One of the most common adventures / day trips from Coronado is to travel up the mountain to a little town called El Valle. El Valle is actually a gorgeous little town located in the crater of a volcano, and is only about a 40 minute drive from Coronado.
Hike to the top of “La India Dormida” (the Sleeping Indian) and see the incredible view all the way to the ocean – an incredible experience. You will pass beautiful waterfalls and truly see nature at its best. If you love hiking, you will love this!
Then bathe in the nearby hot springs “Las Pozos Termales” (this costs about $3). Visit the colourful birds of Panama at the zoo “El Nispero”. You will see signs for these things along the main road that goes through the town.
If you are looking for an AMAZING dining experience while you’re there, I highly recommend Casa de Lourdes. You will see a white building as you drive into the town of El Valle, on the right hand side. It says “HONG KONG” on the front of the building in large letters. Turn RIGHT at the street right before it, and follow the signs to Los Mandarinos. You will turn left about a mile down the road and turn into Los Mandarinos. Then you will see the sign to turn RIGHT to Casa de Lourdes. Allow yourself at least an hour or two to really take in the ambiance and beauty of this place – you will feel like you are in the rolling hills of France.
Zip-lining is one of the main reasons that I like to go to El Valle. To find this, as you drive into El Valle, continue along to the end of the road until you see the hut on the left. You can pay $2 – 3 to just walk in, through the rainforest to see the waterfalls – beautiful! OR it costs $53 to zip-line and is worth every penny!
On the main street of El Valle, on the left side you will see the main outdoor market. You will find fruit, vegetables, tropical flowers, and an amazing selection of arts & crafts. My favourite jeweller is Antonio, and he can be found at the back right corner of the market. You may tell him Denise sent you (if you like). He carves metal pendants with beautiful and intricate designs – and he speaks excellent English!
Try to leave around 8am at the latest from Coronado, as it almost always rains in the afternoon in El Valle – particularly in the rainy season!
If I can be of any assistance with regards to suggestions, or if you are considering relocation to Panama, please feel free to contact me.