Cocle is the central province of Panama, an area which has natural spaces, warm Pacific beaches and is also the only place in the country where you can see the famous square trees.
The region hides a beautiful love story between a warrior, a Spanish officer and the Princess Luba. The nearby hills, now called 'The Sleeping Indian', perpetuate the figure of the princess reminding this beautiful and mysterious history of the tribe.
You'll find several museums, archaeological sites and ancient cities that maintain their rich culture and tradition of its people. Check out all our recommendations and enjoy your stay in Cocle, Panama.
Playa Blanca: The white sand has given the name to this beach (Playa Blanca means White Beach in spanish). It is long, wide and located between a rocks reef and the mouth of Farallon River, which offers a nice stamp when the sweet water of the river finds the salty water of the Pacific Ocean. It is a quiet beach, for its water and for its wide, which allows laying in the sun and resting in the most relaxing way. Anyway, sometimes there are waves, we should remember it is the Pacific Ocean!
For the aquatic activities lovers this beach offers windsurfing, kayaks and quads renting.
Playa de Farallón
Playa de Farallon: This beach is separated from Playa Blanca only by the mouth of the Farallon River, it is almost the same beach. They have the same characteristics, wide, white sand and calm. It also offers aquatic activities.
Isla de Farallón
The nearby Farallón island is a volcanic rock which emerge from the sea and have evolved into a refuge for different animals, where it is possible finding lots of birds. The rock is covered up by green plants with lots of small canals going from one side to the other one.
It is considered a sacred icon by the locals, and lots of myths and legends talk about it.
A fast boats service go to this curious place, where it is lovely snorkeling to enjoy its precious subaquatic life.
In the Coclé province there is the Anton Valley, met only as "El Valle", which actually is the crater of an extinguished volcano. There has born a wonderful natural ecosystem and many people have established there building a town and making it the bigger inhabited volcano crater in the world. If someone visits El Valle it is a must going to "El Macho"a wonderful waterfall from 550 meters, to "Los Baños Termales" (some natural warm water ponds) and to "El Níspero", a little nice zoo and botanic garden. In addition, all weekends it is possible to buy fruits, plants and local artisan products in the traditional market located in its streets.
Ciudad de Panamá
A visit to Panama City should be divided in three parts: the first one is around the original city from the S.XVI, the second one shows the colonial city and the last one is the present city with its modern buildings.
The original city was built in 1519 and works as a basis for the American conquest. Today there are only ruins due to the attack of Henry Morgan, a mythical pirate who destroyed the city in 1671, now it is a important touristic point.
The Old Town is where the colonial buildings can be found and also the buildings from the time when the canal was built. The Plaza de la Independencia is in the middle, there is where the independence statement was made in 1903, surrounded by lots of little picturesque streets. It is also a must to visit San José church, which survived the Henry Mogan attack, and the Plaza Francia, surrounded by the Paseo de las Bóvedas from there are nice views over the Old Town and over the enormous ships waiting to cross over the canal.
The new city is where the business center is located nowadays, and also the commercial and touristic centers. We suggest visiting the Calzada del Amador, a piece of land to cross to Naos, Perico and Flamenco islands. The locals use this wonderful park for their free-time, running, biking, reading under its trees… and the tourists appreciate the nice views.
Canal de Panamá
One of the major attractions of Panama City is the Panama Canal, which connects the Caribbean Sea with the Atlantic and the Pacific Oceans. It is very recommended to visit it, specially at the afternoon when it is possible to see lots of ships. From the balconies in Miraflores Tourist Center, it is possible to look these ships only a few meters away. This center includes a museum with interesting interactive exhibitions about the canal and an excellent film about its construction history.
The Cocle province coast means 64 km of Pacific Ocean beaches, surrounded by small fishing villages and touristic facilities, hotels and cabins. Good accesses through the Panamerican Highway has made it a preferential destination for holidays and breaks. This area invites to relax and beach activities.
Walks: Different routes go to one fishing village to another all over the coast. We recommend tasting the food in little local restaurants and buying local artisan souvenirs.
Boats excursions: It is wonderful to take a boat and visit Farallon island, Hato River mouth and Los Azules area. It is possible to discover the natural beauty of Cocle from the sea.
Riding Horses: Another interesting interesting activity is riding a horse and look the twilight from the beach.
Sport Fishing: In most fishing villages it is possible to find and rent boats and all the material to enjoy relaxing fishing days. There are guides to drive the boat and to teach the correct fishing techniques. Fishing fans will be able to find fishes that usually are not near the coast.
Snorkel and diving: There are very popular the subaquatic excursions to Farallon island. It is very recommended to go with a guide, who can show the most appropriated places and with the best visibility, because we should remember sometimes Pacific Ocean water can be unpleasant.
For the artisan products lovers it is possible to find different local shops in the villages near the Coclé coast. There are costume jewelry, leather goods, pottery…
When going to Panama City we find enormous malls with international firms, technology and luxury products, always at good rates. When there is too hot in the city, walk around these malls is a very good option. It is also easy to find jewelry arrived from Colombia and Brasil, but be careful with it because there are a lot of false items. Currency is not a problem due to the official is Balboa but dollars are accepted all over the country.
Nightlife in Playa Blanca is surrounding the hotels area. We recommend you to enjoy the disco and the shows in Hotel Riu Playa Blanca.
Panama is a country with 2000 coast kilometers, so fish and selfish are the main ingredients in its national food. Anyway rice and soups are also very popular. Most traditional soup is called "sancocho" and contains meat, ñame, yuca and corn with a few of onion, garlic, pepper and salt. It is also need to talk about fu-fu, a soup made with coconut, banana and fish with the traditional ají-chamobo, a very spicy condiment.
Other popular ingredients are hen meat, roots and tubers. A typical recipe is tamales made with corn paste with meat inside surrounded by banana leafs. It is also popular to cook rice with stuffed fish and ropa vieja, and also filled yuca.
Traditional desserts are fruits like pineapple, coconut, guava and papaya and also "borracha soup" made with vanilla, liquor and raisins.