What's it like to learn Spanish in Boquete? See it for yourself!
The valley of Boquete is located in the western highlands of Panama at 1,200 meters above sea level in the lush province of Chiriqui. Situated near the Costa Rican border, this enchanted village is nestled in the foothills of the Volcan Baru amongst the country's most mountainous region.
Boquete is Panama's eco-adventure capital... for all ages. Experience unspoiled nature and wildlife, hundreds of birds (amongst them the Resplendent Quetzal) and beautiful hiking trails in our National Parks, award winning coffee, world class whitewater adventures, thrilling zip-lining tours, relaxing hot springs and scenic horseback riding tours. With its modern city infrastructure and small town charm, Boquete is the perfect headquarters to explore the Province of Chiriqui -white sand beaches and turquoise waters are only a 1.5-hour drive away. Return in the evening to Boquete's fresh mountain air and water, breathtaking views, welcoming accommodations and great restaurants. This charming town that has harmoniously grown along the Caldera River and is widely recognized for its fertile lands, magnificent natural splendor and year round pleasant weather.
Tucked away in Chiriqui's highlands Boquete is safe, beautiful, inexpensive and exciting and can be easily accessed through one hour daily flights from Panama City to David (www.flyairpanama.com), the country's second most important city, which is only 30 minutes away from Boquete by car. Many visitors also travel to Boquete from Costa Rica.
This enchanted town has a wonderful sense of community which gives travelers a unique opportunity to learn Spanish and interact with the local culture. Visitors love Boquete because of its welcoming people making it an ideal setting that allows you to become part of a very special place. On the other hand it doesn't hurt that virtually everything is within walking distance, so wherever you decide to stay at, your language travel holiday will be highly convenient and straight forward: you'll only be minutes away from your favorite restaurants, bars and hiking trails, and not to mention there is no risk of getting caught in the traffic (or in the heat) as in Panama City...
It's surrounding hills and slopes are a mix of dense tropical cloud forest and shade grown coffee plantations providing the perfect habitat for an incredible amount of exotic birds, endemic wildlife, stunning flowers and exuberant flora. A mountain lover's dream in Boquete you will encounter stunning scenic vistas offered by its many panoramic peaks. Boquete is bordered by natural protecting reserves: the Baru Volcano National Park and La Amistad International Park are an invaluable ecological system that shields immensely rich and unique biodiversity.
Boquete's natural wonders make it an ideal place for those who want to learn Spanish in a relaxed setting. Far away from the stress of the city you can easily loosen up after your Spanish classes and study Spanish in a serene and tranquil environment. Boquete's temperature is also a major advantage because even though Panama is in the tropics, Boquete has a cool mountain climate making air conditioning totally unnecessary.
Intense Spanish studying also requires a way to unwind ones mind and Boquete's numerous hiking trails and eco-adventure tours provide the perfect way to keep a healthy lifestyle and a balanced mind and soul.
On the other hand as everything in downtown Boquete is within walking distance life couldn't be easier... Habla Ya Boquete Spanish School is just a couple of minutes away from the hotel, apartment or host family that you will be staying at and Boquete's bars, restaurants, supermarkets and basically everything else is also within walking distance from our Spanish school.
The "Valley of the Flowers and the Eternal Spring", is home to 22,000 inhabitants whose cultural roots can be traced to Native Indians, Spaniards, Europeans and North Americans among other ethnicities. Its first settlers came from other areas of Panama, as well as other countries such as Switzerland, Sweden, Germany and North America. All give shape to the cultural melting pot that Boquete is today. Most farms and houses still have architectural styles that are reminiscent of these other countries. This makes studying Spanish in Boquete an interesting cultural experience as you will be able to see for yourself how all of these different groups give Boquete a distinctive cultural identity.
On the sheer mountains that surround the valley of Boquete live the Ngöbe Bugles, Panama's most numerous indigenous ethnic group who are highly skilled artisans, famous for their colorful chaquiras (beaded necklaces) and "nahuas", traditional dresses. The Ngöbe Bugles Indians (Guaymí) are also responsible for handpicking the specialty coffee of the region during the months of November through March and indigenous families from all over the province of Chiriqui make there way to Boquete during the harvesting season. The Ngöbe indigenous in their colorful dresses decorate the town with bright and rich colors.
Once you're in Boquete you'll understand why it's said that if you come to Boquete you will never want to leave... learning Spanish at Habla Ya will certainly be an incredible experience that you will never forget.
Boquete is only one hour away from unspoiled white sand beaches in the Pacific and just three hours away from Bocas del Toro in the Caribbean, offering students plenty of opportunities to hit the beach during the weekend to enjoy the warmth of the sun and get to do some of the most amazing scuba diving, snorkeling and surfing that you could imagine.
One of Central America's best kept secrets, Boquete is just being discovered by visitors who often return to stay. Come fast because the word is quickly spreading out! In fact, many travelers and tourists who are just passing by, return to our Spanish school in Boquete to learn Spanish, because, after literally bumping into our Spanish School they realize that Boquete is a wonderful place to learn Spanish.
