Boquete - Green Like You've Never Seen
Sep 2, 2008
|August 31 - September 2
Ahhh....Boquete...truly a one of kind city. Getting here however was a pain in the butt - we took a fully packed 6 hr overnight bus w/ broken air conditioning, getting us to the city of David at the oh' so early 5:30am where we had to take another fully-packed 1 hr yellow school into Boquete, our final destination for the next 3 days. However, upon arrival we quickly realized it was worth the trek!
Boquete was not part of our original itinerary, but we are so glad we discovered this mountain-valley with the Rio Caldera running right through it. Boquete is perched about 1500 meters (yes - we speak in meters now) above sea level, so the weather is cool - a welcome change from the recent heat! In fact, like clock work during this time, it`s beautiful all day long then at 3:30pm rain + lightening through the night. There is lots of rain here year round long. The main center is only a few square blocks with one main road, but the entire city has mist covered green hills + forest surrounding it in all directions for miles + miles, plus it`s home to Panama's only volcano, Baru. Our one word to describe Boquete obviously had to be "green"!
What`s great about Boquete is that it`s a top destination for outdoor adventure and we were sure to take advantage of that! Each day we did something interesting (since it's so much cheaper in Panama vs. Brazil)....
Day 1 was a hike to the Poz de Caldera natural hot springs. Joke was on me b/c during my summer in Costa Rica I had visited springs at a beautiful resort. Well, this turned out to be a 1hr hike to arrive to an indigenous farm where we paid only a $1 to find itty-bitty hot ponds amid the rainforest (and lots of mosquitos). During our hike home it POURED rain and we got drenched in our lil' bathing suites + flip flops (again, we were not excpecting a hike, but a resort, so we did not plan well). Nonetheless, it was a good laugh + adventure. Lucky for us, rain is always warm here!
Day 2 was a canopy tour where we strapped oursleves into harnesses and zip lined across 14 platforms + 13 cables that are anywhere from 100-200 meters up in the trees among the cload forest. One of the cables was 400 meters long and we went approx 45mph...it was such a rush! This was Peters 1st time and he loved it...nothing scares this guy! Following we toured Cafe Ruiz, a coffee plantation + roasting facility. This coffee company has won the best coffee in the world for the past 8 years! We learned A LOT about coffee...ya`ll would be scared to know what actually goes on at most of the world`s coffee companies!!!! But we won't ruin your coffee high -- wink!
Day 3 was river rafting in class 3.5 rapids (medium skill) down the Chiquiri River Viejo. Peter was our mighty team leader along with the guides. We thought it would be a bit scary...but it was a ton of fun and we are likely to do again in another country!
An interesting tid-bit about Boquete we were surprized to learn....
Although it`s a small town, there are several retired American and European transplants. Modern Maturity magazine rated Boquete as a top destination to retire in 2001. As a result, foreign baby boomers have flocked to snatch up mountain plots. You can now see lots of "gated communities" (a new word + concept to locals)...so it's slowly being transformed.
Without a doubt...this is a must-see city to anyone visiting Panama! Plus, the locals rock here! Our only hiccup was the not so great pension we landed at - good from far, but far from good! It only reminded us how lucky we are to have such AWESOME bathrooms + plumbing back home!!!
Next we are off to Bocas del Torro where we have plans to learn how to dive!!!!!