Welcome to Boquete
The Enchanting Land of Coffee and Flowers!
While waiting in the small airport in Bocas del Toro Panama I struck up a conversation with a young woman and her parents. She was on a weekend leave from the Peace Corp and had just finished playing in Bocas del Toro with Mum and Dad before heading back off into the jungle to work with one of Panamas indigenous tribes. They were flying Aeroperlas to the mainland for one last night together in David Panama. She told me about this great movie theatre in David. I never would have known! Well, another new friend and off we were in the air for our quick 25 minute flight back to the Pacific Coast of Panama where we would land in David and then drive back north to the mountain village of Boquete Panama.
David Chiriqui Panama pronounced DA-VEED, has an airport which is considerably larger than Bocas del Toro. They have recently added flights direct from Costa Rica and plans are underway by Copa to fly direct from the U.S. to satisfy the growing passion ex-pats have for this area. When we landed I was surprised by the stillness of the air and the extreme heat. Later I discovered that David is one of the hottest places in Panama. It is inland, away from the Pacific Ocean and protected so there are no ocean breezes and no break from the suns heat.
Our rag tag family was quickly spotted by Dan and his lovely girlfriend. Dan is an ex-pat from Minnesota who discovered Panama via meeting his Panamanian girl friend in the Grand Cayman Islands. It’s quite common to meet ‘mixed’ couples where the Panamanian side won out in their desire to return home. It’s interesting to see so many latin american people trying to get into the U.S. and yet Panamanians, who often study and work for a short time in the States, always seem to return home to their Panama homes. It’s also a true testimony to the attractiveness of this wonderful country.
Dan had been referred to us by a connection in Bocas del Toro. He was well known to be an expert on Boquete. One phone call later and it was all arranged. He would pick us up in David, take us up to the Chiriqui Highlands village of Boquete and show us around. The hospitality and warm welcome throughout Panama was winning us over quickly!
We were pleased that Dan wanted to get out of the heat of David and back up to Boquete as quickly as possible. Just 5 minutes drive from the airport and we were on the Pan-American highway. Another five minutes past the new children’s hospital and some modern, impressive looking stores and we headed north up the well paved road to Boquete Panama. It’s a constant and steady climb but you wouldn’t know it. Sometimes the homes appear on an angle but it is an illusion created by the long straight climb of the highway.
Off to the west we marveled at Volcan Baru, Panama’s highest peak at 11,400 feet above sea level. And one of the few spots where you can view the Pacific and the Atlantic oceans at the same time. It really is a stunningly beautiful mountain and the view which becomes the dominant and sought after feature of many Boquete properties.
In about 40 minutes we arrived in the lovely mountain village of Boquete Panama. At about 1,100 meters (3,600 feet) above sea level the air is cool and crisp. We were pleasantly surprised that in such a short drive we could lose the extreme heat and humidity and enjoy this perfect climate. At around 20c to 28c (68F -80F) some describe this as the World’s Best Climate. For certain the Boquete Panama Weather is ideal for outdoor activities like hiking, biking, bird watching, golfing, etc and has attracted active retirees from around the world.
What a contrast this magical place is to the rest of Panama. It truly was like arriving in another country. We were thrilled, excited and exhausted! Another surprise was the lack of vacancy in town. Just one Boquete Hotel had space and when we told Dan where to drop us off I could tell by what he didn’t say that it wasn’t the best place in town. But the beds were decent, the room clean and the free breakfast was excellent.
A Quick Tip – I’ve known Dianne since she first visited Boquete years ago and made her first investment in a commercial property. Later Dianne decided to move and call Boquete home. She’s done a lot and learned a lot over the years and her book is an excellent! Everything you need to know about Boquete. Here’s what Dianne has to say, “Boquete has become an incredibly popular destination…we all know that, especially the ones who moved here years ago. And we all know why. We actually like it. BUT we also know all the hard stuff too…the stuff the others won’t tell you. You can find tons of general info about Panama on the web and in different retirement books and that is a great place to start. But if you are seriously considering moving and living here successfully, you need to skip the hype and BS and get solid, detailed, on the ground information. Retiring or moving here is a HUGE step, there are things you need to consider BEFORE you get here and information that you will continue to need long after you do ….Save yourself time, money and more importantly your sanity – BUY this BOOK and get what you need to know!”
There is so much to say about Boquete Panama and certainly more than I have space for here so watch for another letter about this community we would come to call home.
What have you heard about Boquete? Leave your answers and questions in the comments section below. Join the conversation and watch what happens!
P.S. Please tell me what you thought of this letter in the comments area below. What did you like? What could you have done without? What else can I tell you about Panama? Leave your comments, questions, suggestions – join the conversation and watch what happens!
The information expressed here is solely the opinion of the author. Nothing on this web site or in subsequent communications is to be considered personalized investment advice. Although we may answer your general questions, we are not licensed under securities laws to address your particular investment situation. No communication by any associate or representative of Learn About Panama is to be deemed as personalized investment advice.