Darien National Park
Darien National Park
4.5
About
Located in the Province of Darien, this World Heritage Site consists of 1,475,000 acres of beaches, mangroves, swamps and tropical forests.
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Explore different ways to experience this place.

Most Recent: Reviews ordered by most recent publish date in descending order.

Detailed Reviews: Reviews ordered by recency and descriptiveness of user-identified themes such as waiting time, length of visit, general tips, and location information.

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4.5
4.5 of 5 bubbles32 reviews
Excellent
20
Very good
7
Average
3
Poor
1
Terrible
1

Letty W
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jan 2024 • Couples
Dear Solarte,

Thank you message to the village of La Chunga:

First of all, thank you very much for all the hospitality, the instruction, the very fine, excellent food, and transportation to and from the village La Chunga.

In particular we would like to thank your brother Rutillo and his wife Brenilda and children for their warm, hospitality and instruction.

We had some very specific request for the Homestay Portion of the trip. I asked that you show us your school system, your water system, your food preparation system, the processing of the coffee beans, and the processing of the maze, corn.

You met our expectations and much higher. You educated us way beyond what I expected. You also allowed us to work along with you, which we very much appreciated.

The textbooks in your school are very modern and current. In particular, I observe the mathematics text to be parallel to the Singapore project in elementary school mathematics. This is the best in the world. My understanding is that a teacher in your school must speak three languages Spanish, English, and. Embera.

Thank you for letting us participate in the production of the nixtamal for our panamian tortillas. I will try this at home sometime in the future.

I am amazed at your water system. Water from a waterfall goes into a cistern is filtered and then piped using gravity about 1 mile into your village. I observed the water to be pure, fresh, good tasting, and soft in the sense it had few minerals. I believe the bulk of the water from the river was fresh rainwater.

My wife and I felt very much part of your family,
Written 3 March 2024
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Ivan B
Lima, Peru12 contributions
2.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2023 • Solo
I travelled through Yaviza and found Darien the worst run park in South/Central America that I’ve encountered in 10 months of my travels.
1. In Yaviza nobody can you provide you with complete information about the park. You have to learn everything the hard way. Not even in the direction of the park (ministry of environment, where you have to obtain a permit) do they know basic facts. One of the ladies open-heartedly told me she has never been to the park.
2. Obligatory guides (30-50$ per day) expect you to have all gear, including tent, rubber boots, etc., and also food for you and for them. I was asked even to buy salt. Don’t expect much help from them or information either: mine didn’t know the distance between the points on our route, the heights, etc.
3. There are some facilities on the trail (so called Ranch Frio, with solar panels), but they are kept in terrible condition (and you have to pay to stay there). Rooms were last cleaned at the time of conquista. I slept outside in a hammock which was by far the best option. Oh, and of course they dump all the plastic garbage in a pit just next to where you live, inside the park.
4. Worst of all, there is a higher chance to meet UFO than a jaguar here. Local indigenous tribes have hunted out jaguars, tapirs, etc., long ago and park authorities hardly care (in fact we hardly saw any rangers). My guide NEVER saw a jaguar or a tapir in 15 years.
Written 19 December 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Chloe L
11 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Jun 2023 • Couples
Amazing experience, can’t recommend enough. Full review in the photos because I wanted to provide some more info.
Written 18 August 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

ClaudiaBartoletti87
Casablanca, Morocco18 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2023 • Friends
We chose Travel Darien to visit the Darien National Park!
What a wonderful experience!
The communication with Solarte before taking the trip was always informative and fast! The first night a La Tuira at La Palma was a very nice start! With a wonderful location in the picturesque village of La Palma.
On arrival at the Embera' village La Chunga we met Super Rutillo...who gave us a warm welcome from the very begging! He also gave us much information right away, teaching us so much about the Embera' culture, the nature and the history. His eyes and his smile are for ever in our hearts! Staying with his family, sleeping in the tambo, hiking in the forest day and night, eating their food, strolling in the village, listening to the voices of the nature, soaking in the natural pool, playing with Bebe, the pet tucan, and The family' s dogs , Tautorro, Mocho, Chombo... are unforgettable experiences! For ever in our minds!
If you love a full immersion in the wild nature and going back to a way of living in contact with Mother Earth, La Chunga is the place to be!
And we highly recommend it.
Thank you Rutio and Solarte and all your family ❤️
Claudia & Milena
Written 8 April 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Erica P
19 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2023 • Couples
Before our trip to Darien we had difficulties in finding enough informations about the actual situation there because the mainstream media always talk about this place only in terms of a dangerous region. Then we found traveldarienpamama.com and met a completely different context.

We stayed at La Chunga with Solarte, Rutilio and all the family for 4 nights and 5 days. The experience there was quite exciting and the homestay was very chilled. Everybody make us feel like at home. The trip to arrive in La Chunga is quite long but It totally worth the efforts. Solarte (the owner) and Carmelita are kind in suggesting the best way to go there, even from Panama city, and they guide you through all the way.

