coffee beans drying in Boquete

Top Things to Do in Boquete

Upon booking my impromptu trip to Panama, I hadn’t even heard of Boquete.  After sifting through a Panama travel guide, I ended up in this small mountain town for three days! Boquete is located in Panama’s western-most Province of Chiriquí about 40 miles from the Costa Rica border.  At 3,900 feet above sea level, its climate as well as its natural environment attracts locals, tourists and a large ex-pat community.

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along the creek on Three Waterfalls Trail

Hiking Three Waterfalls Trail in Boquete, Panama

The top two things to do in Boquete on Trip Advisor are to hike Sendero Los Quetzales and Tres Casacadas (Three Waterfalls) Trails.  The Three Waterfalls Trail is also called the Lost Waterfalls Trail.

It is highly recommended to take a guide for Sendero Los Quetzales which also requires a 4-wheel drive vehicle and there is a two-person minimum.  As such, just to take a hike was going to cost $190.  As an experienced hiker with an all-wheel drive car, that seemed a little ridiculous to me.

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fishing harbor with panama city skyline

Two and a Half Days in Panama City

I found a cheap flight to Panama, so I picked up a Lonely Plant guide and figured out a week’s itinerary…three days in Panama City and three days in Boquete.  Aside from the Panama Canal, I hadn’t heard much about the country, so I went with guarded expectations.  I was pleasantly surprised.

I found the wonderful Latin America culture coupled with some American conveniences such as safe drinking water, easy and cheap Uber rides, excellent food, and US currency.  To me, this was perfect!

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small boats entering miraflores locks in the Panama Canal

Visiting the Panama Canal

Ways to Visit the Panama Canal

When in Panama City, visiting the Panama Canal is a must.  There are many ways to see it including taking a boat passage through the whole thing, taking a day trip on a boat, taking a tour on the manmade Gatun Lake, going to one of the locks, or walking along the causeway.

Walking along the Cinta Costera on the causeway which connects three islands simply provides an opportunity to see the boats heading toward the canal. I probably wouldn’t call it a canal visit, but the walk is nice enough for views of the boats and water.

Taking a boat tour of Gatun Lake is a good way to see the vessels transitting the canal while also seeing wildlife, monkey island, a native Indian village, Fort San Lorenzo and other places depending on the chosen tour.

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