The Mysterious Square Trees of El Valle de Anton, Panama
In a small town, El Valle de Anton, a few hours’ drive away from Panama City, can be seen one of the most fascinating and mysterious things of the world: Square Trees. They are believed to only grow in this one section of the world, and the reason for why they grow with very square corners, instead of round, remains a mystery.
The trees are of the cottonwood family and grow within the ashes of the once active volcano of which the town now sits in. Saplings of the trees have been taken and grown elsewhere to see if they would grow and retain their ‘square’ shape, but without success. It seems it is something very specific about the area which makes the trees grow square. It is truly a fascinating mystery. It is on my bucket list to go visit. I want to see these unique square trees for real! Don’t you?
While there it seems you might also be able to spot one of the most critically endangered Panamanian Golden Frogs….which is actually a toad. (sounds like someone like us named it- we have two cats, Max and Pete, who just had kittens about a month ago—so much for distinguishing names..lol).
This ‘frog’ though is only believed to live in this valley in the wild. It is considered one of the most beautiful frogs of Panama with its bright yellow/golden and black spots. But as nice as it may look, it is a poisonous little thing….so don’t touch! It’s toxin on the skin has caused circulatory and respiratory functions to fail, and cause death.
Other wonderful things to take in while visiting this mysterious place would be a visit to the Chorro El Macho Waterfall featuring a drop of over 200 feet, and another smaller one, the Chorro Las Mosas. There are also pre-columbian Petroglyphs to appreciate nearby. The La Piedra Pintada petroglyphs remain a mystery here as well. Some believe they are a map to something; caves or trade routes. Of course, I’m thinking definitely a map to secret treasures. 😊 I’ll be looking.
Hot springs can be enjoyed, along with horseback riding, bird watching, and hiking. One hike not to miss is the hike to the top of the mountain known as Sleeping Indian. It’s said to offer a captivating view to the valley below. But what I like about this hike is the legend which gives the mountain its name- The Sleeping Indian (La India Dormida)
According to tales, the Princess of the Chief of Indians living in Panama long ago fell in love with one of the Spanish Soldiers who fought against the tribe. One of the strongest fighters of her tribe, however, loved her as well, and when she did not return his love, he chose to leap to his death in front of her. This caused her great sadness to which she decided to leave both her tribe and her true love. She died missing the land she had been born. To memorialize her story, the Mountains are said to have taken form of the Sleeping Princess; and so the Mountains do look like a ‘sleeping Indian Princess.’
So much to learn and explore. And this sounds like it would be quite an adventurous weekend exploring some of life’s wonders!
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