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Center of Panamanian Culture in Cocle

12 hours
Brief description: The Altos de Campana National Park in the town of Penonome, the Costa Tobacco Factory, the El Caño Archaeological Park, Nata de los Caballeros.
Full description
Cocle is known as the land of sugar, salt, and presidents. More sugar has been refined in this province, more salt has been produced here, and more Panamanian presidents have been born in Cocle than in any other province. The locals are very proud of this but the province isn’t just about political legacies and table condiments. Situated in the very center of Panama on the Pacific coast, the Province of Cocle is famous for endless tourist attractions.
Some people say that the word "Cocle" comes from "Cocole", the name of the Indian tribe that inhabited Panama many years ago. Many pre-Columbian artifacts and graves were found on the territory of the province, e.g. in Sitio Conte. Based on dates from the goldwork and polychrome ceramics found at the site, its use is dated from approximately 450–900 A.D. Among others, there are jewels; pottery; bone, gold and stone jewelry; precious metals; gems; fabrics, etc.
Covering an area of eight hectares, the El Caño Archaeological Site has an extremely intriguing history. After almost a decade of excavations and studies, archaeologists discovered a large number of mounds surrounded by a circular row of huge stones. The mounds turned out to be Native American tombs of "middle-class" individuals, buried there between 500 and 1550 A.D.
Founded in 1581, the town of Penonome is the capital of the province of Cocle. We will visit the geographic center of the Republic of Panama and the San Antonio Museum. Located in the San Antonio district, the museum represents Pre-Columbian Panama by an unequalled collection of "huacas", the ceramic art of the ancient people. Exhibits illustrate farming and fishing pursuits in this area that date back to 2800 B.C., the Spanish conquest, and Catholic religious art of the XVI-XIX centuries, including ceremonial and personal decorative pieces.
Other tourist attractions in Penonome are the Main Square and Saint John the Baptist Church; the 8 of December Park; San Antonio district; and Handicrafts Market where you can buy a "sombrero pintado", the traditional Panamanian black and white hat.
Founded by the Spanish in 1520, full name of this historical city is Nata de Los Caballeros, where Nata is commemorating local casique Anata and "Los Caballeros" — 100 Spanish knights quartered in the city. The town is the third oldest surviving town in Panama. It is home to a church which claims to be the oldest one in the Americas. It is thought that the church, known as the Basílica Menor Santiago Apostól de Natá, was built over several decades after the Spanish arrived.
The lunch is not included.
It’s a long trip, more than 300 km both ways. The approximate duration is 12 hours.

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