Panama’s #1 mountain town is situated on the slopes of the Baru Volcano, the highest elevation in the country at 3,475 meters above sea level. A lovely small town enjoying pleasant temperatures year-round. Tourism, cultivation of flowers, agriculture, and record-breaking coffee farms are the main activities for the local community.
What to See & Do
1. Go for a Hike, a “Cloudforest Hike”
One of the most famous trails (Quetzales Trail) and the highest elevation in the country (Baru Volcano) are accessible from this lovely mountain town. Needless to say, serious hiking enthusiasts will want to include a visit to Boquete. The high-altitude forest is gorgeous and the options go from easy to challenging. Check with your hotel about trail conditions and the latest hiking tours available in the area.
2. Try the Coffee, it’s Aaaaamazing!
Boquete is rapidly becoming a well-known name in the Specialty Coffee world. Many of the small coffee farms have been breaking all the records for quality and price. You can try some of this high-quality coffee directly from these farms, or from one of the many coffee shops in town. A word of advice though, sometimes the coffee is so good you might not even like it. If this is the case, there is a chance you, like many others, have already gotten used to drinking crap. So bring an open mind. Once the palate accepts the new flavors in your mouth, you will have trouble going back.
3. Obsessed with Birds = Guided Birding Tour
You won’t be disappointed when going on a birding trip in and around Boquete, not only for the wide varieties of birds in the area, including the resplendent Quetzal, but also because of the beautiful natural setting all around.
4. Traveling with Kids? Canopy Zip-line it is
An exciting aerial traverse through the top of the trees provides participants of this unique adventure a bird’s eye view of the cloud forest previously available only to professional photographers and scientists.
Where to Eat
There are many good restaurants in Boquete. You can choose from a wide range of options and prices. If you want to try what the locals eat, go to one of the informal “meal of the day” restaurants at lunchtime. They usually have a set menu including rice and beans, plantain, a small salad, and a choice of chicken, pork, or beef. If you are vegetarian or vegan, just ask for the same but without the meat.
Where to Stay
Bajo Boquete. This is how the locals refer to the center of town. It translates to “lower” Boquete because is the area at the bottom of the valley. It’s a convenient location if you don’t have a car and want to be able to walk around.
Alto Boquete. This is the area along the David-Boquete highway before going down to town. There are houses and businesses but because of the road, it doesn’t have the same feeling as the town or the other neighborhoods past the center of town.
Away from town. There are many neighborhoods away from town, these areas are considered prettier than the town for those who appreciate natural surroundings, but in most cases, they will require a car, taxi, bus ride, or a good hike.