“A more rewarding
way to travel.”

Where we work

The Caribbean coast of Panama is one of the most beautiful untouched coastal areas of Latin America. The region is known for its stunning virgin rain forest, untouched palm lined beaches divided by jutting cliffs, slow meandering rivers, an abundance of water falls and a crystal-clear Caribbean ocean. Until very recently most of this beautiful nature rich area, with an abundance of flora and fauna, used to be completely inaccessible.

Nevertheless, new infrastructure projects like bridges and roads are opening up this amazing area, which provides an enormous tourism potential for the region. Fundación Alianza Caribe in collaboration with its alliances aim to make sure that the local people evenly benefit from these new tourism opportunities – without losing their cultural heritage and local traditions- in combination with innovative projects and solutions to conserve and protect the rainforest and its wildlife.

Mesoamerican Biological Corridor

The Caribbean coast of Panama is part of an extensive area of great biological wealth. It is located in the center buffer zones of the “Atlantic Biological Corridor of Panamá”, which is part of the greater eco system of the “Mesoamerican Biological Corridor”. The area acts as a natural land bridge from South America to North America, which is important for species who use the bridge in migration. Due to the extensive unique habitat types, Mesoamerican Biological Corridor contains somewhere between 7 and 10% of the world’s known species.

Their goal is to promote “regional scale connectivity of protected areas with sustainable development and improvement of human livelihoods.” The purpose of the corridor is to emphasize the conservation movement as being a social and group effort.

Three Areas of Focus

The scope of the activities of the Fundación Alianza Caribe are divided into three areas of focus:

Costa Caribe de Veraguas

The amazingly stunning Caribbean beachfront region of the Province of Veraguas (Costa Caribe de Veraguas) is strategically located in the heart of the Biological Corridor of the Americas. Costa Caribe de Veraguas is known for its enormous bio diversity, beautiful virgin rain forest, white sand beaches and stunning views over a crystal-clear Caribbean ocean. The coast is defined by jutting cliffs and slow meandering rivers with an abundance of water falls that cut across the untouched white palm lined beaches.

As off early 2020, a brand new road provides superb access to this amazing destination from Santa Fé and Santiago. The driving distance from Santiago to the Caribbean Coast has been reduced to less than two hours and from Santa Fé less than one hour.

The Costa Caribe Veraguas is located next to the famous Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca, an Indian territory where the local indigenous people still respect their old values and traditions. This tribe was formerly known as the Guaymi.

The lack of connectivity with the rest of the country has well-preserved the local culture and traditions of the Indians. The  “Nagua” is the native dress of the Guaymi women. The Ngäbe Buglé are two separate ethni-linguistic groups (The Ngäbe and the Buglé). They are Panama’s most numerous indigenous tribes with a population of about 180,000 Ngäbes and 10,000 Buglés.

 

Encompassing nearly 180,000 acres, the national park of Santa Fé is just a 30-minute drive from the Caribbean Coast and located in the hearth of the Atlantic Biological Corridor of Panama. The park has a large variety of rivers and waterfalls, abundant wild life and stunning views over valleys with lush green cloud forest for rainforest hiking and bird watching. In the park you can spot toucans, mot-mots, tanagers, hummingbirds, hawks, and if you’re very lucky, the elusive resplendent quetzal.

The island of “Escudo de Veraguas” is one of the world’s most pristine and undiscovered islands and is situated 10 miles off the Caribbean coast. Escudo de Veraguas is Panama’s undiscovered jewel and can be easily accessed in a one-hour boat drive from Caribbean Coast of Veraguas. Inhabited only by local Indians, these lush, verdant islands are surrounded by crystal clear turquoise waters, ideal for swimming, photos, diving, snorkeling or relaxation.

Santa Fé, a lovely rural village, accessible in just a one hour drive from the Caribbean coast. With a population of around 3,200, it truly has a small town feel and charm. With an elevation of around 1,500 feet, is also boasts a near-perfect climate. The village attracts Panamanians seeking relief from the heat of the lowlands and foreigners seeking a slower pace of life in a mountain setting. From horseback riding, hiking, local market, therapeutic massages to coffee tours…there is much to do in Santa Fe.

 

At the mouth of the Calovébora River, lies the village of Calovébora. This small charming coastal community is home to approximately 80 families comprised principally of fisher man and farmers. The new road from Santa Fé has recently opened this coastal community and Calovébora is rapidly transforming into is one of the most famous tourism destinations of the region.

