Boquete is a small town in the mountains where the climate is cool and fresh with beautiful surroundings. The area is very fertile so a lot of flowers, fruits, vegetables and coffee are harvested here. A lot of people go hiking in the Bouquet with in mist-covered hills and forest. Please be careful, take a guide to take you, you could get lost. I saw tours that bring you to the Parque National Volcán Barú for a sunrise; you could even see both oceans at the same time! This town is a joy for outdoor lovers; I went only to a coffee farm. The town of Boquete is not spectacular; along the river that runs through town you have some nice gardens and hotels. The hills created some rain showers during the afternoon. A good time to cool off a bit after and before the warm beach days at the coasts!
The shuttle service of Hello Travel Panama drove me from Santa Catalina to Boquete ($35 for 5 hours) and from Boquete to Bocas del Toro ($30 for 4 hours), this is very comfortable easy to arrange. Drop off and departure is at Hostel Mamallena at the Parque Domingo Médica in the city center. You can buy the tickets there but also online.
I only stayed two nights in Boquete and I wanted to see a Coffee Farm, never been to one (Colombia was the second). Up the hill in town (follow the main road Av. Central) the shop of the Panama’s most famous coffee-grower called Café Ruíz is located. I walked up there to get a coffee and organized a tour for the next day. I booked the three hours afternoon tour at 1:30PM; the morning tour starts at 9:00AM each for $35.
The Café Ruíz Coffee Tour was including the transport to the farm outside Boquete where they explained about the history of the farm, the process of planting, harvesting, drying selecting, roasting, packaging and the best part the tasting back at the shop in town.
Here we could taste and buy the award winning geisha coffee. Normally I drink my coffee Latte style, but here the coffee without milk was so tasteful and different than back home.
Accommodation and Restaurants
When I booked my days in Boquete a Jazz Festival was going on where I was not aware of. That is what I like about not planning everything you run into such nice coincidences. One minor thing, the hotels were so fully booked and expensive, I found out later of course….. I booked one of the last rooms in Hotel Central Boquete, not my first choice I have to admit but it was ok. The vibe in town was nice music everywhere so that was fun.
I had dinner at the Italian Retrogusto restaurant that was really good. The owner helped me out that morning with my luggage to the hotel; I had to pay him a visit and that was a good choice. Apparently it is one of the best restaurant in town and had a great evening at a shared table. Had a blast with a retired US filmmaker; in Boquete are living a lot of US pensioners, due to the cool climate and healthy surroundings.
I have one lunch tip for you to go to; this place is called Café de Punto Enuentro (Olga’s) at Calle 6A sur. The women welcomed me with a kiss and called me “Mi Amor” (my love in Spanish). The pancakes are really delicious and were served with a flower on top. That is my style!!!
Next destination is Bocas del Toro, back to the tropical beaches!!