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Welcome to Beautiful Boquete!

Boquete is a unique town surrounded by lush rainforest that deserves a spot on everyone’s Panama itinerary! While there aren’t a ton of things to do in the town of Boquete, the true magic lies in its surrounding nature. You’ll discover species of birds you’ve never seen before, trek through the cloud forests, taste the Boquete honey and coffee, and much more. We personally believe the best thing to do in Boquete is hike, but there are plenty of other ways to fully experience the gorgeous nature here.

Boquete is full of expats and is a popular tourist destination, so you can expect prices to be similar to Costa Rica (and the US and Europe). Though that may be slightly off-putting, the stunning scenery is absolutely worth it, and you won’t regret visiting Boquete. Let’s get into the best things to do in Boquete!

things to do in Boquete Panama

15 Amazing Things to do in Boquete, Panama

1. Hike the Lost Waterfalls Trail

This beautiful trail will lead you through the cloud forest to three gorgeous waterfalls. This hike technically has an elevation gain of 261 meters, but the 15 minute hike from the road to the official trailhead and ticket booth has an elevation gain of around 50 meters. You’ll certainly get tired, but you can cool off in the 2nd and 3rd waterfalls! If you are not comfortable going up a steep trail where you have to hold onto a rope to climb, you can just go to the first two waterfalls.

The mini buses leave from in front of the C/C Bruña fairly frequently for $2.50 and drop you off at “Sendero Culebra” on Google Maps. The price is $10 and there are signs that you are entering private property, but we saw graffiti saying “No Page” or “Don’t Pay” so there’s a chance the fee isn’t officially sanctioned.

2. Search for Quetzals on the Pipeline Trail

The Pipeline trail is the easiest trail in Boquete. This is also where you have the best chance of spotting Quetzals, which are a colorful, majestic bird that are popular in Central America. Make sure to bring your binoculars! The end of this trail leads you to a waterfall, which is arguably prettier than the waterfalls on the Lost Waterfalls trail. It takes around 2-2.5 hours and costs $5. Minibuses leave from in front of the C/C Bruña frequently and cost $2.50.

things to do in Boquete: pipeline trail waterfall

3. Zipline through Cloud Forests

Zip through the marvelous cloud forest hundreds of meters above ground to make your Boquete adventure complete. The best thing about ziplining at Tree Trek Boquete is there is a tour for everyone. For the adrenaline seekers, try out the Superman Zipline, where you go flying head first and arms out (hence the name). For the average adventure-lover, do the canopy tour which involves 12 ziplines, which is also fairly adrenaline-inducing. If neither of those two options interest you, there is a hanging bridges tour where you get to experience the beauty of the cloud forest without getting a heart attack! The free shuttles from the town center leave at 8 am, 10:30 am, and 1 pm from the town center.

things to do in boquete: zipline canopy tour

4. Summit Volcán Barú at Sunrise

Volcán Barú is the highest point in Panama, and on a clear day, you can see both the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Marvel at the spectacular stars followed by a beautiful sunrise over the Panamanian mountains! It’s conveniently located just outside of Boquete and near all the other hikes. There are two ways you can experience Volcán Barú: An 8-10 hour hike that starts at 11:30 pm, or a jeep tour that starts at 4 am. It’s best if you go with a guided tour for the 8-10 hour hike, but it’s not impossible to go alone!

5. Los Cangilones de Gualaca

Los Cangilones de Gualaca is an interesting geological formation that makes for a perfect day trip from Boquete. This natural canyon slot offers some basic cliff jumping, a place to relax, and you may even spot some million(s) year old fossils! This is a 50 minute drive by car or 2 hour bus ride from Boquete.

6. Tour a Coffee Plantation

Coffee in Panama and all of Central America is simply delicious. Whether you’re an avid coffee drinker or not, touring a coffee plantation and learning about the bean-to-cup process is a must-do while in Central America. Book your tour here!

Boquete Panama Forest

7. Whitewater Rafting

Whitewater rafting the Chiriquí Viejo River is an adventure activity all ages and abilities can enjoy. The Chiriquí Viejo River has class 3 rapids, which means it’s extremely safe and not too bumpy, but definitely not boring! Bring water shoes and a good attitude, and most tour operators will take care of everything else (including lunch)!

8. Go Birdwatching

While the various hikes around Boquete may give you a glimpse into the beautiful birds in Panama we recommend going on a birdwatching tour! A knowledgeable guide will take care of the spotting and equipment and you just have to show up! We regret not doing this as people come from all over the world to spot Quetzals, Volcanic Hummingbirds, eagles and much more.

9. Chase Waterfalls

Waterfalls are scattered around Boquete’s surrounding forests. You may catch them on various hikes, and you’ll even see the San Ramon Waterfall on the bus ride to the popular hiking trails. There are a few other waterfalls in the area, such as the Sindigo, Qui Qui, and Choclon waterfalls.

things to do in Boquete: waterfalls

10. Hike El Pianista Trail

El Pianista Trail is one of the harder hikes in Boquete, but you’ll be heavily rewarded with amazing views. It takes around 3-4 hours roundtrip, is around 2.5 miles (4 km), and has 670 meters of elevation. Be careful when you hike this; the trail is not always clear and it is easy to get lost. There are also dogs that are not friendly and have bitten people in the past.

