Sarigua National Park is located in Herrera Province, on the northeastern portion of the Azuero peninsula. It encompasses almost 20,000 acres of coastal areas, mangrove swamps and desert. This area was heavily damaged by colonists in the second half of the 20th century, when they completely destroyed the coastal forests to create grazing land. The park is about a three to four hour drive or 35 minute flight from Panama City.
The park is an important archeological location, and houses the ruins of the oldest pre-Columbian village in Panama, dating back over 11,000 years. Many clay and stone artifacts were recovered here which have been extensively studied by scientists. Species of plants and flowers such as the mangrove and laurel are found here, as are a prevalence of slow growing trees. Birds found in the park include pelicans and kingfishers, as well as 162 species of migratory birds.
The park is considered the most barren region of the country, with 43 inches of rain per year and average temperatures of about 80 degrees Fahrenheit. This creates a desert landscape that is in stark contract to the rest of Panama. The beauty of these unique landscapes is the main attraction of this national park, and worth a visit.