Hiking in Panama

There are multiple networks of trails in Panama that are clearly marked and lead you into natural areas surprisingly close to the city. 

This country offers diverse natural settings to go hiking, whether in mountainous areas or flatter places.

Even inside the urban area of the capital city we can find these well-marked trails:

  • Motmots
  • Mahoganies
  • Oak
  • Titi Monkey
  • Small Swamp

This trail system is within the 232-hectare Metropolitan Natural Park, the only protected area of tropical forest in Central America that is located within the city limits.

Near the city are also:

  • Soberanía National Park (with marked paths)
  • Pipeline Road
  • Plantation Path
  • The Pond nature trail
  • Trail of the Crosses and Spirit of the Forest

Another nearby site for hiking is along the banks of the Panama Canal:

  • Between the towns of Paraíso and Gamboa.
  • At Summit Municipal Park, one of the largest sites in Panama devoted to a botanical garden, where well-marked nature paths take you through this haven of tropical animal and plant diversity.

If you would like to combine swimming on beaches with hiking, Taboga Island has it all:

  • Hike on the Trail of the Three Crosses, Hill Trail, and the Trail of the Cross on Cross Hill, topped with a huge cross and affording excellent views over the town, beach, and the neighboring island of Urabá. From atop El Vigía, the highest elevation at 333 meters above sea level, you can see the islands of Boná and Otoque behind the island and the brown pelicans when they nest in the summer season (January to April).
  • St. Peter's Cave, the ruins of the Spanish Convent, and the house of Francisco Pizarro, conqueror of Peru, are other attractions. When you come down from the hill, refresh yourself with a dip in the sea and a rest on the beach.

What to bring

  • Rain jacket
  • Long pants
  • Walking shoes
  • Water bottle

Walking Panama is a nonprofit organization that advocates this activity and provides complete information. www.caminandopanama.org

Come to Panama to enjoy its scenic trails.