As a local that’s been in Boquete, Panama, for a decade, I can tell you that it has something for people of all ages and interests in this destination that International Living Magazine continues to list as a top ex-pat-friendly retirement community. Join me as I take you on a journey through my favorite places in this ultimate guide to Boquete so that you, too, can discover why it should be at the top of your travel list!
From breathtaking views on cloud forest hikes to educational coffee tours and an eternal spring climate – Boquete is an absolute dream destination!
Fun Fact: Boquete is about 45 miles from the Costa Rican border.
How to Get to Boquete
The best way to travel to Boquete, Panama, is a quick 45-minute flight from Panama City to David, then a beautiful 40-minute drive into the mountains. The other option is a seven-hour picturesque drive from Panama City on the Pan-American Highway by car or bus.
The comfortable bus ride is less than $30 per person, and there are 27 per day.
Where to Eat in Boquete
Get ready for unforgettable food experiences in Boquete – from the flame-grilled burgers and flavorful margaritas of Big Daddy’s Grill to Olga’s delectable Huevos Rancheros breakfast! An Avenue Central spot – filled with locals gathered around a cozy firepit at its rear patio makes Big Daddy´s Grill one not to miss.
For a complete restaurant listing of Boquete eateries, you’ll find it here.
Then, venture off on your next gastronomical adventure to Alto Boquete and discover Restaurante Olga: serving authentic Panamanian specialties like Hojaldras (fry bread) dusted with cinnamon sugar.
Are you looking for a unique culinary experience? Sugar & Spice is the perfect spot to start your day or break up an afternoon with delectable artisan breads, cakes, muffins, and pies.
Or why not spice things up at Otto Gastronomia Italiana where you can savor some of Italy’s finest meats and cheeses while indulging in delicious pasta dishes accompanied by its world-renowned wines!
Lastly, end your night with fine dining under white table linens at Hotel Panamonte’s luxurious dining room before capping it all off with dessert around one of two large fireplaces in their cozy Fireside Lounge – truly magical!
You will not want to miss this 100+ year-old landmark destination.
Best Things to Do in Boquete, Panama
Boquete is a nature lover’s delight, with plentiful options from breathtaking scenery to exciting attractions and activities. Here are the recommendations for our ultimate guide to Boquete and how to find the best offerings.
Hiking and Birdwatching
Hikers and birdwatchers can explore the lush terrain of trails, ziplining through forests or rock climbing amidst waterfalls! I had my first birdwatching tour in Boquete on the “Pipeline Trail,” only one mile each way, where we saw eight resplendent quetzals. It was amazing!
Pipeline Trail is family-friendly and an easy hike. You’ll have awesome photo ops of an ancient tree at the end, plus a gorgeous waterfall.
Hiking the Los Quetzales Trail is almost a guarantee that you will see this majestic and thrilling bird that is a top birds to see in a lifetime for serious birders. It is a much longer hike than the Pipeline Trail.
Golf and Spas
Valle Escondido Resort provides full-service spa facilities, as well as an executive nine-hole golf course, while Lucero Golf & Country Club offers 18 holes surrounded by jaw-dropping views only 25 minutes away from the Boquete’s city center.
Finding some form of exercise, such as yoga, Zumba, or a pilates class around Boquete, is also relatively easy.
If coffee tours are your cup (of tea!), Finca Dos Jefes will not disappoint with their renowned tour & tastings. This delicious-tasting java may sway even non-coffee drinkers! I learned alot about coffee, too, on my informative tour.
Explore Volcan Baru
For the adventurous traveler, Volcano Baru is an incredible destination for witnessing a sunrise. The immense and stunning view from atop this volcano allows you to take in the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans – creating an unforgettable experience!
If you are hiking Volcan Baru, expect about six hours on foot. Or, for around $150, you can take a bumpy ride in a 4X4 to reach the top. Expect to leave super early when it is still dark outside.
Cool Off With Strawberries & Cream
Satisfy your sweet desires with a delicious treat from Fresas Mary. Ice cream is the most popular thing on the menu, but I’m a strawberries & cream kind of gal.
Visit Jungla de Panama Wildlife Refuge
For those looking for an unforgettable experience, Jungla de Panama Wildlife Refuge offers guided tours through their expansive refuge filled with incredible wildlife, including sloths, birds, and more! Explore the jungle on foot – this is sure to be a wonderful memory from your time in Boquete.
