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, horse riding adventures and guided tours. It is ideal for people of all ages, including families!
Santa Fe’s most famous attraction is its abundant nature, including it’s many stunning waterfalls which can be explored on both foot and horseback. We’ve mapped out numerous hikes to some of the nicest waterfalls in the area 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 one-hour bus ride will take you straight through the National Park.
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 and 20 minutes. As are many roads in Panama, the road to Santa Fe is in a constant state of needing repair, with many potholes, however it is always passable and if you drive slowly and carefully, you should have no concerns. 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. At the intersection, turn left and a few hundred meters down the road you will find signage directing you to the right. The last part of the journey is a dirt road.
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 gas station in Santa Fe, however we do now have an ATM.
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.
It’s 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.