"…The said trail is likewise very rugged, with many sierras and jagged peaks, and many valleys and rivers, and brave mountains and very dense jungles, and so difficult to walk, that without much toil and effort it cannot be done; and some men estimate the distance on this route to be eighteen leagues from sea to sea, and I hereby assert that they are a good twenty leagues, not because the path is longer than stated but because it is very bad indeed, which I have traversed twice on foot..."
4 days / 3 nights
Here’s another Panamanian epic journey: The Camino Real, a path used in the 17th and 18th centuries by Spaniards to transfer silver, gold and other treasures from Peru to Spain, was the first thoroughfare that connected the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans, and marked the beginning of Panama as a crossroads of the world. Today the route is hardly discernible, with large sections of it burried under the urban sprawl of Panama City; drowned under the waters of Madden Lake; or swallowed by the jungles of Chagres and Portobelo national parks. It is, in fact, a very pleasant irony that there’s any of it left to see, as indeed there is.
Originally developed by Rick in 2005, the Camino Real Trek is perhaps the most versatile trip in our portfolio. We can customize the standard 4 days/3 nights itinerary into a trek that suits your interests and time constraints. We offer a unique experience in the depth of the tropical rainforest, while still close enough to Panama City and Colon, which makes this jungle expedition amazingly accessible.
Note: Our expedition format has undergone some fundamental changes after the pandemic. In the past we used to post a trip date on our calendar and wait for people to sign up. Unfortunately, we would get enquiries from solo travelers or couples wanting to join our treks on dates that were different from our advertised departures. As much as we tried to accommodate people, it was almost impossible to get everyone to agree on a date.
So from now on we will still offer trekkers the option to join a confirmed trip or customize their own but please keep in mind the following:
-The dates posted on our calendar are the official dates of our next Camino Real Treks and other trips. You should be able to join that trip if there are spaces available and you comply with the admission requirements (please enquire).
-If you're interested in different dates, please get in touch with us to see if we can accommodate you, but bare in mind that we require a minimum of 4 people to run a custom trip, and at least 30 days to put it together, assuming there is availability on our calendar.
-It's far more convenient if you contact us several months in advance.
-If you're a solo traveler or have fewer than 4 people in your group, perhaps you would like to take a look at our Hike & Paddle options. These are day trips through the jungle that combine hiking with packrafting, with the trip ending at the edge of the Panama Canal. The Camino de Cruces in particular is quite interesting since it's the sister route of the Camino Real, used at a thoroughfare to travel accross the Isthmus. The historical character of it is just as fascinating. We provide a backpack and a packraft with its accessories for you to carry.
We hope that these changes allow us to serve you better.
Please click on these videos to get a real sense of what this trek is like: