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Review Highlights
Worth the drive

Came to Yaviza after overnighting in Metiti. I had always wanted to see this part of the world... read more

Reviewed December 30, 2018
planetgirl711
,
Lagunitas california
via mobile
Very rough not for everyone expect delays bad quality food and no indoor plumbing

I took the bus to Yaviza and then another off road vehicle further south into some small villages... read more

Reviewed December 4, 2018
jakartamoon
,
Villages, FL
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8 - 13 of 13 reviews
Reviewed August 19, 2014

Fabulous itinerary arranged by Jungle Treks. Very well organized and implemented. Overnights in a rustic lodge, Embrera Indian villages, and jungle camps. Be prepared for a physically demanding but exhilirating experience.

Date of experience: July 2014
5  Thank latinagirl327
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed July 2, 2014

This is a once-in-a-lifetime jungle trip, fuss free and without any home comforts. It isn't an easy trip - the early morning flight is often delayed because of poor conditions and the boat crossing can be really scary. You'll need to wade from the boat with water at thigh-level to reach the shore and the huts (accommodation) are a steep walk up to the top of a bluff, which can be tough in the midday heat. But the views are tremendous and the surrounding forest, even though much of it is restored secondary forest, is beautiful. Treks out into the primary forest yield incredible rewards if you are there to see amazing wildlife - we spotted puma on day 1. Rustic, basic and incredibly remote, it feels like you're in unmapped wilderness and off-the-radar - which isn't that far from the truth. Few mainstream travellers make it anywhere near. Ancon need a minimum group of 4 to run this trip usually, although I was lucky enough to go 1:1 with a guide.

Date of experience: August 2013
3  Thank IntrepidWoods
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed May 7, 2014

We spent two weeks trekking the Darien Gap, encountering Embera Indians (an indigenous people), cutting our way through dense forest, climbing rocky mountains, sleeping in hammocks and bathing in shallow rivers. This is not for the faint-hearted, nor for someone who cannot handle high humidity, strenuous hiking and complete isolation from the world. I found it invigorating, and would go again someday. And, I would recommend exploring with a group as the area has many dangers, especially for the solo traveler.

See more pics and read more info: http://www.xplormor.com/darien-gap-trek-to-the-monkey-stone-aka-yarre-mongara/

Date of experience: March 2014
10  Thank XplorMor
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed April 17, 2012

Ancon has not had a trip to Darien National Park for 2 years, although they still advertise it. They waited til we booked the trip and then swapped it for something else.

Date of experience: March 2012
20  Thank sallyjO336YK
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed August 30, 2008

My wife and I booked a tour with Ancon Expedition to the Darien Gap. Little did we know that it's considered one of the most dangerous placing to travel. Sure we had heard stories of Columbian Rebels kidnapping American tourists and holding them hostege for ransom. We were also warned by friends about the dangers of traveling to this section of Panama, but just brushed it off as unfounded rumors. We went there to experience what a true jungle was like with all of its creatures and fauna. Unfortuately, we mostly saw a wide variety of birds,insects, and lush vegitation. I later discovered that much of the wildlife had vanished due to years of uncontrolled hunting. The animals that remain have gone deeper into the jungle, into areas unsafe to venture. Our guide Mario, was well informed and spoke very good English. He was quite knowledgeable about all aspects of the jungle but on several occasions reminded us that the secondary jungle was only 13 years old. Prior to that, it went through deforestation and was brought back by the volunteers who devoted many summers planting new Mangrove trees. Unfortunately, the animals have yet to return. Perhaps the most interesting aspect of our time in the "Gap" was how well we were protected. No, no one was walking around with M16s but those who watched over us every step of the way was sure prepared for whomever might decend upon us. During one solitary stroll along the beach I had the faint awareness that I was being watched from the jungle for my protection. The Pacific is fished by local Choco and Embera Indians along with some commercial fishermen who sell their catch in Panama City. The sight of a loud custom built boat traveling at 70 nots sure stands out and screams drug trafficing, confirmed by our guide. Overall, I'd say the four days spent there was worth the experience but it may not be what one originally has in mind. How often do you get to walk on a beach for several Klms, or walk in a vast untamed jungle and not see another sole? Darien's Punta Patina is in transition. Thanks to those who care about the environment, it may some day be filled once again with those who rightfully deserve to be there-the animals that roam the jungle.
For those who wish to have a Darien expereince, never go it alone. Several have tried and were never heard from again. Even the most adventurous, or well seasoned traveler should not give into their ego and think that they can go it alone. It's way too easy to get lost in its vastness, or fall prey to those who hide in its uncontrolled boundlessness. I've been all over the world and hiked in untamed wilderness but this is a world unto its own.
Hiring a guide from Ancon Expedition is not an easy way out, it's a safe and intelligent way to have a true experience of the Gap.
Stephen W. New Haven CT

43  Thank Soleniska
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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