My Pick of the Top 5 Adventures in Boquete, Panama

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My Pick of the Top 5 Adventures in Boquete, Panama

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Today's post was contributed by Park Wilson, an expat living in Boquete, Panama. He writes for Viva Tropical and is developing a 400 acre private island in Panama.

The mountainous region surrounding Boquete, Panama, offers a wealth of activities to suit any traveler's interests. Nestled into the mountain highlands, just a short distance from the Costa Rican border, Boquete enjoys year-round spring-like temperatures.

It is situated on the Caldera River and bordered by cloud forests that are home to many rare species of birds and plants. The varied ecosystems and topography provide many opportunities for adventure and ecotourism.

So, whether you're an extreme adventurer or a more laid-back tourist, Boquete has many excursions that are sure to interest you. Here are our top 5 picks:

1. Coffee Tours

Specialty coffee sampling in Panama. Photo by M. N. Rage.
Specialty coffee sampling in Panama. Photo by M. N. Rage.

Drive high into the mountains surrounding Boquete. You'll see the plantations, learn how the coffee is made, taste the beans fresh out of the roasters, and then sample coffee selections brewed by the plantation owners themselves.

Large-scale operations like Cafe Ruiz offer a variety of tours, ranging from 45 minutes to 3 hours. You can also take a more intimate coffee tour at Finca La Milagrosa, where the owner will personally help you roast a bag of your favorite blend for you to purchase to take home with you. In addition to the coffee, you'll come away with a greater understanding of the industry as a whole and the vision of these local farmers.

2. Hiking Volcan Baru

Hiking to the top of the Volcan Baru will take you through different life zones. Photo by Angie Harms
Hiking to the top of the Volcan Baru will take you through different life zones. Photo by Angie Harms.

At 3,474 meters (11,398 feet), Volcan Baru is the highest point in Panama. A hike up this dormant volcano is sure to challenge even the most skilled hikers. It can take between 4 - 7 hours, depending on your level of fitness, to reach the summit.

When the weather is clear, its peak offers views of both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, as well as breathtaking vistas of jungles and lush, rolling hills. Come during the dry season (December to April) and try camping at the top to enjoy the jaw-dropping panoramic views of the sunrise.

3. Touring Bajo Mono

Abandoned castle in Bajo Mono, Boquete
Abandoned castle in Bajo Mono, Boquete

Take the Bajo Mono loop road through canyons with steep walls, dotted here and there with coffee plantations. You'll see beautiful gardens, frequented by many locals, and the Rio Caldera. There's also a waterfall and an abandoned castle tucked into a hillside, which serves as a source of mystery for many travelers. Explora Ya offers a pretty complete Panoramic Tour.

The road leads to the trailhead of the Sendero Los Quetzales (Quetzal Trail), which offers sightings of the rare Quetzal bird, Volcan Baru, and the cloud forest. This amazing scenery is like nothing else you'll find in Panama or the rest of Central America, for that matter.

4. Whitewater Rafting

If you go rafting on the Chiriqui Viejo, you'll stop for lunch by an amazing waterfall
If you go rafting on the Chiriqui Viejo, you'll stop for lunch by an amazing waterfall

With 150 inches of rainfall annually, the rivers in the region offer many opportunities for whitewater rafting and kayaking. They include Rio Chiriqui Viejo, considered one of the world's best rafting destinations. You can paddle through forests, canyons, and even around the base of Volcan Baru.

With over 35 runs of rapids, ranging from Class I to Class V, there are options for beginning rafters up to experienced kayakers. Boquete is home to several adventure tourism companies that can help you find the right whitewater rafting excursion for you. Come during the rainy season (June through November) for the best conditions.

5. Rock Climbing

In Boquete there are an abundance of climbing routes thanks to world class rock climber Cesar Melendez
In Boquete there are an abundance of climbing routes thanks to world class rock climber Cesar Melendez

Just outside of Boquete is a series of unusual rock formations perfect for the adventurous climber. The site boasts climbs with varying ranges of difficulty, all the way up to its "Paradiso" climb at 5.13a, one of the most difficult in Panama.

With dozens of climbs to choose from, there's one for even the most experienced climber. And the scenery is sure to wow adventurers of every skill level.

On your next trip to Panama, don't miss out on these exciting opportunities for adventure in Boquete.

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT ADVENTURE TOURS IN BOQUETE, PANAMA... »

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Search our blog if you're visiting Panama! From must do's, where to party or eat, to which beaches and hiking trails you shouldn't miss, you'll find great insider info about Bocas del Toro, Panama City and Boquete, as well as Panamanian culture, customs and traditions, and certainly tips and advice for learning Spanish while in our country! We've been writing about all things Panama for over 10 years and nothing beats local knowledge from the locals themselves.


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