Cerro Hoya National Park, Panama

The Cerro Hoya National Park is in the Provinces of Veraguas and Los Santos, 350 kilometers from Panama City. The park covers 32,557 hectares and was established in 1985 on the Azuero peninsula on the Pacific coast of Panama.

The protected area includes low montane rain forest on the highest peaks, then as you descend you come to very humid low montane forest and then to the humid tropical forest in the lowest coastal zones. There is a coastal strip that includes the islands of Restingue. Cerro Hoyas peak is 1,559 meters and its the two neighboring peaks are 1,534 m and 1,478. The park is of volcanic origin with rocks dating to the Upper Cretaceous Period.

The park is on the most remote and inaccessible point of the Azuero peninsula. You can get here by car from Tonosi and Restingue. The Cerro Hoya National Park can also be visited by by sea from the ports of Los Bozos and Restingue in Montijo There are forest rangers facilities and two administrative offices, one in Tonosi and the other in Restingue.

The climate varies a lot from the coast to the mountain tops. On the coast annual temperatures are around 26ºC and annual rainfall 2,000 mm. And high on the mountains the temperature will be 20ºC, with 4,000 mm of rain.

The Cerro Hoya National Park has some 30 species of unique plants, and the contains the sources of the rivers Tonosi, Portobelo and Pavo are in the park. These rivers form spectacular waterfalls as they cascade down through the park.

Its commonest fauna are the carato parakeet (endemic), the white tail deer and the mani gordo. The commonest forest species are mahogany, espave (Anacardium excelsum), guayacan (Tobilula guayacan), cuipo (Cavanilleius platansifolia), oak, spiny cedar and barrigon (Pseubombax septenatum) .

More than 95 species of birds have been recorded, including the threatened scarlet macaw, painted parakeet, the enormous king vulture, the osprey and the mangrove black-hawk.

Among the mammals the most common species of the fauna are the painted parakeet, the white-tailed deer and the ocelot (Felis pardalis), and you can also see the paca (Agouti paca), the ogouti, the jaguar.

There are hotels at Santiago de Veraguas, Chitre and Las Tablas

Panama National Parks