The Tuesday Morning Market
Every Tuesday morning, from 9 AM to noon, there’s no better way to explore Boquete than at the vibrant market full of local produce, including organic oils, fresh herbs, prepared foods, books, and handmade jewelry.
You might be privileged to see the owners of DogCamp Boquete set up in front of the market with animals up for adoption. My personal friends, Javier and Magaly, have devoted their lives to saving animals and nurturing them back to health.
If you are looking for an animal rescue site to follow and donate to, I highly recommend them.
Stroll Around Downtown Boquete
Take some time to roam around downtown Boquete and get a feel for the culture while browsing the local shops. From handmade jewelry crafted from local materials to unique souvenirs from around the world – downtown Boquete shopping has a wide variety of treasures!
Volunteer for the Spay & Neuter Clinic
For animal lovers out there, Amigos de Animales Spay & Neuter Clinic provides an opportunity to give back while exploring this beautiful country. This clinic offers spay/neuter services, vaccinations, and other medical care for animals in need.
If you want to do some good while visiting Boquete, consider volunteering your time at this clinic. Both animals and humans will be grateful!
Where to Stay in Boquete
If you’re looking for the perfect place to stay during your trip to Boquete, here are six of my favorite lodging options: Coffee Estate Inn, Hotel Panamonte, Finca Lérida, El Oasis, Boquete Garden Inn, and Los Establos Boutique Inn.
Coffee Estate Inn
Enjoy stunning views of Volcan Baru from this luxurious inn nestled in a coffee plantation just outside Boquete. The Coffee Estate Inn offers comfortable rooms with private terraces and whirlpools where you can soak up panoramic views of the volcano and surrounding hillsides.
You can also enjoy farm-to-table cuisine at their gourmet restaurant or relax by their outdoor pool after a long day of exploring.
Located in the heart of Boquete, Hotel Panamonte offers large suites with private balconies and views of the surrounding mountains. This charming inn also features an on-site restaurant and bar, so you can enjoy a delicious meal or sip on a cold drink while taking in the beautiful scenery.
Plus, they offer free Wi-Fi throughout the property and a complimentary shuttle service to take you around town.
Finca Lérida is an idyllic retreat located near some of Boquete’s best attractions for those who want to immerse themselves in nature while still enjoying modern amenities.
With rustic cabins surrounded by lush gardens and mountainside trails, this secluded estate provides guests with access to hiking trails and horseback riding, as well as two outdoor pools for swimming and lounging.
El Oasis is affordable for those who want to visit Boquete without breaking their budget. This family-run hotel offers cozy rooms at an unbeatable price, along with a communal kitchen where you can prepare your own meals if desired.
Guests also have free Wi-Fi throughout the property. It is in a perfect location in downtown Boquete with the most beautiful gardens in town, and the most Instagram-worthy.
Boquete Garden Inn
This beautifully landscaped property features spacious apartments perfect for families or groups traveling together. Each apartment includes a full kitchen so you can prepare your meals on-site if desired, as well as cable TV and free Wi-Fi access throughout.
Guests will also appreciate easy access to downtown Boquete via the complimentary shuttle service offered by the Garden Inn staff.
Los Establos Boutique Hotel
Los Establos Boutique Resort is one of the premier properties in Boquete, offering luxury accommodations, excellent dining options ,and world-class spa services. From the moment you check in at Los Establos Boutique Inn, you’ll feel like royalty.
The inn is in the heart of Boquete and is surrounded by lush gardens with stunning views of Volcán Barú National Park. You can explore the grounds or relax in the sun on one of their many terraces.
Boquete has two distinct seasons: the rainy season (mid-April to the end of December) and the dry season (January through mid-April). Rain boots and a rain jacket are recommended, and an umbrella is also a good idea.
Boquete gets quite a bit of Baja reiki rain, a light mist. It often brings about beautiful Boquete rainbows, so keep your eyes open.
Festivals For Locals and Visitors
Panamanians know how to make the most of their summer vacation! Join them at exciting festivals, such as Boquete Flower and Coffee Festival. You can enjoy over 30 garden designs, try samples from local coffee producers, and browse local artwork.
As night falls, live music lasts until the wee hours for an unforgettable time.
And don’t miss out on March’s star-studded three-day Boquete Jazz & Blues Festival, which features top acts like Mr. Sipp, JP Soars, and more – culminating with a jam session in an intimate venue.
Orchid enthusiasts will also want to visit during March when this vibrant flower signals springtime festivities that must be experienced firsthand!
Need a day trip idea? Volcan is only an hour away and a great choice!