Volcan Baru National Park

Volcan Baru National Park, Boquete: Address, Phone Number, Volcan Baru National Park Reviews: 4.5/5

Volcan Baru National Park
Mountains • National Parks • Volcanoes
Panama's highest peak and only volcano at 3,478 meters offers sweeping ocean views and spectacular cloud forests from its summit.
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415 reviews
Very good

Phil R
7 contributions
Arrive early, unlike us.
Apr. 2021 • Couples
I read many reviews before arriving. Most people encouraged an early start on this hike (1-5am) and that it took 8 hours return to reach summit.

With that in mind, my wife and I (both 33yo and in fairly good condition) arrived around 10am for the East hike from Boquette. Our math was that sunset was 7pm and that gave us plenty of time to hike in the day. Maybe this was our mistake.

When we arrived, the ranger at the entrance was very concerned. Told us many times we were too late and unable to make it to the top because the park closed at 1pm (first time I had ever heard of this). He also pointed to a hand written notice that indicated we had to email a certain address to inform them we were coming (I’d guess as a COVID precaution - still, first I had ever heard of this).

After much negotiation, he let us pass provided that we did not try and make it to the summit, and that we returned by 2pm. We made it to the 8km mark and turned back.

All in all, it was beautiful and a long hard day (like we expected) but we kinda wish we had been able to summit.

Also, the drive from Boquete is a little confusing, and not well signed. Expect to drive about 10 mins into the mountain before actually arriving at the parking spot. Then you walk about 200m to the park entrance.
Written 27 April 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Karen K
Alto Boquete, Panama46 contributions
Volcan Baru National Park
Apr. 2020
My husband had once hiked this treacherous mountain. Took him 17 hours up and back. I decided to go with a 4x4 with my friend. You leave about 4:00 am to reach the top of the volcano at sunrise. The most magnificent sight I have ever seen at sunrise. 11,500 ft above the clouds overlooking Panamá! Very chilly so dress appropriately. A once in a lifetime trip! A must do!
Written 11 March 2021
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Domanins, Italy5 contributions
Fantastic by night
Jan. 2020 • Couples
One of the highlights of my trip in Panama. Started the hike at 23.30 and got on top by sunrise, just stunning. Took four more hours to walk back to the entrance. I hired a guide for 75 dollars in an agency in boquete but there were a lot of people hiking by themselves.
Highly recommended!
Written 16 June 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Prague, Czech Republic258 contributions
Sunrise hike
Jan. 2020
Top! A great hike for the sunrise. Not easy, not short, overnight. Really a gem, the views are top and well rewarding for the hike up and down!
Written 16 April 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Reno, NV12 contributions
Not worth the trouble to get up mountain
Mar. 2020 • Couples
The sunrise is okay. While it is cool to see two oceans, your excitement will be tempered by all of the radio towers on top. If you could get here in half an hour on a maintained road it would be worth doing. But the access road is worse than any 4x4 road I have ever been on at home. Whether you get there one way by 6 hours of hiking or 2 hours of Jeep riding the travel is terrible. Save your time and money and do something else.
Written 6 March 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Shelley R
23 contributions
Great sunrise
Feb. 2020 • Couples
Put on your long johns and expect the craziest bumpiest ride of your life. Young and dummers. Sunrise beautiful. Got a cheese sandwich and coffe for breakfast. It hit the spot. Certainly no warm breakfast. Guide was best in the country!!
Written 20 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

18 contributions
What a view!!!
Feb. 2020 • Friends
We were thinking about walking up to the vulcano baru, we knew that it was 13km each way, that if you want to see the sun rise most of the people start at 23:30 and we were prepared for all of that... but what we didn’t knew:

- boquete is more chilly then eg Panama City. although is dry season and temperatures are hot (23/27c) boquete has already own microclimate and it rains a bit. Nevertheless the vulcao it’s 3400m high, temperatures can drop to almost zero went walking up. It’s windy as well.

- the terrain is very challenging so you really need good hiking shoes to present injuries.

- the nacional park is trying to regulate more the hike up because a lot of people get injured, feel sick or cannot finish the walk because it’s too cold and they have hypothermia. We were told that to walk up it’s now mandatory to have a guide, but we keep seeing some people walking alone.

- only 60 people are allowed per day and 15 4x4 so either way you decide to go, plan in advance.

We got all this facts from a local waiter and we only need to thank him!! We end up deciding to go by 4x4 (maybe we lost a bit of the hike experience but we felt safer). Although it’s only 13k it takes 2 hours to drive up due to the terrain and road condition (the road it the same if you’re walking).
Our guide Plinio was amazing, with so much knowledge and information, born in town and a sun of the florest!

As a sum up, I really recommend you to check the top of the vulcano but if you plan to hike, make sure you came prepared with the right gear and be physically and mentally prepared for the challenge and altitude. If not, just go 4x4 you will enjoy the views also and can do and easier hike once you get back to boquete around 9am.
Written 19 February 2020
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

Jamina On Tour
Hulste, Belgium381 contributions
What a hike..
Nov. 2019 • Friends
After hearing a lot about the hike to see the sunrise, we also got out of bed around 11.30pm to start the hike around 00.30am. We didn't take the popular shuttle because we heard most people arrive too early at the top and then have to wait more than an hour in the cold before the sun rises.
The hike up is long and steep, but was do-able after all. Though probably not for everyone.. there was a clear sky while we were hiking, but.. once at the top, all we could see were clouds. No sun. And it's seriously cold. So we just hiked back down. The one beautiful foto here was a view we had for 10 seconds..
Personally, I would never do this again and wouldn't advice it. I think there are better options.
- Hike in the afternoon to see the sun go down and hike down in the dark
- Go up to camp out in the camping area and get up early, hike 45min to see the sunrise.
- Don't do the hike and go for another one haha
But good luck and strength to all who will do it!
Written 28 November 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

