While Costa Rica has emerged in recent years as an eco-tourism destination, tucked in the Chiriqui Highlands near the Baru volcano is another eco-hot-spot waiting to erupt.
The town of Boquete, Panama, is quaint—mom-and-pop shops line the streets, offering a more Southern California feel than a Central American one. But life around Boquete is vibrant—abundant wildlife and rich rivers and forests make bird watching, hiking, climbing, and white-water rafting all readily available in Panama’s vibrant environment. And better yet—the town’s 3,000-foot elevation means it is regularly ten degrees cooler than other Panama towns.
While you’re there, be sure to check out Boquete Tree Trek, a half-day zip-lining trip through 3 km (1.86 miles) of jungle canopy. On a hot day, go to Chiriqui River Rafting for white-water rafting trips with one of the region’s oldest outfitters. For those who want an energy boost without the adrenaline rush, take a coffee plantation tour with Coffee Adventures. Visitors can hike through fields of coffee trees, meet the pickers, and get a caffeine fix in the brewer’s “cupping” room.
Boquete is a seven-hour drive from Panama City, or 45 minutes from David.
Photos: Magda Wojtyra (top); Juan Antonio Villegas (right)
- Nat Geo Expeditions