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Los Cangilones De Gualaca In Chiriqui, Panama


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Bert Burnell



Welcome to Los Cangilones De Gualaca, a hidden gem nestled in the heart of Chiriqui, Panama. This natural wonderland is a must-visit destination for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike. Los Cangilones De Gualaca is renowned for its stunning rock formations, crystal-clear turquoise waters, and breathtaking scenery. Whether you’re looking to relax by the water, explore the surrounding nature, or engage in thrilling activities, Los Cangilones De Gualaca has something to offer for everyone.


Located just a short distance from the town of Gualaca, Los Cangilones is a series of narrow canyons created by the erosion of Gualaca River over millions of years. These canyons, with their towering walls of smooth rock, form natural swimming pools and provide a picturesque setting for visitors to enjoy.


The unique geology of Los Cangilones De Gualaca is a major draw for visitors from around the world. The clear, calm waters of the canyons offer the perfect opportunity for swimming, kayaking, or simply cooling off on a hot day. The serenity of the surrounding environment, coupled with the stunning natural beauty, makes Los Cangilones De Gualaca an ideal spot for relaxation and rejuvenation.


Besides its natural beauty, Los Cangilones De Gualaca also has cultural significance. The area is considered sacred by the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé people, who have been living in harmony with the land for centuries. It is believed that the canyons are a special place of spiritual connection and healing.


Whether you’re a nature lover, a thrill-seeker, or someone seeking a tranquil escape, Los Cangilones De Gualaca offers an unforgettable experience. So, pack your bags, grab your camera, and get ready to immerse yourself in the natural splendor of this incredible destination.


Location and Geology of Los Cangilones De Gualaca

Los Cangilones De Gualaca is located in the province of Chiriqui, Panama, near the town of Gualaca. Situated in the western part of the country, Chiriqui is known for its lush landscapes, misty mountains, and abundant biodiversity. The region is a popular destination for nature lovers and adventure enthusiasts.


The geological formation of Los Cangilones De Gualaca is truly unique. Over millions of years, the Gualaca River has carved its way through the rock, creating narrow canyons with steep, smooth walls. The erosion process has resulted in natural pools and swimming holes that are perfect for cooling off and enjoying the pristine waters.


The rock formations at Los Cangilones are composed mainly of volcanic and sedimentary rocks. The volcanic rocks are remnants of ancient volcanic activity in the region, while the sedimentary rocks represent layers of sediments deposited over time. These geological formations provide a captivating backdrop for visitors to admire and explore.


One notable feature of Los Cangilones De Gualaca is the turquoise color of the water. This striking hue is a result of the high mineral content in the rocks and the refraction of sunlight. The combination of the azure water and the towering rock walls creates a mesmerizing and picturesque setting that is truly unforgettable.


The canyons vary in width, with some areas narrow enough for visitors to touch both sides with outstretched arms. The depths of the canyons also differ, offering options for both swimmers and non-swimmers. The crystal-clear waters are generally calm, making it safe for individuals of all ages to enjoy the beauty of Los Cangilones.


Located amidst the lush tropical rainforest, Los Cangilones De Gualaca is also home to an array of plant and animal species. This biodiversity adds another layer of fascination to the already captivating landscape. Visitors may be lucky enough to spot colorful birds, butterflies, and even small mammals while exploring the area.


Overall, the location and geology of Los Cangilones De Gualaca make it an enchanting destination that showcases the stunning beauty and natural wonders of Panama’s Chiriqui province.


History and Cultural Significance

Los Cangilones De Gualaca holds not only geological significance but also a rich history and cultural importance. The area has been inhabited for centuries by the indigenous Ngäbe-Buglé people, who have a deep spiritual connection to the land.


For the Ngäbe-Buglé community, Los Cangilones is considered a sacred place. It is believed to be a gateway between the physical and spiritual realms, a site where the natural and supernatural worlds converge. The Ngäbe-Buglé people hold ceremonies and rituals in the canyons, seeking spiritual guidance, healing, and blessings.


The canyons have played a vital role in the cultural traditions and spiritual practices of the Ngäbe-Buglé. They believe that the waters of Los Cangilones possess healing powers and are a source of spiritual rejuvenation. It is not uncommon to see visitors participating in rituals and cleansing ceremonies guided by Ngäbe-Buglé tribal leaders.


The historical significance of Los Cangilones De Gualaca extends beyond its indigenous heritage. The area has been an important gathering place for the local community for centuries. In the past, it served as a meeting point for trade and social gatherings, fostering connections and strengthening relationships among different groups.


Over time, Los Cangilones has gained recognition as a tourist destination, attracting visitors from all over the world who seek out its natural beauty and want to experience the cultural heritage of the Ngäbe-Buglé people. The tourism industry provides economic opportunities for the local community, helping to preserve their traditions and way of life.


