Ancon Hill, Panama City, Panamá Province, Panama
|⏰ Opening Hours
8:00 AM - 5:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
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What is Cerro Ancon?
Cerro Ancon, an iconic hill that rises above the urban landscape of Panama City, is a natural treasure rich with history, biodiversity, and panoramic views. Standing at 199 meters above sea level, it's a beacon for both locals and travelers who seek a serene escape within the bustling capital. Originally under U.S. jurisdiction as part of the Panama Canal Zone, Cerro Ancon is now a proud symbol of Panamanian sovereignty and a must-visit for an authentic glimpse into the nation's vibrant culture and natural beauty.
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History of Cerro Ancon
The history of Cerro Ancon is deeply intertwined with that of the Panama Canal. For most of the 20th century, it was under the control of the United States as part of the Canal Zone, serving as a strategic point for the operation and defense of the canal.
The hill flaunts a massive Panamanian flag at its peak, which became an important emblem of the country's sovereignty after the land was officially handed back to Panama in 1977 following the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
The area around Cerro Ancon has played a crucial role in the country's development, encompassing military bases, residential areas for Canal employees, and even a broadcasting station. Today, it stands as a historical reminder of Panama's journey to full sovereignty.
Why is Cerro Ancon Important?
Cerro Ancon holds a special place in the hearts of Panamanians. It is not just a natural landmark but also a symbol of national pride, as it was one of the last areas to be returned to Panama when the Canal Zone was disbanded.
Its significance extends to the environment, too, acting as a lush urban oasis amidst the cityscape and providing a sanctuary for an array of wildlife, including sloths, armadillos, and deer, not to mention countless species of birds and plants.
Furthermore, its strategic location provides a unique vantage point to observe the Panama Canal, the city skyline, and the ships as they enter and leave this marvel of modern engineering.
Things to Do & See at Cerro Ancon
Visiting Cerro Ancon offers a blend of experiences. A trek up to its summit promises one of the finest panoramic views of Panama City, the canal, and the Bridge of the Americas.
While the hike to the top is a moderate walk and accessible to most, the surrounding area is also a favorite spot for birdwatchers and wildlife enthusiasts. For those interested in history and culture, keep an eye out for remnants of the hill's past, like old military installations now reclaimed by nature.
Meanwhile, the area's wall murals and street art provide a canvas reflecting Panama's socio-political narratives and the creativity of its people. After your exploration, you can unwind in the nearby Mi Pueblito, an open-air museum that replicates traditional Panamanian villages, providing further insight into the rich tapestry of the country's heritage.
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