Cocle – Panama

cocle lagunacocle nata churchCocle el valleCocle farralon beach resort

The province of Cocle is an agricultural province in the interior of Panama with a small Pacific coastline.  It is Panama’s largest producer of salt and sugar.  Visitors to Cocle often come for it’s beautiful beaches, mountain scenery and culture.  Former president Manuel Noriega and his predecessor Omar Torrijos both held a deep love for Cocle and considerable amounts of their free time there.

Cocle la pintada springCocle rio

Omar Torrijos loved the isolated mountain ranges and cloud forests of central Cocle so much that he created the Parque Nacional Omar Torrijos. This 6000 hectare national park has a well maintained network of trails leading through remote forests to breathtaking vantage points.  Noriega on the other hand loved the beaches, maintaining a holiday home on the Pacific coast.  Cocle’s beaches are picturesque and crowd free.  They attract seals, sea lions, dozens of sea bird species and more locals than tourists.  There you can find extravagant luxury in Farallon or pleasant low key beaches like Santa Clara.

Those in search of Panamanian culture should visit the capital, Penonome for it’s bustling Panama hat industry and El Valle for the indigenous market which is one of the best in Panama.  Lovers of the great outdoors also enjoy visiting El Valle for it’s mountain trails, horseback riding, mountain biking, camping, waterfalls and rappelling or just to breathe the fresh air.

cocle hat makerCocle cigar rollCocle hats penonome

Highlights of a visit to Cocle include:

– The indigenous market of El Valle
– Hinking the trails around El Valle or in the remote Omar Torrijos National Park

Places of interest in Cocle:

– El Valle, the Cocle centre for outdoor enthusiasts and a strong local indigenous culture
– Penonome, Cocle’s capital city and a good place to buy a hand woven hat or hand rolled cigar