In recent years, efforts have been made to protect and preserve the cultural and natural significance of Los Cangilones. Local organizations, together with indigenous leaders and government authorities, have worked to implement sustainable tourism practices, ensuring that the site is conserved and respected by visitors.


Visiting Los Cangilones De Gualaca is not just about enjoying its stunning landscapes; it is also an opportunity to learn about the rich history and cultural significance of the area. By understanding and respecting the traditions of the Ngäbe-Buglé people, visitors can truly appreciate the spiritual and cultural importance that Los Cangilones holds.


As you explore the canyons and immerse yourself in the natural beauty, take a moment to reflect on the profound cultural heritage that makes Los Cangilones De Gualaca a truly extraordinary destination.


Activities and Attractions

Los Cangilones De Gualaca offers a plethora of activities and attractions for visitors to enjoy. Whether you’re seeking adventure, relaxation, or simply want to immerse yourself in the beauty of nature, there is something for everyone in this stunning destination.


One of the main attractions at Los Cangilones is swimming in the natural pools formed by the canyons. The crystal-clear turquoise waters provide a refreshing escape from the heat, and the smooth rock walls create a tranquil and picturesque setting. Jumping off the cliffs into the deep pools is a popular activity for thrill-seekers, while others prefer to float lazily on the calm surface.


Kayaking or canoeing along the river is another popular activity at Los Cangilones. As you paddle through the canyons, you’ll have the opportunity to explore hidden corners and appreciate the striking rock formations from a unique perspective. The peacefulness of the surrounding environment makes it an ideal setting for a leisurely paddle.


If you’re an avid hiker, you’ll be thrilled to know that Los Cangilones De Gualaca offers various trails for exploration. Trekking through the lush rainforest and alongside the canyons allows you to truly connect with nature. You may even come across exotic flora and fauna during your hike, adding to the adventure.


For nature photographers, Los Cangilones provides endless opportunities to capture breathtaking shots. The play of light and shadow on the rock walls, the vibrant colors of the water, and the surrounding greenery offer stunning compositions. Whether you’re a professional or an amateur photographer, you’ll be inspired by the beauty that unfolds at every turn.


Another attraction is the opportunity to learn about the indigenous culture of the Ngäbe-Buglé people. Local guides can share stories and insights into their traditions and beliefs, providing a deeper understanding of the cultural significance of Los Cangilones. Participating in a traditional ceremony or observing a tribal dance performance can be a truly enriching experience.


When visiting Los Cangilones De Gualaca, make sure to take the time to relax and soak in the peaceful atmosphere. Find a cozy spot along the riverbank, read a book, or simply listen to the gentle sounds of nature. This tranquil setting offers a perfect escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life.


Whether you choose to swim, kayak, hike, photograph, or simply unwind, the activities and attractions at Los Cangilones De Gualaca guarantee a memorable experience. So, prepare yourself for an adventure-filled journey or a blissful retreat in this remarkable natural wonderland.


Wildlife and Nature

Los Cangilones De Gualaca is not only a stunning geological wonder but also a thriving ecosystem teeming with diverse wildlife and lush natural beauty. As you explore the canyons and surrounding areas, you’ll have the chance to encounter a wide array of flora and fauna.


The rich biodiversity of the area makes it a paradise for nature enthusiasts and wildlife lovers. The dense rainforest that surrounds Los Cangilones is home to a variety of plant species, including towering trees, colorful orchids, and tropical ferns. Take a leisurely hike along the trails, and you’ll be able to witness the vibrant colors and intoxicating scents of the rainforest.


The canyons themselves provide shelter and habitat for a range of animal species. Keep your eyes peeled, and you might spot colorful birds darting among the branches or perched on the canyon walls. Species such as toucans, hummingbirds, and parrots are commonly seen in the area, adding a splash of color to the already picturesque landscape.


But it’s not just avian creatures that call Los Cangilones home. The canyons also provide a haven for small mammals, including monkeys, squirrels, and coatis. These elusive creatures may be spotted as you traverse the trails or kayak along the river. Take a moment to appreciate their presence and observe their natural behaviors from a respectful distance.


The waters of Los Cangilones are also home to various species of fish. With the crystal-clear visibility, you can glimpse these aquatic creatures as they swim through their natural habitat. It’s not uncommon to see schools of colorful fish darting through the rocks or lazily floating in the calm pools.


As with any natural habitat, it’s important to respect and protect the wildlife and nature of Los Cangilones De Gualaca. Remember to observe from a distance, avoid disturbing nesting sites or feeding animals, and follow any guidelines or instructions provided by local guides or authorities.


