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travel to Darien Province

Los Angeles...
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travel to Darien Province
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It looks like one can take the Interamericano from Panama City to Yavitza. How would one get to Mogue?

Has anyone been to Mogue? I would appreciate any input you can give. I'm interested in a canoe trip down the Mogue River & trekking into primary rain forest near Mogue.

Thanks,

lmmla

16 replies to this topic
Atlanta, Georgia...
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1. Re: travel to Darien Province
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I doubt that you will pay any attention to this, but I'm going to write it anyway. You need to read the State Department warning about traveling in the Darien. The warning isn't written just because some government lacky had nothing better to do that day and thought it might sound important. It's written because it's real. I have a very good friend who is in a hiking club in Panama. They recently canoed and hiked across the Darien. Near the area you are asking about, they spent the night in a village. And while they were there, FARC guerrillas came into the village. They were told by the guide, "Don't leave the school," (where they were bedding down for the night). "And, don't look at them." Later, they were told that they had been watched during the day as they made their way through the jungle. Since the guerrillas determined they were all Panameños, the FARC decided to let them go. Based on FARC's historical preference for U.S. hostages -- most of whom are not seen again -- perhaps you should find another part of the world -- or at least a different part of Panama -- to explore.

Edited: 6 years ago
Los Angeles...
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Thank you so much.

I wonder if going with a guide like Yala Tours would make it any safer?

lmmla

Los Angeles...
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I've read state dept. warnings. I could find no report of activity for the past 1 1/2 yrs.

we are2 travelers proposing to go to Mogue with a reputable tour guide recommended by a B & B owner in Panama City.

Do you have any more information?

When did your friend go? It appears that he was guided & was around Mogue where we propose to trek.

We are taking your caution very seriously.

Thanks

Atlanta, Georgia...
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She did the trek six weeks ago. I saw her and she told me about it four weeks ago.

Until then, I thought all the bad stuff about FARC in the Darien was over. Colombia had come to an agreement with the guerillas, so said the news. Not entirely so. There are also a lot of narco trafico ops still going on in that area, too.

FARC and the right-wing militias are the reason for a number of the Emberá villages in the Chagres National Park. Many of them used to live in the Darien and just over the border in Colombia. So many were being killed or "drafted" that many left the area for safer places. It's a long story that was told to me and my Scouts by an Emberá leader almost 8 years years ago. What I have learned from my friend and from the Emberá was that the State Department warnings should be taken very seriously.

Surrey
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GB - a daft question maybe but I am aware Darien is unsafe and that generally speaking the boarder area with Colombia should be avoided. So how does that sit with the San Blas island? As I understand it they are pretty close to Colombia as well - are they safe because I would quite like to take my family there?

Atlanta, Georgia...
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To my knowledge, San Blas hasn't had any of the issues that the Darien has had, and I have never heard of any problems for visitors beyond typical tourist issues. For one thing, there are many miles of water between Colombia and the San Blas Islands. It's a lot harder for the bad guys to slip away from their pursuers on open water and tiny islands that tourists love to visit than it is for them slip into very lightly populated, infrequently patrolled, heavily forested jungle where the indistinguishable border prevents the good guys from pursuing.

Panama City, Panama
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San Blas is fine. It might be a bit rough if you get really close to the Colombian border in San Blas, but that's faaaar away from the tourist areas.

Central America
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Yes, San Blas are just fine and crime rate is very very low.

There is the occassional drug smuggling related bust here, but no FARC activity.

....currently at anchor in the Coco Banderas cayes, San Blas.

Central America
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Did a bit more research. The USA advisories discourage travel to "remote/restricted" areas of the Darien but don't give specific boundaries. However the Australian consulate gives specific boundaries and recommends not traveling beyond Yavitza. Ironically it seems to be roughly the same area as the Parque Nacional which is considered a "no go" zone.

The USA consulate also discourages travel into far eastern San Blas (most tourism activity is in western San Blas). My impression from their wording is that its not so much for security reasons, but becuase it is remote and lacks a lot of infrastructure (a common theme in some of their other recommendations).

There was a theft from a cruising boat here recently and its been big news because it is such a rare event. Such problems are so rare here that the boat had been left unattended for several days with no serious concern about anything disappearing.

Edited: 6 years ago
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My parents live in the area and it is now considered to be an area of high risk to travel into or near the Darien National Rainforest/Park.

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