Top 5 Things To Do in Boquete Panama
Packed with adventure, Boquete is a must see destination on your Panama vacation with no shortage of things to do. Encompassed by pristine rivers, luscious green hills and a cool mountain breeze, Boquete is the best hidden gem of Panama. The friendly town of Boquete is rustic, yet also a top destination in Panama for outdoor adventurers, music and art enthusiasts, and coffee lovers alike. Boquete also loves a good festival!
If you do plan on visiting this remote destination in Panama, there is an endless list of adventure packed things to do in Boquete to choose from. Panama's famous coffee farms are found in Boquete. The cloud forests of Boquete are host to canopy tours, bird watching, hiking trails and rock climbing. Boquete is also home to natural hot springs and incredible white water rafting rivers. There is no lack of things to do in Boquete. These are just a few Boquete tours that tourists and locals alike enjoy in this little paradise.
Taking home memories that you will cherish forever is our number one priority. Below is our team's top 5 most-loved things to do in Boquete and the Chiriqui region of Panama.
Volcan Baru Jeep Tour - Panama's Most Challenging Off Road Adventure to the Summit
Topping the list of things to do in Boquete Panama is most definitely a visit to the Volcan Baru National Park. At 3474 mts (over 11,000 feet) high, hiking to the summit of the Baru Volcano can take nearly 12 hours. So for us, the best way to reach to Volcan Baru summit is most definitely by jeep.
The road to the summit (if you can call it a road) is one of the most challenging off-road treks in Central America. Hold on tight and take the fast-track in a 4x4 off-road Jeep! With the expertise of local guides, you can relax and enjoy while climbing up challenging terrain. In fact, you will climb up a variety of terrain and 5 different climate zones to be exact!
The Volcano Baru Jeep Tour is not just about holding onto your seat. Although that is one of the highlights, you can also keep your eyes peeled for wildlife. Pumas, leopards, porcupines and the hairy woodpecker are just a few of the animals you can spot during your adventure. If you are fascinated by birds like me, there are also over 250 species of birds in the Volcan Baru National Park. The Volcan Baru Jeep tour gets you there in only a few hours. Just in time to see the sun rise and take in breath taking views over the Boquete Valley, Chirqui highlands and even to Costa Rica.
Insider Tip- Bird watchers are especially fond of the park for sighting of Central America's elusive Resplendent Quetzal. Keep your eyes open for a chance to spot one!
Boquete Hot Springs By Horse Back - The Most Scenic Way To Visit The Caldera Hot Springs
One of the most popular things to do in Boquete is a soak in the natural hot springs. And just like visiting the Volcan Baru, there are multiple ways to get there. Our very favorite is relaxing on the back of a trusty equestrian friend. Combining two of the best activities in Boquete, the Hot Springs by Horseback tour is a great deal as well. Actually, one of our Real Deal team members referred to her horseback riding and hot springs experience in Boquete the best day in her life. (Disclaimer, she is originally from Texas and has ridden horses all of her life so she is a bit partial to horse related tours).
Seriously though, the ride up to the hot springs is so lush and green! You really cannot imagine a better way to explore the Boquete highlands than sauntering on a horseback ride. You can sit back, unwind and admire the natural surroundings while snapping photos of the Baru Volcano and rolling hills of the Boquete Valley. The horses do all the work descending the mountainous country road.
The destination is Caldera Hot Springs. Rustic, yet popular, the soothing Boquete Hot Springs are natural and full of minerals. There are two different hot spring pools and a cool river to cool off in. The underground streams that originate from beneath the Baru Volcano can really heat up the water reaching up to 105 degrees at times. Just be aware of a very pesky monkey who loves to run off with anything they can get their hands on when you are not paying attention!
If you love to go horseback riding and enjoy a good relaxing soak in the hot springs, the Boquete Hot Springs by Horseback Riding tour should be at the top of your Boquete Panama bucket list.
Insider Tip- The horses walk at a slow and comfortable pace, your guide will match you up perfectly with a healthy horse that suits your needs. If you have more experience, let them know and you can even go for a fast gallop that is sure to bring a smile to your face. The horses love to eat bananas as a special treat!
Jä Wäkta Waterfall Rappelling & Slack-lining - A Truly Unique Experience in Panama
The Jä Wäkta Waterfall Rappelling & Slack-lining Tour is one of a kind experience unique to Boquete, Panama. At first some may be wary of this tour, however it's one of the most popular tours in Boquete for good reason.
