El Valle de Anton is a small mountain valley town located in an ancient volcanic crater. The beauty and temperate climate of the area are partly why this is a popular weekend getaway for locals as well as a preferred tourist destination. The best part is that despite it’s popularity it retains it’s sleepy village charm and never feels overrun with tourists.
In spite of its small size El Valle offers plenty of things to enjoy in a few days or weekend, especially for those who come to Panama to enjoy it’s natural beauty.
Activities available include zip lining, hiking, a small zoo, bike riding, thermal waters, horse back riding and nothing has to be planned ahead of time except perhaps the hotel. El Valle is very tourist friendly and if your hotel isn’t much help with information you can check with the local tourist booth on the main street next to the outdoor market.
You can take a direct bus, about 2 hours, from the Albrook Terminal. They leave about every 1/2 hour and it costs $3.50 each way. The latest you want to leave is 6PM, after that you will arrive late in El Valle and there won’t be many options for dinner. Some advice about the bus, while physically the seating is comfortable some find the drivers’ speed to be excessive, the last 1/2 hour is through windy roads in the hills, for those who suffer motion sickness take this into consideration. Also always bring a jacket and perhaps some headphones on the bus, they crank up the air conditioning and the music quite loud.
Be sure to ask your hotel where to have the bus driver drop you off or arrange for them to pick you up in front of the market (el mercado) and to get around once you in El Valle you can rent bicycles, grab a taxi, or talk with your hotel about arranging transport.
By Rental Car:
This is the preferred method of transport to El Valle. The town is just 30-40 minutes from some great beaches, so with the rental car you have the freedom to head to the beach for a day if you choose.
You can’t help but feel at home in this beautifully decorated B&B. It’s a small place, 6 rooms, run by a very friendly and hospitable Costa Rican family. Breakfast is included in their prices and they offer dinner for a separate price, we highly recommend you try at least dinner once at the Casa Di Pietra, you won’t regret it. Note: They don’t allow kids so this is a better place for couples and/or friends traveling together. $60-$90
A popular choice in El Valle, this B&B has suites and individual guest rooms. They are famous for their beautiful gardens and surrounding scenery and of course the pool. In addition they have a great staff that will help you with organizing activities during your stay and with any questions or concerns you might have. $70-$130
This small hotel is one of the top rated hotels in the area, it is located right on the main street of El Valle and has it’s own restaurant next door, Bruschetta, which is very popular with locals and tourists. $55-$125