The most popular hike in Cerro Punta is the Sendero Los Quetzales, a footpath through Parque Nacional Volcán Barú that ends in the mountains above Boquete (you can hike it in reverse, but it's entirely uphill). The trail begins at the ANAM station in El Respingo, east of town, where you pay the $5 park admission fee. From there it's a 9-km (5-mi) downhill hike to Alto Chiquero, a short drive from Boquete. The trail winds through the cloud forest and follows the Río Caldera, crossing it several times en route. You might see quetzals, emerald toucanets, collared redstarts, coatis, and other wildlife on the hike, which takes most people three to four hours. Because the trail is not well marked, hire a guide or join an organized tour; the area's bird-watching guides regularly use the trail. Pack a lunch, lots of water, and rain gear, and wear sturdy waterproof boots. The best option is to have your bags transferred to a Boquete hotel and end there for the night. Hire a taxi in Cerro Punta to drop you off at El Respingo, which should cost $15, and arrange for a Boquete taxi to pick you up in Alto Chiquero. Otherwise, walk 90 minutes from the end of the trail through farmland to Bajo Mono, where you can catch public transportation to Boquete.
Cerro Punta, Panama