Metropolitan Natural Park
Panama City, Panamá Province, Panama
|⏰ Opening Hours
7:00 AM - 4:00 PM
|💸 Entrance Fee
Find it on google maps
What is Metropolitan Natural Park?
Metropolitan Natural Park, or Parque Natural Metropolitano, is a unique oasis of biodiversity amidst the urban sprawl of Panama City. It is a tropical forest reserve, and it's remarkable as the only wildlife refuge within a capital city's limits in all of Central America. This verdant sanctuary spreads out over 265 hectares and serves as a haven for a wide array of flora and fauna, including hundreds of bird species, mammals, reptiles, and a lush expanse of tropical trees and plants. This park isn't only a green lung for the city but a vital piece of the regional ecological puzzle.
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History of Metropolitan Natural Park
The history of Metropolitan Natural Park is intertwined with the expansion and development of Panama City. Before becoming the conservation area we know today, this land served various purposes, including being part of a military zone during the period of American administration of the Panama Canal Zone. It was officially declared a national park in 1985, amidst growing concerns over the loss of tropical forests in Panama and the pressing need for urban green spaces for the city's residents. Since its establishment, the park has been a focal point for environmental education and urban biodiversity research.
Why is Metropolitan Natural Park Important?
The significance of Metropolitan Natural Park extends beyond mere recreation. It acts as a biological corridor that allows species to move between the larger surrounding forests and the urban area. It provides an essential service of cleaning the air and offering respite from the city's heat island effect. The park supports environmental education for Panama's citizens and visitors, anchoring a strong sense of the importance of nature conservation within the urban context. On a wider scale, it contributes to the global struggle to conserve biodiversity and balance human impact on the environment.
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Things to Do & See at Metropolitan Natural Park
Visiting Metropolitan Natural Park offers a multitude of activities for nature lovers and those looking to escape the city's hustle. Birdwatchers can find a paradise here, with an opportunity to spot keel-billed toucans, sloths, or the vividly colored trogons.
For the adventurers, there are well-maintained trails like the Mono Titi Road or the Los Caobos Trail that lead you through varying levels of terrain and offer stunning views of Panama City and the Panama Canal.
For the insightful minds, the park's Environmental Education Center provides deeper knowledge about the park's ecosystem and conservation efforts. Kids can engage with interactive exhibits and educational programs, making it an enlightening experience for future nature stewards.
Lastly, the park is a serene spot for picnics, leisurely walks, or even a quiet spot to meditate surrounded by the music of nature. With its combination of leisure and learning, Metropolitan Natural Park isn't just a visit, it's an enriching encounter with nature right in the heart of a bustling city.