Chagres National Park



Location: Panamá, Colon Province

Area: 129,000 ha (320,000 acres)

Tel. 500- 0855


Description of Chagres National Park

Chagres National Park is a protected area in the Panama and Colon provinces in the central Panama. Chagres National Park covers a total area of 129,000 ha (320,000 acres). The name is derived from a Chagres river that flows through the territory of the park. Along with Gatun river it flows into the Gatun lake that lies along the Panama Canal. The rugged volcano terrain is covered by rainforest jungles. The temperature in Chagres National Park ranges between 20º C and 30º C.


Chagres National Park was created in 1985, with the objective of preserving the natural forest that composes it to produce water in sufficient quantity and quality to guarantee the normal functioning of the Panama Canal, for the supply of drinking water for Panama City, Colón and La Chorrera, and the generation of electricity for the cities of Panama and Colon. For the operability of the Panama Canal it is necessary to maintain high water levels, since each ship that crosses the locks needs around 52 million gallons of fresh water (about 196.84 million liters) not recoverable.


Conservation objects
One of the objectives of the Chagres National Park is to preserve the fauna, such as the harpy eagle, the jaguar, also diverse flora such as the cloud forest and the deciduous temperate forest.

In the Chagres National Park habitat you can find all kinds of birds, among which the piculus callopterus or Panamanian carpenter, a unique species in Panama, and some specimens of harpy eagle, Panama's national bird. Among the mammals, the white-tailed deer, the spider monkey with black hands and some species of bolitoglossa stand out. In its dense forests also tapirs, jaguars and other big cats. In the Chagres and other rivers in the area there are 59 species of freshwater fish, as well as water cats, together with spectacled alligators and crocodiles.

The average temperatures of the park vary between 30ºC in its lower zones and 20ºC in the mountains. Rainfall varies between 2,200 mm in Lake Alajuela and 4,000 mm in mountainous areas. Its hills are covered by humid and very humid tropical forest.