Experience the best of Boquete

The pretty mountain town of Boquete (https://www.tourismpanama.com/places-to-visit/chiriqui/) has gained recognition as one of the top retirement destinations in the world, but it is by no means a “sleepy hollow” and offers many exciting activities for both residents and visitors.

Situated in the western highlands of Panama, Boquete boasts a much cooler climate than most other parts of the country*, so it is often more comfortable to get out and about in this area, especially in the dry season. At lower altitudes or at the beach, air-conditioning is often a must for most of the day.

The dry season in Panama – which the locals call summer – generally runs from December to April and is regarded as the best time to explore Boquete’s lush rainforest, hike the nearby mountains, take in the spectacular views and enjoy all the other local attractions. Here are 10 of the most popular things to do in Boquete:

*Hiking: There are several hiking clubs in Boquete catering to everyone from beginner to experts, and tourists from all over the world visit the town in the dry season to experience the views and explore in a pristine mountain and rainforest environment.

Some trails also lead to stunning waterfalls, including one at the end of the Pipeline Trail, the Choclon waterfall to the south of Boquete town and the famous Lost Falls (Las Tres Cascadas).

*A sunrise trip to the top of Volcan Baru (https://www.tourismpanama.com/nature-and-parks/national-parks/volcan-baru-national-park/?_gl=1*6qtpi0*_ga*MjY1OTYxNjIuMTYzODU2MjUyOA..*_ga_HM8V89JVZK*MTY4ODE3Njk3Ni4xMi4xLjE2ODgxNzcyMzkuMC4wLjA.&_ga=2.102446209.1215002642.1688177235-259592592.1688177235) , the only volcano in Panama that is still active. You can hike the trail through the surrounding national park, with a guide, or you can book a trip up in a 4×4 vehicle. On a clear day, you will be able to see both the Pacific and Atlantic (Caribbean) oceans from the peak.

*Visit a coffee plantation, or two: Boquete is renowned for its coffee, and especially the Geisha (https://perfectdailygrind.com/es/2023/03/27/geishas-de-panama/) beans that fetch the highest prices in the world. Many local farms, or fincas, offer you the opportunity to learn about the process of making coffee and to taste several different blends or roasts while enjoying panoramic mountain views. Some also have excellent restaurants and coffee shops and a few also offer accommodation.

*Soak in the Caldera hot springs (https://ilovebqt.com/listing/pozos-termales/ ), located about 45 minutes’ drive from Boquete. Heated by thermal energy from Volcan Baru, these springs have a high mineral content and are a great place to relax. You can get there on a 4×4 or horseback tour or on your own via car or public transport.

*Bird-watching: The Boquete area is a bird-watchers’ paradise as it is home to more than 400 species, including many different hummingbirds, tanagers, parakeets, falcons, toucans and the elusive quetzal. However, it can be difficult to spot birds in the cloud forest, so you will need a guide, at least for your first couple of expeditions.

*Enjoy local cuisine: Boquete is known for its fresh and delicious cuisine, including traditional dishes like sancocho de gallina, hojaldras, ceviche and carimañolas. The Chiriqui province where Boquete is located is also known as the “breadbasket” of Panama and offers a huge variety of fresh fruits and vegetables. There are many street restaurants or fondas serving local food, and scores of others in the area serving a wide range of international cuisines.

*Take a zip-line tour: Boquete offers several zip-line canopy tours that offer breathtaking views of the surrounding forests and mountains. And if you don’t have a head for heights, you can try a hanging-bridge route that will allow you to experience the views while keeping your feet on the ground (https://reservas.boquetetreetrek.com/boquete/tours/p/tour-puentes-colgantes).

*Visit the orchid farm: The Boquete area is known for its orchid production, and a day-tip to the orchid gardens (https://fincadracula.com/en/) in the Tierras Altas to the north of Boquete is a highlight for many visitors. The private botanical garden has a collection of more than 2000 species of orchid, an impressive collection of succulents and a small restaurant.

*Take a scenic drive: Spend a leisurely day or two driving the roads up and down the mountains around Boquete and take in the natural beauty of the area. If you don’t have a car or would prefer to drive a 4×4 on the back roads, you can hire one – or hire a local 4×4 taxi or guide for the day. You can expect to find many coffee stops, local restaurants and fresh produce vendors along the way.

*Attend a cultural event: Boquete is home to many festivals, parades and cultural events, including the annual Flower & Coffee Festival. This attracts more than 150 000 visitors a year from all over the world, who come to see the spectacular live floral displays that are meticulously planted and planned to bloom during a 10-day period in January.

If you are planning a trip to Boquete or thinking of buying property in the area, contact Utopia Real Estate and Concierge Services. We can offer you a wealth of local knowledge and connections to help you get to know Boquete, and we pride ourselves on a highly professional, personalized real estate service provided by qualified and licensed agents and our in-house attorney and insurance broker.

*Other areas in Panama where expats can enjoy a relatively cool climate are Volcan, Santa Fe, El Valle de Anton and the Altos del Maria estate in the Sora mountains. And as proud members of the MLS in Panama, Utopia Real Estate and Concierge Services can also help you find a dream home in these and other popular locations across the country..