A Hiker's Guide To The Volcán Barú

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The Volcán Barú.

The Volcán Barú is also known as the Volcán de Chiriqui in Boquete, Panama. This volcano is the tallest in Panama reaching a height of 3,747 metres. Situated in the western province of Chiriqui, the volcano is surrounded by picturesque views of mountains and valleys.

Currently the volcano is dormant, allowing for great hiking trips up and down the volcano to discover the beautiful views of Boquete in Panama. Planned hiking tours take many travellers safely up and down the volcano over the course of either a day or a couple of days depending on the type of trip you are looking to go on.

This volcano has become one of the most visited places for people travelling through Boquete. The top of the volcano is the only known place where both the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans can be seen at the same time, making the peak of the mountain a golden site opportunity to include on a trip to Boquete.

The trip up the volcano is by no means easy. If you are planning to make this journey, make sure you are fit and able to do the long climb up the volcano. The volcano is able to be hiked all year long with perhaps the best time to hike theVolcán Barú being in the dry season. The dry season is months December to April.

What to expect on your trip:

Depending on the trip you choose to go on, you will either start your expedition in the early hours of the morning and finish your hike at the end of the day, or decide to stay a night camping and hike up the mountain one day and come back down the next. Camping is a great way to get the most out of your trip and enjoy much of your journey by taking in many of the views from the Volcán Barú.

Things to consider:

    • Near the top of the mountain, temperatures can drop by quite a lot with some strong winds. Ensure you take some thermal or warm clothing to keep your body temperature up whilst you’re at the peak of the volcano
    • The journey up the mountain is very long and you walk through mostly jungle paths until you get to the top
    • There isn’t anywhere for you to get drinking water whilst on your journey. Ensure you take enough water in your back pack
    • There are no toilet facilities on your hike, so be aware of this and take some toilet roll
    • There are tapirs in the jungle that are known to be vicious; an idea may be to take pepper spray with you in case one gets too close and attacks! This is very rare and they are mostly only ever heard in the distance
    • If you can be at the peak at dawn, you will get some of the best and clearest views in the morning

Hiking Information

What you need to take with you on your hiking trip:

    • A good strong decent backpack that you can carry all your things in. Make sure it has comfortable straps.

    • Keep hydrated with at least 4 litres of drinking water.

    • Meals are provided but you will need snacks, chocolate bars and energy bars to help keep you going

    • Good walking shoes in good condition for hiking, take along a couple of blister plasters, just in case your shoes rub

    • A digital camera with enough batteries and memory space for you to record your journey. There are so many photo opportunities that you will want to ensure you have enough battery power!

    • A rain coat or waterproof jacket will be needed for the times when it rains and for when it gets colder as you move up the mountain

    • Make sure you have lots of energy and a high level of stamina to make your adventurous journey up the volcano

    • Take sun-screen, waterproof clothing, long trousers, flashlights and toilet roll



For other essentials you may need to pack whilst backpacking, see our backpackers guide to travelling through Panama.

A typical Volcán Barú Hiking Tour Itinerary (1 Day)

Cost approximately: $75 per person

    • There is a 5 a.m. start from Habla Ya

    • It takes roughly 30 minutes to reach the Volcan Baru's National Park (Entrance fee required of $5)

    • Begin the trek taking 4 - 6 hours to reach the top of the Volcano

    • You will have 1 - 2 hours to see the views whilst having breakfast or lunch

    • The hike down takes 3.5 to 5.5 hours depending on each group

    • Another 30 minutes to drive back to Boquete

Volcan Baru Camping Tour Itinerary (2 Days, 1 Night)

Cost approximately: $175 per person

    • This trip starts at a later time of 8:30 a.m. at the meeting point, Habla Ya

    • It takes roughly 30 minutes to reach the Volcan Baru's National Park (Entrance fee required of $5)

    • The hike begins at 9:30 a.m

    • 3:00 - 5:00 p.m. Arrive to "Los Fogones" Camping Site, setup camp and cook dinner

    • At 5:10 a.m. in the morning, you will start hiking up the last part to the top of the Volcano

    • You will reach the top of the volcano at roughly 6:00 a.m. to watch the beautiful sunrise

    • 7:00 a.m. - 8:00 a.m. Head back to camping site to rest, have breakfast and get ready to return back down the volcano

    • The hike down takes 3.5 to 5.5 hours depending on each group

    • Another 30 minutes to drive back to Boquete

When you finish the hike, a good 12 hour rest is needed to help you recover and regain some of your strength for more adventurous activities around Boquete. We suggest you stay in a hostel that can provide you with every luxury you need when you come back from your trek. Wondering where to stay in Boquete, Panama? Take a look at what Casa Pedro has to offer.