Around San Pancho hiking is confined to a pleasant stroll along the main beach, a walk along the river, or following the Las Palmas road past the Costa Azul resort, around the headland and along the coast. Unfortunately beach access and views along such a path are very limited due to private property restrictions along the coast. Paths and trails striking off into the jungle are also few and far between and usually lead to private property. Creating your own path is not acceptable, as this will only increase the damage to the ecological environment.
Nonetheless, the hikes between town and the outlying beaches can be full of adventure and offer the opportunity to see birds and wildlife, since the road passes through jungle.
One nice option is to walk the dirt road that goes behind the hospital (at the end of Calle Africa) in the direction of the beach. This path will lead you behind the private golf course grounds where it is green, shady and quiet. From there you can either follow it until you are put out onto the main road, or you can take the road to the right which leads you to La Patrona Polo Club.
Another choice would be to walk on the other side of town, to the old riverbed. Ask for directions, and you can follow the river to the lagoon/estuary and see great numbers of seabirds.
And of course walking all through town is most likely the best way to get a feel for the town’s character and to meet a local personality or two.
Caution: If you do set off for a hike you should use common sense and take a few precautions:
- Tell someone where you are going.
- Carry water! Suggestion - freeze a bottle of water overnight and wrap a towel around it when you set off and you will have cold water for later on. Take frequent sips rather than infrequent big gulps.
- Take some food.
- Carry a medical kit; if you do not have one collect together sun block, aspirin, a bandage - crepe/elastic preferably, antiseptic cream, bug spray, a whistle – to attract attention in an emergency.
- a small flashlight would be a good idea.
- Wildlife: encounters with animals will be rare, but snakes, scorpions, land crabs, insects and bird life are around. Do not touch or feed wild animals - some could be dangerous.