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Central America Boquete (Panama)

This small mountain valley town at the feet of volcano Barú (the only Panama´s volcano and the tallest Panama´s mountain at the same time, 3475 meters) is a great place to rest for few days. Calm streets, small houses, flowers, tall pine trees, Río Caldera river, hummingbirds, coffee plantations, sun and a soft rain that is always present. The main square is filled with souvenir sellers, American retires and local indigenous people in colorful dresses. Even thought you felt like Boquete will be just a one night stopover, believe me, you are very likely to stay longer (if not to buy a house here and stay forever).
What here: Lets hope you´re a nature lover. In Boquete you can climb volcano Barú (definitely not easy), do white water rafting, horse ride, walk some of the many beautiful nature trails or visit a coffee plantation. Just a 15 minutes walk on the main road up from the town´s square, you can visit a stunning flower garden “Mi jardín es su jardín” (free entrance).

Where to stay:

My favorite place is Hostal Boquete, just two blocks from the main square and right at the river, plus at a very convenient price (about 33 USD per double). Other options you might consider are Hostal Beiru (very small and very „family run“, 24 USD per night) or Hostal Marmalena in a wooden house at the main square (great ambient but older rooms, 29 per night, also offers dorms).

Once in Boquete I also visited Pension Marilós and Pension Topas (two places recommended in Lonely Planet) but each welcomed me with an empty reception and a big (really big) guarding dog... let me say it was Friday midday. Perhaps they were nice dogs, but as you probably understand I did not test it...

How to get here: By a “chicken bus” from David. It takes a little over one hour and the buses are frequent. But if you have a night connection from David to Panama City (6-7 hours, 12 to 18 USD) beware that the last bus that leaves Boquete departs at 7:00 pm.