Last updated on November 17th, 2022
Watching the sunrise at Volcan Baru is one of the most adventurous things to do in Panama and will be a highlight of your Panama itinerary. The bumpy ride to the top will result in the most epic view in the country, standing at the volcanic peak, watching the sunrise over the Pacific and Caribbean. This guide includes helpful tips for the sunrise jeep tour of Volcan Baru.
Are you considering taking the Volcan Baru jeep tour? Here is my honest review of the 4×4 sunrise jeep tour with Beyond Adventure Tours.
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post on behalf of Beyond Adventure Tours. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
About Volcan Baru
Standing 3474 m high, Volcan Baru is the highest point in Panama. The only Panamian volcano, Baru, has the 12th highest peak in Central America. With seven volcanic craters, there are several hiking trails to see each, varying in difficulty level.
Found inside Volcan Baru National Park, the park is home to over 240 species of birds, 86 types of mammals, 25 bat species, and 7 types of jungle cats. The view from the top of Baru Volcano is lush and unforgettable; it is the only place in the world where you can see both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean on a clear day.
Can You Drive Up Volcan Baru?
There are two ways to travel up the volcano: jeep tour or hiking. You cannot drive your own vehicle up the volcano as the road is extremely rough, and even a regular 4×4 is not enough to conquer it. It takes really good tires and skilled driving to reach the top.
Volcan Baru: Jeep Tour vs Hiking
If you want to experience the sunrise at Volcan Baru, but don’t want to do the long hike, the 4×4 jeep tour is for you. It takes about an hour of driving up the steep and winding 14km road and then another hour back down the volcano by jeep. If you have back problems, it may not be best to take the jeep tour due to all of the bumping around in the jeep while it climbs over boulders and potholes. Be prepared for how bumpy it is, and choose to go up Volcan Baru at your own discretion.
Prefer to hike? Hiking to the top will take 5-8 hours in each direction, depending on your fitness level. Do not hike Volcan Baru if you are not physically fit. It is a challenging hike, especially the last portion up to the summit, where you will rock climb. The air is thinner at the summit, so prepare for heavier breathing the higher altitude you reach to get to the top. During my jeep tour, we saw people who had hiked to the top, and they told us how they started their hike around 11 pm to midnight to reach the top before sunrise.
About Beyond Adventure Tours
Beyond Adventure Tours is a tour operator in Boquete, offering adventurous tours: including Volcan Baru jeep tours, white water rafting, birdwatching, rock climbing, hot springs, and more. The owner Rolando is responsive and accommodating, and his staff are fun and professional.
Located in downtown Boquete, Beyond Adventure Tours can be found on the main highway passing through town. Their small shop is next to Brasilerissimo pizza, with a big sign hanging out front.
Address: Av. central, Bajo Boquete, Boquete 0413, Bajo Boquete, Panama
Located in Panama’s Chiriqui Highlands, inside Volcan Baru National Park, Volcan Baru is the highest point in the country. You will be up above the clouds and experience cooler temperatures than in town. During your tour, you will witness the most picturesque views and an endless landscape of mountains and oceans.
Sunrise Jeep Tour with Beyond Adventure Tours
Here is what it’s like going on the sunrise jeep tour with Beyond Adventure Tours:
Our morning began with an early start as we were to be ready for pickup outside our hotel at 3:45 am. Hopping in the jeep, we headed off to pick up the rest of the group for today’s tour. There were six of us, including the driver, and we called each other by the countries we called home: Switzerland, Poland, USA, and us two Canadians. We were on our way to Volcan Baru National Park.
Once checked in with the park ranger, you will begin the super bumpy ride up the volcano. And I’m not exaggerating about how rough it is. It may be only a 14 km ride, but your guide drives the steep incline, curving around and conquering large boulders and potholes along the road. It makes for quite the adventure! Luckily we had the slow driver, as he called himself. We were all thankful, as we couldn’t imagine driving up the volcano faster.
After an hour or so of driving slowly up the volcano, we stopped. We had reached a smooth platform where the jeeps would park, and we would continue by foot to hike to the summit. At this point, my stomach was all out of wack from the bumpy ride, so I took a motion sickness pill to help me be able to climb. It was still dark out at this point. We slowly headed to the top, feeling the air a little thinner at this elevation.
We made it to the top! The view from the summit was incredible and breathtaking. Shortly after, the sun peeked above the clouds. Seeing the sunrise over Volcan Baru was all I had hoped for, an unforgettable experience.
We could see the Caribbean Sea in the distance, but the Pacific Ocean hadn’t shown itself yet. After waiting awhile and soaking in the views, the cloud forest started to roll in. In the distance, the Pacific Ocean made its appearance. Lucky us! Watching the sunrise over two major bodies of water from the summit of a volcano, we felt like we were on top of the world!
After hiking back down to where the jeeps are waiting, it is time for breakfast. Breakfast included warm ham sandwiches and hot chocolate or coffee. It was the perfect way to warm up after the hike. While eating breakfast, we had a surprise appearance from the local wildlife. The little animal was very friendly and would ask for scraps. Once finished breakfast, it is time to head back down the volcano, this time by daylight.
It’s the same bumpy path back to the bottom, but in the daylight, you can see all the boulders and potholes. Safely at the volcano base, the tour concluded and we were each dropped back off at our hotels. What a great morning, and it was only 9:30 am at the finish!
Prices for the sunrise 4×4 jeep tour with Beyond Adventure Tours start at 125 USD per adult. They also offer hiking with a guide starting at 90 USD and overnight camping starting at 160 USD. The jeep tour includes breakfast and hot drinks at the top of Volcan Baru after you watch the sunrise.
Tips for the Volcan Baru Jeep Tour
- Dress warmly and in layers, as it’s cold at the volcanic peak, especially before sunrise. I wore a tank top, t-shirt, athletic sweater, and a light jacket, and I was still cold. Others wore jackets and hats, and some people even brought blankets. Plan to wear an extra layer than you think you need, as you can always take it off if you get too warm.
- If motion sickness affects you, take medication before boarding the jeep or once you get out of the jeep at the top to climb to the peak. The ride was incredibly bumpy, and while I didn’t think I would be affected, I felt sick at the top and took a motion sickness pill before climbing, which helped.
- Get plenty of sleep before your sunrise jeep tour, and plan the rest of your day lightly after, as you will most likely want to nap when you return. When my tour finished around 9:30 am, I was exhausted and napped for 2-3 hours.
Volcan Baru Sunrise Tour with Beyond Adventure Tours: Final Thoughts
Watching the sunrise at Volcan Baru was one of the best things I’ve done in Panama. I love volcanoes and this was my third volcano experience, after volcano boarding Cerro Negro in Nicaragua and horseback riding Taal Volcano in the Philippines. It was the bumpiest ride of my life, but oh, it was so much fun! I had a positive experience and would recommend the sunrise jeep tour of Volcan Baru with Beyond Adventure Tours.
While yes, it’s cheaper to hike, after watching what the hike up would be like, I was very happy I chose to drive up. Our tour group was a fun bunch, and we made unforgettable memories while being bumped around in the jeep from the rough path, laughing along the way. Whether you choose to hike or take the 4×4 jeep tour, if you are considering Volcan Baru, I highly recommend you go.
To learn more about Beyond Adventure Tours, and book your sunrise jeep tour, visit their website.
I hope this information helps you plan your Volcan Baru sunrise jeep tour with Beyond Adventure Tours.