Boquete is a picturesque mountain town located on the slopes of Volcan Baru, the highest mountain in Panama, and near the La Amistad International Park, which extends well into Costa Rica. The town itself is nestled in a little valley through which runs the Rio Caldera. Downtown is on one side of the river and the large fairgrounds, home of the annual Coffee and Flower festival in January and the Orchid Festival in April, is on the other side. Because of its elevation (about 4000 feet above sea level) the climate is moderate with the temperature generally ranging from lows in the mid 50s (Fahrenheit) at night to highs in the the mid 70s during the day.
There is a very active expat community here which puts on an open market and community meeting every Tuesday morning. The Boquete Community Players is the local live theater group, which presents three or four productions a year. In February Boquete is host to its own International Jazz and Blues Festival with performers from all over the world.
Boquete is known for birds, flowers, and coffee. It's on the flight path for the annual migration of many birds and is a favorite spot for birders because of the 700-plus species one can see in the area. Bird tours are on offer from local guides, but we just put out a banana every morning on our deck and dozens of the colorful critters turn up for breakfast.
The cool tropical climate makes for perfect growing conditions for almost anything. Boquete is blessed with a profusion of natural flowers, which bloom at all times of the year. In January the fairgrounds are filled with beds of flowers for the annual flower and coffee festival. People come from all over Panama and Central America to this festival and the town gets quite crowded.
And then there's the coffee. Many boutique coffee producers reside in the highlands around Volcan Baru. Some of them are international prize winners whose products sell at auction for hundreds of dollars a pound. Coffee tours are available in the area and you can sample the local coffees at many of the local cafes.
The district around the town of Boquete is scenic and diverse, ranging from plateau orange plantations to river valleys, to tropical rain forest, to the barren peak of Volcan Baru (from which, on a good day, you can see both the Atlantic and Pacific oceans at the same time). Hiking, whitewater rafting (in season), horseback riding, and birding are just a few of the outdoor activities on offer. And you won't want to miss Finca Dracula, the orchid farm over in Volcan, on the other side of the Volcano.
Valle Escondido is a peaceful resort community located in a side valley about 7 blocks from downtown - easy walking distance. The resort includes two restaurants and a cantina, a hotel, two swimming pools, tennis court, miniature golf, spa, fitness center, chapel, amphitheater, and a nine-hole golf course. The large central pond is home to a flock of snowy egrets.
Bienvenidos a Boquete, a tropical paradise where you are lulled to sleep by the murmur of the river and awakened by the cheerful chirping of the red-legged honeycreeper.