Our map of the National Parks in Panama is interactive, so if you click on any of the Yellow buttons on the map, you will get a page of information on your selected National Park.
Panama has made an effort to protect its natural resources with 29% of all land set aside for conservation, 25% of this land is designated as national parks, this is around 5 million acres.
You can see in Panama 220 mammals and 354 reptiles and amphibians, and these include 125 animal species unique to Panama. There are 954 recorded bird species of which 122 are migrants. There is a spectacular annual migrations birds such as hawks and turkey vultures. The quetzal is found in large numbers in the Chiriqui Highlands. There are wonderful birding sites at Pipeline Road in Soberania, Cana Valley in the Darien, in the Cerro Azul Mountains and in the cloud forests. There are 10,000 species of plants found in Panama including 1,200 varieties of orchids, 1,500 types of trees, and 687 different ferns. The Smithsonian Institute of Tropical Research has been studying plants and wild life in Panama for nearly a century.
Picking out a few of Pamana's National Parks:-
Darien National Park (576,000 hectares)
Darien National Park is the largest of Panama’s national parks. It is also a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a biosphere reserve. Darien is dense primary tropical rainforest with virtually no roads and it can only be explored by walking or river. There are many rare birds including the harpy eagle. Cana Valley is considered to be the top birding site in Central America and is home to many macaws and parrots. The Park can be reached at 325 kilometers from Panama City.
La Amistad International Park (407,000 hectares)
La Amistad National Park spans the border between Panama and Costa Rica. It is a World Heritage site with enormous bio-diversity. You can spot both the harpy eagle and quetzal, and is home to three indigenous Indian groups. Access to the park is via from Cerro Punta, Changuinola and Bocas del Toro, around 500 kilometers from Panama City.
Coiba Island National Park (270,125 hectares
of which 216,542 are marine)
Coiba Island National Park contains a coastal ecosystem with around 240 kilometer of coastline. Whale watching is particularly good here. The island is also a penal colony so access is restricted. It is the last area in Panama where you can find the scarlet macaw. Hannibal bank offers deep sea fishing of marlin, tuna. Coiba Island is 10 hours by car and boat from Panama City.
Bastimentos Island National Park (13,226 hectares
of which 11,596 are marine)
Bastimentos Island National Park is located in the Bocas del Toro archipelago, and covers both land on the island and the offshore marine area. There are sandy beaches, mangroves and coral reefs. Cayo Zapatillas in the park is a well known scuba diving spot. Marine turtles nest on Playa Larga beach from April to October. Bocas can be reached by plane from Panama City (1 hour) or by road and ferry (14 hours)
Baru Volcano National Park (14,300 hectares)
Baru Volcano National Park is the area around and including the extinct volcano Baru Volcan, at 3475 meters above sea level, is the highest peak in Panama, and on a clear day you can see both the Pacific and the Caribbean Sea from the top. The quetzal can be found in the cloud forests on the slopes of the volcano. You can get to the Baru National Park from the towns of Boquete and Volcan, which are 500 kilometers from Panama City.
Chagres National Park (135,000 hectares)
Chagres National Park covers the watershed of the Panama Canal including the Chagres River and Alajuela Lake, which provide around 80% of the water for the canal to operate, and in addition all the drinking water for Panama City. There are hiking trails through the forest Real. Embera Indians originally from the Darien and Bayano have settlements here. The park is 40 kilometers from Panama City.
Soberania National Park (22,104 hectares)
Soberania National Park has a particularly famous birding location – the Pipeline Road. The park is very access able as it is only 25 kilometers from Panama City. The park contains numerous hiking trails, as well as the Sendero Las Cruces - the cobblestone trail constructed by the Spanish to carry Peruvian gold by mules across the isthmus and on to Spain.
Camino de Cruces National Park (4,950 hectares)
Camino de Cruces National Park was created to form an ecological corridor between the Soberania National Park to the north and the Metropolitan National Park to the south, so that could move between between the two parks. It also protects the east bank of the Panama Canal. The cobblestones of Camino Real, a trail constructed by the Spanish to carry Peruvian gold to their treasure ships in the Caribbean, can be seen here. 30 minutes from Panama City
Metropolitan National Park (265 hectares)
Metropolitan National Park is within the city limits of Panama City. There are nature trails and an environmental education centre. From the top of Cerro Mono Titi there is a wonderful panoramic view over the city, the canal, the port of Balboa, and the neighboring Parque Nacional Camino de Cruces. A15 minute drive north from downtown Panama City.
Ecotourism in Panama