Volcán Barú

Volcán Barú



Location: Chiriquí Province Map

Elevation: 3,474 metres (11,398 ft)


Description of Baru Volcano

Volcán Barú is an active stratovolcano situated in the Chiriquí Province in Panama. It is the tallest peak in the country that reaches an elevation of 3,474 metres (11,398 ft). The last time this volcano Baru erupted was 1550 AD, but it is nevertheless can erupt in the future. In 2006 a strong earthquake hit the region, thus raising the possibility of increased geological activity that some day may result in a powerful eruption. An area of 14,325 ha (35,400 acres) was reserved for Parque Nacional Volcán Barú (Volcano Baru National Park) in 1976 to protect the mountain and its unique biosphere.

If you choose to climb the summit takes into consideration that the weather might get very bad. Temperatures might plummet to 0°C (32°F). In combination with hail and snow it can make things much worse. The dry season between December and April is the best time to make the climb. The earlier you start the better are the chances to get to the top and complete a 27 km (13.5 km one way) track to the summit and back to Boquete. You will have to accent over 1700 meters of elevation so prepare for possible altitude sickness that might be evident in various forms. As you climb the Baru Volcano you pass through rainforest jungle to alpine grasslands with rock outcroppings. Make sure you carry enough warm clothes and enough water. The gusts of wind are strong and temperatures can be very severe. Additionally rains can hit hikers without much expectation so poncho or raincoat is a must.


However once you get to the top all difficulties will be worth it. It offers a great view of the surrounding landscape. On the clear day you can easily see the Atlantic coast and several islands of the Caribbean chain as well as the Pacific Ocean. Some basic campgrounds are open in the national park and around a perimeter of the volcano. Closest settlements to the volcano are Cerro Punta on the North slope, Boquete on the East, Volcan on the West and Cuesta de Piedra to the South- West of the peak.