Cerro Punta - Barú West Route

Cerro Punta - Barú West Route

Page Type Page Type: Route
Location Lat/Lon: 8.80881°N / 82.54234°W
Additional Information Route Type: Hiking, Mountaineering, Trad Climbing
Additional Information Time Required: Half a day
Additional Information Difficulty: medium
Additional Information Grade: I
Sign the Climber's Log

The west route to Volcan Barú

Volcan BarúStarting point

climbing Volcan BarúSome rock climbs

Volcan BarúFull vegetation trail

The west route to Volcan Baru, begins in the Volcan town, in the village of Cerro Punta. 80 kms from David city.

This is most recommended route for people that they like nature, wild environment, and real adventure.

At difference of Boquete route, this one is much better for many reasons:

-Totally nature environment
-Tiny trail
-Much less people
-Full vegetation area
-Some easy skills to rock climb
-Mountainneers need to be in good fisical condition.
-Is free
-and AWESOME views.

Getting There

By bus or driving.

From David city
80 km to the west looking for a village named Volcan, then to Cerro Punta.

from costa rica - panama frontier
from Paso Canoas to the east route to David. 53 kms is the village named Volcan. Take a bus or drive to the north to Cerro Punta – 27 kms.

Ask to the people for the trail to the volcan. Normally by bus they leave you on front a chinese store. Last place to buy food or water.

Route Description

Volcan BarúAwesome area

Volcan BarúNice views to the surrounded peaks

Volcan BarúBig wall of rocks, entrance to the crater

Take the pavement road, passing few homes, and a greens plantations, 1 mile next reach the uninhabited area, follow straight until reach an abandoned building. (In the past was a payment area to entrance to the volcano park, now is useless)

Take to the left hand path between a low vegetation area. Follow the tiny trail going inside to the mountains.

Some points are a little confusing, cause trail is easy to lost it, if you're not sure, just back and follow the few human signals: footprints, bonfire, sometimes garbage or machete / knife-marks on woods.

After a couple of hours, giants ravines with huges cliffs at side. take to the right hand all over a nice creast. Is the point to start to walking down to the botton. This is the first peak needed to pass to the next area.

On the next area vegetations is less and less, coming the rocky trails with some climbings, not technical challenge just fisical resistance needed. The Path is very steep with hundreds of meters high.

Take care, falling rocks is very often. Is possible to use a very old metal cable fixed to the rocks in the top of the ramp. I recommended use a pair of globes.

Next, the inclined area continues but with less steep.

Entrance with big rocks walls to the both sides is the signal that you're in the crater. Take the left hand path in a rocky trail. In the final rock climbs (easy climb) continues to the left side. And you will find the cross on the summit. 4 or 5 hours depend on your fisical conditions.

Enjoy the views!!

Essential Gear

-Good and comfortable shoes,
-Headlamp even if you start early,
-Machete is highly recommended
-Pairs of globes to use the metal cable or just to take care of your hand skin, remember is a volcanic area with very sharp and spiky rocks.

External Links

Volcan Barú

Additions and CorrectionsPost an Addition or Correction

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Storm2 - Mar 25, 2017 10:22 am - Hasn't voted

How to find trailhead

MARCH 2017 UPDATE Thanks for writing about this route, it's much better than Boquete. However, the directions in this article are very inaccurate; the trail is nowhere near Cerro Punta. Also, you have to be in really good shape to make it in 4-5 hours. 6-7 is a safer estimate and 4 to return. The hike starts in the town of Bambito, halfway between Cerro Punta and Volcan, and it's known as PASO ANCHO. Here are proper directions. - If coming by bus, ask to be dropped off at PASO ANCHO (end of town going towards Cerro Punta). There is no Chinese shop, but lots of strawberry stands. - From the little red bus stop walk back one block and take the left (Calle Baru Parque on Goggle maps). - Walk straight for 2,5km until you reach a 4-way junction (you might be able to hitch a ride) - Go LEFT, in 1km pass the remnants of the old ranger station (nothing but the floor left), and keep on going for another km or so. - Turn left, off the paved road onto a 4WD track. In 2017 there were remnants of an old sign. Plenty of camping spots here, wind shelter a bit further down. - After 1km, the 4WD track turns into a signposted path. The actual trail starts here. - Very well maintained trail, clear of debris and marked by paint arrows. Easy to follow. A few primitive campsites along the way. - The first part is a pleasant forest walk, which soon turns into a steep climb/scramble to a small ridge. Hop over the ridge, drop down into a gully and keep on climbing. Last primitive campsite in this section. Once forest turns into shrubs, the trail becomes a very steep, eroded staircase all the way to the top. This is the hardest part, with great views, plenty of scrambling and over 1000m elevation gain. - At 3300m enter a narrow rocky saddle and go straight to the crater or left to the summit, marked by a tall white cross.

Dragos - Nov 19, 2021 4:43 am - Hasn't voted

Re: How to find trailhead

Hi Storm, Do you have the accurate route / trail as gps file ? We are planning to make the western trail in February, the trail from Boquete was done by us 2 years ago. Regards. Dragos


SomeNumbskull - Oct 24, 2022 9:43 am - Hasn't voted

Re: How to find trailhead

I'm more interested in hitting Baru from this western route and would be interested in a GPX file too. I suppose I could also trace it using Caltopo (https://caltopo.com/m/V6LRM), but would rather see the tracks from someone who actually hiked this. Thanks!

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