Boquete Hikes: The Lost Waterfall Trail

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Boquete Hikes: The Lost Waterfall Trail

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Not only are Boquete's hiking trails spectacular and full of wildlife, majestic trees and wildflowers, the drive up to Bajo Mono and Alto Chiquero, Boquete's prime hiking areas, is breathtaking.

One of my favorite trails in this area is the The Lost Waterfalls. Each trail in Boquete has unique selling points – I recommend The Lost Waterfalls when people want an exhilarating hike with incredible views. The Lost Waterfalls is also a private trail where you are required to sign in and pay a fee, so it is a good option if you want to explore Boquete's trails independently as it's pretty well maintained as well. If you prefer a guided hike, it can also be arranged.

The trail features three waterfalls in three different locations. Most visitors who hike the trail do the first two waterfalls and leave the third to more adventurous types. The trail is on private property and maintained by Eliecer, a caretaker who lives on site with his family. He maintains the first two trails and the third is left a bit wild by request, for people who want a more challenging, off-the-beaten-track hike.

Waterfall in Boquete, Panama

The trail is well-signed, clearly directing you to each waterfall. My favorite is the second waterfall, which features a cave to the left of the waterfall, a trail that allows you to hike up to the top of the waterfall and look down and a beautiful, clear pool that is perfect for swimming, but be warned: the water is cold!

 Cave in Boquete, Panama

The first 10-15 minutes of the hike involves a strenuous climb up to the log cabin, where you will meet Eliecer, sign in and pay $7 (this reasonable fee goes towards maintenance and salaries). The beautifully finished log cabin is also available to rent nightly. Snacks and water are available for sale and they have a hose to clean off your hiking boots or running shoes (the trail is in prime cloud forest and it can get muddy in spots – but that is part of the adventure). And if you are shy about using Mother Nature's powder room, this is the only trail with bathroom facilities at the trailhead.

If you are renting a car, drive up the Bajo Mono loop, passing prime tourist sites: the rock climbing wall, the San Ramon waterfall and the abandoned castle (a beautiful, possibly haunted, home right next to the river). You'll get to a point in the road where you have to go left or right – turn right, following the Lost Waterfalls signs and drive for about 1 kilometer. Park on the side of the road and walk in. If you are taking a taxi up, let the driver know you want The Lost Waterfalls (there is another great trail in Bajo Mono called the Waterfall Trail, which can cause some confusion). Most of the taxi drivers know the owner of The Lost Waterfalls (either personally or by reputation) so if there seems to be some confusion, clarify by saying 'Wendy's Waterfalls'. The little buses you see in town (buses ruta urbana) also go up there.

Abandoned or Haunted Castle in Bajo Mono, Boquete

  • Drive to Lost Waterfalls Trailhead: Approximately 25 minutes from town
  • Fee: $7
  • Level of Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced (steep climbing in parts)
  • Time on trail: Give yourself 3-5 hours to enjoy the trail
  • Wildlife spotted on this trail: Howler monkeys, sloths, quetzals, tapirs and more. At the pedestrian bridge that crosses the river just before the trailhead, look down to the left. If you're lucky, you'll see the American Dipper, a cool little bird who likes to dive underwater.
  • Pros: Stunning views, great workout, beautiful waterfalls, snacks, facilities
  • Cons: As this is prime cloud forest, it can be muddy (but a hose is available to wash down shoes)

 View of Boquete from the Waterfall Hike

FIND MORE ABOUT HIKING IN BOQUETE... »

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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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