Whether you’re a dedicated bird-watcher, a nature photographer, or simply someone who appreciates the beauty of the natural world, Los Cangilones De Gualaca offers a captivating experience. Immerse yourself in the lush rainforest, listen to the melodic calls of birds, and marvel at the intricate balance of the ecosystem that makes this destination a haven for both wildlife and nature enthusiasts.


How to Get to Los Cangilones De Gualaca

Getting to Los Cangilones De Gualaca is relatively straightforward, and there are several transportation options available to reach this natural wonder in the heart of Chiriqui, Panama.


If you’re arriving by air, the nearest major airport is Enrique Malek International Airport (DAV) in David, which serves domestic and international flights. From the airport, you can hire a taxi or take a shuttle service to Gualaca, the closest town to Los Cangilones. The journey takes approximately 45 minutes to an hour, depending on traffic.


If you’re already in Panama, you can also travel to Los Cangilones De Gualaca by bus. Several bus companies operate regular services from Panama City to David, which is the gateway to Chiriqui province. Once you reach David, you can take a local bus or a taxi to Gualaca. The total travel time by bus from Panama City to Gualaca is around 6-7 hours.


For those who prefer driving, renting a car is a convenient option. The road from David to Gualaca is well-maintained, and the journey takes approximately 45 minutes. It’s important to note that in Panama, you drive on the right-hand side of the road, and an international driver’s license is required.


Once you arrive in Gualaca, you can easily access Los Cangilones De Gualaca from the town center. From there, you can hire a local guide or take a short taxi ride to the entrance of the canyons. Keep in mind that the canyons are located in a natural area, so the last part of the journey may require walking or hiking along designated trails.


It’s also worth noting that there is a small entrance fee to access Los Cangilones, which helps with the maintenance and preservation of the site. The fee is typically nominal and well worth the experience.


In terms of transportation within Los Cangilones De Gualaca, walking is the main mode of exploration. The canyons and the surrounding trails are best explored on foot, allowing you to fully immerse yourself in the natural beauty of the area. It’s advisable to wear comfortable footwear and bring plenty of water and sun protection, especially if you plan on hiking or spending an extended period exploring the canyons.


With the various transportation options available, reaching Los Cangilones De Gualaca is relatively convenient. Whether you choose to fly, take a bus, or drive, the journey to this natural wonderland promises to be a memorable part of your adventure in Panama.


Best Time to Visit

Los Cangilones De Gualaca is a captivating destination that can be enjoyed year-round, but the best time to visit largely depends on your preferences and the kind of experience you’re seeking.


The dry season, which typically runs from December to April, is considered the peak tourist season in Panama. During these months, the weather is generally sunny and rain showers are infrequent. The dry season is a great time to visit if you want to maximize your outdoor activities, such as swimming, hiking, and exploring the canyons. The clear skies also offer perfect conditions for photography, allowing you to capture the vibrant colors and stunning landscapes of Los Cangilones.


However, it’s worth keeping in mind that the dry season is also the busiest time for tourism in Panama. The canyons may have more visitors, and accommodations may be in high demand. Planning and booking in advance is advisable if you intend to visit during this period.


If you prefer a quieter and more tranquil experience, the off-peak season from May to November may be more suitable. During this time, the lush rainforest surrounding Los Cangilones De Gualaca is at its greenest and most vibrant, creating a picturesque backdrop. Although rain showers are more frequent, they are usually short-lived and add to the allure of the natural landscapes.


It’s important to note that Panama has a tropical climate with high humidity throughout the year. Therefore, it’s a good idea to dress in lightweight, breathable clothing and carry sunscreen and insect repellent regardless of the season.


Ultimately, the best time to visit Los Cangilones De Gualaca depends on your personal preferences and what you hope to experience during your visit. Whether you choose the dry season or the off-peak season, Los Cangilones promises an unforgettable adventure immersed in the natural beauty and cultural significance of this remarkable destination in Chiriqui province.


Facilities and Amenities

While Los Cangilones De Gualaca is a natural wonderland, there are still some facilities and amenities available to ensure a comfortable and enjoyable visit for all visitors.


At the entrance of the canyons, you’ll find a reception area where you can pay the entrance fee and receive information and guidance from the staff. The entrance fee is usually nominal and goes towards the maintenance and preservation of the site.


Within Los Cangilones, there are restroom facilities available for visitors to use. These facilities are typically well-maintained, ensuring a clean and convenient experience.


If you plan to spend the entire day exploring the canyons and surrounding areas, it’s recommended to bring your own food and water supply. While there may be vendors or small eateries nearby, options can be limited. Packing a picnic or snacks will ensure that you have sustenance throughout your visit. Don’t forget to bring enough water to keep hydrated, especially during warm weather.


For those who prefer not to carry their belongings throughout their visit, there may be locker facilities available for rent. These lockers provide a secure place to store your valuables while you enjoy the activities and attractions of Los Cangilones.


