Campana National Park may well be Panama’s best-kept secret.
That’s amazing considering its location—just an hour west of Panama City, a big sign marks the entrance. It’s on the Pan-American Highway, also known as Highway One, which spans the isthmus (in fact, it runs from Canada all the way down to Argentina, with just one “gap” between Panama and Colombia).
Many a visitor to Panama passes it en route to popular beach locales like Coronado, never guessing what wonders they might find if they stopped to check it out.
I enjoy going to Campana for cool mountain weather on hot summer days. There’s a lookout point (where I shot some of the Video above) that offers up choice views—camera candy, so bring the big one and all your good lenses.
It also has a tiny inn that serves small Sunday lunches. Go hiking or just sit back and enjoy the climate—perfect for a well-planned picnic.
My favorite thing to do is to continue driving past Campana into the mountain village of Chicá (also in the video). Just 15 minutes down the road, Chicá is cool and green. It’s hard to believe this mountain oasis is just a short drive from sultry Panama City…
Editor’s Note: Sharing secrets about Panama is something Jessica loves to do—at International Living’s Fast Track Panama Conference in April, she’ll give you the insider destinations that no-one else is talking about. If you haven’t yet registered, you should know that seats are filling fast.