At only about 70 km from Panama City is the oldest national park in the country. Created in 1966, the Altos de Campana National Park covers 4,816 hectares, a mountain that rises imposingly and has one of the most beautiful views when driving on the Pan-American Highway on the way to central provinces, with views of mangroves in the Bay of Chame and Punta Chame.
A Place that Fills You with Energy
Visiting new places is always an opportunity to travel and live new experiences. Chica is located in Cerro Campana, a beautiful place that fills you with energy and leaves those who visit it breathless.
This natural park is located at about 60 kilometers from Capital city along the Inter-American highway. To get there, turn to the right after Capira through the entrance to Altos de Campana National Park, as you go up you can reach the Campana viewpoint that is located on the road with impressive views of the Bay of Chame and Punta Chame.
Cool Mountain Climate
As soon as you start to climb the mountain on the road you can feel a cool mountain weather. The temperature is between 20 to 23 degrees C °, however you should bring comfortable clothes, water and even something to eat, without forgetting to wear shoes that do not slip and always leaving all places free of garbage.
La Cruz Trail
Chica, in Altos de Campana, has a series of nature trails that are visited by hundreds of local and foreign tourists. The most emblematic trail is the Sendero La Cruz.
This trail has a high level of difficulty, with some sections with a steep incline. At the top of the Hill, is “La Cruz”, hence its name, built in the 1960s. From this point you can enjoy a majestic view of Chame Bay, the mouth of the Sajalices River, the mangrove forests, as well as the particular and unique orography of the protected area.
Panama, Podocarpus and Zamora Trails
The Altos de Campana trails are very well signposted, with plenty of signs and maps. At the beginning of the national park there is an information post where you can get a map of the trails and information about their condition. A few meters from the information center is the Caja de Agua viewpoint, with beautiful views of the mountains and the Bay of Chame.
The access to the trails is a little further up, at the entrance to the “I’m not here” farm, announced with a large sign at street level with the same words
The access has limited space for parking and is the starting point of the Panama trail, easy to walk and from which the other trails branch off. After a brief ascent, the first detour is found, with the path to Cerro La Cruz (previously described) in a rest area with tables and chairs for a picnic.
Rest Area and Entrances
Following the trail for about 200 meters there is a Y, where it is important to take the right, where there is a national park sign, otherwise you will find the ruins of a house on top of a hill. Some 160 meters further on is another rest area, where the start of the Podocarpus and Zamora trails is located. From this point there is little of the Panama trail, if desired, it is possible to follow the route or enter one of these two trails. Both rejoin the Panama Trail at its far end.
Accessible and Demanding Trails
The Podocarpus trail is quite easy, while the Zamora trail is steeper, narrower and more slippery due to the large amount of mud on it.
The Podocarpus trail ends in a camping area with restrooms and a park ranger house. It is the only zone enabled within the national park for camping. It can also be accessed from the Panama and Zamora trails.
Once the Panama, Podocarpus and Zamora trails join, there is an access road for all-terrain vehicles that passes through an area of communication antennas before reaching the highway towards Chica town.