In terms of accommodations, Gualaca and the nearby town of David offer a range of lodging options, including hotels, hostels, and guesthouses. These establishments provide comfortable and convenient places to stay, allowing you to rest and rejuvenate after a day of exploration. Some accommodations may even offer stunning views of the surrounding natural landscapes.


Transportation services, such as taxis or shuttle services, can be arranged from Gualaca or David to facilitate your visit to Los Cangilones. These services are usually readily available and can save you the hassle of driving and finding parking in the vicinity.


It’s important to note that while facilities and amenities are available, they may be limited and basic compared to more developed tourist destinations. It’s advisable to come prepared with any essential items you may need, such as sunscreen, insect repellent, and appropriate footwear for walking or hiking.


Overall, Los Cangilones De Gualaca provides essential facilities and amenities to enhance your visit and ensure your comfort. With proper planning and preparation, you can fully enjoy the natural beauty and cultural significance of this captivating destination in Chiriqui province.


Tips for Visitors

When planning your visit to Los Cangilones De Gualaca, keep the following tips in mind to make the most of your experience:

  • Come prepared: Wear comfortable clothing and footwear suitable for walking or hiking. Additionally, bring sunscreen, insect repellent, and plenty of water to stay hydrated.
  • Respect the environment: As a visitor, it’s important to respect and preserve the natural beauty of Los Cangilones. Avoid littering, stay on designated trails, and follow any guidelines provided by local authorities or guides.
  • Engage with local guides: Consider hiring a local guide to enhance your experience. They can provide valuable insights into the geological wonders, cultural significance, and indigenous traditions of Los Cangilones.
  • Be mindful of cultural practices: If you encounter any indigenous ceremonies or rituals during your visit, observe from a respectful distance and adhere to any instructions provided. Remember to ask for permission before taking photographs of the Ngäbe-Buglé people or their rituals.
  • Swim with caution: While swimming is a popular activity in the canyons, always exercise caution and be aware of your surroundings. Pay attention to any signage indicating areas with strong currents or deep waters.
  • Check the weather: Keep an eye on the weather forecast, especially during the rainy season. Sudden rain showers can occur, so it’s advisable to bring appropriate rain gear or seek shelter if necessary.
  • Plan ahead: During peak seasons, Los Cangilones can attract a higher number of visitors. Consider booking accommodations and transportation in advance to secure your preferred arrangements.
  • Follow safety guidelines: When participating in activities such as cliff jumping or kayaking, always prioritize safety. Listen to any safety instructions provided, wear appropriate gear, and assess the conditions before engaging in any adventurous activities.
  • Respect wildlife: Observe wildlife from a distance and avoid feeding or interfering with their natural behavior. Taking photographs is encouraged, but ensure that your actions do not disturb or harm the animals.
  • Leave no trace: Practice responsible tourism by leaving the area as you found it. Carry any trash with you until you can properly dispose of it in designated bins or recycling facilities.

By following these tips, you can ensure a safe, respectful, and memorable visit to Los Cangilones De Gualaca. Embrace the natural wonders, immerse yourself in the cultural heritage, and create lasting memories in this remarkable destination in Chiriqui, Panama.



Los Cangilones De Gualaca in Chiriqui, Panama, is a hidden gem that offers a captivating blend of natural wonders, cultural significance, and thrilling adventures. With its magnificent rock formations, turquoise waters, and lush surroundings, this destination is truly a paradise for nature enthusiasts and adventure seekers alike.


As you explore the canyons and immerse yourself in the beauty of Los Cangilones De Gualaca, you’ll also have the opportunity to connect with the rich cultural heritage of the Ngäbe-Buglé people. The area holds sacred significance for them, and witnessing their traditional ceremonies and rituals can provide a deeper understanding of the spiritual and cultural importance of this extraordinary place.


Whether you choose to swim in the natural pools, kayak along the river, hike through the rainforest, or simply relax and soak in the tranquility, Los Cangilones offers a range of activities to suit every interest and preference. The surrounding wildlife and natural landscapes add another layer of fascination to your visit, showcasing the incredible biodiversity that thrives in this ecosystem.


When planning your visit, keep in mind the best time to go, prepare adequately, and respect the environment and the local culture. Engage with local guides who can provide invaluable knowledge about the area, and prioritize safety throughout your activities.


Los Cangilones De Gualaca is a place where you can escape the hustle and bustle of everyday life and reconnect with nature. Whether you’re looking to embark on an exciting adventure or simply unwind in a serene setting, this destination delivers an unforgettable experience that will leave you with memories to cherish for a lifetime.


So, pack your bags, immerse yourself in the natural splendor, and embark on a journey to Los Cangilones De Gualaca – a hidden paradise waiting to be discovered in the heart of Chiriqui, Panama.