Altos de Campana National Park

Explore the wonderful natural beauty of Panama through an immersion in the mighty Altos de Campana National Park (in Spanish: Parque Nacional Altos de Campana) and also known as Bell Heights. Located just a few kilometers away from the bustling Panama City, this biodiversity oasis offers a fascinating range of flora and fauna, towering landscapes, and an unparalleled opportunity to escape to the tranquility of nature.

National Park Information

Altos de Campana National Park

Park Establishment

Being Panama’s first national park, Altos de Campana was established in 1966, covering an area of 4,816 hectares. Its creation marked a significant milestone in the country’s commitment to conservation and environmental protection.
Throughout the decades, the park has continuously evolved, both in its management and infrastructure, to provide an enriching and safe experience for its visitors.

Park Location

Altos de Campana National Park is situated just a few kilometers away from Panama City, in the West Panama province, Republic of Panama, at coordinates: 8°42′49″N 79°57′10″W. The park can be easily reached from the city and is nestled close to the shores of Chame.


The climate in Altos de Campana is characterized as equatorial, which means it’s generally hot, humid, and rainy throughout the year. The average annual temperature in the area is around 29°C, while the average precipitation reaches 1258 mm per year. There are about 32 rain-free days per year, and the average humidity hovers around 84%. Additionally, the UV Index, indicating the intensity of ultraviolet radiation, remains at 7. These climatic conditions contribute to the lush vegetation and biodiversity present in the park.

The following table indicates temperatures, precipitation, and relevant climate data in Altos de Campana that pertain to the national park:

Month Day (°C) Night (°C) Precipitation (mm) Rainy Days Dry Days Sun Hours per Day Wind Strength (Bft) UV Index
Jan 30 24 32 20 11 8 3 7
Feb 30 24 18 15 13 8 3 7
Mar 30 24 23 18 13 8 3 7
Apr 31 24 83 23 7 8 2 7
May 30 25 165 30 1 9 2 7
Jun 29 25 139 28 2 9 2 7
Jul 29 24 144 29 2 8 2 7
Aug 29 24 134 29 2 8 2 7
Sep 29 24 121 28 2 8 2 7
Oct 29 24 164 30 1 7 2 7
Nov 29 24 151 29 1 6 2 7
Dec 29 24 84 29 2 7 2 7

Endemic Species

This park is home to several endemic species, including some that are not found anywhere else in the world, enhancing the importance of their conservation.

  1. Espeletia turensis: also known as Altos de Campana Frailejón, it’s an endemic species of the aster family. It’s characterized by its rosette appearance and is an emblematic plant of the park.
  2. Myrmecophila tibicinis: this epiphytic orchid is endemic to Panama and is found in the higher regions of the park. Its striking flowers attract various pollinators.
  3. Pristimantis elocki: it’s a species of glass frog endemic to the highlands of Panama, including Altos de Campana National Park. Its translucent skin and distinctive call make it a unique species in the region.
  4. Copeoglossum altocampanense: this small snake endemic to the park is known as Altos de Campana Snake. It inhabits mountainous wet forests and is important for the ecological balance of the ecosystem.

These are just a few of the endemic species found in Altos de Campana National Park. Each of them plays a crucial role in maintaining biodiversity and highlights the importance of conserving this valuable natural environment.


From dense forests to rivers and waterfalls, the variety of ecosystems in the park contributes to its rich biodiversity.

Importance of Conservation

The park plays a crucial role in the conservation of biodiversity in Panama and the world, and is essential for the protection of several endemic and endangered species.


The park is located in a mountainous region, with altitudes ranging from 400 to 1,180 meters. Its mountain tropical climate invites exploration throughout the year, although the dry seasons from mid-December to April are ideal for hiking and bird watching.

Its geography is a result of the igneous formation of El Valle de Antón volcano, which is evident in its rugged topography with impressive cliffs, lava fields, and volcanic tuffs. These geological features bear witness to intense volcanic activity in the past. The climate in the park is characterized by temperatures around 24°C, and annual precipitation exceeding 2,500 mm. The park hosts the headwaters of significant rivers in the region, such as Chame, Perequeté, and Caimito on its Pacific side, and the Trinidad River along with several of its tributaries on the side that is part of the Canal watershed. These geographical and riverine characteristics contribute to the richness and vitality of the ecosystem present in the park.

Geographical Features

Altos de Campana National Park is situated in a mountainous terrain, providing breathtaking panoramic views and a variety of natural landscapes to explore.

Tourist Activities

Altos de Campana National Park offers a wide range of activities for visitors, from hiking along impressive trails and bird watching to photographing the rich and diverse wildlife and natural landscapes of the park.


The park offers a variety of trails, from easy routes to challenging mountain hikes, each with its own charm and beauty.

Bird Watching

Thanks to its rich biodiversity, Altos de Campana is a birdwatcher’s paradise, with numerous endemic and migratory bird species present in the park.

Nature Photography

Whether you’re capturing the majestic landscape or the unique wildlife, this park is an exceptional place for nature photography.

Facilities and Services

To ensure the comfort and safety of visitors, the park offers a range of facilities and services, including accommodations, picnic areas, restrooms, and a visitor center with helpful information and resources.

Accommodation and Camping

For those who wish to spend more time in nature, the park offers camping areas as well as nearby accommodations to suit all tastes and budgets.

Park Services

To ensure an enjoyable visit, the park provides various services, including restrooms, picnic areas, and gift shops where you can purchase mementos of your visit.

Visitor Information

At the visitor center, you can find maps, guides, and other useful information to help you make the most of your park visit.

Park Regulations

Visitors must adhere to a set of regulations aimed at ensuring their safety and the well-being of the park. These include respecting wildlife, staying on designated trails, and complying with camping and hiking rules.

Visitor Rules

To protect the park and ensure a safe and enjoyable visit for all, it’s important to respect the park rules, which include not feeding animals, packing out trash, and staying on designated trails.

Camping and Hiking Guidelines

Established rules for camping and hiking must be followed, including staying on designated trails and adhering to safety guidelines.

Commitment to Conservation

Altos de Campana National Park is strongly committed to conservation. Currently, the park is engaged in various projects aimed at protecting and improving the health of its ecosystems and promoting sustainability. Visitors can also contribute to these efforts through voluntary donations or participation in environmental education programs.

Current Projects

The park participates in conservation projects to protect and enhance its ecosystems, promoting sustainability and environmental preservation.

How Visitors Can Contribute

Visitors can contribute to conservation efforts through voluntary donations and participation in environmental education programs.

Nearby Points of Interest

In addition to the park, the surrounding area offers a multitude of attractions and activities. Other parks and reserves in the vicinity provide more opportunities to explore Panama’s biodiversity, and nearby cities offer a variety of cultural and culinary experiences.

Nearby Points of Interest:

  • Soberanía National Park: located near the Panama Canal, this park offers incredible birdwatching opportunities and the exploration of natural trails.
  • Punta Culebra Nature Reserve: situated on a peninsula near Panama City, this reserve houses a variety of marine species and offers interactive displays about Panama’s marine life.
  • Panama City: the bustling Panamanian capital offers a rich colonial history, modern skyscrapers, and a vibrant culinary and cultural scene.
  • El Valle de Antón: this picturesque mountain village, located in the crater of an extinct volcano, is famous for its hot springs, waterfalls, and craft market.
  • Pacific Beaches: within a short distance from the park, you’ll find beautiful beaches like Santa Clara Beach and Playa Blanca, perfect for relaxation, swimming, and soaking up the sun.

These are just a few of the nearby places that offer diverse activities and experiences to complement your visit to Altos de Campana National Park.

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