You do not have to stay at Finca La Suiza  to hike the Finca La Suiza trails. These trails are among my favorites in all of Panama , both because of their beauty and because they are so well marked and maintained.
For much of the main trail you’re in the thick of the forest, then suddenly you come upon spectacular waterfalls or sweeping valley views. The forest is alive with sights and sounds.
On my first visit I had hiked in only a few hundred meters when a group of white-nosed coatis scampered through the trees right above my head. There are big cats in the forests here, but it’s very unlikely you’ll have the good fortune to see them. However, on rare occasions there are reports of one attacking cattle.
Be advised that this is a somewhat strenuous hike that goes from an elevation of 1,150 to 1,700 meters. It’s relentlessly uphill for the first half, and the trail “down” has lots of uphill parts. It crosses several streams, which can be tricky in the rainy season when the water is high and the trail is slippery.
As with any forest trail in Panama, do not hike alone. If you get lost, the rescue fee is US$100. Officially it takes six hours to hike the trail, but that’s being conservative. Going at a reasonable clip shaves at least an hour off that estimate. There is also an easier three-hour loop.
Warning: Don’t eat the things that look like blueberries growing along the side of the trail. They’re poisonous.
The trail fee is US$8. Guests at the finca pay only once no matter how many times they hike. If you’re just planning to hike the trail, pay the fee to one of the Ngöbe-Buglé women in the house just up the hill and get a map of the trail from her.
You must start the trail between 7 and 10 a.m. This is for your own protection, as you don’t want to be stuck out there at night. The trailhead is a steep, seven-minute walk up the dirt road. The trailhead is to the left.
There’s a newer trail at the finca that starts from an area called Alta Vista and heads up through a cloud forest, past a huge waterfall to the top of Cerro Hornito. It is an extremely tough trail and it would be hard to retrieve a hiker if there’s an accident.
Unlike the rest of the trails, the Cerro Hornito is true wilderness. If you get lost, you’re finished. This can only be hiked with a guide from the finca; you will get lost on your own. The fee for this is US$72 for 1–4 people, US$18 for each additional person. It takes about six hours to get to the top. The elevation changes from about 1,700 meters at Alta Vista to 2,100 at Cerro Hornito (the lodge is at 1,220 meters).
Finca La Suiza  has a total of 20 hours of trails, so those who want to hike them all should plan to stay in the area three nights.