Camping in Panama usually means getting away from it all: no infrastructure of any kind, just you and nature. Beaches are public property in Panama, so you should be able to set up a tent on any of them. Remember to respect the principle of "leaving no trace behind". When choosing your camping spot, be aware that the tides on the Pacific coast can vary up to 18 feet/5 meters. Note: Go very well prepared if you plan to camp during the rainy season, which lasts for approximately 9 months, from mid-April to mid-December.
El Valle de Antón is known for its eternal spring. You may do rappel, canopying, bird-watching, or trekking in the area. Every weekend the central market is held, where you can see and acquire many items such as plants, spices fruits, handicrafts, etc. You can camp up at the India Dormida or ask for permission to camp in the small nearby areas. Come prepared with a sturdy tent, as the wind is rather strong.
This beautiful place is located in the province of Santiago de Veraguas, one of the best places to camp in Panama. There is a large lagoon that supports hydropower, The Stud. Here they have prepared a large area for camping with a pine forest and access to clean water. Camping fees are under $10 per day. Note: Go very well prepared if you plan to camp during the rainy season, which lasts for approximately 9 months from mid-April to mid-December.
Altos de Campana National Park, 60 kilometers from Panama City, is located near the coasts of Chame Bay. It is an ideal place to explore through its the well-marked Panamá, La Cruz, and Podocarpus trails. If you decide to go up to the highest point in the park, where the cross is located, you can experience the unique phenomenon of hearing the wind blowing through the pine trees at the same time as the sound of the waves crashing on the nearby beach. To camp here, you should get a permit from the ANAM office (National Environment Authority), which you can get in the administrative office of the park. You will get a letter stating how many people are staying and for how many nights. For more information, please call the ANAM office at 254-2848. The cost per person/per night is $6.00. This area is very humid, be sure to take enough water and fresh clothing for the night.
It is also known as Laguna Grande and Laguna de Coronado. The lagoon is less than a kilometer, so you can walk along its edge and observe it from different points of view. You can see the cultured fish, some of which are very large, and the different birds, which sometimes include hawks and small herons, livening up the place with their songs. To Enter the lagoon you'll have to pay $2.00 per person. If you go camping, the fee per night will depend on the size of the camping tent. Don't forget to pack your insect repellent!