Casa Del Arbol (Tree House) Tour

 

Area is famous for the swing over the end of the earth. In reality, it is a gentler slope than the other location.

We had a bit of extra time the afternoon before we left Baños so we decided to take the Casa Del Arbol tour. The tour was 2 1/2 hours and cost $4 per person plus $1.50 in entrance fees per person. What a deal!

The first stop (in the same Chiva as the waterfall tour) was at a place that I can’t find the name. This is too bad because I was relying on pulling up some pictures or website online to show you this incredible swing. It makes the Casa del Arbol swing look like a regular playground swing by comparison.

For this swing, you had to wear a helmet and you were strapped into the swing seat and then sent out from a raised platform maybe 12-15 feet off the ground on the edge of a ridge. I saw one boy about 12 or 13 after he got off of it and he was almost in a daze and had to sit down. LOL

I didn’t do either but just to give you an idea, for the Casa del Arbol swing there was a line of 50 or more people and each person got about 30 seconds on the swing which went out over the overlook but it was a relatively gradual slope.

Even the observation tower was a challenge at the first place. I went up to the second of 4 levels and it was swaying so much I went down. Dan went up all 4 levels, of course.

The tree house at Casa del Arbol wasn’t bad although I only went up the first level.

Incidentally, the Casa del Arbol was built as an observation post after the eruption of Tungurahua Volcano in 1999. In early 2000, the entire city of Baños was evacuated for up to a year. They were evacuated once again in 2014 for a short time. You can see a nice write up about this activity here.

PS, Tungurahua is quiet these days but still considered active. No steam or anything to see at this time.

See how close our bus got to another on the way down the mountain! They inched past each other on the narrow road.

Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve

Pululahua Geobotanical Reserve is located a few miles from La Mitad del Mundo. It contains the Pululahua volcano which has a crater or  caldera that offers a beautiful view. People actually live in the crater which is very rare!

Would have been nice to hike it but it would have been a long climb back up.

Volcan Panama

Horse farm outside of Volcan

Volcan is a lovely area about an hour and a half from Boquete. It is known as the Little Switzerland of Panama. It is a little higher altitude than Boquete and about 1/3 fewer people. It is more agriculture related and cheaper to live. The temperatures are similar to Boquete, 60-75 degrees Fahrenheit. We went there on September 15th which is the first day of their fall festival. We didn’t want to be in the crowds of people that would be there the next day for the parade however we did see quite a few float type decorations at various places along the road.

We couldn’t see the top of Volcan Baru, the highest point in Panama (11,401 feet) because as usual it was overcast. Baru is close to Volcan.

Volcan Baru, 11,401 feet, highest point in Panama (photo from TripAdvisor)