A Perilous Hike Through Boquete’s Cloud Forest

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A Perilous Hike Through Boquete’s Cloud Forest

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I thought I was going to see the Lost Waterfalls via a helicopter. The Panamanian guide, Oscar, took me on a waterfall hunt through Boquete’s cloud forest through steep, rocky, and muddy terrain. What the heck.

Actually, I knew there wasn’t going to be a helicopter, but I wish there was one since I ended up at an altitude of 1800 metres. The easy part was arriving at the base of the cloud forest, because it was done by vehicle. The caretaker’s lawn was full of hydrangeas, orchids, and more plants. The singing birds brought tranquility. But then the real fun started.

Hydrangea in Boquete's Cloudforest, Panama
Hydrangea in Boquete's Cloudforest, Panama

Hiking the cloud forest wasn’t an easy task for me, because I grew up in Toronto, Canada, where it’s only about 75 metres above sea level. I didn’t think the cloud forest’s altitude was high enough for my lungs to breathe faster and deeper, but it was. Higher altitudes have thinner air and less oxygen, meaning the lungs have to adjust and work more. Roger, a Swiss studying Spanish with me at Habla Ya, was accustomed to the altitude, and he was about 20 years my senior.

The mist dripping down my rain jacket cooled my body, while at the same time I was sweating. Hiking with my DSLR and camera backpack made the journey more challenging. My gear weighed about 10 pounds. Even though I was wearing shorts, I had to take off my hiking hat due to my body heating up.

I wore waterproof hiking sandals; on this hike I should have worn full-out hiking boots. The trail was difficult due to the moisture. The rocks were slippery. There wasn’t much of any handles for support, and the steepness forced me to take my time. Falling or twisting an ankle was a high possibility. Even Roger and Oscar slipped, but luckily they broke their falls.

The first waterfall took us about 30 minutes to reach from the base. Unfortunately, it was fenced off due to safety. I took photos as fast as I could because the mist was blowing right into my lens.

First waterfall encountered during our Boquete hike...
First waterfall encountered during our Boquete hike...

The second waterfall was more beautiful, and I was able to get closer. There was no fence here so I made better photos.

The third waterfall was too dangerous to hike because of the weather conditions. Instead, Oscar asked us if we wanted to go the top of the second waterfall. He advised Jeff, an American also on the hike, and I that it is a dangerous hike to reach the top of the waterfall. Jeff was wearing running shoes.

“It’s better safe than sorry,” Oscar warned.

“I’d rather be safe,” Jeff replied.

“I’d rather be sorry,” I said in my head.

Oscar didn’t wait for my reply, and I went up the second waterfall.

Where will #Spanish take you this week?

#Waterfall #Secret #Boquete #LanguageTravel #Hiking #Ecotourism #VisitPanama #Nature #Wildlife #Adventure #Outdoors #HikingParadise #CentralAmerica

Posted by Habla Ya Spanish Schools on Monday, May 16, 2016

It was worth the view.

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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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