"Darien: the last frontier of Central America" Provincia del Darién by darthmilmo

Provincia del Darién Travel Guide: 11 reviews and 41 photos

The Panamerican Highways come to a halt in Panama's impenetrable Darien Jungle. The jungle which penetrates both Panama and Colombia is an amazing place. Unfortunately, it is plagged with guerillas, smugglers, and more.

I wanted to cross the Darien Gap, but as it turned out I didn’t crossed the Darien Gap. However, I did go as far as El Real, Yaviza, and Pinogana. I guess I just didn’t felt comfortable doing it alone. In addition to that fact, the boats were so expensive for a one-person deal that it prevented my travels in that region. In either case, here is what I gathered while I was there... hope it helps if you are heading that way.

The bus from Panama to Meteti ($9 US) took about 7 hours in good weather. From Meteti to Yaviza, the chiva (4x4 truck, $5 US) took 2.5 hours through a dry road under good weather, but then it took 5 hours on the way back through the same rainy muddy road. From Yaviza I took a boat to El Real for $10 US, on the way back though they charge me $5.00 US. From el Real I walked to Pinogana... the locals said it takes about 1 hour, it took me a bit over 2. The path was decent, but really muddy. I then attempted to walk to Boca de Coup, but I stop shortly after Pinogana due to a small river (at least the locals called it like that, it was huge in my opinion) that had developed... it was neck deep

I then attempted to get prices of boats from El Real to Boca de Coup ($100 US), from El Real to Pucuro ($100 US w/ Kunas), and to Paya for ($150 US). Oh, the hotel costs $10 US in Yaviza, and $5-7 in El Real (only one hotel in each town). At this point I just thought it would be too much to finance alone, so I returned to Panama City. As you can see, even if you have perfect Spanish they will still charge you the Gringo price in the Darien!

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Beautiful Scenery, sense of adventure, a true frontier
  • Cons:Expensive $$$ and dangerous
  • In a nutshell:Vast Jungle that marks the end or the beggining of the Panamerican Highway in North America.
  • Last visit to Provincia del Darién: Dec 2000
  • Intro Written Sep 25, 2002
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darthmilmo

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

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