Backpackers Guide to Boquete – Panama

Boquete is a small town on the Caldera River, in the green mountain highlands of Panama, 60 kilometres from Costa Rica. The town is best known for its abundance of coffee farms and Volcano Baru, Central America’s highest volcano that offers views of both the Pacific and Caribbean ocean from the top. Boquete is an adventure packed destination offering just about an activity you can think of from Zip lining, horse riding, ATV tours, rock climbing, river rafting, you name it, you can do it in Boquete. I loved the little town of Boquete as I love hiking and recommend visiting if you are passing through Panama.



Things to do in Boquete

Boquete is a small town in the green mountain highlands of Panama. Although small, it is an adventure seekers paradise offering a range of adventure activities.

Hike Volcano Baru: Panamas highest point and only volcano. This strenuous 28km return trip hike offers views of the Pacific Ocean, Caribbean Ocean and Costa Rica. The hike is tough and in poor weather may not be worth it.

Tour Coffee Farms: Boquete is nestled amongst many coffee farms. I love coffee and had no knowledge of its production so I really enjoyed the tour and information I learnt. To any coffee lovers, take the tour. Not only do you get a wealth of information on coffee production, you also get to enjoy the freshest cup of coffee possible.

Freshly roasted coffee beans in boquete

Explore waterfalls:
There are at least 4 different waterfalls in the area. You can catch a public bus and hike to these, or you can arrange a tour. Three of the waterfalls are within the same area so it is possible to walk to all three in one day. Ask your hostel for directions.

Hot springs: Sit back and relax in natural hot springs after hiking Volcano Baru. You can get a public bus to the hot springs for $2 and entry is $2. From the bus stop you have to walk about 50 minutes. Alternatively you can take a tour of waterfalls and hot springs for $25-$35.

Mini Canyon: Explore the mini canyon in Boquetes valley. Ask your hostel for directions or to arrange a tour.

Other adventurous activities include white water rafting, mountain biking, horseback riding, zip lining, rock climbing, extreme jeep and rainforest tours or if you prefer you can go bird watching.  The tour companies offer discounts if you take more than one tour.

Recommended length of stay in Boquete

I recommend staying in Boquete for 3 nights, depending on the activities you want to do. In 3 night and 3 days you could easily do and see most things around Boquete. You could easily spend longer if you had more time but 3 nights would be optimal.

Currency used in Boquete

US Dollars

Getting to and around Boquete

If you are coming from Panama City, take the overnight bus to David for $18. As of June 2014 they departed at 10pm, 11pm and 12 midnight daily. From the same terminal you get dropped off at in David, jump on a bus to Boquete for $1.75. Get off at the last stop, which will be in the center of town.

If you were coming from Costa Rica, you would also take the bus to David, and transfer to Boquete from David (1 hour from Boquete).

If coming from Bocas Del Toro, you can arrange a shuttle for $30 ($25 if you stay at Hostel Mamallena), or you can take the bus to David, then back to Boquete. The public transport option costs about $20 and takes 3 extra hours so I would recommend the shuttle as taking the public bus is only a small saving for a lot of extra travel time.

Once in Boquete, you can walk the entire town within an hour, it is really small.

Most of the activities in the area are out of Boquete. Ask the hostel and they will help you out with directions to and from the bus stop etc. If you don’t want to take a public bus and walk, you can get a taxi or organize a tour.

Where to stay in Boquete

Hostel Mamallena: Located right in the center of Boquete. I highly recommend this hostel for so many reasons. Staff were super helpful with directions, arranged any tour I wanted and offer a shuttle service to Bocas Del Toro, Lost and Found, David and more.  The hostel was clean and offered free pancakes from 7 – 10.

Search for cheap accommodation options here.

See more from Panama and Central America.


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