Coming to El Valle de Anton El Valle de Antón
Pretty rainbow in El Valle

Pretty rainbow in El Valle

Wow, wow, wow. That’s what I have to say about El Valle de Anton. It is absolutely breathtaking. Take the lushness and flowers of Kauai, mix it with the manicured gardens of Kyoto, and the drastic peaks and valleys of the Rockies, and you have El Valle. It’s a lot cooler than Panama city, with temperatures generally between 65-75 (from what we’ve felt anyway). El Valle is a paradise.

Many of the streets are lined with beautiful bougainvillea, and moss grows on everything. Even the wooden fence posts have little branches with leaves growing out of the top of them (we saw this in the city as well).

There are many beautiful homes here, including what would be considered multi-million dollar estates if they were in the US – more for the large plots of land and well cared for gardens than for the size of the homes.

This is a small town, but with sufficient necessities. There are a couple grocery stores, several restaurants, a library, police and fire station, several hotels, and more. Every street we’ve driven down has caused our jaws to drop.

El valle rental house (outside view)

El valle rental house (outside view)

Our biggest shocker was the actual house we rented. For $100/night, I was not expecting something this nice. It is completely private, and is a good 5-7 minute walk (or 2 minute drive) even to the nearest residence. The town is about a five minute drive away. Everything that’s in between is lush gardens and greenery. There are lots of fruit trees on the premises, and a cute little bridge over a stream.

If you turn out the lights at night, it is completely pitch black, even outside. And the only sounds you can here are frogs and insects and birds. Our first morning we were awakened by a bird singing the most pleasant bird song I’ve heard. If I can record it tomorrow, I will. It is gorgeous here!

El Valle house living room

El Valle house living room

The home itself is small, maybe 1000 sq ft, with 2 bedrooms, a small bathroom, a good sized kitchen/dining and living room, and a laundry room. There’s another shed on the property where the workers store their tools.

So far we’ve eaten at three different restaurants in El Valle. They all look really small and simple, but the food has been fantastic, and the service extremely friendly. The waitresses talk with you quite a bit, and treat you like family. Once, Emily was wiggling around in her chair and fell out. The waitress picked her right up and carried her around, trying to make her feel better, for several minutes. I’ve never seen that kind of service at home!

Our first morning in El Valle, we went to El Nispero zoo. It’s a small zoo – takes about 1-2 hours to go through, and has animals from all over, not just from Panama. One animal I’d never seen before was the tapir. They’re a lot bigger than I had thought they would be. Unfortunately, the frog exhibit was closed, but we got a picture of the golden frog, which is only found in El Valle and is one of the most poisonous frogs in the world, although rarely found in the wild anymore.

Shaking hands with a monkey

Shaking hands with a monkey

The highlight of the zoo was definitely the monkeys. There was one monkey who stuck his hand and his tail out of the cage so we could pet it. The girls loved that. He was a very friendly monkey. The zoo had a huge variety of birds, and oddly enough, chickens (hundreds of them). My favorite were the brightly colored macaws (sp) and parrots.

After the zoo we went to the grocery store and got some things for breakfast and lunch for the week. Then we had lunch and rested a while back at the house. The girls watched “Care Bears” on DVD, which was here at the house, and I copied the pictures we’d taken to my computer and started these blog entries.

Just a view on the property (you can see our red roof peaking out)

Just a view on the property (you can see our red roof peaking out)

After our rest, we went exploring around the property. There are so many little trails and places to walk. There was a light drizzle that afternoon and evening, off and on, which felt great and cooled us down. We were looking for animals, and saw a big lizard in a tree, and an interesting bug, but nothing else of consequence. It was really “siesta” time for the animals, so we’re going to try to get up and go on a morning walk tomorrow.

Dinner at a restaurant in El Valle

Dinner at a restaurant in El Valle

Dinner that night was fabulous. We had more sea bass, but with different sauces. Well, Emily had a hamburger, and Marie had a hot dog. :) My dish came with some grilled bananas which were excellent. The orange juice here is so fresh and sweet – the best I’ve ever had. Jen did find a good-sized bug in her orange juice after she’d drank about half of it, so she didn’t finish the rest… well, she did have a little bit more – it was so good, after all!

We saw several light-colored lizards crawling on the walls at the restaurant that night, especially near the florescent lights. When we got home, we even saw one in our kitchen. Very cute!

Brandon is a location independent entrepreneur, musician, worldschooling father, and the principal author of this blog. He's all about reaching his potential and enjoying life to the fullest in each moment.


  1. Gorgeous!! That is paradise. Wow.

    That zoo looks like a fun one- that’s so cute that the monkey stuck his hand out of the cage :) I’m sure the girls just loved it.

  2. Now THIS is what you were after for a vacation, wasn’t it? :)

    What wonderful sites your seeing and things you’re enjoying. The house is darling – very unique. I especially like the original paintings on the walls and that tree trunk dining table!

    I love your photos of flora and fauna.

    Your interesting bug appears to be a Stick Insect. Very cool.

    And the red flowers look quite a bit like the amaryllis — the Christmas Lillies. I’ve never seen one growing int he wild, only in indoors in pots over the holidays.

    Are the little lizards in the house geckos? Remember when they were all over the upper walls of the place we stayed in Kauai?

  3. We love all the pictures! Evie especially loves seeing pictures of the girls…she’ll be glad to see them in person again!

  4. Jennifer Pearce Says: February 16, 2009 at 1:10 pm

    Breathtaking place. The zoo was really fun, especially the monkey. He was just so friendly! I also loved the beautiful natural setting of the zoo. Lisa, Marie really, really misses Evie too!! She will be so glad to see her again. She has mentioned Evie almost every day so far!

  5. Alfred J. Graham Says: February 18, 2009 at 9:25 am

    The wife and I have spent many a day at El Valle. Great place.Dame Margot Fontaine lived there for years. Thanks for the memories

  6. absolutely beautiful. !! I too love to see the flowers and fauna but they don’t compare for me to the pictures of a darling family.
    Thanks for the posts

  7. I enjoyed your vacation vicariously. We are planning to visit El Valle mid-year and will try to find some of the interesting places you visited.

    As a web designer, I am especially impressed with the clean layout, excellent photography and the presentation of your blog.

  8. @Jim – Yes, we loved El Valle. Note: The canopy tour is a much better value in Boquete – 11 stations instead of 4 for about the same price. Also be sure to take some drives around town and through the various streets – it’s a charming place.

    Glad you like the site design. I actually didn’t design it – it was a pre-made WordPress theme, and I just plugging a picture in that I liked. :) You can see some of the websites I’ve made at

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