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By Milagros Sánchez Pinzón
At only 45 minutes from David, Chiriqui province, is a system of falls known as the Saltos del Estí, which get their name because they are formed by a tributary of the Esti River, in the Gualaca district.
The impressive waterfalls are located near the homestead of Los Planes, in the same place where more than thirty years ago the Italian company Impreligo established their campament during the construction of La Fortuna Hydroelectric in the 80s.
Los Planes has four spectacular cascades formed by the waters of the Brazo del Estí (also called Arm of the Mountain) with an altitude of 900 meters above sea level. You can reach these incredible falls by walking for about 30 minutes from Los Planes town.
Three of the cascades can be appreciated at this point and have an approximate height of between ten to twelve meters, while the highest one stands at almost 50 meters. Next to the biggest waterfall you can find thermal springs which are used for therapeutic baths. To get to some of these waterfalls there are rudimentary paths with stone and wood steps.
Taking a trip to Saltos del Estí, in the Gualaca highlands, is relaxing and a great way to see a tropical rainforest in all its glory.