|Written by Matt|
|Friday, 24 December 2010 10:58|
Boquete is a mountain town known for its natural beauty, perfect climate, abundant wildlife and adventure, delicious coffee and great people. But did you know that Boquete is also the perfect home base to explore the province of Chiriqui?
“Boquete has so many things going for it, plus, it’s the perfect home base to explore Chiriqui,” according to Jay Thomas of Boquete Garden Inn Hotel, one of the top rated Boquete hotels and B&Bs. “Whether it’s a day trip to the beaches or mountains, Boquete is the ideal place to return to after a day out. We have some of the best hotels and restaurants, great nightlife and fresh, cool mountain air that’s perfect for a good nights’ sleep.”
Explore on your own or via Explora Ya Panama Eco-Tours & Adventure Travel, an agency that regularly provides day trips from Boquete to a number of great destinations within Chiriqui. “People love coming to Boquete because they have the best of both worlds – the beauty of the mountains and small town charm combined with modern city infrastructure,” says Julio Santmaria, Explora Ya. “Plus, we’ve got Pacific beaches just a little over an hour away.”
So, where to go? The Top Five Day Trips from Boquete (all under 2 hours away!)
1. Las Lajas: In this beautiful 22 km stretch of beach, you shouldn’t have any trouble finding a nice spot to enjoy the day. With majestic palms lining the coast, the waves are peppy but safe--perfect for bodyboarding. You can visit the public beach or access the ocean from Las Lajas Beach Resort (for a $10 fee per person). While you’re there, you can grab a bite to eat at the resort, or try the wiener schnitzel at El Mundo Bar. (Drive time from Boquete: approx. 1 hour and 45 minutes)
2. Volcan/Cerro Punta: Two picturesque mountain towns on the other side of Volcan Baru. With rolling green hills dotted with little cottages, this side of the mountain almost has a Swiss feel– a very different landscape than Boquete. Visit Arte Cruz (an artist who works in wood), see hieroglyphics, visit Finca Dracula and Finca Haras Cerro Punta (where they raise thoroughbred race horses), buy some homemade mango, strawberry or maracuya wine from a roadside stand and be sure to have your camera handy. (Drive time from Boquete: between 1.5 – 2 hours, depending on which route you take).
3. Boca Chica, with tour of the Chiriqui Gulf’ islands: Another Pacific coast adventure just a stone’s throw from Boquete. Take a boat tour from Boca Chica and explore the islands of Chiriqui's Gulf National Marine Park. Some of the most stunning white sand beaches and turquoise waters you will find in Panama’s Pacific coast. Snorkel, swim, relax on the beach or head inland for a hike and see if you can spot howler monkeys at Isla Palenque. The Islands of Gamez and Bolaños are popular destinations or if you want something a bit closer to Boca Chica, to San José Island is your best bet. (Travel time from Boquete: 1.5 hours to Boca Chica + up to 1 hour to reach the islands)
4. Cangilones de Gualaca: The river has carved a beautiful gorge into solid rock, creating the perfect fresh water swimming hole. Bring a picnic, sun yourself on the rocks that surround the water and cool off with a refreshing dip. (Travel time from Boquete: 45 minutes)
5. Playa Barqueta/Las Olas: Another great Pacific beach close to Boquete. Visit the public beach and get some fresh fried fish or shrimp. Or, visit Las Olas resort for lunch and swim in their pool, with use of their fitness facilities, sauna, tennis court and beach huts for $10 (April 22 - October 31) or $20 (November 1 - April 21). (Travel time from Boquete: 1 hour 30 minutes)Try one or all of these day trips and return every day to the comfort of a great hotel in Boquete. For more information about all things you can do without leaving Boquete, click here.