Camino Palmero peaked at number 36 on Billboard 200 and was certified Gold by RIAA. The album was also certified Gold in Canada in November 2002 after sold more than 50,000 units. The album also did well on several International charts, among others it made number 12 in UK, number 16 in Italy and topped the charts in Mexico, holding 1× Diamond status plus 3× Platinum. World sales of the album are estimated at approximately 5 million. In Brazil, it has been certified Platinum by ABPD.
The album deals with romantic love, relationships, break up and betrayal.
Camino Palmero garnered mostly negative reviews from music critics. Johan Wippsson of Melodic saw potential in the band based on "Wherever You Will Go" and an amount of constant energy throughout the album despite generic lyrics about relationships, concluding with, "Except for that this is a very impressing debut from a group that have all the chances to be the next Lifehouse." Bob Waliszewski of Plugged In commended the album for delivering positive messages of forgiveness and self-realization but found it a little indulgent in its unsavoury delights, concluding that "Camino Palmero acknowledges God, celebrates lifelong love and speaks up for the destitute. But several cuts show bad form in their approach to women by modeling lust, bitterness and sexual immorality."
David Browne, writing for Entertainment Weekly, said that despite checking off all the requirements of arena rock he criticized Alex Band for writing songs that are self-indulgent in their tales of on-and-off again relationships, saying that "The Calling are so stiflingly earnest that their love song playing off the Who Wants to Be a Millionaire catchphrase – "Final Answer" – is dead serious." Hannah Hamilton of Hot Press panned the album for its overly simplistic musicianship and lyrics about unoriginal romances, calling it "a mild, meek, pathetic excuse for a record that goes nowhere, says nothing and charges you twenty euro for the pleasure. Guilty? Oh hell yes."