Cocle

Thanks to its proximity to Panama City, diverse scenery, and abundance of things to do from hiking to picturesque waterfalls to enjoying water activities at the beach, Cocle is one of the most visited provinces in Panama.  You can go for a quick day trip or spend numerous notable nights.

Cocle By Regions

Cocle can easily be divided into three distinct regions.  The Southern region offers coastal areas with several great Pacific beaches and full-service resorts in the Pacific Riviera.  The Northern region encompasses large expanses of highlands, national parks, and clouded mountain peaks.  The Western portion of the province is an agricultural hub most famous for the production of sugarcane, rice, cattle, shrimp, and citrus fruits.  Penonomé, the province capital, is also located there.
 
Turquoise waters, soft white beaches, and the soothing sounds of waves await you in Panama's Pacific Riviera. Just a little over an hour drive from the capital, the riviera is lined with all-inclusive resorts, friendly hostels, and private apartments, all available for rent. Cocle’s beaches - Santa Clara, San Carlos, Farallon, and Rio Hato among others - offer stretches of golden sand beaches along Panama’s Pacific coast. You can opt to spend an entire weekend or rent a picnic table, hammock, and chairs under a cabana for the day in one of the beach hotels and enjoy your day as you relax in the sand. 
 
Cocle also has forested mountain towns such as El Valle de Anton. The town of El Valle is located in the crater of an extinct volcano.  In El Valle, you will find experiences for every type of traveler. There is a botanical garden, a butterfly sanctuary called El Mariposario, an outdoor market with local handicrafts, and many restaurants to enjoy diverse cuisines.  Hiking, horseback riding, and cycling are also popular activities to do in El Valle. The temperatures are cooler to better enjoy the network of trails in the hills around the extinct volcano, La India Dormida. El Palmar and Las Pailas de Pozo Azul are beautiful waterfalls where you can relax, swim and enjoy the rich flora and fauna. 

Things to Do

Nestled between the lush hills of the highlands and the Azuero Peninsula, lies Penonomé, Cocle’s provincial capital. This hidden gem is not typically thought of as a tourist destination, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth visiting. Penonomé offers visitors a colorful array of cantinas, restaurants, shops, and lodging options.

A short drive away from Penonomé, visitors can explore the area’s history at El Caño Archaeological Park. Discovered in 1925, but not formally investigated until the 70s, the site at El Caño is home to several extensive burial grounds uncovering the existence of a pre-Colombian civilization that may have lived in the area between 700-1000 AD. Visitors get to walk along several paths throughout the sites including the burial pit where the warrior chief was discovered in 2011.

And while you’re in Cocle, don’t forget to get your “sombrero pintao!” Visit the town of La Pintada for the perfect Panamanian souvenir. Though not technically painted, the traditional  “painted hat” features stripes created by boiling the leaves of the Chisná plant together with natural reed, acorn, or pita fibers. Local artisans do it all by hand using techniques that have been handed down for generations. In fact, this legendary tradition has been recognized by UNESCO as an example of Intangible Cultural Heritage.
 
Cocle offers a wide variety of places to stay from family-friendly or all-inclusive beach and spa resorts overlooking the glistening blue Pacific Ocean to intimate mountain inns surrounded by incredibly lush mixtures of vegetation and wildlife.

Getting There

From Panama City, the beaches of Cocle are 72 miles and El Valle about 80 miles. A short two hours of easy driving time on the Pan American Highway from Panama City.

Cocle map

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Cocle

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