The hike is guided by experts who seriously know their stuff. In fact the tour was designed by Cesar Melendez who pretty much pioneered rock climbing in Panama. Jä Wäkta Waterfall was named by the Ngäbe-Buglé indigenous to this region in Panama. It simply translates to flat rock, but we call it the perfect location for rappelling and slack-lining. There is even a Tarzan rope swing over the water!
The highlight of trip is learning to walk on a slack-line over the river. Slack-lining is so much fun I think everyone should try it at least once! Of course, there is also the option to rappel down the waterfall too which is one of my all-time favorite things to do...ever! If you have a GoPro, this adventure will definitely produce some photo worthy memories to share with friends.
For those who are a bit afraid of heights, or just not interested in participating in the more extreme activities, the hike to Ja Wakta Waterfalls is still worth the trip. Once you arrive to the falls, you can dive into the natural pools to cool off from the hike or just lounge riverside and soak in the sun and the stunning scenery. Ja Wakta Waterfalls in Boquete is truly a magical way to spend a day in Panama.
Insider Tip: Be mindful that slack-lining and rappelling is not always available during the rainy season in Panama because of the extreme force of the water. Safety first! All safety equipment including water/climbing shoes are provided if you plan on doing the activities. So much fun! The guides help you to feel totally safe and comfortable. You MUST give it a try!
White Water Rafting Boquete - The Best White Water Rafting in Panama
Grab a paddle and get ready for a wild ride! The Chiriqui Province is home to some of the most spectacular white water rafting rivers in the entire world. Needless to say, you will find some of the best rafting in Panama just outside Boquete. That is why rafting Boquete is one of our top picks for things to do Panama, not just Boquete. In fact we love it so much, we have actually written a couple other previous posts about the different white water rafting rivers in Panama, and the breakdown of the river classes.
Whether it is your first time on the river or you are a paddle pro, a Boquete white water rafting trip is sure to be the highlight of your Panama vacation. The routes depend on the experience of the group and also depends on the weather and dam releases. Professional rafting guides help you navigate your way through class II, III, IV and maybe even killer class V rapids. Having rafted in Costa Rica, Peru and the US, I can honestly say this was one of the most fun and challenging runs I have enjoyed. We hope you enjoy your Boquete rafting experience as much as we do.
Travel Tip- Bring your passport along! The river takes you right into Costa Rica. Also highly recommended to come during rainy season that runs May-December. If you're really serious about getting some good rapids the best time to come is September-November when the most options are available.
Island Hopping & Whale Watching in the Gulf of Chiriqui - Best Whale Watching in Panama
Last but not least on our list of things to do in Boquete is actually not in Boquete at all, but a must do day trip to the Gulf of Chiriqui. If you are visiting Panama between July and October, whale watching in the Gulf of Chiriqui is a tour that you won't want to miss! Trust us, after a few days in the cloud forest, the sunshine and sandy beaches of the Gulf of Chiriqui will be warmly welcoming.
The Gulf of Chiriqui is a safe-haven for whales that come each year for migration purposes. It's an amazing act of nature to witness! Little interaction with human life and animal protection has also made an impact on the Gulf of Chiriqui whales. Pods of humpbacks, grey, orca, sperm, tropical bottle nose and pilot whales are frequent visitors each year.
Aside from whales, sea life is abundant in the Gulf of Chiriqui. You can often see manta rays, dolphins, exotic fish and sea turtles. Leather-back and hawks-bill turtles call the gulf home. The guide will also navigate through a bunch of incredible uninhabited islands along the way. Typically they stop for lunch at Isla Bolanos where you can spend the afternoon exploring the island or just chilling in a hammock.
When planning your Boquete vacation, a trip to the Gulf of Chiriqui is definitely one of the most recommended day trips from Boquete you should not miss out on.
Travel Tip- If you cannot make it during whale watching season, just the island hopping and snorkeling is well worth the trip.
Sure there are tons of things to do in Panama, but our vote for the most exciting destination is Boquete all the way! The beautiful natural surroundings, mountains and wildlife create a place that you'll never want to leave. This list is just a sample of all the fun you can have in Boquete. And even though it is not in the running for the top things to do in Panama, you cannot miss out on an award winning cup of Boquete coffee. The coffee is amazing, locals are friendly and the guides are top-notch. With so many things to do in Boquete, what’s not to love?