"Not exactly as anticipated..." Boquete by bpwarne

Boquete Travel Guide: 57 reviews and 102 photos

Boqeute certainly has it's beautiful and interesting spots. None are within the town proper itself though. Once there, there is surprisingly very little to do other than wander aimlessly around looking furtively for all the fantastic dining and entertainment spots purported to be there. Best to just not bother and "get outta Dodge" so to speak. There is surprisingly very little to do within the town itself. There are a very few nice restaurants, no truly great espresso cafes (this in the area where some of the highest priced green coffee beans in the world sold recently at auction for over $50USD/lb.) The best we found and it was only marginally good was Ruiz. It is the only coffee house we came across with a semi automatic machine, all the rest were automatics. We did buy a few pounds of green beans from Ruiz to roast at home. Regardless of what degree of roasting we tried, they are not great, just good.
The absolute best part of Boquete is the area above and beyond the town, the volcano itself and the seemingly endless farming operations upon the tiered hillsides performed by the indigenous (not necessarily to this specific area though) laborers. We immensely enjoyed driving the road through the canyon and around the higher loop road and up to the Volcan Baru NP. There is an unfinished castle in a very picturesque spot back in the canyon, just ask in town how to get there, everyone is aware of it. Other than this, the only other tourist activity in Boquete seems to be the endless search for retirement property, plenty of people were doing this and we did a bit ourselves. If that is your reason to visit Boqute, bring plenty of cash as property is rediculously overpriced.
We stayed at the Hostal Villa Marita (not a hostel, but a grouping of cabinas on a hillside overlooking the valley with many orchards and coffee plantations. A very pretty spot interrupted by yet another castle, this one finished and occupied, nicely done but a bit out of touch with it's surrounding neighbors. Not trying to discourage visiting the place, it is indeed a lovely area. However, there are no beaches nearby, no golf courses (although one is being built), limited opportunities to spot wild animals. Prices are high by Panama standards for dining, accommodations, just about everything. The town itself has one road in. It is very congested at times and only going to get worse now that Boquete has been 'discovered'. The weather is a big plus, not too hot and humid. Definitely a good place to visit for a couple days, but not a "destination resort" type of place or the cheap backpacker haven it may have been years ago.

  • Last visit to Boquete: May 2006
  • Intro Updated Jan 25, 2007
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bpwarne

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