Recently exposed by ecotourism and adventure travel enthusiasts it is rapidly becoming one of the hottest vacation destinations in Latin America, attracting travelers from all over the globe (New York Times, August 2007, The Costa Rican Experience Moves Next Door).
Everybody is looking for an opportunity to raft Chiriqui's first class rivers, spot an elusive Quetzal in Boquete's cloud forest footpaths and hiking trails, conquer the top of the Baru Volcano, zip line above the canopy of its lush tropical forest, relax in thr tranquil Caldera hot springs, climb Boquete's challenging natural volcanic walls, stride peacefully over its mountains and into its valleys by horseback or just visit its world famous coffee plantations to taste some of the world's finest specialty coffee.
David is the second largest city of Panama and is only 30 minutes away from Boquete. In David you can encounter plenty of great discotheques, bars, shopping centers and restaurants.
This precious gem has always been popular amongst Panamanian tourists who keep exploring Boquete's wonders. Internal tourism to Boquete mainly occurs during the Festival of the Flowers and the Coffee held in January of each year in which the locals come to lively celebrate Boquete's grandeur. The Orchid Fair in April also attracts a fair amount of internal visitors and Panamanians literally flood Boquete for Panama's National Holidays throughout the month of November. If you want to have a closer look to Panama's culture November makes an excellent month for learning Spanish in Boquete.
Known to produce some of the country's sweetest oranges and strawberries and the world's best coffee, the region of Boquete started attracting farmers from the surrounding areas (Dolega and Caldera) towards the end of the XIX century. By the first years of the XX century several villages had been populated: Lino, Quiel, Bajo Mono, Los Naranjos and Bajo Boquete and several foreign farming families fell in love with these lands and purchased large farming estates.
Boquete is within the province of Chiriqui. Panama has a total of nine provinces of which Chiriqui has the highest mountains, longest rivers and most fertile lands. Chiriqui, named by the local Indians as the "valley of the moon", is home to the majestic Volcan Baru, a dormant Volcano which is also Panama's highest point from where you can see both the Pacific and the Caribbean from the same point.
The district of Boquete was founded on January 17th, 1911. Today Boquete's district includes six corregimientos: Bajo Boquete, Caldera, Palmira, Alto Boquete, Jaramillo and Los Naranjos.
The rich volcanic soil makes Chiriqui the bread basket of Panama: all sort of rich fruits and vegetables are cultivated and premium dairy and beef cattle are farmed. Chiriqui's red and green flag with its thirteen stars representing its thirteen districts is a proud reminder of the province's agricultural wealth in meat and vegetables.
Boquete, known as the best coffee producer in the world, enjoys a spring like, cool mountain weather, comfortable all year around, considered nearly perfect, with temperatures ranging between 60° to 80° F (16° - 28° C) making air conditioning and heating totally unnecessary. Thanks to its 3,000-foot elevation, the area's microclimates deduct 10 crucial degrees from the incessant and humid lowland heat allowing you to have Spanish classes in a very comfortable environment.
Each of Boquete's regions has its own microclimate. Even if some places are only a few kilometers away, there can be significant temperature and humidity differences. Take Bajo Mono for example: its average temperature is several degrees lower than Bajo Boquete and it is slightly more humid. Boquete's weather still remains uncharted in detail.
Below you will find a chart with Boquete's daily temperatures highs and lows. As you can see our temperatures are completely constant year round.
When is the best time of the year to visit Boquete and learn Spanish at our Boquete Spanish School? Each of its seasons has its strong points. Panama's dry season (what we call summer) is from December to April and the rainy season (what we call winter) is from May to November.
Below you will find a chart with Boquete's daily rainfall during last year. You can see that there were no heavy rainstorms during last year's dry season.
During the dry season in Boquete it is highly unlikely that you will get wet days as rainfalls are somewhat sporadic, maybe only a couple of times each month. It is extremely rare if Boquete gets a strong rainstorm during the dry season. In this time of the year you will enjoy fresh sunny days with pleasant temperatures. The only exception might be when there is a tropical storm elsewhere in Central America. Panama is a hurricane free zone so when a tropical storm heads towards Honduras, Nicaragua, Costa Rica or any other Central American country or the Caribbean, in Panama it might be felt with some heavy rainfall, but that's it. Because of this, Panama is the best place to be in during your Central American vacation during hurricane season, because it will never get interrupted and you will always be safe!
During the rainy season in Boquete, precipitation is normally in the afternoon allowing you to enjoy sunny mornings. This is why during the rainy season it is a good idea to have your Spanish course in the afternoon (and this is why we schedule every group lesson in the afternoon unless the school is completely full!). As anywhere in the tropics, at certain times during the rainy season it can rain all day long. This can sometimes happen during part of June, July, September, October and November. This does not mean that it rains everyday; it just means that when it rains it really rains! It is also commonly known that in the Caribbean (places like Bocas del Toro for example), it rains a lot more than in the Pacific. As Boquete is roughly only 50 km from the Pacific coast, you couldn't be in a better place.
At the following site you can get a pretty good forecast for Boquete's weather.
