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Best Hiking Trails in Panama

Overview

Panama is a curvy Central American country linking to South America that has some great volcanic hiking chiefly in the west of the country.  The main hiking areas are around Boquete, El Valle de Anton, Ola, Sante Fe and much more.  Popular hikes go to mountain summits and to amazing waterfalls, and include: Volcan Baru, Cerro Picacho, Sendero Los Quetzales, and Lost Waterfalls Trail, amongst many others. The best months to hike in Panama are January to April.  Read on for more information on where and when to hike in Panama. 

Capital: Panama City

When To Hike in Panama?

January – April: For some parts, January – March are the best months; this is the dry period
May – December: Rainy season

Climate: Tropical (dry and rainy seasons); More rain on the southern side exposed to Pacific

 

Panama Monthly Weather

Accessibility of Hiking

Medium: This seems to be more developed than other Central American countries in terms of trails, but it is still best to go with a guide

Transportation required: Car

Where to stay in Panama for hiking:

  • Boquete
  • El Valle de Anton
  • Santa Fe
  • Ola

 

Most popular hikes in Panama

There are mountains running through the central part of the country and also along the Caribbean coast. Most of the hiking seems to be in the central and western parts of the country. Highest Mountain: Volcán Barú (Chiriquí) (3474 m) in the Chiriqui Highlands. The map highlights some of the more visited areas for hiking.

Filter out hiking places of Panama by month

Click on the red map pointers to see more info.

Parque Nacional Chagres

  • Huge national park close to Panama City and Colón

Parque Nacional Altos de Campana

El Valle de Antón

  • Huge volcanic crater 
    • La India Dormida
    • Cerro Cara Iguana

Around Olá

  • Cerro Picacho 

Parque Nacional Omar Torrijos

Parque Nacional Sante Fe

Around Boquete

  • El Pianista Trail
  • La Piedra de la India Vieja 

Parque Nacional Volcán Barú

  • Home of the highest peak, hike to top of Volcán Barú
  • Sendero Los Quetzales

Long Distance Trails of Panama

  • Volcan Baru

Panama's Walking & Hiking Resources

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Panama Hiking Books: No hiking specific books

  • Lonely Planet Panama, by Regis St Louis, Steve Fallon, Carolyn McCarthy, 2022, Lonely Planet Publications – https://amzn.to/3U3tWgO
  • Frommer’s Panama, by Nicholas Gill, 2016, FrommerMedia – https://amzn.to/4cNiDB1
  • Fodor’s In Focus Panama, by Fodor’s Travel Guides, 2016, Fodor’s Travel – https://amzn.to/3J3maxg
  • Several independently published travel guides 

 

Panama Hiking Associations/Clubs:

 

Best Hiking Trails in Panama:

You can find more details on hiking these trails from trail maps/apps, websites, and tourist offices:

  • Volcan Baru
  • Sendero Los Quetzales
  • El Pianista Trail
  • La Piedra de la India Vieja
  • Cerro Gaital
  • Cerro La Gaita
  • Cerro Turega
  • Cerro Picacho

Easy Hiking Trails in Panama:

  • Lost Waterfalls Trail
  • La Silampa Waterfall
  • Pipeline Trail

 

Panama Hiking Websites:

 

Panama Weather website: 

 

Panama Official Tourism Site:  

 

Panama Hiking Apps: 

 

Panama Hiking & Road Maps:

What Else To Do

  • So many waterfall hikes 
  • Birdwatching
  • Wildlife 
  • Panama Canal

Other Important Points