Thursday, 14 March 2019

Back to Panama ... on the way to Colombia

I'd been so keen to leave Panama for Costa Rica that I'd ditched my original plan of visiting the mountain town of Boquette, located on the edge of the National park right on the border between the two countries. As I had to travel back to Panama city to catch my next flight, I thought I'd catch a bus across the border and visit Boquette on the way. Located on the lower slopes of the Arenal volcano, the town is renowned for hiking and outdoor activities. When I arrived, the first thing I spotted was a flower festival in the centre of town.

I booked myself in to one of the many cheap hostels in the centre of town, it was OK for the money, although I was little concerned to see Heath Robinson had wired-up the electric shower!

Next day I went on a nice hike up to the 'lost waterfalls'. Nice scenery on the hike up the mountain; the friendly guy at the entrance to the waterfall made me take a photo of his map so I didn't get lost!

Not a complicated map

 I had a nice day, met a young Dutch couple at the waterfall so we all walked back to town together. The guy at the entrance to the waterfall did offer us cheap accomodation in a lovely little wood cabin perched on the hill, but it was a few hours walk back to town so we declined.
 The next day I set out to hike the volcano; I caught a mini-bus up the hill to the park entrance and set off - man, it was difficult! Maybe the elevation, maybe my lack of exercise, but after a couple of hours walking I'd hardly got anywhere, then coming towards me is a group of youngsters on their way back down. " How long to get to the top?" I asked, "About 6 hours up, and 4 to get back down" came the reply. After a few moments pondering, I decided not to be silly, so turned round and decided instead to walk back down to the town!

 I'm glad I did as the scenery going back down was so pretty. Then as I turned a bend I noticed some guys spreading something on the ground - coffee beans. This area is famous for it's 'Artisan' coffee - this was a small processing plant. I wandered in through the open gate and had a little look around, next thing a young guy asked me if I wanted a look round? He then showed me all this lovely old machinery and explained the whole process.

 As I carried on down the hill I was amazed at the flowers just growing wild by the side of the road - never seen anything like it!

 So, pleasantly surprised by the lovely little town and friendly people, I started to get a slightly better feeling about Panama (after slagging it off in my previous post). I actually hung around another couple of days just chilling out, hiking along the river and eating vegan ice cream from a shop run by a Venezuelan couple. Eventually though, it was time to move on. I'd been here two months and wanted to see somewhere else, so I got the bus back to Panama City and from there a flight to Cartagena in Colombia.


  1. You sure get around, John. Love the rainbow.

  2. Just trying to emulate you, Sonja!

  3. Gorgeous photos. Great timing to see the flower festival too. Safe travels.