The accomodation Is simple and nice, with a comfortable bed and a strong mosquito net, with no internet access and the electricity only in the nightime. The toilet has fresh water all day long.

The activities are various. We went hiking in the jungle several times - thanks to the incomparabile Rutilio, even a 6h hike in the Corredor Biológico Serranía de Bagre! -, had a night trip by boat to see caymans and capibara, had a cultural experience with music and dance, eat the local food cooked by the family, play with the lovely kids, get to know the wonderful naturaleza of the forest, seen animals, flowers and tropical plants in the primary forest.

Unforgettable experience, strongly recommended to all hiking enthusiasts!
Written 6 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Tom E
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2023
We were staying for 3 nights in La Chunga and had the greatest vacation of our lifetime. A lot of hiking in the plantations and primary jungle and then a nice cooldown in the river afterwards. Very basic, but tasteful and healthy food. I really recommend the night tours (with proper clothes and bright lights) if you want to see tons of wildlife!
Written 2 March 2023
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sherpa668188
Austin, TX40 contributions
3.0 of 5 bubbles
Apr 2022
This is review of "Travel Darien Panama" (traveldarienpanama.com) - their website links to this TripAdvisor page.

The 2 day/2 night "homestay" tour was somewhat of a disappointment - I would say it met the very bare minimum of what I wanted from the stay, and it did NOT meet what was described to me in messages prior to the tour.

In particular, there was almost no opportunity to learn about the culture, customs, etc of the community and the Emberá in general. I was given a brief 15 minute "tour" of the village when I arrived, and...that was it. Solarte spent most of the two days I was there laying in a hammock or slowly walking around the yard by his house.

When I asked questions, I received very brief answers. When I pointed out that the messages he sent me said (I am directly quoting), "Your hosts will tell you about their history, their political organization and take you to their fields surround the village. They will explain you how they make their beautiful and unique handicrafts"
he asked me if I was going to buy any crafts, and I said likely not, and that was the end of the conversation!

Later in the day, I asked his brother about what customs and parts of their lifestyle are important to them to preserve; I received a very brief answer and then they tried to sell me crafts.

I was left sitting on my own for hours and hours every day, even though I made sure to sit out in the open, available and ready or anything. And like I said, I tried asking questions multiple times, and received no real engagement.

The hiking was fine - we hiked for hours each day, but had very little luck seeing animals aside from one brief walk to a nearby river. Maybe not seeing animals was bad luck, I don't know...at least it felt like his brother was actually trying by leading these hikes. Solarte did almost nothing for my entire stay in the village.
Written 19 April 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Jackm332
9 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Mar 2022 • Solo
I stayed at La Chunga for 3 nights and enjoyed every minute of it! Solarte was very accommodating and helped myself and fellow tourists get settled in and feel welcomed.

We had an itinerary sent to us via email but when we got there Solarte and his family were very flexible and always asked us what we’d like to do and even created custom tours for us. They even included us in additional experiences not even mentioned like an evening lesson on how to forage food, and a tour with the shaman on local medicine for a medical student.

If you’re looking for an adventure in Darién, this is the place to be.
Written 8 March 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

as2975
Atlanta, GA6 contributions
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Dec 2021
I set out to find adventure, get off the grid, and experience something completely and totally different. I got everything I bargained for and more.

I did a 6 day trip (2 day trekking, 2 day homestay in the La Chunga village, 2 days to get from/to) with Solarte and Rutilio of Travel Darien Panama. It was the most authentic way to experience the jungle from the perspective of the local indigenous people who live there. They are with you every step of the way and you really get to immerse yourself in their culture and way of life. They live in harmony with the jungle, and they are entirely self-sustaining in terms of food, water, and energy. If you know Spanish it will be easier, but with the power of google translate I was able to have conversations with the locals. And Solarte speaks good English.

It's not for the faint of heart - you're completely off the grid, drinking water from the river (you need to bring treatment tabs), bathing under either a cold shower or in the river, and dousing yourself in mosquito repellent. The trekking terrain is some of the hardest I've done - its hilly, muddy, wet, humid, buggy. But it's all worth it - you will never see so much biodiversity, so many different kinds of animals and critters. The park is absolutely pristine, thanks to so few human activity.
Written 6 January 2022
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

Sergey I
1 contribution
5.0 of 5 bubbles
Feb 2018
We were on the Islands of Las Perlas and went up on an inflatable boat on the Sambu river. We are travelled along the river on their own, did not buy any excursions. At night, the military came to us and said that permission to visit the area is required. But in the morning in the village of Samba we kindly issued the required paper and we were able to continue our trip
Written 6 August 2018
This review is the subjective opinion of a Tripadvisor member and not of Tripadvisor LLC. Tripadvisor performs checks on reviews as part of our industry-leading trust & safety standards. Read our transparency report to learn more.

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Darien National Park - All You Need to Know BEFORE You Go (2024) - Tripadvisor

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