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  • Writer's pictureCari Mackey

Cerro Hoyas National Park Hike

When you think of a vacation, do dreams of rest, relaxation, hammocks  and umbrella drinks come to mind or are you more of an adventure seeker; one who needs a certain daily dose of exercise and adrenaline that helps you sleep soundly at night?

Chances are, if you are reading this, you love a good adventure. One of the more powerful yet more difficult adventures we share with our guests is the Cerro Hoyas National Park Hike. It's an all day hike up a river canyon, with countless river crossings, refreshing pools to swim through, waterfalls that take your breath away, colorful flowers that artists dreams are made of, hundreds of rare species of birds to watch and listen for, and too many species of mammals facing extinction than I care to accept.

Established in 1984, the Cerro Hoyas National Park is located at the southwestern tip of the Azuero Peninsula, about a 30 min. drive from our place. This "protected" area covers 81,000 acres (32,560+ hectares), starts at a low wet forest and climbs up to a low montane rain forest at the summit of Cerro Hoya which is the highest point at 5,115 ft (1,449 m). Her neighboring peaks; Cerro Moya 5,033 ft (1,534 m), and Cerro Soya 4,849 ft (1,478 m), create the three tallest peaks of the park which is volcanic in origin and contains the oldest rocks in Panama. If you love geology like I do, check this out to get down into it.

Jane Goodall just celebrated her 90th birthday and she recently mentioned: "Any chance you have to be out in the forest, please try. Just see what it will do for you." Thank you Jane for all that you have done and fought for. May we all follow your path in some way.

This park is a powerful place in a way that is hard to describe until you go there. It is very difficult to access, you need to be fit, and love to hike, which is why we offer our guided adventure. But, once you're there and feel what it's like to spend time in a primary forest you will feel the power I speak of and why it's so important to protect places like this.

Though technically a "protected" park, it is getting smaller every year. Locals are always pushing the boundaries as they bulldoze illegal roads, hunt protected species, harvest her massive trees, burn the ground cover, and disrespect the national treasure they have in this park, all without penalty. It is heartbreaking to see but that is why it's so important to go there; to experience these magical places and share with the world or they will not last and they can never be replaced.

Here you will find some of the rarest and largest species of trees that grow in Panama like the Cuipo, Barrigón, and Espavé. These trees can live for thousands of years so bear witness, hug them, kiss them, and spend time with them. This is an experience we want to share with you. Whether your idea of time off and travel conjures images of rest and relaxation or adventure and adrenaline, guess what? We GOT YOU and we have hammocks too! 

Your Friends in Morrillo,

Cari and Ryan Mackey

Owners and Hosts

Morrillo Beach Eco Resort

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