The lion sleeps….okay, no lion sleeping but lots of people walking. Cerra Ancon or Ancon Hill is a small forest/jungle in the middle of Panama City. Supposedly lots of animals still frolicking on the hill but I didn’t have the pleasure of seeing any. Several online reviews and reports say they have seen toucans, deers, and sloths. I just saw people.
And brave people, I must say. It was over 90 and quite humid on the day my driver, Mario, took me up, and many were walking up to the top. Sweating profusely and panting while I sat in the back of a taxi with air conditioning. Much more my speed. Although, the walk didn’t seem too strenuous, as it wasn’t steep and there were nice benches along the way. Maybe next time.
When we arrived at the top, there were several cars in front of us, waiting at the guard shack. The road is one-way and parking is tight so they only allow so many cars at a time. We had about a 20-25 minute wait, but it worked out quite well. Mario read the comic section of the local newspaper to me…in Spanish. Was trying to improve my language skills. He apparently missed the memo that I don’t do ‘school’ on vacation. Aye caramba.
Finally cars started coming down and we were given the go-ahead, with about ten other cars, to head to top. And man, oh man, the view was worth the wait. From the top of Cerro Ancon, I could see Casco Viejo, Bridge of the Americas, the New City, boats heading to the canal (I think). It was breathtaking.
And free. Did I mention that? There is no charge to head to the top. No amenities, other than a bathroom that I was too afraid to use, and a couple benches and picnic tables. But there were many, many photo ops, and lots of space away from others since they limit the amount of cars at any given time.
I spent less than ten minutes up here and took some of the best pics of my vacation. I’d highly recommend a quick trip to the top of Ancon Hill, whether it be by taxi, tour, bike, feet – it’s a treat.