John W
David, Panama9 contributions
Climbing Volcan Baru
Mar. 2019
I am 60 years old and my son is 25. We climbed this quiet volcano from the Boquete side in March 2019, starting at 6 am as the sun was just coming up. It took us 4.5 hours to get to the top, 3.5 hours to descend. The trail head starts at about 5,000 ft amsl. The road was not in good shape, loose rock in many sections. These conditions make it hard to descend, forcing us to focus so as not to slip or twist an ankle. Climbing past the antennae section of the peak, there is a cross a bit further up. This stretch was more difficult, needing to use hands to pull ourselves up, with a few sections of knife edge that permitted views to Boquete and Cerro Punta. The top is 11,400 ft amsl. We brought a wind jacket, which we used while we ate, otherwise we climbed in shorts and t-shirts. Snacks and water and comfortable hiking boots are a must. Neither of us experienced altitude sickness even though my son lives near sea level. He is very fit, at 200 lbs, an avid gym exerciser. I am a mountain biker, 165 lbs, and live at 4,700 ft amsl. It was cloudy enough on the horizon that we were not able to see the oceans. Still a great day, spent with my son.
Written 8 October 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

304 contributions
Physically Demanding but an Excellent Hike
Jan. 2019
In January, I hiked to the summit of Volcan Baru. I say it was a success based on the fact that I did it, and by no means was it stylish. However, every experience presents itself with learning opportunities.

I Travel Alone for a Reason- One of the questions that I am always asked by people who follow the website is “Why I never travel with other people”. The truth is, I am not a fan of being beholden to others’ timelines unless I’m getting paid for it. In addition, I hop around so much and cover so much ground in a single trip, I frankly don’t think others could keep pace. This belief was reinforced last night when I met a nice German couple who wanted to do the hike with me. Despite my preference to fly solo and even though they told me they weren’t in great shape, I figured it would be a nice opportunity to meet other people and I could save a little money on the taxi. I told them to meet me at the front of the hotel at 630 AM sharp the morning of the hike as I had arranged a cab to take us. Sure enough, 630 AM rolls around and the cab pulls up. However, the couple was no where to be seen. Being the nice guy that I am, I decided to look for them for 10 minutes. Eventually, the cab driver had to leave and so I left them and was stuck with a $20 USD cab ride. Ironically, I saw them 6 hours later as I was halfway down (they were still going up). They told me they were having their morning coffee in the kitchen and didn’t think I was serious when I said we were leaving at 630 sharp. That is why I travel alone…….

Not Every Mountain is Equal- So this isn’t the first mountain I’ve climbed, however I found out the hard way that some mountains are harder than others. The last mountain I climbed was Mount Halla on Jeju Island. Mount Halla also took me about 8 hours and was 9.6 km. However, most of it was via a steady incline and there were plenty of people on the trail. I took that mindset into this hike, and while I expected it to be long time wise, I wasn’t prepared for how difficult the hike was. I was sucking wind 1.5 km in and the ascent was 13.5 kms (with a return of that same distance). In addition, I was the only going up while those that were coming down were few and far between. The most important difference was the difficulty, out of the 27 kms (up and back) that I walked, 18 kms were on an incline of over 6% grade. I definitely would not have been able to do this hike 3 months ago (and I was barely able to do it now). Research is important, especially when it comes to mountain climbing

Water and Food are Essential- I feel extremely stupid writing this one, but this is probably the number one reason why I had a miserable time on this hike. In my infinite wisdom, I brought only a liter and a half of water and a pack of Skittles on a 16-mile hike. I was fortunate that I didn’t have to deal with the full force of the Panamanian sun, or I probably wouldn’t be alive to write this. Historically, I been in such good shape that I am able to persevere with minimal water intake. The difference now is I’m almost 30 and I wasn’t going on 17-mile hikes up 3500-meter volcanoes. I found out today how important a sufficient water supply is given that there wasn’t even a creek to get dirty water out of in the whole hike. I was spoiled into thinking that there would either be food shacks at the entrance or locals hustling water and food along the trail. The point is, even in the United States, snacks and water bottles are cheap enough to where you should never have to rely on others to save you because you embarked on a hike unprepared.

You Can Get a Workout Walking- When I’m home in the United States, I live a pretty regimented lifestyle health wise. I average 2 marathons a month long-distance running, do CrossFit, and only eat fresh foods that I have specifically prepared. One of my biggest concerns about long-term traveling is that the life style will lose many of my “gains” I had worked for in the months prior. Although I try to do fairly strenuous activities when traveling, it doesn’t make up for running 20 miles a week or doing wall-balls on 6-minute rotations. My diet also tends to go down the drain on the road. However, I learned today that enough walking under strenuous conditions can leave you just as sore as one of the aforementioned exercises.

Satisfaction Stems from the Struggle- If you would have asked me at 1130 AM when I was struggling in the scorching Panamanian sun climbing 1 km at a 12% incline how I felt, I would have probably included a few choice four letter words in my response. Ask that same question after seeing a group of “hikers” drive down the summit in a four-wheeler, punches may have been thrown. It is true, that as with most circumstances in life, having enough money will simplify things. However, I can’t help but think (now that I am not worried about getting down alive) that the summit itself was nice, but it was going through the experience (and overcoming) that made it that much better. Sure, I could have paid $150 USD to get escorted to the top, but then would I be able to write this blog about the lessons I learned along the wat? Point is…. the easy way of doing something isn’t always necessarily the best way of doing it.
Written 7 September 2019
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC.

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