Things to do in Tierras Altas, Chiriqui (Chiriqui Highlands)

Welcome to Tierras Altas in Chiriquí, a beautiful place where the green of its mountains cover everything around you, the nice weather is one of the main tourist attraction. If you are looking for something to do in Cerro Punta, Volcán and you don't know other touristic sites, or don't know where and what to do?, in this post we'll show you everything. Tierras Altas is the perfect place to spend the weekend, it has a wide gastronomic offer in Volcán, Wonderful places to to stay in Bambito, agrotourism and handicrafts in Cerro Punta, among national parks, places to visit, hiking and contemplate our majestic Volcán Barú. And don't forget to visit Finca Dracula, one biggest botanical garden in Panamá and orchids collection of the world.

Location and District


District

The name "Distrito de Tierras Altas" is relatively new since it was officially recognized in 2017.

Lo que los panameños piensan que son las tierras altas

This causes confusion to lots panamenians because "Tierras Altas" is colloquially used to describe the mountanious region of Chiriquí that includes a Boquete, Cerro Punta and Volcán wich is very different to the district.

When it was constituted; it did not included Boquete, one of the most known towns of the province that is located in the mountains too.

What does the Tierras Altas District cover?

The region covers from Cuesta de Piedra to  Cerro Punta.

Tierras Altas de Chiriquí

Other names:

There are people that use the names of some towns located in this district to call the entire zone.

Mainly they call it: 

Volcán
Bambito
Cerro Punta

The Zones or Towns

The towns that cover the district of Tierras Altas and its names are also a confusion source.

The visitors divide the zones in: Cuesta de Piedra, Volcan, Bambito and  Cerro Punta

When you speak with a local he or she will use the most specific name of the town or area where something is located, wich disorients a lot.

When you are looking for a place to go and stay, all of these zones are close one to another and most of the streets are in good condition. 

Cuesta de Piedra

It's the lowest elevation region in the district (~800 mts), known because of viewpoint (Chicheme), dairies and Macho de Monte (Cangilones).

Its zones: 

  • Las tumbas
  • Bijao

Volcán

It's known for the lakes, the flowers parade, restaurants and hotels.

Its zones:

  • Volcan
  • California
  • Dos Rios
  • Coquito

Bambito

It's famous thanks to the Bambito Hotel, tout farming, the sight to the Chiriquí Viejo River and the vegetable distributors.

Its zones:

  • Paso Ancho
  • Bambito
  • Nueva Suiza

Cerro Punta

Cerro Punta is the highest ekevation zone, with more than 2000 meters above the sea level. It is famous for the panamenians beacause it's the place where most of the vegetables that are consumed in the country come from.

Cerro Punta has beautiful vegetables landscapes, cold weather, strawberry farming, race horses, houses with gardens full of flowers and Finca Dracula (Orchid collection).

The main street in Cerro Punta goes around the area in the form of a circle, going through three of its main zones.

Its zones:

  • Guadalupe
  • Cerro Punta Pueblo
  • Las Nubes
  • Entre Ríos
  • Las Cumbres
  • Alto Pineda
  • La Garita

¡Visíte Finca Dracula!

La temporada 2019 ya terminó, planifique su visita para el próximo año

Hiking Trails


The Tierras Altas region of Chiriqui has a great selection of Hiking trails that are not too crowded. It is also home to some of the most biodiverse regions in the word with its cloud forests, home to rare plant and animal species. Therefore, it is one of the best things to do in Tierras Altas. In the following list we'll show you all the trails and we are constantly adding new guides of these trails with videos.

  • PILA (Parque Internacional La Amistad) – Las Nubes, Cerro Punta
  • PILA (Parque Internacional La Amistad) – Guadalupe, Cerro Punta
  • Parque Nacional Volcan Barú, Estación de Volcán – Paso Ancho, Bambito
  • Parque Nacional Volcan Barú, Climb to the Volcano – Paso Ancho, Bambito
  • Parque Nacional Volcan Barú, Sendero Los Quetzales – Bajo Mono, Cerro Punta
  • Cerro Punta, Climb to the hill – Las Nubes, Cerro Punta
  • Hotel Bambito, Climb to the viewpoint – Bambito
  • Finca Ceriana – Walking trails
  • Volcan Eco Tours, Walking trail – Volcán
  • El Trueno Waterfall – Cuesta de Piedra
  • Finca Jansson – Lagunas de Volcan (Volcan’s lakes), Volcán
  • Las Fresas trail – Guadalupe, Cerro Punta
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We recommend to begin the trails early  in the morning because it tends to rain in the afternoons. There are many different trails to choose from, for all types of visitors. Some may require a guide.