The rainy season is a superb time to visit Boquete and learn Spanish if you are into outdoor adventure sports: it is the best time of the year for white water river rafting and kayaking and if you go on any hiking tour you will have an amazing opportunity to see everything in its most wild and lively state. The colors of Boquete during the rainy season are something really special.
Spanish students at Habla Ya Panama Spanish School get discounts with local tour operators so this is another benefit for those who choose our Spanish School.
You will be surprised by the quantity of rainbows that you will admire. Maybe this is why Boquete has so many treasures. It is not uncommon to devise two or three rainbows overlapping each other in a graceful dance of colorful lights across the skies. During different times of the year you may also experience a curious natural phenomenon, very similar to mist but not quite so: Bajareque. Bajareque is rain that is so light that it will not damp your cloth if you walk through it and it will not land on earth as it floats, but it will create ideal conditions for the perfect rainbow on a sunny day.
Boquete's wonderful weather conditions have made many believe that a healthy climate combined with a diet based on products that come from sustainable and organic farming practices is the secret to longevity. Many native Boqueteños have lived well on past their one-hundredth birthdays. This also makes Boquete an excellent place to relocate.
Boquete is Panama's adventure travel and ecotourism capital. You name it, Boquete has it!
- For extreme adrenaline, world class river rafting in Chiriqui's Rivers: Chiriqui Viejo, Chiriqui, Caldera, Gariche, Dolega, Majagua and Esti
- For coffee connoisseurs, coffee tours to coffee farms and processing plants in Palmira, Palo Alto and Alto Quiel
- To admire the greatness of the tropical cloud forest, Zip Line Canopy Tours on the border of La Amistad International Park
- For a challenging hike and chance to view both the Pacific Ocean and Caribbean Sea from Panama's highest point, guided tours on a quest ton conquer the top of the Volcan Baru
- For the most enchanting footpath, hike the Quetzals Trail from Cerro Punta to Boquete
- For a relaxing and peaceful afternoon, the Caldera Hot Springs
- For the western type, Horseback Riding through Caldera's valleys and hills
- To admire nature's abundance, Bird Watching Tours
- For extreme sports enthusiasts, Rock Climbing & Rappelling at Los Ladrillos in Bajo Mono.
- If you feel the need for speed, Four Wheel ATV tours
- To meet the Ngöbe Bugle Indians: Indigenous Villages Tours
Habla Ya Boquete Spanish School students get special discounts for many ecotourism and adventure tours in Boquete. If you don't believe us, compare our prices with any other tour operator in Boquete.
In Boquete you will find hotels that will meet any type of budget. You can stay at youth hostels, mid range priced hotels and bed and breakfasts or at luxurious estate inns. If you learn Spanish at our Spanish school in Boquete you will have access to very convenient rates.
Travelers can stay in town and be close to the restaurants, bars and shops, or they can also stay outside of town in a more mountainous and quiet setting (the furthest hotel is within a 10 minute drive by car). During the Flower and Coffee Festival, Christmas and November National Celebrations, hotels in Boquete usually sell out so plan ahead of time to make your reservation. We obviously help our Spanish students stay at the best hotels in Boquete and we have negotiated special prices for them when they have extended stays.
Boquete has more restaurants per capita than any other city in Panama. As you may expect from a highly cosmopolitan country, in Boquete you will find restaurants specializing in cuisines from many different parts of the world: Scandinavian, new American, French, Italian, Peruvian, Mexican, Mediterranean, Thai, Greek and obviously Panamanian. There is fine dining available for romantic evenings and celebrations or inexpensive but large meals for after a long day full of tours. You can have a pretty decent meal for as low as $3 or a more extravagant yet refined dish for up to $20.
Like nightlife in any part of the world: it's about the people. If you find people who know how to party, you will find good parties. As Boquete is a small town, you do not have to look that hard to find the young people who know and like to party.
In Boquete, Valley of the Flowers and Eternal Spring, you will find enchanted magical gardens. Mi Jardín es tu Jardín, El Explorador and Paradise Gardens are just some examples of beautiful gardens that you will find in Boquete.
If your body and soul need urgent pampering, come and spoil yourself in Boquete. Boquete has world class staff with international training and experience at several spas where you will be able to indulge yourself, relax and meditate, leaving the stress and worries of a busy life way behind.
CEFATI, also know as the IPAT building, means "Centro de Facilidades Turísticas e Interpretación". In other words (in another language) CEFATI gives tourists who cannot speak Spanish information about the area. The building is situtated at the very entrance fo the valley on the right across from the hideous fountain and in front of the arch over the road.
It is open from Monday to Saturday from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. (it closes an hour earlier on Saturdays). You will find many tourist brochures and on the second floor there is a wonderful exhibit on the history of Boquete with beautiful photographs of the area and people who originally settled in Boquete.
At Habla Ya Boquete Spanish School we consider ourselves experts about Boquete, so if you need info about what to do, come and visit us and we will help you make the most out of your stay in Boquete. Paying us a visit will be the best decision you will make in your vacation to Boquete.