Best Things to Do in Boquete, Panama
Boquete is a Panamanian town that offers many options. In addition, stopping in Boquete is a good way to make the trip from Santa Catalina to Bocas del Toro more bearable.
We arrived in Boquete from Santa Catalina, crossing the “border” between the provinces of Veraguas and Chiriqui. Yes, in Panama, between provinces, sometimes there are real borders with the military checking your passport. When we asked about this situation, they told us that it was due to illegal immigration and the possible transportation of drugs.
Well, to arrive in Boquete is to arrive in a town in the most authentic American style. If it weren’t for the fact that instead of Americans there are Panamanians, I wouldn’t see any difference.
The streets are gridded, with one-story buildings, colorful. There are also some traces of the past, with colonial buildings. You can recognize them by the shape of their terraces and the bars on them.
As a curiosity, it must be said that in the outskirts of Boquete there are dozens of enormous houses, as if they were mansions. This is because a few years ago, this town became very fashionable among American retirees. So many went to live there.
Now, you might be wondering what to do in a place like this, American in the middle of a narrow country. We’ll tell you about it later.
What to see and do in Boquete
Climbing the Baru volcano
The Baru volcano is the highest point in Panama, reaching 3474 meters above sea level. And the best thing is that if the day is very clear, you can see the two oceans, the Atlantic and the Pacific.
Well, if you’re daring to climb this volcano, you have to keep in mind that it’s not an easy route. Besides, you have to be in good physical shape.
The climb is quite demanding, and sometimes it is conditioned by the weather, because if it has rained a lot, maybe the route is not in the best conditions.
Route of the Quetzals
There are two modes of climbing, the night one, which starts around 11 pm. And the daytime, which starts early in the morning.
The route in both cases, between ascent and descent, can be done around 8-9 hours.
The advantage of doing the night tour is to see the sunrise from the highest part of the volcano. And as I said before, if the day is clear, you will enjoy unique views.
All the local agencies offer you the possibility to make this climb to the Baru volcano. It’s true that we met people who did it on their own. But it was the daytime climb, not the nighttime one.
In any case, keep in mind that you have to be in very good physical shape, as well as to bring mountain shoes, food and enough water.
The Quetzal Route
A good alternative, or complement to the climb of the Baru volcano is to do the trekking of the Quetzal Route. And this was the one we did.
This route starts at Cerro Punta, 1981 meters above sea level, and one hour away from Boquete.
This route will take you a whole day, as the whole tour takes about seven hours. This also depends on your physical condition. This trek is relatively simple, but you have to be in good physical shape.
It is called the Quetzal Route because it is a route where you can not only enjoy fabulous views of the Baru Volcano but also see the quetzals. These are some birds, which in the pre-Hispanic period were considered sacred.
The truth is that trekking is really nice. We got into the rainforest, and enjoyed nature in solitude, well, we were going with a guide.
This route is a sample of pure and lush nature, and we hope it lasts for a long time.
You can take a look at this article we wrote about the Route of the Quetzals.
Boquete, the village
In Boquete there is not much to do and rather little to see. But if you want to take a walk through this small town, we will tell you about some curious places.
It’s funny to find a train without a train station or trains or tracks. Well, there it is, next to the town hall in the Parque Domingo Médica.
There is also a small church, white and shiny, but beyond that it is of no great interest.
If there is one thing you can do there is enjoy Panamanian cuisine in its many restaurants. Besides, they are authentic, real Panamanian food.
Another alternative is to enjoy some delicious and affordable craft beers at Boquete Brewing Company. Also, it is a good place to meet other travelers and tell them about your experiences traveling through Panama.
Boquete Coffee Excursion
Here are two options, which are totally compatible.
On the one hand, you can take one of the many tours you can find in the different coffee plantations. This way you will be able to see how the process of the elaboration of the coffee is, and have more information to know more in depth about the Panamanian coffee.
But also, you can look for a place to taste a delicious local coffee. We found a coffee shop called La Viuda del Café. I think I probably tried one of the best coffees I’ve ever drunk there.
Boquete is one of the places in the world where you can find the best coffee.
Lodging in Boquete
Accommodation in Boquete is varied, and prices are not excessive. We went with the accommodation already booked from Santa Catalina. And we did this, because in the lodging of Santa Catalina they advised us one, Mamallena.
Also, since we used the shuttle from HelloTravel Panama, a company associated with Mamallena Hostel, they gave us a discount on the price of the room.
This hostel is in the center of town, in the Domingo Médica park. And less than three minutes away there is a supermarket where you can find everything you are looking for.
Totally recommendable. If you want to see pictures, availability and prices, you can check the following link, Hostel Mamallena.
If you also want to take a look at other options, you can look at Accommodation in Boquete.