El Valle de Anton Square Trees

How to Visit the Square Trees of El Valle de Anton, Panama

In City Guides, Panama, Wildlife by Erik @ DIY Travel HQLeave a Comment

Square trees do exist, but you need to get there fast as they are quickly returning to their traditional round shape! Find out how to see the El Valle de Anton arboles cuadrados for free.

Square Trees of El Valle de Anton

Square trees in Panama are definitely an oddity, and one we at DIY Travel HQ had to see for ourselves.

Rumors tell of a whole forest full of square trees in El Valle de Anton, but there are only a handful left today. Apparently, the trees no longer adhere to their rigid square form once they mature.

El Valle de Anton Square Trees Hiking Path
Take a hike through the woods to find the two remaining square trees of El Valle de Anton!

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 they 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.

We recommend purchasing travel insurance before any trip to Panama, especially if you plan on doing any hiking.

We’ve been using World Nomads for over 10 years. It’s the best-value provider we’ve found, but there are other important things to consider. Check out our post and find out which of our claims were successful or denied.

Sendero Natural Arboles Cuadrado

The reviews online for Sendero Natural Arboles Cuadrado are not great, but I needed to see the El Valle de Anton square trees for myself. The family friendly nature trail is located at Hotel Campestre behind a locked gate.

At the time of our visit, the Arboles Cuadrado Nature Trail had limited hours. You could imagine how disappointed we were when we learned the trail closed at 4 pm and we were 15 minutes too late.

Try to check operating hours with Hotel Campestre before visiting since the Arboles Cuadrados are a 30 minute walk from El Valle de Anton, Panama.

Road to Square Trees with Sleeping Indian Girl in Background
It takes 30 minutes to walk to Hotel Campestre so check the trail operating hours in advance.

Although square trees are the highlight on the 1.6 km loop trail through Panamanian rain forest, it is also possible to spot birds, butterflies, the Panamanian golden frog, and maybe even sloths.

In 2019, the El Valle Amphibian Conservation Center Foundation (EVACC) started managing the trail to protect the endangered amphibian.

  • Entrance Fee: $3

Find more inspiration in one of the Panama guide books below! 

Top 12 Places to Visit in Panama

Panama is a country of many faces & places, from the indigenous islanders to the mestizos of the cities – find out the most popular Panama tourist attractions to meet locals & fellow travellers alike!

Read more

How to See the El Valle de Anton Square Trees for Free

It was disappointing to learn that we could not enter the nature trail despite several hours of daylight left, but we weren’t going to let that stop us. We naturally turned to Maps.me to see if there was another way to see them.

Maps.me did not disappoint as the square trees of El Valle de Anton were marked on the map along with the trail. We had found our way into the square tree forest, and for free!

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 to the road just before a small stream. Turn left on the trail, 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 Arboles Cuadrados 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 left, 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.
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.***

What is your minimum TripAdvisor rating that you will consider actually visiting?

Visited in February 2017
Updated February 2020

Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links which means that we receive a small commission if you click on a link and purchase something that we’ve recommended, at no extra cost to you.

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