By Raul Arias de Para
The history of Canopy Lodge begins almost a century ago when my father, Don Tomas Arias Revello, first went to El Valle de Anton in search of a peaceful and secluded place to build a week-end home. At that time the road ended about 20 kilometers from the center of the village and the last stretch was done on foot or on horseback. The trip from Panama City lasted two days and sometimes the traveler had to spend a third night along the way.
He came many times over a period of several years and explored the area extensively until he found the spot of his dreams. It was next to a clear and fast moving stream, the Rio Guayabo, at the foot of some of the tallest mountains in the valley and far from everything else. These mountains are now part of the protected areas of the Monumento Natural Cerro Gaital.
Many years later he told me he could have chosen any piece of land in El Valle, it was all unoccupied public land at the time, but he chose this spot precisely because of its solitude and its proximity to the stream. He named it Finca Escucha Ruido, “listen to the sounds” — no doubt inspired by one of the stops of the train which carried the gold from the legendary mines of Cana, in Darien, to the port in Boca de Cupe for shipping to Panama City and which was named Escucha Ruido. In his youth my father visited Darien many times to supervise the operation of the Cana Gold Mine in which my grandfather, Don Tomas Arias Avila, was a partner.