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11 Amazing Ideas for What to do in Boquete Panama

In the lush rainforest of Panama just a short drive from the Pacific Ocean, Boquete offers a world away from the bustle, and amazing opportunities for adventure. From hiking to rock climbing, we loved every minute of our time here. If you are planning a trip and trying to decide if Boquete is worth visiting, or wondering what to do in Boquete Panama?

We spent 5 days in this fun town and will share everything we learned during our visit including the best Boquete things to do, how to get to Boquete, and suggestions on how to plan your visit.

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What to do in Boquete Panama: Hiking in Boquete
What to do in Boquete Panama: Hiking in Boquete

See our complete 10 day Panama Itinerary.

Quick Look at What to do in Boquete Panama

Use the list below for a quick look at what to do in Boquete, Panama. You can click on the image on the right to get a free travel PDF of things to do in Boquete, and scroll down for more detailed information on each of the activities in Boquete.

  1. Hike Volcan Baru
  2. Rock Climb
  3. Take a Rainforest Hike
  4. Try White Water Rafting
  5. Go to Spanish Language School
  6. Take a Canopy Tour
  7. Learn More About Coffee or Chocolate
  8. Take a Swim at  Gualaca Canyon
  9. Soak in Caldera Hot Springs
  10. Hang Out in Town

Things to Know about Visiting Boquete Panama

Quick Overview of Boquete

Boquete is an easy place to visit with a mixture of local Panama flavor and a large ex-pat community. In fact, Boquete real estate prices are surprisingly high, and depending on which way you drive out of town, you will either come across local Panamanian homes or expansive homes for Boquete Panama retirement living. Add to this the stunning forest and hills of the surrounding region and you have an odd mix of culture and beauty.

The main road to get to Boquete is easy to drive and mostly flat, but once you get out of the town, many of the roads head up into the hills, so expect longer driving times.

Boquete Panama Climate: Best Time to Visit Boquete

The weather in Boquete is warm and humid all year. May, June, and October tend to be the wettest months, although rain is likely all year long and there is no true dry season. The best months to visit Boquete Panama are December-April. These are also likely to be the most crowded times of the year.

What to do in Boquete Panama: Hiking in Boquete
What to do in Boquete Panama: Hiking in Boquete

How many Days Should you Spend in Boquete?

There are enough things to do in Boquete Panama, that you could easily spend a week enjoying this tropical mountain destination. If you don’t have a full week, I would recommend at least 2 days in Boquete. This gives you time to go for at least one hike and choose another activity on the other day.

How to Get to Boquete Panama

Boquete is easy to get to from David and takes about an hour to drive. The drive from David to Boquete is also quite easy and all on the well-paved route 41. You can easily get a short flight from Panama City to David for relatively inexpensive (we booked ours through Kiwi). You can also get direct flights to David from other major airports, so make sure you check out different options.

Once you arrive at the airport, you have a few options to get up to Boquete. The first option is to rent a car (this is what we did).

If you are driving from other parts of Boquete, here are some common drive times:

  • Boca Chica to Boquete: 1 hour and 45 minutes
  • Boquete to Bocas Del Tores: 5 hours
  • Boquete to Panama City: 6 hours and 20 minutes

Another way to get to Boquete is by bus. You can catch a bus from Panama City to David and from David to Boquete. The bus leaves from David’s Central Park and costs about $1.75.

Another option is to book a private transfer or a taxi. This costs about $40+ one way. You can also book shared shuttles from other popular tourist areas in Panama, including Bocas Del Toro.

Map of Things to do in Boquete Panama

This map of Boquete Panama shows some of the best things to do in town.

What to do in Boquete Panama

Hike Volcan Baru

The hike up Volcan Baru is easily one of the best things to do in Panama, but don’t underestimate this hike. The hike is very challenging with over 17 miles and almost 7,000 feet of elevation gain. While you don’t need a guide to do this hike, it is highly recommended. No matter what, you need to get an early start to finish the hike in one day and a guide will ensure you stay on track (both the trail itself and the timing).

You can see more hiking details on All Trails if you want to attempt this hike on your own and several local companies also offer jeep tours of the mountain. If you get a clear morning, you can get views of both the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean.

What to do in Boquete Panama: Rock Climbing in Boquete
What to do in Boquete Panama: Rock Climbing in Boquete

Rock Climb

There is a wonderful little rock climbing spot just outside of the town of Boquete. To climb here, you need to book a tour that includes the rock climbing gear and a guide for the day. We like to climb as a family, but you don’t need any experience and even our 7 year old enjoyed it. The basalt rocks are truly unique and it’s a fun shirt wall to play around on.

Learn more about rock climbing in Boquete. We booked our rock climbing tour the day before our tour right in town.

What to do in Boquete Panama: Rock Climbing

Take a Rainforest Hike

We spent two days hiking and exploring the rainforest right outside of Boquete and this was probably our favorite part of visiting. Even if you aren’t going to hike, I strongly recommend driving from Boquete out around the loop just past Boquete on route 41. This road goes up into the hills and passes many farms and waterfalls. There are several places to stop and snap some photos and you can access several hiking trails. If you plan to go hiking in Boquete Panama, these two trails below were our favorites:

What to do in Boquete Panama: Hiking the Quetzales Trail
What to do in Boquete Panama: Hiking the Quetzales Trail

Los Quetzales Trail – this trail is an out and back. If you do the full trail, the trail is 11.3 miles and about 4,000 ft of elevation gain. You should double-check that the trail is open (it was recently closed due to some rainfall). There is a ranger station at the entrance and several bridges to cross. The trail follows the Rio Caldera for parts of the hike and can be quite slippery in the rain.

