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Jungle in the city and we saw a sloth!

sunny 30 °C


Our last day in Panama City, we gave up on the idea of going to the beach as we will be on the coast in a few days anyway . Instead we headed to Metropolitan Natural Park - a mini jungle within the city limits, just 15 minutes taxi from our hostel. Looking at a map it was very close to the Albrook Mall that we visited the other day so I thought a US$4 offer to a taxi should suffice. And sure enough it did, as the first taxi we came across who already had a passenger in the back, nodded his head in agreement with my destination and price written on a piece of paper. The passenger was dropped off around the corner and we were on our way. Driver turned out to be a cool dude who pointed out assorted landmarks and buildings along the way. And also taught us a the Spanish words for some the of the many fruit available in Panama. Also, during the 15 minute ride, we managed to have a conversation about the local beer and which one we all preferred. How we got from fruit to beer I'm not quite sure, but I think it may have been the name of the suburb we were driving through was also the name of a Panama beer: Bilboa.

So we were dropped off at the park entrance where we paid our US$4 entry fee and were given a quick run down of the walking tracks. Within 10 minutes of walking up the first track we had see lizards, turtles and a sloth so we were pretty happy.


We walked around on the paths for a couple of hours which was mostly shaded thank goodness as it was again another hot day. Rain had been forecast but it did not look like it was going to happen today. We saw a few other animals but really our day was already made by the sloth sighting.

We had a picnic lunch at the park before managing to flag down a taxi to take us back to Casco Viejo for the same price of US$4.

Just half an hour after returning to the hostel it did actually rain, well about 10 drops fell from the sky so I guess that counts, but that was all. We relaxed the rest of the afternoon, had a few drinks with David (an American bloke we met here at the hostel).

As we are departing tomorrow for our next destination it was time to repack our bags. Being in one place for a few days has its disadvantage of us being able to empty our bags completely over the days being here. The hostel did our bag of washing for US$4 (it was 5kg) so that we are starting off again with clean clothes.

We are heading north to our next stop Santa Catalina on the coast. Tomorrow is a full travel day, with the first bus from Panama City to Sona being 6-7 hours and then another bus from Sona to Santa Catalina 1-2 hours - all going well that is.

Not sure if we will have internet for the next 4 days so we may be off the grid and will catch up at our next stop.

A couple of kilometres north of central Panama City, the 2.65-square-kilometre Parque Natural Metropolitano is an unspoilt tract of tropical rainforest that is home to more than two hundred species of birds and mammals, including Geoffroy’s tamarin monkeys, white-tailed deer, sloths and agoutis. It’s possible to complete the four main trails in just a few hours; the best of these is the combined La Cienaguita and Mono Titi trail (3km), which leads to a mirador with views across the forest to the city.

Posted by Cindy Bruin 19:27 Archived in Panama

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Cool photos. Love the Sloth. Hope your long travel day goes well!

by Mandy Young

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