Get Back To Nature
Santa Fe is the ideal destination for nature lovers. The town is unspoiled by mass tourism and sits adjacent to the rain forests of Santa Fe National Park. It’s a perfect starting point for a variety of hikes and guided tours.
Santa Fe’s most famous attraction is its many waterfalls. We’ve mapped out hikes to some of the nicest with directions on how to get there. We can also make arrangements for guided tours deeper into the rainforest. We work with English speaking guides who know the area well.
Another popular past-time in Santa Fe is relaxing along the banks of one of our many pristine rivers. Anachoreo is within walking distance of a number of Santa Fe’s best swimming holes.
If you’re feeling really adventurous you can rent a river-tube to float your way downstream and surf the rapids on the Santa-Maria river. A visit to the village of Guabal is also highly recommended. The hour-long bus ride will take you straight through the National Park.
Hike into the mysterious world of Santa Fe’s cloud forests, 4×4 on the backroads or traverse the foothills on horseback. There are plenty of things to keep you busy for a few nights stay at least!
Take Route 33 from Santiago in the direction of San Francisco/Santa Fe. It’s a 60-kilometer drive that will take approximately one hour to get to Santa Fe. Arriving in Santa Fe you’ll see our hotel signs to direct your route. Follow the main road into the village and past the church, the Cooperativa supermarket, and the bus terminal. From here on it’s another 500 meters.
There is a bus service from Santiago to Santa Fe. Mini-buses leave every 30 minutes from the Santiago bus terminal. The one to Santa Fe leaves from the far left side of the platform. The fare is $2.90. Upon arrival in Santa Fe exit at the bus terminal (last stop). Continue in the same direction as the bus for another 50 meters and you’ll see our sign. Take a left and continue for 300 meters and take the first right (an unpaved road). Another 200 meters down the gravel road and you are there. If you are carrying heavy luggage, there are usually taxis parked in front of the Cooperativa (the big supermarket just before the bus terminal). They’ll gladly bring you to the hotel for a few dollars.
Please note there is no ATM machine or gas station in Santa Fe.
We recommend the following basic packing essentials to make the most of your travels in Panama:
- Light summer clothing layers
- One set of lightweight long-sleeve shirt and pants
- Comfortable walking/hiking shoes
- Hat + sunglasses
- Pack towel
- Bug spray + sunscreen
- Water Bottle
- Portable power bank (to recharge electronics if there is a long power outage)
- Lightweight rain jacket
If you have any questions about a particular activity here in Santa Fe, we’d be happy to guide you. Please, send us a message.
Always A Good Time
Panama has a rainy-season and a dry-season, although its tropical climate makes it an enjoyable place to visit year-round. The dry season lasts from December until April and corresponds with the high-season for tourism.
At the beginning of the dry season there are lots of blooms and flowering trees. The rainy season is from May to November and is typically more hot and humid but there is also more lush vegetation.
Some of our favourite things about the dry season:
- hiking trails are not a slippery and easier to walk on;
- rivers are especially clean for swimming in; and
- it is the best time to taste the many fruits.
What we enjoy about the wet season:
- the landscape is beautiful and green;
- the mango trees are full of fruit; and
- a few more clouds in the sky make it the perfect temperature to go outdoors.
One of the best ways to explore the area is with a local guide. Check out our Experience page for our top picks.