange a tour to come here, you can easily get there by taxi asking for "El Parque Metropolitano". The trails inside are very well signed making it very easy to explore. You will get a park map at the visitor centre and that is enough to find your way around.
The Metropolitan National Park is a 232 hectares forest located in Panama City. It is the only protected area with tropical forest in Central America that is located within city boundaries. The Park became protected by law as of July 5th, 1985.This place is perfect for nature lovers as it offers several walking trails around the park for you to enjoy the great diversity of flora and fauna.
Some of the tree species that you can admire here are the wild cashew, luehea semannii, gumbo-limbo, guanacaste and yellow mombin, amongst others.
Some of the birds nesting here include the broad-winged hawk, the orange-chinned parakeet, the dusky antbird and the blue-grey tanager, and some of the mammals living in this beautiful location are the brown-throated sloth, geoffroy's tamarin (Mono Titi) also known as the Panamanian, the white-nosed coati, the Central American agouti, and four species of bat.
There are two great lookout points in the park:
Los Caobos lookout point, 140 meters above sea level where you can see El Dorado shopping area and two other national parks connected to the Metropolitan Park: the Soberania National Park and the Camino de Cruces.
Cerro Cedro lookout point, which is the highest point in the park and the 2nd highest point in Panama City at 150 meters above sea level, where you can see the Causeway, Taboga Island, the Panama Canal Pacific side, the Bridge of the Americas, and Ancon Hill.
Monday to Friday - 7am - 5.30pm, Saturdays 8am - 1pm
Adults: USD 2; Children: USD 0.50
English guide: USD 5 per person in the group. Reservation required 24hrs in advance.
The Park also offers a unique experience for nature lovers and bird watchers alike. You can ask to be onboard the canopy crane, set up by the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute in Panama to study this tropical forest canopy, and meet the highest part of the forest. The crane is about 35 meters high and operates with a radius of 40 meters; this allows you to see about 180,000 cubic meters of forest and one of the best views of Panama City. This will need to be booked in advance and it is only available for 5 people at the time (four + one guide). This is quoted in case by case bases depending on the day, hour and group size but the average price is USD 100 per person and it includes a 50 minute tour on the crane + two hour guided tour of the park trails. You might also get different price offers from tour operators.
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"The greatest reward and luxury of travel is to be able to experience everyday things as if for the first time" - Bill Bryson