El Caño Archaeological Park, located in Nata de los Caballeros District in Cocle province, is like going into a time machine to discover a past civilization that lived in Panama.
The historical, cultural and heritage importance of this site allowed it to be declared a heritage site of national interest in 2018 by the mayor of Nata de los Caballeros, and one of the must-visit sites in the province.
Archaeological History with Mysteries to Discover
In this pre-Columbian necropolis discovered for the first time in 1925, the mystery still persists around the true origin of the ancient population that lived at this site. A place where the remains of well-preserved tombs are found, and more are still being discovered today.
Specialists found artifacts that speak of a complex system of iconography, sophisticated goldsmithing technology and an elaborate hierarchy. In May 2011, the body of a warrior chief adorned with gold artifacts was discovered on top of 25 precisely arranged bodies.
Museum that Provides a Scientific Look
Since April 2019, El Caño Archaeological Park has a renovated museum that offers local and foreign visitors a scientific look at the life and death of the first settlers of this region, their social structure, funerary customs and worldview.
The museum is divided into an anteroom and an exhibition room, where the public can observe a permanent, systematic, contextualized, didactic and mixed documentary exhibition (with original artifacts and replicas), coming from the discoveries found in the tombs of El Caño, visualizing the pre-Columbian societies of the isthmus of Panama, and how these can become a reference in the construction of anthropological theories on the development of political power and the emergence of States in ancient times.
The Necropolis of El Caño represents the culmination of a long process of economic, political, social and religious development that began in the region around the year 500 AD. Its construction spanned centuries (700–1000 AD).
General Information of the Archaeological Park
El Caño museum is open from Tuesday to Sunday from 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m., admission is free.
This Archaeological Park is located just 160 km southwest of Panama City (approximately two and a half hours). Upon arrival you can walk along several trails through the archaeological sites, including the warrior chief’s grave discovered in 2011. Some skeletons have also been placed back in the grave, allowing Visitors to get a better idea of what it was like to discover them at first.