Adventure in La Cruz Hill of Altos de Campana

La Cruz Hill

La Cruz Hill  (The Cross Hill) is in the Altos de Campana National Park in Panama Oeste, at 900 masl. It has beautiful views of the Bay of Chame.

Days ago, after working 14 days without rest, a message arrived in a WhatsApp group from a trip to La Cruz Hill, I immediately contacted the organizer and joined them.

I intended to get to a point by car, then take the bus to the meeting point, so my clothes were semi hiking, to leave the car without attracting attention, hahaha.

But thinking that The Bridge of the Americas was going to Being closed on the way to Panama Oeste, I took the Centennial Bridge route and well.

I left for another place and then I couldn’t change my clothes. I met the people and we continued towards to La Cruz Hill.

Booking.com
Entrance and parking area
Entrance and parking area. You will find it on the right side of the road.

On the way to La Cruz Hill

We arrived first at the offices of Mi Ambiente, although there is no need to pay the entrance, it is very important to report, so they know and have a record of who enters the trail.

From there we continued to the entrance of the trails, we parked and we continued hiking, once at the entrance of the La Cruz Trail, Nidia gave us some directions before heading into the adventure.

The trail is a bit narrow, so we were going one after another, in single file, I also know that my conditions are not the best and I am taking photos along the way.


Therefore, I tried to be with the people in front, in case I stop, don’t delay too long.

Some parts were difficult to go up, most of all because they were very steep.

The young women behind made several breaks and I took the opportunity to accompany them, I mean, to rest hahahaha.

trail
Roots on the Trail to La Cruz Hill.

In one part of the trail of La Cruz Hill, it seems that it continues straight, but the trail continues on the right side.

Although it seems like a ravine, it is not like that, it is the trail, but this part is one of the steepest, and you have to go down holding on to the branches I felt semi Tarzan, hehehe.

You must be paying attention, because at this point people lose.

The trail is full of roots, on the one hand, they retain the earth and make it not a muddy place.

On the other hand, we must avoid stepping on them because they slip. They were not very steep, but others were.

On the way you can see and hear many birds, luckily for us, among the hikers was Daniel, a Spanish bird lover and recognized them only with their singing, thanks to him we could see a tree climbing bird, he told us it is very difficult to see, because it camouflages itself with the trees.

Also, he is one of the few man that I have seen picking up the garbage that others leave and thus cleaning the trail, I must give a big applause for this, it is a great example to follow.

La Cruz Hill trail
Some descents along the way.

Later there is another deviation, but at this point if there is a sign, just follow the trail on the right, I say this in case an idler changes position, since it is not nailed.

We continue and come to the back of La Cruz (the Cross), you can see the huge rock and at the top, the Cross.

The question one asks at this point is:

How do I get there?

You just have to skirt the rock on the left side, you will come to a point where you have a nice view of the place (do not get too close to the edge, because it can be very dangerous, the stones are loose).

Sign on the Trail
Sign on the Trail.

To go up to The Cross there is a rope, it is quite simple, but it is not climbed in a straight line, you have to take the rope and not lose it.

From there go in a zigzag (from left to right and vice versa), looking for the areas where there is where step on.

On the top of La Cruz Hill

Once up there you have beautiful views of Altos de Campana and the Bay of Chame, this is the great reward for getting there.

We were very lucky, because it made us a day with fog, which made it very cool and we managed to get there before the fog covered The Cross and covered the view.

Although what made us leave, was a few drops began to fall and we thought it was going to rain, but it was only those drops.

La Cruz Hill
The Cross seen from behind. It skirts the left side to go up to the top.

Years ago, I had gone to this hill and camping in Altos de Campana, about 10 years have passed, more or less and at that time I had innate conditions hahaha because I did not exercise and I remember going up to the hill, without resting or exhausting myself.

After finishing this trail, people were full of energy and we decided to go to Picacho Hill in La Laguna of San Carlos.

Advices

  • Wear hiking boots or good sneakers,
  • Go up it calmly, because the height and humidity can make it difficult,
  • Make silence, to be able to see and hear the animals,
  • Do not leave trash and if you can, pick up the one you see on the road,
  • Bring water and healthy snacks,
  • Sunscreen,
  • Wear light clothing, dry fit, long pants, not jeans,
  • Cap and sunglasses (for when you are on the cross on a sunny day),
  • If you go by car, a change of clothes, other shoes and, extra water bottle can be very helpful.

Difficulty

  • Moderate.
Chame Bay
Chame Bay, before the fog finishes covering the view.

Hours

  • Mondey to Sunday
  • 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Price

  • Free, entrance to Campana National Park.

My investment

  • $10.00 guide (from Capira, carpooling),
  • $8.00 in fuel,
  • $3.00 in Snacks,
  • $5.00 lunch,
  • Total: $26.00 – Trip organized with 2 Trails.

Note

  • Due to the situation of the Coronavirus, the entrance fee is not being charged.
  • At the moment, only hiking is allowed.
  • You can only go with a booking: write to reservaparquecampana@miambiente.gob.pa

Information to give to make the booking

  • Do it with a minimum of 72 hours in advance,
  • You must put in the subject: Reserva área protegida,
  • •Date of the visit,
  • Number of people visiting (in case of groups, only up to 8 people are allowed),
  • Name and telephone number of the person who is booking,
  • Names, surnames, ages, nationalities and identity card or passport number of the visitors.

Maximum capacity

  • 30 people per day.

Regulations of the National Parks

  • No pets,
  • Forbidden to feed the fauna,
  • Do not bring alcoholic drinks,
  • No Smoking,
  • Do not carry or take out, species of fauna and flora or parts and sub-parts of these.

How to get to La Cruz Hill?

Take the Pan-American Highway and enter through Chicá, continue until you reach the Mi Ambiente offices, stop and report.

Then continue (approximately 1.5 km) until you see an entrance with the trail map on the right side.

There you can park the car and continue hiking, you will arrive at the entrance of the trail, you will see the map and some tables with chairs.

You can also get there by bus, you must take one to leave you in Capira, then  take another bus to Chicá and ask the driver to drop you off at the Mi Ambiente offices.

Updated: 2020.

Other places you may like

on the peak



Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.