One of the planet’s richest ecospheres is the 5,790-sq-km Darién National Park, where the primeval meets the present with raw scenery nearly unchanged from one million years ago. Even to this day in the Darién, the Emberá tribe and the Wounaan people preserve many of their traditional ways and hold onto generations-old wisdom of the rainforest. Much of the Darién has remained unsoiled due to its controversial reputation.
One the road to Yaviza, which is the ultimate destination before entering the dense jungle and the most accessible part of the Darién province one will notice evidence of habitat destruction. Traveling by boat on winding rivers and hiking on trails with dense vegetation are the only ways to explore the otherworldly interior of Darién and the Pacific coast, where the ancient tribes of the Emberá, Wounaan and Afro-Panamanians coexist.
The region is not without its problems, and travelers will most likely encounter police and military checkpoints due to frequent drug trafficking. The Darién Gap is not for everyone. However with careful planning and the right destinations, it offers opportunities for adventurous travelers to discover something truly wild.
The road to Yaviza – the most accessible part of the province – has scenes of habitat destruction. Cruising the waterways and hiking trails are the only ways to explore the slow-paced interior of Darién and the Pacific coast, where Emberá, Wounaan and Afro-Panamanians coexist.
The region's issues are complex. Police and military checkpoints are not infrequent because of drug trafficking. The Darién is not for everyone, but with careful planning and the right destinations, it offers opportunities for intrepid travelers to discover something truly wild.