(UPDATED ON May 1, 2020) Boquete (bow-keh-tay) is not just a popular spot for Panamanians and tourists. It is a sought-after location for retirees from around the world due to its climate, potable water, relatively low cost of living, clean air, and tranquility. Most expats (person living outside of their country) are from North America and Europe, but around 30 countries are represented here. The most common question surrounding Boquete, Panama, is “what does it look like?”. From the landscape to food, here are pictures of Boquete, Panama; one of our favorite places on earth.
Boquete is a small town in Chiriquí, the Western most providence in Panama. It is less than 40 miles from Costa Rica, an hour from the beach, and 40 minutes from David, the 3rd largest city in Panama. Boquete is situated in Panama’s green mountain highlands, 3900 feet above sea level. The landscape is lush greenery with vibrant, colorful flowers. Volcán Barú, an active volcano, is the tallest point in Panama, measuring 11,400 feet. The Caldera River runs through Boquete.
The town has a cooler climate: 70 to 80 degrees during the day and even cooler at night. Boquete has two seasons, the dry season (December to April) and the rainy season (May to November). It is still sunny during the rainy season as most rain comes in showers. Rainbows are common during this time, too.
Although tourism is a huge industry, coffee is the largest. Some of the finest coffee in the world comes from Boquete. Both English and Spanish are spoken here.
Life In Boquete
Even though Boquete has a small town feel, it has a library, modern grocery stores, pharmacy, banks, a craft brewery, and clothing stores. From white water rafting to horseback riding, going to the spa, birdwatching, and hiking, Boquete has a lot to keep you busy. Local businesses are owned by both Panamanians and expats.
The Boquete Community Players strive to “sponsor, produce, and promote artistic events to enhance appreciation for and understanding of the arts, and to promote a cohesive sense of community.” In addition to being involved in the community, the BCP Theater boasts meetings and several theatrical productions. The BCP created a weekly market on Tuesdays where locals and expats work side by side. You can find jewelry, souvenirs, local coffee, produce, and more at the Tuesday Market.
Since 2007, Boquete has hosted the Annual Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival. This five day festival is the second largest in Panama and has performers from all over the world. Amigos de Animales is a spay and neuter clinic that takes place once a month. In 10 years, 8,500 dogs and cats have been sterilized in the community and surrounding areas.
Any lifestyle is possible in Boquete; you can be as involved, secluded, adventurous, or sedentary as you would like. Many expats claim life in Boquete is healthier; due to the non-stressful lifestyle they take fewer medications.
A Walking Tour of Downtown Boquete
Downtown Boquete is comprised of only a handful of streets with local shops, eateries, grocery stores, and a gorgeous and historic Catholic Church. It is not hard to find parking or have a taxi drop you off in this area to peruse the open air markets and souvenir shops. Be sure to have a cup of coffee at one of the many specialty coffee shops, or a craft beer from Boquete Brewing Company.
Pay close attention to the vibrant blooms and picturesque settings, especially along the Caldera River. If you walk to the middle of the bridge, you will get the best photo-ops.
The center of town is considered the area around Central Park, which is the area for buses and taxis pickup and drop-offs. A pretty water fountain adds to the setting that is popular amongst Panamanian and indigenous locals.
Boquete Food Pictures
You’ll be pleasantly surprised at the sheer number of delicious cafes, restaurants, and eateries to choose from in Boquete, Panama. You can find tasty meals in all price ranges, but be prepared to wait for your food to be prepared. Fast food is unknown in this mountain town. Boquete’s international eats include Peruvian, American, Italian, Spanish, Latin, BBQ, and Mexican, as well as seafood and steaks.
Read more about where to eat in Boquete in this guide shared by a local.
Boquete: A Central American Gem
Everything you need to see isn’t all in downtown Boquete, but rather in nooks and crannies with hidden gems all over. Fancy rock climbing or waterfalls? Boquete’s got them. How about gorgeous inns and spas? Plenty.
You’ll find that Boquete is a great place for a vacation for the entire family, with a good dose of nature, serenity, and culture. Plus, this getaway won’t break the bank.