Boquete Hidden Waterfall via Pipeline Trail – The Pipeline Trail is a great option, especially if the Quetzales Trail is closed. The hike is roughly 3.8 miles and 1,500 feet of elevation gain. The trail is steep in several places with difficult footing and passes many waterfalls along the way. The trail ends with a stunning waterfall that plunges off a cliff to the valley floor. We felt like we were in a secret rainforest. We also saw Quetzals when we hiked this trail in February, and loved the whole hike.

What to do in Boquete: Hiking the Pipeline Trail
What to do in Boquete: Hiking the Pipeline Trail
What to do in Boquete: Hiking the Pipeline Trail
What to do in Boquete: Hiking the Pipeline Trail
Travel Tip: These hikes are in the rainforest and even during the dryer season, you should expect rain or at least wet conditions.  Even if Boquete is sunny, it's likely to be rainy in the hills.  Be prepared for a wet hike and slippery trail condition on all the Boquete hiking trails.

Try White Water Rafting

As Boquete has emerged as an adventure destination white water rafting has joined the list of fun adventure activities you can try nearby. The Chiriqui Viejo River offers an amazing stretch of river for a day-long rafting trip. You can book your Boquete rafting adventure tour online to reserve your spot, or visit one of the many outdoor shops in town.

Go to Spanish Language School

One of our primary reasons for visiting Boquete was to take Spanish language school. We spent 5 days studying at Habla Ya Spanish language school. During our time in Boquete, we stayed in a homestay with a family, and every morning spent 3 hours in a Spanish language immersion program. At the moment, Habla Ya is offering a limited selection of programs due to the pandemic and the changing climate. You can learn more by visiting their website.

What to do in Boquete Panama: Studying Spanish during lunch
What to do in Boquete Panama: Studying Spanish during lunch

Take a Canopy Tour

Canopy tours are popular all over Central America, and the canopy tour in Boquete is an excellent opportunity to walk through the rainforest on a series of hanging bridges and zip lines. This is a fun adventure activity and you can book it directly through Boquete Tree Trek Eco Adventure Park. This is an incredibly fun place!

Learn More About Coffee or Chocolate

You can learn more about both making chocolate and brewing coffee right in Boquete. With several shops that highlight coffee and chocolate you can simply stop in and taste test, or book a tour to learn more about the process. This coffee tour shows you the whole process making coffee from growing the beans to pouring the coffee into your cup. Another fun tour, this food tour on bikes takes you around town to try the best places to eat and drink coffee.

What to do in Boquete Panama - the view across one of fincas in the area
What to do in Boquete Panama – the view across one of fincas in the area

Take a Swim at  Gualaca Canyon

Located about 40 minutes in a car from Boquete – this is a gorgeous swimming hole. The narrow gorge runs about 40 meters. The stunning blue water is the perfect place to swim and cliff jump, or simply hang out for the day. From the parking lot, it’s a short one minute walk to the cliff. Note that there are no facilities at Gualaca Canyon.

Soak in Caldera Hot Springs

Located about 1 hour outside of town, the Caldera Hot Spring is absolutely worth a visit if you are spending more than a few days in Boquete. You can drive yourself to the spring, or take a local bus for $2. There is a $2 fee to get into the springs. You can see a bit more about visiting these hot springs on Trip Advisor.

Just outside of town, are the Caldera Hot Springs. We didn’t go due to lack of time and it taking over an hour to get there. You can do tours, but if you take a local bus it’s just $2 for the bus and $2 to enter but it’s going to take up your whole day.

What to do in Boquete Panama: Hanging out in Boquete
What to do in Boquete Panama: Hanging out in Boquete

Hang Out in Town

We loved hanging out in the town of Boquete each day. Each day after a day of Spanish school we would walk through town and find a fun place to grab lunch, shop, or try a cup of coffee. The town is mostly right along one strip of road, but there are plenty of shops and places to eat if you explore a bit. You will have no problem finding excellent restaurants in Boquete Panama.

We loved getting a daily ice cream and our favorite places to eat were Panamont and Restaurant Casa Azul.

Where to Stay in Boquete

There are many excellent places to stay and you can find a range hotels in Boquete panama You will want to decide where to stay based on whether you have a car or whether you need to rely on public transportation. Many of the places to stay are within walking distance to town. Here are a few great options:

The Riverside Inn – we didn’t stay here, but we stopped here for a drink and loved the vibe. It’s just a bit out of town (3 minute drive).

Hotel Isla Verde – This sweet little hotel is located right in town and has river views

Agaseke Lodge Boquete – this is a nice budget option right in town. It’s basic but a good option with kids.

Common Questions about Visiting Boquete Panama

What is the elevation of Boquete Panama?

Boquete Panama is located 1,200 meters, or 3,900 ft, above sea level. Due to the elevation, the temperatures in Boquete are cooler than on the coast.

What other things are there to do in Chiriqui?

Visit the coast and the Gulf of Chiriqui – we spent a few days there after our visit to Boquete – you can also visit the coast on a day tour.

See more about visiting Panama.

Looking for more information about what to do in Boquete Panama? Leave a comment and I’ll try to update this article.

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