Best things to do in Boquete, Panama

Boquete might be the greenest destination in Panama. It’s surrounding by lush cloud and rainforest, a volcano and coffee plantations. There are several impressive trails through the forest, leading to impressive waterfalls. Besides the hiking trails there are other adventure activities like zip lining and a coffee tour should also be on your list. In this article I’ve outlined all the wonderful things to explore in Boquete, including restaurants and places to stay.

What to do in Boquete?

Hiking the lost waterfall trail

The lost waterfall trailing is among the most Popular in Boquete. It leads you past three different waterfalls. The first two are easy to reach and for the third you have to climb a little bit, while holding on to ropes. It isn’t an extremely hard climb, but it can get very slippery. The whole trail should take around 3 hours. You return the same way you came. Since the second and third waterfall are the most impressive, I’d skip the first on the way up and if you have time, you can visit it on your way down. It’s possible to go for a dip in waterfall two and three as well. The pipeline trail is the one known to have Quetzals (the rare and beautiful bird), but we ended up seeing the elusive bird at the end of the trail, above waterfall three.

Entrance fee: $10 in cash

How to get there: taxi or local bus. The bus doesn’t go very often so taking a taxi is more convenient. You should arrange for the taxi driver to pick you up as well, as it will be harder to arrange transport from the trailhead.

lost waterfall trail BoqueteLost Waterfall trail Panama hummingbird lost waterfall trail Panama

Hike pipeline trail

The Pipeline trail is an easy hike 2 hour hike through cloud forest. You’ll walk through the forest until reaching a waterfall and return the same way. One of the most impressive sights during the hike is a 1ooo year old tree. You’ll also have a high chance of spotting the rare and extremely beautiful Quetzal bird. If you’re lucky you’ll see its long colorful tail moving in the wind. The trailhead is close to that of the lost waterfalls trail. If you start early in the morning you could do both in one day.

Entrance fee: $5, the trail is on private property and the owners collect it at the entrance.

pipeline train bouquet Panama

Spot the Quetzal

We ended up spotting the Quetzal in two different locations, but your best chance is on the Pipeline trail. You can either hire a guide to help you find the Quetzal, but you’re likely to see people with a guide on the trail. If you see them staring off into the distance, it’s likely they are looking at the Quetzal. When I visited, the nest was located close to the thousand year old tree. We also ended up seeing Quetzals near the third waterfall on the Lost waterfall trail.

Quetzal boquete

Climb Volcano Baru for sunrise

One of the more challenging activities near Boquete is the climb up Volcano Baru. I personally didn’t climb it, since I’d already climbed the famous volcano in Guatemala this trip and to me the view didn’t really seem worth it. For many people however, this was the highlight of their visit to Boquete. You have to start the hike in the middle of the night to arrive at sunrise, but you’ll be treated to  a beautiful view at 3.474 meter on top of the highest point in Panama. There’s a few different ways to experience the volcano:

Selfguided hike leaving at midnight – You’ll start the hike at 00:00 and hike up in about 5 hours. After sunrise you’ll hike down. The total will take around 9 hours.
Selfguided  hike with stay overnight– If you don’t want to hike in the dark you can choose to stay at campsite Los Fogones and wake up to the top from there for the sunrise.
Hike the volcano with a guide – If you’re not comfortable doing the steep and long hike by yourself in the dark, I’d advice getting a guide to take you up.

Do a Coffee Tour

There are several beautiful coffee plantations around Boquete. We reserved a tour at ‘Hotel and Coffee Farm Finca Lérida‘. A guide took us around the property, explaining the entire process and at the end we got to taste the different types of coffee they produce. The tasting including the famous Geisha Coffee from Panama. This is a type of coffee that was developed in Panama and is known for its aromatic flavor. The tour also includes a coffee and cake of choice in their cafe.  They have a wonderful restaurant overlooking the plantation as well. We had lunch before starting the tour.

Price coffee tour: $35 – Book in advance

coffee tour bouquet Hotel and Coffee Farm Finca Lérida

Taste Chocolate

There’s a cute cafe in town that offers a chocolate making class and has a delicious hot chocolate and many other delicious chocolates to try.  If you’re a chocolate lover like me, then you can’t miss a visit to The Perfect Pair Coffee & Chocolate.

Hike El Pianista

The El Pianista trail is another famous hike. It a 4 hour out and back trail, leading through cloud forest and rain forest. It ends a viewpoint. Unfortunately the trail gained notoriety, because 2 dutch girls went missing. It was never discovered what exactly happened and there are different theories surrounding their disappearance. Since the viewpoint is not especially impressive and the nature is similar to what I had seen on the pipeline and lost waterfalls trail, I decided to skip this hike.

Outdoor activities: Zipline, rafting, mountain biking, climbing.

Boquete also offers many adventure activities! Besides hiking you can go rafting, mountain-biking, climbing or zip lining. Boquete Outdoor Adventures offers several of these activiste. If you like rock climbing you can contact Panama RockClimbing Experience. 

Where to eat in Boquete?

Sugar and Spice Boquete– This restaurant has bakery where you can get your fresh bread here in the morning!

RetroGusto Restaurant & Bar – My favorite (Italian) restaurant in town!

Ngädri Gastronomía Panameña – Restaurant with a nice terrace outside and wonderful Panamanian food.

Buckle Tip Coffee Studio – Great coffee spot!

Cafe Unido Boquete- This may be a chain, but I love their avocado toast for breakfast.

Where to Stay in Boquete?

If you are looking for an affordable private room in the center of town, Boquete Town Inn is a great choice. I stayed during my time in Boquete and the location and room were great. It’s nothing super special, but good value for money.

Looking for a little more luxury? Have a look at Valle Escondido Welness resort