Between all the Panama City modern infrastructure, busy city life and crazy driving, you will find a little hill in the back with a Panamanian flag on the top.
This hill is surrounded by nature, located just ten minutes outside the city and is home to a variety of flora and fauna. Cerro Ancon a piece of jungle in the city.
The Cerro Ancon is a famous tourist destination and with an altitude of 199 meters, it is the highest natural point in Panama City. The flag is 15 meters wide and the guard told us that they have to change it every month due to the high winds from the Pacific (up to 140 km/h).
You can get to Cerro Ancon by taking the Avenida Balboa Metro Bus or by taxi ($3 from town) and the bus will drop you off at the entrance. You will have to walk about 100 meters through Mi Pueblito, up the stairs and through the guard station. There are also tour buses that can take you up to the top of the hill.
The walk to the top is not difficult and takes around 30 minutes. It is uphill but not terribly steep so you don’t need to be in tip top shape. Make sure to keep your eyes open because you will see a variety of birds, insects and animals, I saw some of the biggest spiderwebs I’ve ever seen.
We didn’t see too many locals there, just a few who were using the hill to exercise.
A man riding his bike passed us along the way and although walking is not difficult, I can imagine biking can be quite a bit harder! I definitely couldn’t do it but I’m sure it’s worth it because right when you get to the top of the hill, you get the best view of Panama City and Casco Antiguo.
There are a few different lookout points spread out on the hill that you can get different views of the city. It’s a beautiful view and it’s almost unbelievable to look around you, surrounded by jungle and then look down at this completely modern city.
Cerro Ancon is a quick trip and is a great place for photo opportunities. If you are interested in taking sunrise/sunset photos or wildlife pictures, I suggest getting there early in the morning when more birds, sloths and animals are out and about.
It’s a short hike and it leaves your afternoon open to visit the canal (like we did) or enjoy the rest of the afternoon with other activities.
How to get there
Avenida Balboa Metro Bus or by taxi ($3 from town)
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