Updated: Jul 24, 2019
Ancon Hill is the most popular viewpoint in Panama City, with views over the Panama Canal, city center and Casco Viejo old town region.
Ancon Hill has a dry tropical forest, in the middle of an urban area, where species of flora and fauna coexist, to name a few here you will find; Sloths, armadillos, coatis, toucans and deer. At its peak you will find the national flag of Panama.
We found out that the opening time is 530 am after speaking to the security team. This meant we could reach the summit in time to watch the sunrise over Panama City, which I highly suggest. There is no entrance fee or parking fee to visit Ancon Hill.
It has two accesses, one for the Mi Pueblito Tourist Center, located in the avenue of the martyrs and the other entering through the administration building of the Panama Canal. It is common to see people making hikes and visitors admiring the nature of the area. It offers three viewpoints to various points of the city. It was one of the first military bases of the American government that reverted to the Republic of Panama on October 1, 1979, when the Torrijos-Carter treaties came into force.
The climb up Ancon Hill (Cerro Ancon) in Panama City takes only 30 minutes. The incline is quite steep but it is gradual and on a paved road. This is a leisurely climb suitable for kids, dogs, and hikers of all abilities.
Through the thick jungle, you will earn glimpses of the city along the way up. Keep your eyes open for wildlife. Eagles are soaring above while on my last visit we saw a pair of Tucans sitting in the trees, which was amazing to witness with Panama City right there in the background!
The Panamanian guinea pigs, similar to the Capybara roam around and you will likely catch a glimpse of one of those too.
Once you reach the top there are two viewing platforms. Well, there are actually three but only two are legal. The first platform has a bench and a little viewing hut with good views over Casco Viejo old town.
The final viewpoint is illegal and you would have to jump the fence to visit it. It would give you views of the Panama Canal and an up close and personal look at the Panama Flag. The flag is actually the same size as a basketball court and towers above Panama City. You can see this flag from almost anywhere in the city. The flag has been flying 365 days per year since 1977. It is a symbol of national sovereignty in the formerly occupied territories. It is dedicated to the signing of the Torrijos-Carter Treaties.
How to get?
From the Albrook transport Terminal, take a bus with one of the following routes: K100, K160, K200, M100, M120, K450, K480, M440, M500, M540, S480. Get off at the Abastos market stop and walk 1.4 km to the entrance of Ancon Hill to the side of the tourist center of Mi Pueblito in the avenue of the martyrs.
To reach Ancon Hill, you can drive to one of the two entrances: the first entrance is located next to the Mi Pueblito Tourist Center on the Avenue of the martyrs, and the second entrance is access from the Panama Canal administration building. . In both cases, you must leave your vehicle parked and climb to the top of the hill.
What to do?