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By Milagros Sánchez Pinzón
The tranquil and gentle town of Cerro Punta in the Chiriquí highlands is the ideal destination to appreciate the beauty of the mountain landscapes, the cold and crystalline waters of the rivers and springs and the Barú volcano. The peak of Cerro Punta rises from a verdant valley to a height of 2375 meters above sea level.
For trekkers wishing to climb Cerro Punta, a trail begins at the village of Entre Ríos that leads to the top. Bilingual guides like Carlos Fonseca Grajales (Tel. 6569-2703) can accompany excursionists on their ascent of this igneous mass, whose eastern flank is a completely vertical rock face while the rest of the slopes are full of lush vegetation.
From the top of Cerro Punta there are unequalled panoramic views of the region that include the Chiriqui Viejo River and its tributaries, peaks, hills and forests. All this natural beauty merges with the houses, roads, crops, schools, churches and businesses all far below.
The best lodging option is Los Quetzales Ecolodge & Healing Spa at Guadalupe, about a mile further up into the mountains from Cerro Punta. The hotel offers cabins in the Friendship National Park, an excellent restaurant and log fires for the chilly evenings.