Boquete Journals

The Outlandish Bounty of Boquete

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An April 2006 trip to Boquete by Jose Kevo

Coming and Going... Photo, Boquete, Panama More Photos
Quote: If having only one absolute recommendation for where to visit while in Panamá, it's Boquete: a sublime mountain village where alpine intersects tropical.

The Outlandish Bounty of Boquete

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Overview

Rustic Elegance Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
Lounged around a graphic chasm, the unfamiliar locale of Boquete is encompassed by mountains that bulge in tiered prominence until crowned by the pinnacle of Panama. Volcán Barú commands these Chiriquí Highlands at 3,478m/11,477ft. Periodic tremors still respectfully humble the vast domain, even though the volcano hasn't blown in more than half a millennium. Until eruption re-depletes the landscape, the frontier continues to flourish amid dormant legacies cultivating the most exquisite of reminders.Boquete lives up to its Spanish name, which signifies gap or narrow entrance. Drop the "e" and Boquet is as seasonable an autograph. Rich volcanic loam furnishes...Read More

Suenos del Rio

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Hotel

Suenos del Rio Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
Stepping off the bus in Boquete, you'll quickly know if there's vacancies at Sueños Del Río Guesthouse. A timid lady, carrying notebook full of bilingual information describing pictures of the homey set-up she owns, unsuspectingly greets new arrivals in the Central Plaza. Once settling the non-Spanish speakers from the bus, Sueños was the only place left with any availabilities; slightly pricier than many establishments, but certainly worth it!This pleasant guesthouse is located two blocks east of the Central Plaza, heading towards the large yellow suspended bridge. Before crossing, take a left on the unnamed street and Sueños is ahead on the right. Other than the sign hanging o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Suenos del Rio
Left On The Unnamed Street Before Crossing Río Caldera Bridge
Boquete, Panama
720-2736

Sabroson

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Restaurant | "El Sabroson"

Sabroson Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
Savory, tasty and delicious are the three English descriptions associated with the Spanish word sabroso, and El Sabrosón Restaurante certainly lives up to its namesake in either language. This Boquete mainstay surpasses with quality and quantity of regional specialties, and was hands-down favorite of anywhere I ate while in Panamá.Located a couple of blocks north of the central plaza on Avenida Central, they're open from 6:30am - 10:30pm. Popularity keeps this establishment quite busy, and travelers may find prices even more irresistible than the food. The cafeteria-style buffet has the greatest amount of selections found anywhere in town, a place where it's as big a chall...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Sabroson
Avenue Central
Boquete, Panama
(507) 720-2147

Java Juice

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Restaurant

Java Juice Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
When soliciting recommendations of places to eat, Java Juice kept making the list of locals' favorites based on a very unsuspecting "must try". Considering Boquete's numerous eateries, cheeseburgers were the last things I expected while in Panamá. Interested in feeding curiosity, it became quickly obvious why this place was so readily endorsed, and stopping here becomes addictive!Java Juice is Boquete's health-conscious establishment nonchalantly blessing juices, salads and vegetarian dishes on sign out front. That's all and good, but my sensible regiment has never shied away from carnality, and what could a place like this know about burgers? Enough to prove why they're frequen...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Java Juice
Avenida Central; south of the Central Plaza
Boquete, Panama

Festivals and Fairgrounds

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Attraction

Backyard Boquete Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
Boquete celebrates with a pair of renowned festivals attracting crowds from Panama and Costa Rica. The Flower and Coffee Festival is largest, running 10 days in January. The Orchid Festival, a 6-day revelry in April, is part of observances for the Chiriquí Province anniversary.Arriving in time for the Orchid Festival was an unexpected treat of celebration and education regarding these delicate blossoms that have long fascinated. More than 1,200 species of orchids burgeon in Panama, and can be found growing wild just about everywhere. Locals pride themselves on gardens which burst from the rich, volcanic soil, but flaunting prize possessions at this festival ...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Volcan Baru National Park

