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The Panamanian town of Chitre, the capital of the Herrera province, is an agriculture centre that is home to 150,000 people. Located on the fertile Azuero peninsula, Chitre's busy town centre with modern shopping and restaurants provide the best of city life in this predominantly rural area.
The town centre is home to a bustling square that is the centre of the area's social and culture life. At the heart of the town is a grand white Colonial church that spans one city block. The Herrera Museum has an extensive collection of artefacts found in this area and provides visitors with a history of the region.
During the evenings, the streets of Chitre come to life. Cooler temperatures allow for quiet walks through the area's many small town centre parks or taking in the vibrant night life scene. There are many nightclubs and cantinas which attract those from across the peninsula. The February Canaval sees Chitre turn into a drinking haven as alcoholic juice boxes and grain alcohol are sold on street corners. Hotels fill up quickly during this festive period.
When exploring the peninsula, Chitre makes an ideal base. While public transportation is relatively inexpensive, it can hinder independent travel and can be time-consuming. Many visitors opt for a car hire service to see the sites.
Cerro Hoya National Park is reached easily by car. Bring a camera along so you can take photographs of the many species found in this beautiful nature reserve, including: monkeys, parrots and deer. Ninety-five species of bird inhabit this jungle.
Chitre is located 7km inland, so Panama's untamed beaches are just a short drive away. Driving along the coast to Punta Mala will reveal some of the country's most amazing beaches.