Altos de Campana National Park is the first national park created in the Republic of Panama in 1966 with an area of 4,925 hectares. It is located on the western side of the Panama Canal as part of its watershed near the shores of Chame and its' floodplains. The protected area rises from 400 meters above sea level at its lowest point to Campana peak some 850 meters above sea level. This privileged vantage point boast not only spectacular views of the canal watershed but also an extraordinary panorama of the Bay of Chame, with its impressive mangroves that cover the mouth of the Chame river.
An extension of the igneous formation of the volcano of El Valle de Anton, its last volcanic activity is clearly reflected in its rugged terrain seen in the spectacular cliffs, lava fields, volcanic tuff and numerous other events that speak of an extremely exciting geologic past.
Temperatures hover around 24C (75F), while rainfall exceeds 2,500 mm annually. Within the national park are the headwaters of several major rivers in the region. Its Pacific slope rivers are born into Chame, Perequete and Caimito, and alongside the Canal Basin stem the Trinity River and several of its major tributaries.
Although the area is relatively small in size and has been heavily impacted by significant human intervention, there remain 26 species of vascular plants endemic to Panama. The last census identified 198 species of trees and 342 shrubs. The highest parts of Campana Mountain by its geographic isolation has become a biogeographic island and a center of endemism. Mosses, orchids, bromeliads and epiphytes are multiplying everywhere.
There are 39 species of mammals, one of the most abundant is the opossum (Didelphis marsupialis). Also identified as endemic species of red cheek mouse (Lyomis adspersus), Antoon (nosed coati), raccoon (Procion cancrivorus), the two-toed sloth (Choloepus hoffmani) and three-toed (Bradypus variegatus) tamarin monkey (Saguinus geoffroyi).
267 species of birds have been recorded, of which 48 are migratory. It is necessary to emphasize the abundance of tailed black-shouldered kite (Elanoides forficatus), whose continental migrations take place between January and February and between June and September. Highlighted are the spectacular beauty and abundance for the ventrianaranjado Trogon (Trogon auratiiventris). The forests of the Altos de Campana (Campana Heights) also serve as a refuge for other birds whose populations are threatened in the rest of the continent, as the white beak puntiblanco (Eutoxeres aquila), the hummingbird ventrivioleta (Damophila julie panamensis), the calzonario footed (Chalybura urochrysia).
This exceptional herpetological park has 62 species of amphibians and 86 species of reptiles, the most important of all the central area of the country. Among them are seven endemic species, noted for its beauty and rarity of small golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) located in a very restricted area of the park. The other endemic species are the salamander (Bolitoglossa schizodactyla) cecilia (Caecilia Volcani), the lizard Anolis lionotus, grai Morunasaurus lizard, a snake and another snake barbouri Trimetopon of g. Winia undescribed. Also found in the protected area to the giant frog (Leptodactylus pentadactylus), the amphibian Panamanian larger the spiny toad (Bufo coniferus) and poisonous frogs ventriazul (Dendrobates minutus) and green and black (Dendrobates auratus).
Location: the park is located in the province of Panama, Chame Bay dominated the Pacific and 60 kms (32 miles) away by road from Panama City.
Access: From Panama City take the Inter-American highway towards Chame driving parallel to the Pacific coast. Pass through the towns of La Chorrera and Capira. The park is located a few miles after the town of Capira on the right hand side.
Services: The park has an administrative office. It has created an excellent interpretive nature trail where you can see many animals. The trail has been produced by the Directorate of the park in collaboration with the University of Panama. There is an interesting illustrated guide to the park that is available in the administrative offices.
Accommodation: Due to its proximity to Panama City, about 90 minutes by car, we recommend staying in this city. You can also find accommodation in Chame and Altos de Campana.
Addresses: For further information, contact the offices of the ANAM in the park.
Tel: (507) 254-2848, or ANAM's regional headquarters in Cocle. Tel: (507) 997-7538, fax: (507) 997-9077.