Camping in Panama

Panama is ideal for adventure tourism. Spending a night under the stars or listening to the sound of the waves in a tent are unforgettable experiences. Watch the sunset from Volcan Baru, Chiriqui province, or wake up to the incredible view of Laguna de San Carlos, near Coronado. The Visitor recommends some of the best campsites.

Altos de Campana National Park

Altos de Campana National Park was the first national park created in the Republic of Panama, in 1966, with 4,925 hectares. The headwaters of the major rivers of the region: Chame, Perequete, Caimito and Trinidad rise in Campana

Visitors are required to pass through the ANAM information booth, to register and inform the ranger how many people will be visiting the trails. The fee for entry to the park is $3 for locals, $5 for tourists and $5 per tent.

The trails are well marked and of different levels, but for the more adventurous the ascent to Cerro La Cruz (Hill of the Cross) will be a unique experience. Upon reaching the top of the park, where the cross stands, visitors experience a unique phenomenon where the wind in the trees combines with the sound of the waves crashing on the beach.

There are different ways to get there. You can take a bus to Capira from the Albrook Bus Terminal and then a second one to the small town of Chicá which will drop you off in front of the ANAM information booth.

Laguna de San Carlos

Laguna de San Carlos is located 25 km from the Interamerican Highway, in the district of La Laguna, near Coronado. It has an area of about two hectares. Scientists from various countries have tried to establish its origin without success. They have dived to depths of 18 meters without touching bottom in the deepest places, which has led to many legends growing up about the lagoon.

This place is great for those who prefer “camping with a car”, because it is easily accessible. On the shore, there are different places to camp, with space for campfires and it features a restaurant with bathrooms for visitors.

Fishing is allowed and the lake has more than ten different species of fish. You can also explore the top of Picacho hill, 1,182 meters above sea level, which has stunning views of the lake and the Pacific Ocean.

To get there, take a bus from the Albrook terminal to San Carlos and before reaching the Rey supermarket in Coronado, at the entrance of Mini Super Las Lajas, take another bus to Laguna. The fare is about $ 1.50.

The cost per car is $ 5. For camping, they charge according to the size of the tent, starting from $9 for a three-person tent .

Camping in Panama: La Yeguada

La Yeguada Forest Reserve, also known as Chitra-Calobre, is considered one of the best places to camp in Panama for its breathtaking views and cool weather. Getting there is quite easy, 15 minutes beyond Aguadulce you will find the road to Jaguito in El Roble, Cocle.

This is an ideal site in the province of Veraguas for lovers of outdoor adventures. It has a camping area around a pond, nature trails, waterfalls and lookouts.

It is important to register your arrival at the ANAM information booth. The camping fee per car is adults for $2 and $5 per day for each tent.

Trails at the Altos de Campana National Park

Trails at the Altos de Campana National Park.

Luxury Camping in Altos del María

Luxury Camping in Panama in Altos del Maria combines glamour and comfort with the camping experience. Located an hour and a half west of Panama City, it has luxury tents with decor inspired by the nature that surrounds it.

Each cabin represent one of the elements that are part of the natural state: air, water, fire, earth and finally, love. All have private bathrooms with hot water, minibar, Wi Fi, armchairs and a terrace with a panoramic view of the distant Pacific Ocean and the huge peaks of the mountain range. You can prepare a barbeque or dine in the elegant restaurant. For more information call Tel. (507) 836-5237 or visit

National Park Sarigua

The park is located in an arid coastal region only 45 kilometers from Chitré, Herrera province in the Azuero Peninsula. The desert offers a different camping experience. It is important to register at the ANAM information booth, carry all the water you will need and be prepared for the cold at night. The ideal plan is to arrive in the afternoon to make camp when the sun’s rays are not so strong. The next morning, when the day is getting warmer is a good time to pack and explore a beach or a nearby river. Entrance to the park is $ 5.

You can also visit the Carita Pintada archaeological site, the National Museum in Ocú and the Green Iguana project where you can observe the reproduction of this species in captivity. Also in this area is the Humboldt Ecological Station, observation site of migratory birds in Panama and the Mangrove Ceregón gray heron colony.

By Sarah de Guandique

Courtesy of The Visitor