Parque Natural Metropolitano (Metropolitan National Park) Tours

This amazingly accessible park claims to be Latin America's only municipal wildlife reserve, draped luxuriantly across 232 hectares (573 acres) in the city center. Though not exactly pristine (it was a key staging area the 1989 US invasion), it remains a remarkably well-preserved dry tropical forest, one of the world's most threatened biomes, walking distance from the modern city.

Though hikers never quite escape the drone of civilization, it's easy to forget when wandering 4km (2.5mi) of trails along the Curundo River and up Mirador Cerro Cedro (150m/492ft), the second highest spot in the city. Squirrel monkeys (mono titis), two- and three-toed sloths, coatis, green iguanas, toucans, and many other animals call the park home.

Practical Info

Any Albrook Station bus to the Gran Terminal can drop you at the Universidad de Panamá at Curundo, though taxis are more convenient.

The dry tropical forest is characterized by trees that shed their leaves from December to May, when it's easier to spot wildlife.
Address: Avenida Juan Pablo II, between Avenida Ascanio Villalaz and Calle Amistad, Panamá City 0843-03129, Panama
Hours: Open 7am - 5pm daily
Admission: US$2
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