White sand beaches and sunny days… No snow to shovel… Leaving behind the stresses of everyday life… These are just a few of the things people dream about when considering moving to places like Panama.
After we’re done daydreaming, though, come the questions. Will my savings last? What if I do not speak Spanish? Will I get bored not having a local movie theater, the opera, or Friday night bingo? Honestly, it all depends on how creative you are willing to be. Becoming a “tourist” in your new home is the best way to get to know more about the people and places you have decided to adopt.
Panama has no shortage of places to visit.
One of the most intriguing and tropical day-cations is the secluded Finca Dracula. Hidden in the hills of Cerro Punta, this is the official home to Dracula. I don’t mean Bela Lugosi’s blood dripping Dracula from the 1930s, but rather the elusive Dracula Orchid.
The orchid genus of Dracula consists of 118 species and can be found in parts of Central America and the northwest Andes. Although the name Dracula means “little dragon” it is an allusion to the character of numerous novels and movies. The red-blood color of several of the species and their three long tails also give credit to the infamous character.
For orchid enthusiasts Finca Dracula is a must-see attraction in Panama. For the rest of the population, Finca Dracula is an amazing respite from the outside world and home to over 2,000 species of orchids. They are cared for by a dedicated staff led by Andres Maduro. His father, Andrew Maduro, bought the property back in 1969.
Andres or one of his staff will lead you through more knowledge, colors, shapes, and varieties of orchids than you ever thought you could care about. Even for non-orchid people, this tour will leave you overwhelmed with the beauty of the world of orchids.
The orchid collection is surrounded by 24 acres of lush gardens. The gardens are all unique in what they have to offer visitors. One of the most unique ones is the Succulent Garden which opened in 2019. Here you’ll see a variety of cactus, Echeverias, Kalanchoe, Aloe, Euphorbias and many more. This garden is included in your guided tour of the orchid collection.
If you still have energy, enjoy the Quetzal Flight Trail. It winds its way up the mountainside through a unique collection of plants and wildlife before rewarding visitors with a vista of the town of Cerro Punta.
To find your way to Finca Dracula head to the highlands of Chiriquí, Panama. Take the road to Volcán and continue on to Cerro Punta. The home to Finca Dracula is located in the cloud forest of Guadalupe and temperatures can be as low as 59°F (16°C) in the daytime. The humidity can be as high as 95% with frequent rain showers or simple misting, making this day-cation the perfect destination for those that need a break from the heat of the beaches of Panama.
For those interested in the amazing Finca Dracula visit their website here. Here you can find more detailed information about what they have to offer and how to get there. Guests would be urged to book reservations for your tour online as they keep groups to a manageable number and only have certain hours available each day.
Note: Finca Dracula is only open each year from January to the end of April.
** Finca Dracula is currently open to guests but monitor changing mobility restrictions in Panama due to the current COVID-19 pandemic.