11. Honey Tasting and Butterfly Garden Walk

Boquete is famous for its delicious honey, which makes an appearance in many restaurants and grocery stores in Boquete. If you have an interest in going right to the source, or just learning about butterflies, then this experience is perfect for you! This tour includes renting electric bikes and stopping at Los Ladrillos (a cool rock formation), the San Ramon Waterfall, a café or two and the Honey and Butterfly Farm!

12. La Artillería Hike

This 2.5 hour hike is one of the most popular hikes in Boquete, and for good reason. The end point of this hike is a massive rock looking over the Boquete forest and farmland. While part of it is on private property, the hike is not off-limits to the public. If you don’t want to worry about planning this, you can go with a guided tour that can be booked at the Selina Hostel.

13. Enjoy the Caldera Hot Springs

Boquete, unlike the rest of Panama, is fairly chilly, especially in the mornings. To spend time outside without enduring the cold weather, head over to the Caldera Hot Springs (Pozos Termales). The road is bumpy so if you do this on your own you’ll need four wheel drive. If you prefer, you can book this tour which takes care of transportation and logistics!

14. Chocolate Making Class

The Perfect Pair restaurant has some delicious coffee and more importantly – chocolate! Head over for a detailed tour about the chocolate making process and don’t worry, you’ll get to taste your creations. We didn’t do the class but regret it, because their desserts and pastries were certainly delicious!

15. Rock Climbing at Los Ladrillos

Los Ladrillos is a super interesting rock formation that conveniently is also super easy to climb. The ledges form somewhat of steps, which gives novice rock climbers a great experience. If you don’t fancy rock climbing, simply passing this on the bus ride to the popular hikes is a cool experience as well!

Los Ladrillos Boquete Rock Climbing

Best Time to Visit Boquete

The best time to visit Boquete is undoubtedly during the dry season (December – April). This peak season boasts clear skies and pleasant temperatures, averaging in the low to mid 70s Fahrenheit (around 21°C to 24°C) with minimal humidity. We were there in late February and it was perfect weather for hiking and exploring the town!

Where to Eat in Boquete

Boquete has a large expat/immigrant community, which means a great fusion of cuisines. Boquete probably had the most diverse food of anywhere we went in Central America, at least for a town of its size! This was certainly a great switch-up from the typical rice, beans, and chicken plates we were used to. We encourage you to explore for yourself, but here are some of the great places we ate while in Boquete:

  • Boquete Brewing Company: For good beer and typical American food
  • Sugar & Spice: For the best breakfast in Boquete
  • The Perfect Pair: For quality coffee, chocolate, and other pastries
  • The Rock: For amazing food and a variety of options
  • El Sabroson #1: If you’re on a budget, this is your place. Cafeteria-style meals for only $5
  • Urban Fuxion: For Asian and other cuisines
  • Patrón del Shawarma: The most diverse shawarma place we’ve eaten at!
  • Café Unido: For delicious coffee and breakfast
  • Morton’s Bakehouse: Make your own breakfast sandwich!

Where to Stay in Boquete

If you don’t plan on having a rental car, we recommend staying in the center of Boquete to have easy access to the best restaurants and to the shuttles that will take you to the hiking trailheads. However, if you do have a rental car, we recommend staying in the outskirts of Boquete – there are some amazing properties with great views that are worth a little extra driving.

If you have money to spend and are looking for a really unique experience, you should definitely check out the domes at Tree Trek Adventure Park – those are definitely a bucket list stay!

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How to Get to Boquete

When heading to Boquete, you’ll likely find yourself going through David. David is super easy to reach by plane or bus from lots of different locations in Costa Rica and Panama.

Once you reach David, the easiest way to get to Boquete is by rental car, transfer service directly from the airport, or public bus. Taking the bus is obviously the cheapest option, and all three methods will take you about 45 minutes.

If you’re heading to Boquete from other parts of Panama, shuttles are a good way to avoid multiple bus changes. Shuttles to Boquete cost around $35 from Bocas del Toro and around $30 from Santa Catalina; these can be booked with local travel agencies.

Boquete Panama Accommodations

How Many Days Do You Need in Boquete?

There are enough activities in Boquete to keep you fully booked for 3 weeks. However, if you are short on time, you should spend 1 week minimum here!

Is it Worth Going to Boquete?

Boquete is 100% worth going to. The loads of nature activities, coffee, adventure activities, food, and much more make Boquete worth going to. You’ll find no shortage of things to do here and its proximity to the David Airport makes this a must-visit destination!

Keep Exploring Panama…

Our Favorite Travel Resources

Accommodations: We use for hotels and HostelWorld for hostels. We also use VRBO or TrustedHousesitters for longer stays.

Flights: We recommend using Skyscanner to find the cheapest and best flights.

Ground Transport: We use 12Go and Omio for buses and private transfers, and and Discover Cars for rental cars.

Activities: GetYourGuide and Viator are the best websites for booking organized tours.

International Medical Insurance: We highly recommend SafetyWing for Digital Nomads and HeyMondo for those not traveling full-time, or who frequently engage in higher-risk adventure activities.

eSIM: We recommend Airalo or Holafly for getting data internationally.

Check out our Travel Resources Page for more of our favorite travel-related products and services!

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