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El Valle has enough hiking routes to keep you trekking for days. Hikes are best done early in the morning, when the air is clearer and the birds are more active. One of the best hiking trips in El Valle is the two- to three-hour hike up Cerro Gaital, which passes through lush forest and includes a mirador (lookout point) affording a view of the valley, the Pacific coast, and, on clear days, the Caribbean coast. Another impressive view of El Valle is the one from the Monte de la Cruz, a deforested mountain ridge topped by a cement cross on the northwest end of the valley. Both of these trails are reached by heading up the road to El Chorro Macho, with the Cerro Gaital trail on the right, and the Monte de la Cruz trail a continuation of the road itself.
The popular hiking route up and along the India Dormida ridge, on the western end of the valley combines treks through patches of forest with scenic views. The trail up the ridge is reached by heading west of town, turning right after the baseball stadium, and left again at the first road.
Because El Valle's trails are not well marked, you should hire a guide for these hikes. Nature guide Mario Urriola (507/6569-2676) is the contact person for a group of local guides who can lead you up Cerro Gaital, the India Dormida, and other hiking routes.
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