We had a fun time at Cañon Macho de Monte.
You can see us playing in the river (Rio Macho de Monte) as it runs through the canyon.
Day Trip From Puerto Armuelles
The trip reminded me how small and easy it is to explore Panama, and Chiriqui Province in particular.
Business & Pleasure
We wanted to go play in this cool mountain river (see photos), but we also had to meet with a lawyer in David. So we combined the trip.
Home – Beach – City – Mountains – Home again
After Reyn and I returned from our morning surf/boogie board at the beach, all four of us piled in the car. We left Puerto Armuelles at around 10am. We drove to David to meet with the lawyer.
Then we decided to drive past the canon turn off, and go all the up to Volcan to eat lunch. We like the food at Restaurante Mana at the Volcan Lodge. A 15 mile round-trip detour.
After filling our bellies, we went back down to the little village of Cuesta de Piedra, where you turn off to go to Canon Macho de Monte. (I describe how to get there at the bottom of this page and I show what it is like there in photos below.)
We had a delightful and leisurely time playing in the water and boulder hopping. Then we headed back to Puerto Armuelles. We got home before dark (It gets dark around 7pm these days). A very eventful, fun, and even productive day trip.
Canon Macho de Monte
I had been wanting to check out this canyon for awhile. From the road it is a short walk to the canyon bottom. The trickiest part is that a huge hill of sandy gravel shares the path down, so it is a bit slippery.
In the slow part of the river there were tadpoles that my kids enjoyed catching. A pool to dunk yourself in. Boulders to hop to get to the fissure where the water runs faster and cascades down even further. People have secured a rope right there so you can play in the rapidly tumbling water, but I loved dunking myself in the cold water. Now that I have gone, I want to come back in the rainy season.
The photos below were taken towards the end of the dry season (mid-March). I look forward to going back in the rainy season. I am sure the water flow is much more dramatic and exhilarating.
How To Get There
Take the road up to Volcan. You turn off the InterAmericana onto the Volcan road at the town of Bugaba. There is a sign marking it on the InterAmericana. The turn off for the Canon is at the tiny village of Cuesta Piedra, about 7.5 miles or 12 kilometers south of Volcan.
If you are heading north (or uphill) towards Volcan, there is a sign marking the turn for Canon Macho de Monte in Cuesta Piedra. No such luck if you are heading down from Volcan. The turn is at an intersection with a gas station (photo below) and a few other commercial buildings. You can only turn one way. There is no road going the other direction.
I have put photos below of some key places to look for so you know where to turn, park, and walk.
You will drive on that road for less than 3 kilometers. Look for the guard house for the hydroelectric plant. It will be on your right, as you head down a hill. As you down that hill you will see a ruin of a building on your left (see photo below). Park there. Then walk down the road and take the trail (see photo) just before you cross the bridge over Rio Macho de Monte. As I’ve said, the trickiest part of the short walk to the canyon bottom is that a huge hill of sandy gravel shares the path down. It is a bit slippery. It is a short walk.
Reyn describes day trips from Puerto Armuelles in a past post. He talks about going for hikes in Cerro Punta.
What is your favorite day trip from Puerto Armuelles?