La India Dormida Hike, El Valle de Anton, Panama
La India Dormida alias The Sleeping Indian hike is a short trek in El Valle de Anton, Panama from where you can admire stunning mountainous views. Read our travel guide for more information.
El Valle de Anton, only two and a half hours drive from Panama City, is a mountainous town, a gateway for Panamanians who want to enjoy fresh air and escape the bustling capital city.
Nowadays, more and more foreign travelers discover the beauty of the small town located in a volcano crater and El Valle de Anton has its rightful place on every traveler's itinerary, right next to beach paradise Bocas del Toro and the top tourist destination hidden in the cloud forest under Baru volcano, Boquete.
We had already written a full post on best things to do in El Valle de Anton, but in this article, we will focus and provide you with all information needed about the most popular hike in the area, La India Dormida.
THE LEGEND BEHIND LA INDIA DORMIDA HIKE
You might wonder, from where this trek got its name, so here's the story.
According to a legend, a long time ago, the first people who inhabited the volcano crater, a place of today's El Valle de Anton, were people of Guaymi Tribe. These were times when the tribe fought against Spaniards, who were trying to subdue the land. A girl Luba was a daughter of chief Urraca, who fell in love with a Spanish soldier who came to the village. In the village, there was a guy Yaravi, who loved Luba, and when he saw she does not reciprocate his feelings but likes the enemy instead, he committed suicide in front of Luba by throwing himself off the mountain. Although Luba was a rebellious girl, she realized that she could have betrayed her tribe by her reckless behavior and with panic, she ran into the mountains where she died. One of the mountains is now in the shape of a female's body, and it is believed that it is poor Luba.
You can do the hike and look for the resemblance of the mountain's shape with the sleeping Indian.
HOW TO GET TO THE TRAILHEAD OF THE LA INDIA DORMIDA HIKE
You can find the trailhead to La India Dormida hike approximately 15 minutes walk from El Valle de Anton town.
The starting point is called Piedra Pintada, and you can either navigate yourself by using Maps.me app or Google Maps, or you can follow signs on the main road heading west. Everyone in the town knows the hike, so in case you get lost, they will point you to the right direction, or in case you don't want to waste your energy before the trek, you can take a taxi, but we don't think that's necessary as the path to the trailhead is flat on paved road.
Although visiting Anton Valley in the high season, and despite the fact, there is a ticket booth at the start of the trek with a sign saying that you should pay $3, there was no one collecting money there (neither at trailheads of other treks we've done in the valley), and we believe that nowadays the hike is free of charge.
La India Dormida Hike is quite short but pretty steep. The climb up should take you an hour, maximum an hour and a half and less than an hour to get back. We were quite out of shape as the last hike we did before this one was probably two months ago in Patagonia, specifically in Torres del Paine National Park, so we could feel every single step.
From the trailhead, the path to the summit is straightforward. You will pass a small waterfall (it would be probably more stunning in the rainy season) and continue up (there are occasionally blue arrows on stones) until you reach the main open viewpoint.
The hike is supposed to be a loop, but at the entrance, there was a map with this option crossed out, so we returned the same way. It is pretty windy on the summit, and even though the weather was warm and sunny, we did not stay up there too long.
La India Dormida is a popular sunrise or sunset spot, but we visited in in the late afternoon when the soft light was touching the green hills around, and the views from the summit overlooking the crater and hills around were beautiful and exaggerated by the fact it was just two of us and two local runners in the distance.
SAFETY ALONG THE TRAIL
We think that the El Valle de Anton is a safe place where you can hike without fear but as usual use your common sense.
It is not necessary to hire a guide unless you want to know more about the area and flora and fauna. Sometimes, you can hire as guides local kids who are sometimes hanging out in front of the entrance - they will lead you to the summit, and you will help them earn some money for their families.
WHAT TO BRING
It depends on what season are you traveling in Panama, but generally, it is quite warm in El Valle de Anton all year round.
Wear sturdy shoes and remember that the trail can get muddy, especially in the rainy season from May to November. Bring at least one liter of water per person and rain or windproof jacket.
If you decide to watch the sunset or sunrise, bring headlamp.
WHERE TO STAY IN EL VALLE DE ANTON
Rooms in El Valle are quite pricy, especially on weekends when herds of visitors from Panama City arrive to enjoy well-deserved time off. For us, it was hard to find a budget accommodation as it was carnival time and everything was booked up, and we had to pay double than usual for a room.
Budget | Bodhi Hostel & Lounge - The most popular option in town for budget travelers have everything you might need (wifi, kitchen, patio, and garden) plus it has a laid back atmosphere.
Mid-range | The Golden Frog Inn - Nicely appointed rooms, beautiful settings, outdoor pool, and free bike rentals are the best features of this hotel.
Luxury | Los Mandarinos Boutique Hotel & Spa - This hotel is the best choice for travelers seeking a luxurious retreat after all day out exploring the valley.
You can also search for all hostel options using HostelWorld.
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