PANACA is an agricultural based theme park in the UNESCO World Heritage listed Coffee Cultural Landscape of Colombia. It features several different species of domesticated animals and many that are exotic to Colombia. PANACA is a great chance to get up close and personal with these animals and learn the importance of farming and agriculture. The majority is all in Spanish, so it’s much more enjoyable for Spanish speakers.
A day at PANACA is very affordable. At the time of our visit, a full pass was COP$59,000 (as of April 2015). This included entrance to all five shows available in the park. The shows are entertaining and well worth watching. A regular pass was COP$25,000, which only allowed entrance into the park and to see the animals. An individual show cost COP$15,000, so the full pass is a great deal. There are plenty of opportunities to buy food and drinks along the way at reasonable prices.
PANACA is very well organized. Once through the main gates, an employee will show you where the main path starts. There are different stations along the main path. Each station has a different theme and some of them have shows lasting between 30 and 45 minutes. When the shows finish, visitors have enough time, anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes, to walk to the next show and enjoy the animals and scenery along the way.
When to Arrive
It’s best to get there early. I recommend starting no later than 10am because the park is designed for visitors to follow a loose schedule. For example, the first station’s show finishes earlier and ends for the day, while the last station’s show doesn’t start until later in the afternoon. If you miss the earlier shows, you miss a lot. There are usually two showtimes per station.
Estación de Ganadería
The first station was the Estación de Ganadería. Here we had a chance to visit with different types of cattle, sheep, goats, and llamas.
The show here was called En el Campo Está el Futuro (In the Country is the Future). There was a lot of audience participation involved, with guests learning how to milk a cow and goat.
The 30 minute show finished with a parade of exotic cattle from around the world with some more audience participation.
Estación de Especies Menores
The next station was the Estación de Especies Menores. This featured several cages with smaller animals, such as birds, chickens, and rabbits. The show was called Sin Campo No Hay Ciudad (Without the Country There’s No City). It was a comedy sketch about a country woman who wanted to leave for the city and was full of good old fashioned paisa (the people of the area are called paisas) humor. The show lasted 30 minutes.
Estación de Avestruces
From there, we made a quick stop at the Estación de Avestruces, where visitors were given the chance to feed ostriches. They could buy carrots for a small fee and hold them out for the ostriches to take them.
Estación de Porcicultura
Next was the Estación de Porcicultura, where pigs reigned supreme. After seeing the cute newborn pigs, we saw the giant hogs resting and fighting each other in their pens.
The show was called Juégatela en el Cerdódromo, where kids raced against pigs and adults had a pig weighing contest. This show lasted 45 minutes.
The best part of this show was the completely improvised singing from the two hosts. They asked some visitors where they were from and some their jobs, and they battled it out with a song. For me it was probably the most entertaining part of any of the shows we saw.
Next was a quick stop at the Estación Felina, where different kinds of house cats were on display, followed by the Estación Canina, which allowed visitors to play with several breeds of dogs. The show was called El Amigable Mundo del Perro (The Friendly World of the Dog), where dogs (and people) were able to show off their amazing skills.
Estación de Sericultura
The Estación de Sericultura allowed a visitor to see how silk was produced. It was located in a small building.
It was a long walk to the next station, but those brave enough to try could pay COP$12,000 to cross the Puente Tibetano (Tibetan Bridge). They were given proper safety items to cross. There was also a zip line in the park for COP$20,000.
The Estación Equina featured horses, ponies, donkeys, and mules. We didn’t have time to watch the show, 5 Continentes al Galope (5 Galloping Continents), but it displayed 20 different breeds of horses from five different continents.
Estación de Agronomía
The final station was called the Estación de Agronomía and showcased 30 different species of fruits and vegetables grown locally on farms. There were a few gift shops on the way back towards the main entrance.
For visitors who wish to maximize their time, there is a resort hotel on the premises, Decameron PANACA. It’s attached to the park.
To get to PANACA via public transport, there is a bus from the main plaza in Quimbaya. Coomodequi runs the buses for COP$1600 per person. It takes about 20 minutes to reach the park and the bus stops at the main gate. Visit my entry about Quimbaya to find out where to catch the bus to PANACA.
If I compare PANACA to the other theme park in the area, Parque del Café, I would say overall PANACA is much better. For non-Spanish speaking visitors, however, PANACA is a little difficult to do.