While in Panama, I took a side trip to El Valle de Anton, a small town in the crater of a dormant volcano. The town has a very nice climate, and many Panamanians (the wealthier ones) escape there during the weekend to relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery and outdoor activities. The highlights include hot springs and some amazing hiking. I decided to stay at small guest house near the bus stop that was pretty nice and relaxing (I needed it after spending a few days in bustling Panama City) I asked the owner if he knew about a nice hike and they just turned around and pointed at a looming peak. I went, really?
The next thing I knew, I was beginning to hike up the base of the mountain. I saw a ton of beautiful exotic birds and crazy ass bugs. The further I got up, the foliage and animals seemed to change, and towards the top, the scenery turned more into a pine forest than a tropical jungle, all within about an hour hike. The summit was also ridiculously windy, so windy that I could literally lean completely forward during strong gusts and not fall over. I had to shuffle down on my ass for the first few hundred feet in fear of being blown off the side of the mountain!