March 2012
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Travel – Veraguas, a province of Panama that is to the centre-west of the country

Veraguas is a province of Panama that is to the centre-west of the country. Santiago de Veraguas is the capital of this province. This province covers a land area of 10,677.2 km². Veraguas was founded by Christopher Columbus who could not establish a Spanish colony due to native Indians. Its capital, Santiago de Veraguas was founded in 1636. This is a province with coastlines on both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean and is the only province to have such coastlines. The original inhabitants were Spanish-Indian origin named Campesinos. This province has a wide variety of Forests, mountains, coasts and islands where there are more than 200 varieties of orchids; more than 400 species of birds, besides mammals, reptiles and insects which attracts tourists.

This province is divided into twelve districts.
1. Atalaya District (Atalaya): Atalaya District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate population of 8,916 and a land area of about 157 km².
2. Calobre District (Calobre): Calobre District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate population of 12,184and a land area of about 802 km².
3. Cañazas District (Cañazas): Cañazas District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate population of 15,999and a land area of about 800 km².
4. La Mesa District (La Mesa): La Mesa District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate population of 11,746 and a land area of about 516 km².
5. Las Palmas District (Las Palmas): Las Palmas District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate population of 17,924 and a land area of about 1006 km².
6. Montijo District (Montijo, Panama): Montijo District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate population of 12,211and a land area of about 2202 km².
7. Río de Jesús District (Río de Jesús): Río de Jesús District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate population of 5,256 and a land area of about 317 km².
8. San Francisco District (San Francisco): San Francisco District is a district in Veraguas Province.
9. Santa Fé District (Santa Fé): Santa Fé District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate land area of about 1943 km². This district is known for its orchids and Artisan Market that is known for classic Panama hats making and selling. These hats are very durable and cheaper here. Also this market sells handmade indigenous style dresses for women and girls. The district is divided into the following corregimientos: Santa Fé(capital), Calovébora, El Alto, El Cuay, El Pantano, Gatuncito, Río Luis
10. Santiago District (Santiago de Veraguas): Santiago District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province with an approximate population of 74,679 and a land area of about 971 km². This capital city houses the primary industries that include lead for 2H pencils and Spoon Handles.
11. Mariato District (Mariato): Mariato District is a district (distrito) of Veraguas Province.
12. Soná District (Enrique Arosemena): The district of Soná is a district within the Province of Veraguas and is located in the Republic of Panama. The capital town of this district is also Soná and hosts to the Sona Football Club 1835.

The major towns of this place are:
1. Soná
2. Bahía Honda
3. Calidonia
4. Cativé
5. El Marañón
6. Guarumal
7. La Soledad
8. Trinchera
9. Quebrada de Oro
10. Río Grande
11. Rodeo Viejo
12. El Distrito de Soná

Attractions of Veraguas:

National parks:
• The Coiba National Park: This Park has the largest coral reef of the Pacific Coast of America.
• Cerro Hoya National Park: This Park covers the southwest part of the Azuero peninsula and the surrounding sea.
• Santa Fe National Park: This is a beautiful virgin forest in the northern region of the province.
• La Yeguada Forest reserve: This reserve is known to have an artificial lake for the production of electricity.
• El Montuoso Forest reserve.

Beaches for recreation, surfing and fishing:
• Playa Santa Catalina
• Playa Mariato
• Malena and Torio

• Hiking: There are many mountains with hiking trails in the Province of Veraguas. One can explore the remote places and cultures by mingling with the locals of the province.
• Nature & Wildlife: The Coiba National Park which is a group of 38 islands including Coiba Island which is known as the largest island in Central America offers quite a large amount of nature and wildlife to explore. The waters are spread over an area covering 430,825 acres. This is a declared UNESCO World Heritage Site.
• Surfing: Santa Catalina offers big waves making it ideal for remote location surfing.
• Iglesia de San Francisco de la Montaña: This is a church that dates back to the year 1727. It has unique Baroque architecture and is a declared National Historical Monument (declared on January 27, 1937). About Seventeen kilometers from Santiago, this San Francisco de la Montaña Church is stationed. This church has hundreds of hand carved pieces and is known to have the oldest baroque group of altars of the continent. These altars are painted or covered with gold leaf. These altars have Scared scriptures carved on them with scenes, a reflection of the Spanish Catholicism mixed with the Indian culture. This is located few kilometers away from the Pan American Highway.
• Atalaya is the smallest district of the province of Veraguas with an area of about 150 square kilometers. This is to celebrate the Cristo de Atalaya, also known as Jesus of Nazareth and to thank and to ask spiritual, physical or material favors. People drive or walk and some crawl and some get there by taking 2 steps forwards and 3 steps backwards to get there. This celebration takes place after carnival until Sunday of the same week.
• The old houses of Sona: This is a town which depicts the history of the Spanish colonial times and one can see the houses that were built with palm, also called huts between 1828 and 1897. These huts had latched doors for avoiding letting pigs into the huts. There are about 80 of them and only 20 have mud walls. There are preserved traditional houses, located around the Plaza de San Isidro that date back to early 20th century.
• Coiba National Marine Park: Is on the island of Coiba which is the largest island in Central America. There are 37 surrounding islands and islets which are 30 miles off the Panamanian coast in the Gulf of Chiriquí. During the period 1919 to 2004, this island was a political prisoners location and a penal colony for criminals in Panama. It is about twenty miles to the southeast of Las Secas and one can reach by boat to this archipelago. It is an UNESCO World Heritage Site. This island is known for superior diving and known to be the best along the Pacific Coast from Columbia to Mexico. One can watch for the new marine species including whale and tiger sharks, sperm whales, sea turtles, angel rays and giant schools of fish and some of them are new to science. The crested eagle and several sub-species of agouti, possum and howler monkeys are housed here. It has been given the name of Garden of Eden and is known as the second largest coral reef in the Pacific.

Best time to visit / climate:

Veraguas has a tropical wet and dry climate. The dry season is from January to April whereas the wet season is in remaining year. The best time to visit this place is in the dry season.

Location on Google Maps:

View Larger Map
Or click and paste the URL below on your browser:,+Panama&ll=8.200616,-81.073608&spn=2.88131,3.532104&z=8&iwloc=A

How to get there:
From the City of Panama one can travel via the Inter-American Highway up to Santiago which takes about 4 hours. Take a private transportation or rented car or public transportation from the Terminal of Albrook. For travelling by airplane, take flights with a local airline departing from Marcos A. Gelabert Airport (Albrook).

To get around, a taxi is the best way.

Enjoy your trip to Veraguas with these Amazon travel books:

Lonely Planet Panama Panama AdventureMap (National Geographic) Fodor’s Panama, 2nd Edition

Places to stay (hotels / restaurants along with website / contact numbers):
Hotels at allstays
Restaurants at tripadvisor
Hotels at costaricalink
Hotels at maplandia
hotels at exclusive hotels
Hotels at tripadvisor

Blogs / Sites about Veraguas, Panama:

Information on veragus at
Blogs and reviews at travelpost
Blogs and reviews at travelpod
Blogs and reviews at realestate
Blogs and reviews at travelblog

Images and photos of Veraguas, Panama:

Images at google
Images at tripadvisor
Images at travel images
Images at travelpod

Videos of VERAGUAS, Panama:


Living in Panama – Santiago, Veraguas

Santa Fe, Veraguas, Panama – International Living Panama

Playa la Plaza beach Western Azero Veraguas Panama

Ocean View near Torio, Veraguas Panama

Santa Fe de Veraguas Panama 2011

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