Boquete is a charming mountain village located in the western part of Panama, surrounded by fantastic nature. It is a base for various outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, climbing, and ziplining. The area surrounding Boquete is rich in beautiful rainforests with amazing hiking trails, viewpoints, and waterfalls. Boquete is the perfect place to admire the jungle of Panama. I stayed there for a week, and in this article, I will share all my tips for Boquete. From awesome hikes to challenging outdoor activities, and from recommendations for the best restaurants to the coolest places to stay. Welcome to Boquete, the greenest destination in Panama!
How to get to Boquete?
From Bocas del Toro to Boquete
From Playa Venao to Boquete
By bus: This comfortable minibus runs every Tuesday directly from Playa Venao to Boquete, taking about 5.5 hours. If you want to travel by bus on a different day, take the bus to Las Tablas from Playa Venao and then transfer to the bus to Chitre. From Chitre, take the bus to Santiago de Veraguas and transfer again to the bus to David. From David, take the bus to Boquete. This journey takes about 8 hours.By rental car: The easiest way is to travel this route entirely or partially by rental car. From Playa Venao, it takes about 5 hours to drive to David, where you can return your rental car. From David, it takes another 45 minutes by bus to Boquete. Of course, you can also drive the entire route by rental car, but you can only return the car in David, which you will pass through if you continue to Bocas del Toro. If you want to rent a car, read my tips for renting a car in Panama.
From Santa Catalina to Boquete
By bus: In Santa Catalina, take the bus to Sona and from there take the bus to Santiago de Veraguas. Then take the bus to David and finally take the bus to Boquete. The entire journey takes about 7 to 8 hours.By rental car: A rental car is also ideal for this route. It takes about 4 hours to drive from Santa Catalina to David, where you can return the car and take the bus to Boquete. This is another 45-minute journey by bus. Of course, you can also drive all the way to Boquete, but you cannot return the car there. If renting a car sounds good to you, check out my tips for renting a car in Panama.
The climate of Boquete
Boquete has a cooler climate compared to many other regions in Panama due to its elevation of 1,200 meters (4,000 feet). The temperatures during the day hover around 21 degrees Celsius, and at night, it cools down to approximately 15 degrees Celsius. These temperatures are perfect for hiking and outdoor activities, but it’s essential to pack a sweater and pants. Rain showers are also not uncommon, so don’t forget to bring a rain jacket in your backpack.
Wat to do in Boquete?
There is so much to do and see in Boquete. It is recommended to stay for at least two to three days.
De most beautiful hike of Boquete: El Pianista Trail
The El Pianista Trail is a popular hike that takes you up into the clouds, through a wild, dense rainforest where you can see the beauty of Panama’s jungle. The starting point of the trail is located four kilometers outside the center of Boquete, and there’s no admission fee. Although it’s not a complicated route, there are some challenging sections that are steep and muddy. The nature is incredible, and you’ll see various shades of green from different types of leaves, plants, and trees. After reaching the top, you’ll take the same route back, making the whole journey about four hours. As it’s the most beautiful trail I’ve hiked in Boquete, I’ve written a detailed article with tips for the El Pianista Trail.
Leer hoe koffie wordt gemaakt in Boquete
While Panama isn’t known for its coffee, Boquete produces the most expensive coffee in the world – the Panamanian Geisha coffee. This coffee is costly because the plant is challenging to harvest due to the berries growing far apart. Take a coffee tour and learn how the world’s priciest coffee is made. The farm is family-owned, and tours are never in large groups. You’ll get a guided tour of the coffee plantation, learn about the different coffee plants, and taste various coffee types, including the famous Geisha coffee from Boquete.
Visit the waterfalls of Boquete with the Lost Waterfalls Trail
One of the top hikes for many travelers in Panama is the Lost Waterfalls Trail. This enjoyable and diverse hike takes you through the nature of Boquete, passing by three beautiful waterfalls. The walk to the first two waterfalls is easy and accessible. To reach the third waterfall, you will need to climb and scramble a bit, but ropes are available, making it doable. It’s a fun experience! The Lost Waterfalls Trail takes about three hours in total to complete, as you walk the same path back. However, at waterfall two and three, you also have the opportunity to take a (very) refreshing dip in the clear water. If you choose to do so, you might want to set aside half a day for this activity.
You’ll need to pay a few dollars for the entrance fee to start the hike, and the starting point is located about ten kilometers outside of Boquete. The most affordable way to get there is by taking the bus, but it doesn’t run on a very regular schedule. Make sure to check the current bus times at your lodging. Alternatively, you can arrange for a taxi to pick you up at a prearranged time.
Spot the Quetzal bird on the Pipeline Trail
The Pipeline Trail is an easy hike that is suitable for young and old. You pay a few dollars for admission and the route takes about one hour to reach the waterfall. At the waterfall, turn around and walk back the same way. The starting point is located near that of the Lost Waterfalls Trail, so you could combine the routes on the same day if you have the time and energy. At the beginning of the route, it feels more like a road, but after a while, it turns into a beautiful path through the jungle. Occasionally, you will come across the “pipeline” that brings water from the mountains to Boquete. On the Pipeline Trail, you also have a great chance to spot the rare Quetzal bird, considered the most beautiful bird in the world, which can have a tail of up to 80cm!
Visit the Artisan Village in Boquete
For authentic Panamanian souvenirs and craftwork, head to Mercado Artesenal. You’ll find numerous stalls offering clothing, jewelry, and artwork. Local artisans can often be found working on their creations within their stalls before selling them to customers.
Outdoor activities in Boquete
Boquete is a perfect travel destination for travelers who love a bit of adventure. In addition to hiking, there are many other activities you can do there, such as rafting, ziplining, mountain biking, horseback riding, and climbing. At Boquete Outdoor Adventures, you can book individual activities or packages that include multiple activities. In Boquete, there are several natural basalt climbing walls suitable for bouldering and climbing for all levels. Luis from Panama RockClimbing Experience is an experienced climbing instructor who would love to climb a suitable piece of wall with you.
Best restaurants in Boquete
Sugar and Spice Boquete – This is a cozy cafe and bakery in one. They bake their own bread, so it’s always deliciously fresh. The menu is super extensive with meat, fish, and vegetarian options.
Boquete Brewing Company – Great for a night out when you want to have a beer. They have several local beers on tap and delicious burgers from a food truck. There’s a great atmosphere, and there’s often live music.
La Casa del Cafe – Perfect for a coffee break in the middle of Boquete’s downtown.
Tacos Rudos – This is a cozy spot with delicious tacos.
Meye Bounore – Delicious local food at a reasonable price.
Tre Scalini Boquete – Perfect if you’re in the mood for Italian food and a good glass of wine.
The Fish House – For anyone who loves fish, The Fish House is a must-visit. There’s a relaxed atmosphere, and it’s reasonably priced.
Our favorite places to stay in Boquete
Stay in a unique accommodation at Bambuda Castle, a special castle transformed into a beautiful lodging just a ten-minute drive from Boquete’s city center. Bambuda Castle has a wonderful view and a great swimming pool. They offer rooms and dorms to fit every budget, including double rooms, bungalows, dormitories, and even a hobbit house! If you prefer to stay in the center of Boquete, Selina is a great option. They have a large courtyard where they light a campfire in the evening. There’s often live music in the evenings, and you can join a yoga class every morning. If you want to indulge in a luxurious stay, The Inn at Palo Alto is the perfect choice. You can enjoy a fantastic pool with stunning views of Boquete’s surroundings, a jacuzzi, a beautiful flower garden, and a delicious breakfast served every morning.
||The Inn at Palo Alto