Swimming Places


With the amount of water that there is in this region of Tierras Altas, it feeds lots of amazing rivers, brooks and lakes. That's why we recommend you to explore them and if you are brave enough don't think about it twice and try to dive in them. One of the things to do in Tierras Altas is to explore these funny places. 

These are the most famous places for the visitors and locals.

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  • Cangilones de Macho de Monte – Cuesta de Piedra
  • Pozos Termales de Volcán (thermal wells) – Volcán
  • Mountain River Lake Cabins
  • Charquita del Changualito
  • La Fuente – Volcán
  • Las Monjas Waterfall

The rivers and waterfalls, the more altitude above the sea level they have, the colder they get. They can decrease 14 Celsius (57,2 Fahrenheit), but don't let it scare you, besides you should be careful with the flash flood. Do not go to rivers in rainy season, even if it looks like there's no rain, in the inner mountain could be heavily raining... 

Attractions 


The Tierras Altas District has the most fertile soils of the country and the kindest weather for the plants, that's why it's known among the panamanians for being the source of lots of the farm products we consume. For that reason most of its tourist attractions, specially in the internal tourism, is focused in the agriculture and cattle raising. 
This conditions next to the love of the residents for the plants is reflected in a tradition for keeping beautiful gardensi in their houses and in greenhouses of amazing plants like the orchids of Finca Dracula.

This list will show you the main attractions of the zone.

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Many of the tourist attractions of Tierras Altas have schedules and variable opening days. We'd recommend to call to make sure that they are open the day you want to visit it.

  • Volcan Canopy Park

    Ziplining – Volcán More info here

  • Haras Cerro Punta

    Racing horses – Guadalupe, Cerro Punta More info here

  • Finca Dracula

    Botanical Garden and Orchid Collection, Guadalupe, Cerro Punta More info here

  • Sitio Barriles

    Archeological Site with lots of pre-Columbian History – Volcán More info here

  • Anef

    Agricultural tour – Cerro Punta Pueblo, Cerro Punta

  • Finca Janson

    Coffee tour and coffeeshop – Volcán More info here

  • Finca Guardia

    Pony, buffalo and donkeys hatchery – Volcán

  • Finca Ceriana

    Geisha Coffee Tour More info here

  • Hotel Bambito

    Trout Farm and Fishing – Bambito

  • Hotel Casa Grande

    Tubing and Ziplining – Bambito

  • Museo de Volcán

    Memorabilia e historia de la zona – Volcán

  • Sloth bear rescue

  • Cerro Punta SA

    Vegetables, strawberries and flowers growing – Cerro Punta More info here

  • Guadalupe Town

    Walk through the town and explore its houses full of flowers and gardens – Cerro Punta

  • Flowers Parade

    Vegetables, strawberries and flowers growing – Volcán More info here

¡Visíte Finca Dracula!

en Cerro Punta, Chiriquí

Gastronomy


Having the freshest ingredients and close, allow to the restaurants and cafeterias of Tierras Altas to offer delicious food with affordable prices and it's something we recommend you to take advantage of.

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  • Restaurante Mary – Panamanian – Volcán
  • Cerro La Bruja – Gourmet – Volcán
  • Wandering Sloth – USA – Paso Ancho, Bambito
  • Aqui va la Niña – Hamburgers – Volcán
  • Bistro Coffee – Hamburgers
  • Cuesta de Piedra’s viewpoint – Chicheme and Cafeteria – Cuesta de Piedra
  • Nubia – Strawberries and cream – Guadalupe, Cerro Punta
  • Yadira – Strawberries and cream – Guadalupe, Cerro Punta
  • Mirador de Fresas – Strawberries and cream – Guadalupe, Cerro Punta
  • Finca Janson’s cafeteira – Coffee – Volcán
  • Finca Dracula – Coffee and Strawberries and cream – Guadalupe, Cerro Punta

Tierras Altas is the favorite place to eat strawberries and cream  with a coffee of the area or a hot chocolate. You can also find the creamy chicheme of Chiriquí, strawberry or blackberry ice cream and huevitos de leche (handmade traditional candy) to take home and share with your friends and family.

This post is also available in: Spanish