The Calovébora River functions as a natural border between the Ngäbe-Buglé Comarca (in the province of Bocas del Toro) and the Province of Veraguas. As the river winds its’ way south into the rugged mountainside, it passes through numerous small indigenous villages. The river can be run with shallow kayaks or paddle boards and the surrounding hillside is perfect for mountain biking or horse riding enthusiasts. A single trek path runs alongside this river ´en route´ to Calovébora.

The village of is a delightful coastal village perfectly located on both sites of the mouth of the magnificent Guázaro River and a long stretch of white sand Caribbean beachfront. Guázaro is accessible in a 30-minute boat ride from Calovébora. Guázaro is definitely worth a one or two-day excursion, to enjoy a walk through the village along the river, visit several waterfalls and meet the friendly people.

COSTA ABAJO DE COLON

The Coastline west of Colón City and east of Veraguas is known as Costa Abajo (“lower coast”). It is a still and lightly developed area with rough roads and few visitors other than bird watchers. The area´s few main sights – Gatun Locks, Gatun Dam, the new Caribbean Bridge, Fuerte San Lorenzo – are all clustered close together. So are its natural attractions, the mouth of the Rio Chagres and the bird-watching spots around Achiote and Escobal.

Since early 2020 the Costa Abajo has become accessible by a brand new 5-kilometer 4-lane bridge over the Panama Canal. As a destination in itself, the Costa Abajo is likely to be most appealing to those with an especially keen interest in the Panama Canal or Panama´s piratical past.

The area also offers the well-preserved ruins of the Spanish Colonial Fort of San Lorenzo and lush tropical rain forest surrounding the mouth of the storied Rio Chagres. The San Lorenzo National Park functions as a protective forest that serves as a natural barrier around the Panama Canal and the Fort of San Lorenzo.

Since the completion of the new bridge over the Canal the Costa Abajo region is accessible in less than half an hour by car from the City of Colón and about one hour by car from Panama City.

Accordion Content

     

The area of focus within the Costa Abajo of Colón is limited to two main districts.

The area of focus within the Costa Abajo of Colón is limited to two main districts.

  • District of Donoso, with Corregimientos Miguel de la Borda, Coclé del Norte, El Guásimo, Gobea, Río Indio

COSTA ARRIBA DE COLON

The Costa Arriba of Colón is located between the City of Colón and the popular tourism hotspot of “San Blas”. For the Fundacion Alianza Caribe the main areas (corregimientos) of focus are: Palenque, Cuango, Miramar, Nombre de Dios, Palmira, Playa Chiquita, Santa Isabel y Viento Frío.

The Costa Arriva of Colón is accessible in a quick 30-minute drive from Panama City.

 The most recognizable aspect of the Riviera San Blas is the world class archipelago of the San Blas Islands with its crystal clear blue water and white sandy beaches. Of the 365 islands of San Blas, only 49 are inhabited by the Guna Indians, with plenty of virgin bounty-style islands ready to be visited and enjoyed. The San Blas archipelago is popular for sailing, snorkeling and island hopping.

  

One of the most important memories of the Spanish Colonialization is the old Village of Portobelo. Portobelo was colonized in 1597 by Spanish explorer Francisco Velarde y Mercado and quickly replaced Nombre de Dios as a Caribbean port for Peruvian silver. Legend has it that Christopher Columbus originally named the port “Puerto Bello”, meaning “Beautiful Port”.

In 1980 the colonial structure of the old Fort of Portobelo, known as the Monumental Complex, where military, religious, civil and cultural buildings can be found, was declared as a World cultural heritage Monument by UNESCO and by the OAS as a Monumental City of the Americas.

        

Isla Grande is a small island in the Portobelo District. It had a population of 1,237 as of 2018. During the right times of year, the water between the island and the mainland provides an excellent surfing environment. Most of the people found in the town are of African descent and trace it back to black African slaves and those known as Cimarrones.

Located on the Caribbean coast of Panama, it is a protected area where the tropical rain forest and sea meet. Its total area is 34,846 hectares (86,000 acres), of which more than 20% is marine area.

There are 70 Kilometers of long and beautiful beaches, which have become the most visited places by Panamanian and foreign diving lovers. This Park was made to protect Nature, Culture and Historical monuments.