Ultimate Travel Guide to Boquete in Panama

Discover Boquete.

Hiking in the mountains, chasing waterfalls in the jungle and tasting delicious coffee in the green highlands of Panama.

Ultimate Travel Guide to Boquete in Panama

What first comes to mind when I think of Boquete is lush green nature, incredible mountain views, a very pleasant climate and delicious COFFEE. Bajo Boquete – often just called “Boquete” – is located in the highlands of Chiriqui and makes the hearts of outdoor fans and nature lovers beat faster. Whether it’s climbing, hiking or rafting – the area offers many possibilities to actively experience the green mountain world of Panama. The region is also very well known for its delicious and high quality coffee, which is grown here. An unbeatable combination, so you should definitely plan a visit during your trip. In this ultimate travel guide to Boquete in Panama you will find details on how to get there, the best things to do, where to stay and eat and more.

Hike the jungle of Panama and discover "The Lost Waterfalls"

Boquete and the surrounding area offer great hiking opportunities. The Lost Waterfalls is a moderate, half-day, self-guided hiking tour not far from town. A local minibus will take you from Boquete to the vicinity of the trail in about 20 minutes. After crossing a scenic suspension bridge, you’ll arrive at a beautiful section just before the hike’s starting point. The area looks like a beautiful garden with a breathtaking view of the highlands. Then, at the end of the trail, there is a cottage where you pay a small entrance fee for the hike. Don’t forget to take a picture of the drawn map before you head out into the jungle – that way you won’t miss any of the three waterfalls!

The Lost Waterfalls Trek is one of the most popular hikes in Boquete and was also for us the perfect mix of jungle, waterfalls and impressive views. If you want to go on more hiking adventures, you can of course include a visit to the Barú Volcano or the Sendero Los Quetzales (Quetzales Trail).

Try delicious coffee during a Coffee Tasting Tour with Café Ruiz

This ultimate travel guide to Boquete in Panama wouldn’t be complete without a coffee tour! Boquete is famous for its coffee cultivation, so that a visit of one of the many coffee farms is almost mandatory when staying in this area. I can’t recommend the 3-hour Café Ruiz tour in Boquete enough. Our tour guide Carlos was one of the best guides we ever had. He has a vast knowledge of the entire coffee industry and conveys all the interesting things in his very own, entertaining way.

As you walk through the Ruiz family’s beautiful garden you will find avocado, mango and banana trees, giant exotic flowers and of course a lot of coffee plants. During the tour you’ll learn a lot about the entire coffee production process and also about the most expensive coffee been in the world: Geisha coffee. The tour also includes a coffee tasting at the end. Check out the Tripadvisor reviews and convince yourself how good this tour is! 

Coffee with a view: Explore Boquete and the surrounding whilst Café-Hopping

We didn’t find the center of Boquete itself super pretty, but it does offer a variety of cute little cafes offering the local coffee specialties. While there are many along the main street, Café Mirador has a really nice view of the mountains. Make sure to try the brownie with vanilla ice cream here! Since Café Mirador is a bit out of town (about 15 minutes by car), you can grab a taxi to get there.

Accommodation in Boquete

There are some really nice accommodations in Boquete – especially in the mountains a bit away from the busier main road. There you will find fincas with lush gardens, some of them close to the river and with a view into the beautiful green surroundings. The guesthouses and hotels around the main street Avenida Central with many restaurants, bars and cafes are a bit cheaper and often a bit more simple. Since we traveled by bus through Panama, it was important for us to find an accommodation that is easily accessible by foot, but still quiet. At the upper end of the Avenida Central we found the Hotel Casa de la Abuela, which was a good starting point for excursions in the area for us. There is breakfast on the terrace with a view of the greenery and they also recommended and organized the Café Ruiz tour for us.

The best restaurants and cafés in Boquete

Along the main street there are numerous restaurants, cozy bars and little cafes. Delicious and affordable wood-fired pizzas are available at APIZZA. A wide selection of coffee creations and sweet dishes can be found at “The Perfect Pair – Coffee & Chocolate”. Those who prefer a sweet and cold dessert to go will find it at Gelateria La Ghiotta. Inexpensive regional cuisine is available at Restaurante El Sabroson. Those in the mood for burgers, fries and co. can opt for Big Daddy’s Grill. Casa Vieja serves a wide variety of dishes in a relaxed atmosphere, often accompanied by live music on weekends. The Café El Mirador described above has the most beautiful view.

Traveling from Panama City to Boquete

From Albrook Terminal in Panama City there are regular buses to David. You can simply go to the “David” ticket counter in the terminal. It is usually not necessary to book the ticket in advance. The overnight express bus takes about 6 hours, which is recommended given the long travel time. The travel time of the regular bus during the day is about 7-8 hours. As is often the case, the buses can be heavily air-conditioned, so be sure to bring a warmer sweater and long pants on the bus to be safe. From David, the local bus will take you to Bajo Boquete in about 45 minutes. 

If you want to save time, you can also fly from Panama City to David and then take the local bus to Boquete.

In Boquete you can use taxis for trips to the surroundings or local mini buses that take you to the starting point of “The Lost Waterfalls” hike for example.

Traveling to Bocas del Toro from Boquete

From Boquete there is a bus going to David (about 1 hour drive). In David you can take the minibus to Almirante – travel time is about 4 hours. The ride was adventurous in our case, because the small van was quite full. At the bus station in Almirante you are usually already expected by cab drivers who want to take you to the ferry port of Almirante. This was not really necessary in our eyes. You can walk the way yourself in 10 minutes. The ferry from Almirante to the main island Isla Colon costs about 5,- USD and will bring you to the surfer and backpacker paradise Bocas del Toro in half an hour. 

You will have a great time in the mountains using this ultimate travel guide for Boquete in Panama! I recommend to continue exploring the island paradise Bocas del Toro. Don’t miss this place during your trip!

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