Route of the Pintao Hat
The route starts at the Old Quarter of Penonomé, and area featuring majestic houses.
The area has many attractions such as the Cathedral, the Main Square, the Geographic Center of Panama and mural paintings about life in the province of Cocle.
After Penonome, we travel to the town of La Pintada, named after a painted house that used to be a reference point for local residents.
There, the crafters of the village of Machuca demonstrate their hat-making skills.
Visitors take advantage of the opportunity to buy hats and other handicrafts.
After, leaving La Pintada, the route takes a curvy road uphill to the town of Vaquilla.
At Vaquilla, several families earn their living by making hats.
Another town in the route is El Aguila, where visitors are welcomed to the rhythm of cumbia pajonalena, a local genre.
At this town, a representation of the burial and farewell ceremony for a young child is performed. It is a traditional ritual of hope.
Local handicrafts of different types are available in the town.
The last town of the route is Membrillo, where locals carve Belmont stone.
Beatiful figurines are made of Belmont stone a unique material in Panama.
People in this town also paint wood peaces with beautiful images of local wildlife.
The Route of the Pintao Hat offers many attractions for all types of visitors. It begins at Penonome's historic center with its buildings such as the Cathedral and early 20th Century houses. Nearby, its the Geographic Center of Panama and mural paintings representing each county in Cocle province.
Following the route, we get to La Pintada, the epicenter of the pintao hat industry in Panama. There, expert crafters show visitors the process of making the hats. There are also opportunities to walk around the landmarks of the town, such as the church and several squares.
Next, as we go north, the route turns rural and offers the possibility of picking one or several towns to visit. One of them is Vaquilla, a villae high in the mountains whose people also make hats.
Another town is El Águila. Here, in addition to handicrafts, locals offer cultural and musical performances such as The Fachenda, a representation of the funeral of a young child. Since, it is considered that the deceased kid has no sins and thus instantly becomes an angel, the funeral is more a celebration of hope, instead of sorrow.
The last option of the route is Membrillo, a town famous for its crafters of Belmont stone. Locals work this stone to turn it in statuettes of birds and other animals. Membrillo also offers wood carvings and painted wood handicrafts.