Rio Caldera meets up with the large Rio Chiriqui, embellishing the river are humungous boulders jutting above the water as it flows every so calmly alongside this back road. The boulders give the impression of being prehistoric it is very awesome to look at. There is a beautiful small beach and sometimes during the hot summer days before ending our hike, we stop to cool off by taking a a quick swim in the cool river. Well, some of us do and even if we don't it is the perfect place to take off your shoes and soak your feet.
A Petroglyph In The Meadow
There a few petroglyphs along the road in a meadow. It is smaller than the popular one in the town of Caldera called, La Pierda Pintada which huge. What are petroglyphs and where did they come from? Well for one thing, there are many scattered throughout Panama. Nobody is certain when the stone carving began in Panama. Each carved stone has a message. Many say they date back to pre-Columbian period over a thousand years ago. If you would to read more about them, read my other website where I write about "In Search of Petroglyphs" on a hike I did with the 100 Anniversary of Chiriqui, it is dated August 28, 2009 on my website listed below.
To cross one of the rivers along this trail we had to cross a rickety old foot bridge to continue onward towards Termal Abuela but one can also cross the river during the dry season the river is not high, it came to be just above my hiking boot. A couple of us decided to walk across because of this. The bridge is fragile and so we make it a point to only have not more than two people crossing on it at a time, if not it sways back and forth more than needed.
The trail has many mango trees with some of the most beautiful mango trees that I have seen in Panama. In May they bear fruit and it is wonderful to hike along in this area and being able to eat this delicious fruit.
We finally make it to our destination Termal Abuela, resting, socializing, and snacking for a while before heading back. At the Termal Abuela, the place can be rented for the day. They have an outdoor kitchen, rancho style, and will cook the meal while one enjoys hiking up the ridge and or soak in the termal. The caretaker today mentioned the owner would be adding two more pozos termales (thermal pools) and the road is being cleared for the equipment to come through.
On the road from Boquete to David, look for the sign that leads to Caldera on the left side of the road. It is approximately 11 km from Boquete. Drive on that road for another 6 - 8 kms until you reach the town of Caldera and start looking for a small sign that indicates the road to the hot springs. Last a 4x4 was needed to drive on this road but, since then it has been planed for an easy drive prior to arriving to the large bridge. Expect to walk at least over an 1 hour to Rio Caldera. Walk for another 5-10 minutes uphill to your left until you reach a small gate on your left to enter the private farm. If you walk for more than 15 minutes, you have already missed it go back!
Well, it was truly another magnificent day hiking these trails and as I have mentioned before, I some day you can join us for a nature hike. Remember stay fit, eat well, and stay healthy! Explore - Discover - Dream...