Darien gap Travel Guide

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This Darien Gap Travel Guide will help you maneuver your way to Darien Gap easily. The reason why you need a travel guide is that Darien Gap is a large undeveloped swampy forest that separates Panama from Colombia.

An Exciting Destination for Backpackers

Darien Gap is a place that lacks finer necessities in life such as roads and big buildings. It is also regarded as a "no man’s land," due to the fact that there are some parts in Darien Gap that are over-run with rebels. Due to its vast and virgin forest, it is still regarded as a haven for naturalists and nature trippers. 

A Place Simply Not For the Faint-Hearted

Darien Gap is a very exciting destination for backpackers. Once you get to the border of Darien Gap and Panama, you are left with a single recourse, riding a motorcycle in order to reach the town of Darien Gap by land. However, you can also use motorcycle boats to maneuver your way in the swampy forests or walk on foot if the water is too muddy for the motor to work. Traveling in Darien Gap is simply not for the faint-hearted and not recommended for children, the elderly or family trips.

Natural Attractions

What is great about the place is that it simply boasts of unspoiled nature. Thus, be sure to bring your camera and get ready to shoot pictures of interesting wildlife at Darien National Park. You can also tour the network of rivers in Darien Gap such as the Rio Tuguesa and Rio Turia, using a banana boat or a motor-powered canoe.  

Shopping in Darien Gap

Darien Gap lacks shopping malls for you to buy souvenirs, you can just go back to Yaviza to buy local souvenirs from handmade beadwork and other handicrafts sold at cheap prices. These souvenirs make perfect gifts to give to your friends and family back home.

Options for Lodging

Darien Gap does not have many hotels and lodging places. In fact, the only decent hotel is the Tropic Star Lodge which surprisingly costs more than most expensive hotels in the city. A night in the Tropic Star Lodge can cost from $100 to $300. On the other hand, camping is not an option for security purposes because Darien Gap has a lot of rebels and military personnel roaming the jungle and swamps. For travelers who want to break out from their comfort zone, then traveling to Darien Gap is their perfect choice.


The Darien Gap is the bit of Transamerican that is missing. No road, just jungle and that's the fun of it. By canoe and by foot you can make it all the way to Colombia, from where it is possible to continue by car or public transport--assuming that are you are not kidnapped on the way and brutally beaten to within an inch of your life, which is more than likely.

When you want to go to Colombia and do not want to cross through the thick of the jungle, the only alternative is going to Colon and trying to get a boat, or a plane, to Puerto Obald�­a near the Colombian border from there.

   While it is considered exceedingly dangerous to cross through the Darien Gap between Panama and Colombia, it is still possible to have a reasonably secure experience in the province, visiting native communities such a Mogue, Boca Lara, and Union Choco. All of these communities can be visited by taking flights or a bus to the last land location, and from there by water taxi. Probably the best method (if you have an open schedule) is to find one of the rusting cargo ships that supplies Darien villages. Some of them also take passengers. They leave from the municipal dock in Panama City - an area known as Salsipuedes (translates to 'leave if you can').

There hasn't been much written about Darien in the past few decades, other than a handful of short adventure sprints (Robert Pelton in National Geo Adventure, and Karl Bushby in his book 'Giant Steps') The only travel book to tell Darien's incredible story - from ancient geology, to native histories, mythology, and on-going problems with politics and kidnapping - will be released in April 2008 by a writer who traveled with native guides and on his own throughout the region for a year and a half by foot, dugout canoe and sailboat.  A description of the book can be found by searching 'The Darien Gap: Travels in the Rainforest of Panama 




March 14, 2006 change by rompy

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