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Attraction | "The Central Plaza"

Coming and Going... Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
Hardly concealed, Boquete's Central Plaza breaks from the norm without a cathedral located around its borders, but that's the only thing missing. As commonly found in Latin American settlements, these centralized areas prevail as a hub for local interactions, a place where everyone eventually finds themselves at some point during waking hours of any day. As a traveler, I highly recommend following tradition, since this obvious landmark could prove to be Boquete's most unexpected attraction!With such demanding environs requiring strenuous workouts, downtimes are inevitable, whether brief respites or full-day recoveries. Retiring to this picturesque setting permits taking full advantage o...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Volcan Baru National Park

Chiriqui Province, Boquete, Panama

The Upper Loop Walk

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Attraction

Monkey Business Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
As an introductory warm-up trek, there's a two-hour walk beginning where the main bridge crosses the Río Caldera. Looking up through the mountains slightly to the right, notice a clearing where a road passes. The town's overview from there will be the least of encounters following this unpaved course of moderate difficulty.Heading right from the bridge, the range begins a steady climb in what will be the steepest uphill sections for the entire hike. There's glimpses through trees as the road rises above Boquete, and then cuts inland and gradually weaves in all directions to spare from having to make a direct ascent.The area is well shaded through these parts, and passes alon...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on August 11, 2006

Boquete Services & Extras

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Story/Tip

Layers of Civilization Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
With Boquete up-and-coming as Panama's favored retirement destination for expats, the town's isolation is keeping pace with a growing number of services, including agencies handling legal and professional affairs. Travelers are also flocking to this base for explorations of the Chiriquí Highlands and Nacional Parque Volcán Barú. These days, there's hardly any need for back-tracking to David with these extras which provide travel-related necessities as well as helping pass the time.Boquete's Tourism CenterThe IPAT Cefati is located on a hilltop about a mile south of town, where overview of the village and Virgin statue mirador are more impressive than any information y...Read More

Connecting Through David

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Story/Tip

Sandía = Watermelon Photo, Panama, Central America
Quote:
As Panama's second-largest city, David has prospering commerce along Highway of the Americas, but otherwise it's a predicament of dusty streets circulating through a mini-metropolis of bedlam. There's nothing here to warrant an extended stay. Take a hint from the town's central plaza named Parque de Cervantes, but think Dante's Inferno! It's not the place you want to be, but unprepared travelers may find themselves stuck here for the night in trying to reach Boquete.Every mode of transportation must first arrive in David, including daily flights on Aeroperlas. Most travelers come on luxury motorcoaches from P...Read More

Coffee with Oscar Valentino

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Story/Tip

Boquete's Signature Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
Coming to a town that's renowned for flowers and coffee, and sharing conversations over a cup of java with Boquete's "Flower Man", was one of those unlikely encounters that even locals and expats met with suspicious eyes. Nevertheless, Oscar Valentino is the essence of these Chiriquí Highlands, both past and present. Not a day goes by that he can't be seen toddling through the streets, rain or shine, carrying a meticulous bouquet of flowers that he's helped himself to from people's yards and gardens.As to what he does with these flowers, no one seems quite sure and after several days of observances, I'm still not either. There were no sales ever made or even complimentary poesies offere...Read More

Just Shy of Heaven, the Photo Tour

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Story/Tip

Alpine Living Photo, Boquete, Panama
Quote:
Like the clacks from a rollercoaster straining to overtake the summit, so goes the road to Boquete as battered school buses chug their way onward and upward through Panama's highest elevations. With excitement and suspense, nothing suggests exactly when or where this lofty settlement will emerge from the imminent horizon. It never does. Hanging on with anticipation while duped into searching higher, a sudden plunge reassigns any preconceived notions as passageway spirals into the mountain village that's draped across an extravagant abyss that's anything but hell.The arrival is impressive, saying the very least, but nothing compared to actually stepping off the bus. Something's differen...Read More