Square trees do exist in El Valle de Anton, Panama. You need to get there fast, though, as they are quickly returning to their intended round state. Find out how to see los arbol cuadrados for free!

Visiting the Square Trees of El Valle de Anton

Square trees are definitely an oddity, and one we at DIY Travel HQ had to see. Rumors tell of a whole forest full of square trees, but there are only a handful left today. Apparently, the trees no longer adhere to their rigid square form once they mature. When visiting, don’t forget your LifeStraw Water Filter Bottle, our #1 travel accessory!

El Valle de Anton Square Trees Hiking Path

Take a hike through the woods to find the two remaining square trees!

If I had to take an educated guess, I would bet a farmer originally created boxed trees in hope of reducing wastage when producing mill grade lumber. Naturally, as you removed the framing to allow growth, the trees returned to their natural round form.

El Valle de Anton Square Tree Forest

These trees are closer to their natural state.

The reviews on TripAdvisor are not great, but I needed to see these square trees in El Valle de Anton for myself. They are located behind a locked gate at Hotel Campestre, with limited hours so check before visiting. We were disappointed when we learned they were closed upon our initial arrival after 4 pm since the square trees are far removed from El Valle de Anton.

Road to Square Trees with Sleeping Indian Girl in Background

It takes about 30 minutes to walk to Hotel Campestre so check the operating hours in advance.

How to See the Square Trees of El Valle for Free

Knowing that the square tree forest costs $3 to enter, I naturally turned to Maps.me to see if there was a free way to see them due to the bad reviews. I was not disappointed as El Valle de Anton’s square trees were marked on the map along with the trail.

Path to See SquareTrees of El Valle de Anton for Free

Save yourself $3 and buyers remorse by seeing the square trees in El Valle de Anton for free!

Luckily, there is a road that runs immediately behind the square tree reserve, and provides easy access to sneak in and out without anyone knowing. You can follow along using GPS, and then cut through the vegetation where the path is closest just before a small stream. Turn left, cross the bridge, and the square trees are a handful of minutes further on.

Free Entrance Square Trees of El Valle de Anton

Remember this location as this is the free place to enter for the square trees of El Valle de Anton.

El Valle de Anton Square Tree Expectations

You definitely need to set your expectations low when you visit the square trees of El Valle de Anton. There are only a few, and it is tough to see them without signs indicating their presence. If you want to take pictures, your best bet is to grab two sticks to make a cross to show that the tree is indeed square. You can then continue on the loop trail, or return the secret way.

El Valle de Anton Panama Square Trees

Requiring signs that point to the two square trees in El Valle de Anton is probably not a good sign.

El Valle de Anton Things to Do

Hopefully you didn’t come to El Valle de Anton just for the square trees, and wanted to enjoy some of the other things to do. The next best thing to do is to hike to the top of the Sleeping Indian Girl, whose lying down body forms the contours of the mountain ridge.

Downtown El Valle de Anton Panama

Downtown El Valle de Anton is very small and walking is the preferred transportation method.

Perhaps the view from the top is great, but we decided the best use of our time was to see her from a distance. The best views are from a hill near the El Valle de Anton’s square trees, but we caught a good glimpse of her resting from a horse farm just off the main road on Calle El Ciclo.

El Valle de Anton Sleeping Indian Girl

Can you see the Sleeping Indian Girl?

Sundays also bring a bit of excitement to dull El Valle de Anton with the weekly market. This is the only time we saw the town bustling as veggies were sold alongside souvenirs for tourists.

El Valle de Anton Panama Sunday Market

Accommodation might be on short supply, but the Sunday Market does add energy to El Valley de Anton.

El Valle de Anton Hostels

There are two hostels with $15 dorms near the center of town worth considering. Bodhi Hostel & Lounge has an unacceptable 27 bed dorm, which is why we chose to stay at Windmill Hostel. Since we were a late walk-in, we also got upgraded to our own fan room for the same price. The 12 bed dorms looked nice as well with curtains and personal outlets, and mesh lockers outside.

El Valle de Anton Panama Windmill Hostel Private Room

Windmill Hostel is the #1 hostel in El Valle de Anton, Panama!

The biggest bonuses were the pool outside, large dual kitchens with complimentary breakfast, and a game room for everyone to enjoy. The game room included ping pong, Foosball, billiards, darts, TV, and other items. The only downside was the private rooms in the center were loud as you could hear everything through the cinder block openings.

El Valle de Anton Restaurants

If you choose a hostel, then you can grab all your ingredients for cooking from a handful of grocery stores nearby. Otherwise, try Restaurante Tierra y Mar for budget meals, across from the unmissable Bar Restaurant Pekin.

El Valle de Anton Restaurante Tierra y Mar

Restaurante Tierra y Mar is the best budget restaurant in El Valle de Anton.

Getting to El Valle de Anton, Panama

El Valle de Anton is best reached from Panama City, but you can take any Panama City bus from the north and get dropped off at Las Uvas on the Panamericana. From there, you need to transfer to the El Valle de Anton bus that passes the intersection.

Panama City Albrook Bus Terminal

One way or another, you will find yourself at Panama City’s Albrook Bus Terminal.

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Square trees do exist in El Valle de Anton, Panama. Find out how to see los arbol cuadrados for free! They are located behind a locked gate at Hotel Campestre, with limited hours so check before visiting. Other attractions include the Sunday market, waterfalls, and hiking to the top of the Sleeping Indian Girl, whose lying down body forms the contours of the mountain ridge. You can stay at Windmill Hostel or Bodhi Hostel and Lounge, and eat at Restaurante Tierra y Mar.

 

 

***The Final Word – El Valle de Anton isn’t worth visiting if you are short on time or money, but the pleasant temperature and sunshine can distract you for a few days.***

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Super easy DIY travel around city centers

Visited in February 2017

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