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Volcan Baru lagoons. Chiriqui province, in the west of Panama, is blessed with many natural wonders. One of them is the Volcan Lagoons (Lagunas de Volcan) located five kilometers from the town of the same name. This wetland has a biodiversity rarely found anywhere else in the world.
Thanks to their altitude, 1,200 meters above sea level, these lagoons are the marshes with the highest elevation in Panama. It is the fifth largest aquatic ecosystem and the highest in Meso America. The average temperature is 14 degrees Celsius.
There are two lagoons in the area: the Minor and the Major and both have been protected by law since 1994. The Minor Lagoon has a surface of 135,258 square meters (13.52 hectares) and a maximum depth of 3.5 meters; while the Major occupies a surface of 173,435 square meters (17.34 hectare) and its maximum depth is 9.6 meters.
The marsh has a lot to offer. Walking through the primary forest the visitor can observe the abundant flora of the highlands from bromeliads and orchids to cedars, vines and ferns or simply admire the changing view.
Photographers will not know where to point their cameras, the variety of subjects to photograph is so immense, starting with the lagoons themselves which look like mirrors where the sky is reflected. As the light changes they become deep blue and for that reason the locals call them “the lakes of the witches”.
Nature lovers will feel at home at the Lagunas de Volcan, because of the great number of plants and animals that can be found there. Mammals such as armadillos, raccoons, ocelots, roe deer, capybaras and red squirrels are abundant in the marsh, as well as endemic birds including wild ducks, turkeys, herons, fishing eagles, bat hunter hawks, hummingbirds and king fishers.
For fishermen the Lagunas de Volcan offer a great variety of game such as tilapia, common carp, grass carp and largemouth bass paddlefish.
This is a magical place.
The road towards the Lagunas begins in the center of the runway of the old Volcan airstrip. It is possible to drive there in a 4×4. The distance to the first lagoon is only two kilometers, so it is worth walking and enjoying the views.