Mata Oscura

Overview

The Quebro county is a sparsely populated area; people here mainly dedicate themselves to cattle ranching and agriculture. The first modern inhabitants came here from the other side of the Azuero peninsula, Los Santos, in search for land around the 1950’s, crossing the mountain range that divides Veraguas from the rest of the peninsula. This is a coastal area and includes beaches, mangroves, waterfalls, and virgin forest. There is an environmental education center also offering food and lodging that a community conservation association (AAPEQ) built located in Rusia de Quebro, a small community near Mata Oscura and Morrillo beaches.

Activities

Sea Turtle Conservation

The Asociación Agro Pesca Eco-turístico de Quebro (AAPEQ) is a group of community members dedicated turtles on the beachto sea turtle conservation. There are 4 species of sea turtle that lay on our beaches. Community members along with volunteers and visitors monitor the beaches during the turtle season for laying turtles, whose eggs we collect and protect in our hatchery. When nests hatch, we then protect the hatchlings as they crawl to the ocean. All of this is done to better the turtles’ chances of survival as dogs, humans, and birds are major threats to turtle eggs and hatchlings.

Mangrove Excursions

AAPEQ has made a mangrove trail, and has canoes and kayaks to rent for use in the mangrove zone. Guided tours are available. Great for spotting monkeys, birds, and other wildlife.

Outdoor Excursions

Waterfall hikes, horseback riding, full day excursions through virgin rain forest, bird watching, and swimming/surfing on beautiful beaches can all be arranged by talking to the community eco-tourism association (AAPEQ).tortugaspanama.com

Lodging

The community environmental education center has accommodation for 12 people in dormitory style bunk beds. The center has a fully equipped kitchen, a backdoor patio space, and indoor bathrooms. There is running water and electricity. Host families can also be easily arranged.

Hammock on Mata Oscura Beach

Dining Options

Mata Oscura community has one restaurant that serves breakfast and lunch. If staying at the community environmental education center with a group of 4 or more, we can arrange for a community member to cook for the group. A full kitchen is also available for tourists staying at the community environmental education center.

Directions

If coming from Panama, take a left before reaching Santiago, Veraguas at the entrance where a sign says “Atalaya” and “Playa Morrillo.” Take a right 3 miles later; there is a sign that says “Playa Morrillo.” Drive for 70km until you reach the environmental education center on your right (Centro Educativo para la Preservacion de la Flora y Fauna).

Map

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Mata Oscura

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Mata Oscura 7.469381, -80.936794 This is a coastal area and includes beaches, mangroves, waterfalls, and virgin forest. There is an environmental education center also offering food and lodging that a community conservation association (AAPEQ) built located in Rusia de Quebro, a small community near Mata Oscura and Morrillo beaches. Check out Mata Oscura here!

Community Contacts

Anayansi Peralta: (507) 6843-9395
Evelia Peralta: Tortugas.aapeq@gmail.com (507)6101-5973
Peace Corps Volunteer Cell phone (507) 6418-3932