Thinking about taking a trip to Boquete, Panama? Here’s a complete 1-day itinerary to help you plan your trip in 2021.
A Little Bit About Boquete, Panama
Nestled in the highlands on the west coast of Panama, Boquete is a small village that’s home to around 20,000 people. It’s a community that offers the promise of a simpler lifestyle and endless bliss.
Elevated between 2,600 and 4,000 feet, the region of Boquete draws a cooler climate with temperatures during the day around 70 F and 60 F in the evening. It often feels springlike with the weather, which makes this an ideal destination for outdoor activities.
The village is located about 40 minutes from David, Panama (the third largest city in the country), and about an hour’s drive from the nearest beach. And with so much offer it’s easy to see why Boquete would be a popular place to visit.
Important Things to Know Before Visiting
It’s important to plan for any trip. But it’s especially important to plan when you’re visiting some place you’ve never visited before. That being said, here are some important things you should know before visiting Panama.
- You may need to get a few vaccinations before going. A small part of Panama has been known to be home to yellow risk fever. So as a good rule of thumb you should always visit the doctor before going to see if there are any vaccinations you might need to get to help keep you and the people of Panama safe.
- For a small country, it’s really diverse. Though it won’t take you very long to travel around the entire country, Panama has a very diverse and busy community. There are a total of ten regions within the country all with their own unique coterie.
- They use the U.S. dollar. Currency is something people worry a lot about when they travel to different countries. While Panama does have their own currency called Panamanian Balboa or PAB, it’s equivalent to the U.S. dollar. And U.S. currency is accepted at most places.
- Brush up on your Spanish before you go. People can be really friendly in Panama, but it can be hard to communicate if you don’t know basic Spanish. Learning words and phrases will help you go a long way on your trip. And it can really be a lifesaver if you run into any problems along the way.
- You can drink the water in most places. It’s generally safe to drink tap water throughout the country, unless you’re in the provinces of Guna Yala or Bocas del Toro. In those provinces you are better off buying bottled water.
- Panama City is the Capital. In case you didn’t know, Panama City is the capital of Panama. And it has its own rainforest making it one of the most popular capitals in the entire world.
- Boquete is a small village in Panama. Located on the Caldera River, Boquete is a small village with a population of around 19,000. It’s approximately six hours away from the country’s capital by car.
Where to Stay in Boquete
(Boquete Garden Inn)
Now that we’ve covered the most important things to know before you go, let’s talk about where you should stay. From budget-friendly to fun for the whole family, here are a few choices to choose from.
Spanish By The River
Charming and quaint, this boutique hostel in Boquete is a nice budget-friendly option for any family. Built out of a four-bedroom house, this stay includes a communal kitchen, terrace, and garden that are sure to have you feeling like a local. Their rates begin at around $35/night.
Boquete Garden Inn
Another great lodging option that won’t cost a lot is the Boquete Garden Inn. The inn has a total of 12 guest rooms and includes a hot breakfast each morning along with one social hour drink per guest. They have rates starting at $79/night.
Hacienda Los Molinos Boutique Hotel
If you’re looking for a more luxury style setting, consider the Hacienda Los Molinos Hotel located on the Rio Cochea Canyon. They provide an elegant and sophisticated option for anyone looking for personalized service, fine dining, spa services, and more. Rates start at $145/night.
Check out other options for lodging here.
Getting Around Boquete
Figuring out how you’re going to get around is the next thing on your to-do list. Whether it’s walking through the village or renting a car, there are plenty of options for getting around.
Rent a Car
Assuming that you’re flying into Panama, one option for getting around would be to rent a car at the airport and then return it when you depart. This can be a more expensive option, but it can also mean having more freedom to explore Boquete and the surrounding areas.
Panama is known to have good public transportation with a lot of bus terminals. The Urbano is a local bus that takes you from the main plaza of Boquete through the hills with fare starting at $0.50 USD. But depending on where you’re going, there’s also the option of calling a taxi. Local taxi fares range anywhere from $3 to $10 if you’re staying in the village.
Since the village of Boquete is small, walking around is a great way to get out and really explore. It might not get you very far but if you really want to learn what it’s like to be a part of the community, walking around is a great way to do that.
Things to Do in Boquete
(Cloud Forest Hike)
Ok, now we need to find some fun things for you to do on your trip. Boquete has plenty to offer from hiking the hills to whale watching here are a few things you can do while in this charming village.
Cloud Forest Hike
If you’re into hiking, consider taking a half-day guided hiking tour at Volcán Barú National Park. It’s a great way to get out into nature and see all that Volcán has to offer. Be prepared to bring some good walking shoes and pack extra water and snacks for the road. This tour is approximately 2.8 miles round trip which takes about 4 hours to complete. And prices for this start at $35/person.
Panama is known for their strong coffee so taking a coffee tour is a must. You can book a group coffee tour in the Boquete district that provides a very hands-on experience into the roasting and harvesting of panama coffee. Tours are scheduled in advance and last approximately 2 hours. They cost $35/person.
Whitewater Rafting Class
One of the most popular excursions in Boquete is whitewater rafting. From single day tours to multi-day tours and custom packages, Boquete Outdoor Adventures has something to offer everyone. You can learn more about their packages here and contact them about pricing.
Whale Watching Tour
If you’re visiting Boquete anywhere from July through October, whale watching in the Gulf of Chiriqui islands is a must. During the 7-hour tour you will visit some of the 25 uninhabited islands, experience snorkeling, and each lunch while spotting humpback whales fluttery through the gulf. Tickets start at $85/person.
See a full list of things to do in Boquete here.
Places to Eat in Boquete
Making sure you have a go-to place to eat is a must for every trip. From an early morning breakfast to after dinner drinks here are great restaurants to check out in Boquete.
For breakfast, Punto de Encuentro offers a traditional Panamanian breakfast with vegetarian and gluten-free options. The owner Olga is an absolute sweetheart of a woman. 2 omelettes, 2 coffees and 1 juice was just $12.
For lunch, El Sabroson #1 is a great option. It’s a cafeteria style restaurant that offers Panamanian home cooking that’s super popular with the locals. Plenty of variety and very inexpensive. The lunch specials are about $4.00 and come with rice, a main dish (pork, chicken, fish, stew), sides and macaroni salad.
For dinner, RetroGusto is a nice Italian-style bar and grill with healthy, sustainable food options for the whole family. Everything here is delicious, pizza, pasta, risotto, you can’t go wrong. The service is top notch and the ambiance is super nice. Dinner for 2 people will cost around $45.
Drinks & Dessert
Whether you’re looking for an after dinner snack or a night cap Boquete has options for you. Stop by Kotowa Chocolate Victoria and grab your favorite chocolate before heading to Boquete Brewing Company for a nice locally brewed beer.
Check out more places to eat in Boquete here.
Well, there you have it. A complete 1-day itinerary for traveling to Boquete, Panama in 2021. Just remember traveling should be fun and enjoyable. It shouldn’t make you stressed out or anxious. So if you’re planning a trip, have fun with it!