The Metropolitan National Park, together with the Soberania National Park, is one of the best sights in Panama City if you like jungle and wildlife. The Metropolitan National Park is located on the outskirts of Panama City. Here you can really escape the hustle and bustle of the capital of Panama.
Visit the park early, around 7 am. It’s not that hot yet and you have the best chance of spotting animals. In the early afternoon most animals sleep and it’s a lot warmer, so it’s not an ideal time to visit the park.
Don’t expect monkeys swinging over your head or tropical birds in every treetop. Because the Metropolitan National Park is located on the edge of the busy city, it is not crowded with wildlife. Many people also visit this national park to go for a run. This does not mean that you will not see animals at all. We’ve seen several agoutis here, beautiful colorful birds and butterflies, turtles, coatis, raccoons, an iguana and a giant tarantula.
While walking we saw two raccoons walking after a parkranger. One of these curious raccoons came up against my leg for a moment, how cute! The park rangers told us that there’s certainly a chance to see monkeys, but unfortunately we didn’t succeed. They remain animals and they are of course very unpredictable.
In my opinion, a guide is certainly not necessary in this national park. We spotted quite a few animals without a guide and getting lost in the Metropolitan National Park is not possible. If necessary, bring binoculars.
The trails in the Metropolitan National Park are clearly marked and well maintained. View the different walking routes on the map. During the pink walking route you will encounter a pond full of turtles along the way. The brown route is more difficult because you have to climb a lot of stairs, but once you are at the top you have a nice view. From the lookout at the end of the orange or blue path you have an even better view of the Panama City skyline.
Always check the ground carefully before deciding to rest. There are a lot of big red ants walking on the trails. We also saw an incredibly large tarantula walking by at the viewpoint. You don’t want that one crawling up your leg.
Tip: It can get very oppressively hot in the Metropolitan National Park, so bring plenty of water. Also bring your own lunch. There are some benches at the viewpoint where you have a beautiful view of the skyline of Panama City. A perfect picnic spot!
How to get to the Metropolitan National Park?
The Metropolitan National Park can be reached by public transport. Some buses that leave from Albrook Bus Station stop near the National Park. Most likely you will have to walk a bit.
The easiest and the fastest is really by taxi. Have the taxi drop you off at the officina where you can buy an entrance ticket for a few dollars. The taxi should not cost more than $ 3 to $ 4 from Casco Viejo. Try to negotiate well, because the taxi drivers often ask too much at first. It’s also very easy to travel from the national park back to the city. Simply walk out of the national park towards the road. In no time a taxi will stop right in front of you and will gladly give you a ride.