La Palma, Capital of Panama’s Darien Province, is located where the Río Tuira flows into the Golfo de San Miguel. It is the most populated town in the region with over 4000 inhabitants. Despite its status as capital of the largest province in Panama, La Palma is a rustic frontier town with one road that acts as its downtown Main Street. The town is land-locked so inhabitants and tourists must either arrive by boat or plane. The airport is a short single runway less than a mile from town. There’s also one bank and one hospital that serve the entire province. There are small medical centers in other Darien towns, such as Sambu, but none offer the facilities or medicine of the La Palma Hospital.
XplorMor Founder, Julia, had the fortune of visiting both the Sambu Medical Clinic and the La Palma Hospital due to a terrible foot infection acquired while trekking on the Darien Archaeological and Terrain Research Expedition. Both facilities were primitive, but equipped to handle such local ailments. The staff in Sambu spoke only Spanish, but in La Palma they spoke English as well. Both were very helpful, and thankfully had her healing in no time and back to the expedition.