If you’re planning a trip to Panama’s most popular expat town and wondering what the best things to do in Boquete, Panama are – then you’ve come to the right place!
Boquete, Panama is a paradise for adventure seekers. You can find epic hiking, fantastic coffee, delicious food, lush jungles, and stunning waterfalls all within a 20-minute drive from the town center.
Add in this area’s idyllic year-round temperature and incredible views, and it’s easy to see why Boquete, Panama has become one of our favorite places we’ve ever visited.
In July 2023, we spent a week in Boquete, Panama with my family. While there was a lot more we wanted to do and see, we definitely made the most of our time in the crisp climate of the Chiriqui mountains.
This list is a compilation of what we feel are the 10 very best things to do in Boquete, Panama. I promise, no matter your age or interests, there’s something fun for everyone. 😉 You can also watch our video below to see more of beautiful Boquete!
10 of the top things to do in Boquete, Panama
1. Go on a coffee tour
Boquete, Panama is one of the top places in all of Central America to learn about coffee. Roughly 50% of the world’s coffee is grown in Central America. While Peru and Costa Rica are often the first countries to come to mind for coffee production due to their high quantity of production, Panama is known for having the highest quality coffee in this region.
Boquete’s high elevation, temperate, and humid climate make it an ideal place to grow coffee. As you’re driving around the town you’ll notice coffee growing everywhere.
Geisha is their most famous variety grown here making it a must-try coffee when in town. But it’s expensive! A cup of Geisha goes for $12 – $20 USD depending on the coffee shop. You can book a coffee farm tour to learn about the entire process of growing, processing, and roasting coffee and try the world-famous geisha coffee, too!
We explain what to expect on a Boquete coffee tour here and share a few of the best tours. ☕️ We loved this experience and recommend it to anyone, even if you’re not a coffee lover like us.
2. Make chocolate
Another unique experience to do in Boquete is to take a chocolate-making class. The Perfect Pair (our favorite coffee shop and also whom we took our coffee tour with) offers chocolate-making classes from the Cocao they grow right here in Panama!
They have beautiful hand-poured truffles, chocolate frogs, and other delicious sweet treats. We didn’t personally do this on our trip but it looked super fun. You can learn more about their classes here.
3. Go for a hike
One of the best things to do in Boquete Panama is go for a hike. There are tons of amazing hiking trails in Boquete Panama in 30-minute drive or less from the town center. We did three hikes on our trip to Boquete but would have loved to do even more.
Below are a few of the most popular trails including guides to two of the hikes we did (and loved) during our trip. The best hiking trails in Boquete, Panama:
- The Lost Waterfalls Trail (takes you to three amazing waterfalls)
- The Pipeline Trail (a beautiful hike through the jungle to uncover a massive “hidden” waterfall)
- El Pianista Trail (takes you into an epic cloud forest)
- Volcan Baru Hike (a two-day overnight hike to the highest mountain in Panama)
4. Chill at a waterfall
The mountains of Chiriqui, the province where Boquete is located, are filled with stunning waterfalls. Most hikes lead to a waterfall (or three) but you can also see waterfalls as you drive past on the road. San Ramón waterfall is an easy pit stop on your way to the Bajo Mono area.
We highly recommend taking a hike on the Lost Waterfalls Trail to see the amazing waterfalls. It’s also a great spot for a refreshing dip. Just be warned, the water is freezing 🥶!
5. Go climbing
On your way to the Bajo Mono area on the north side of Boquete, Panama you’ll pass an impressive basalt rock wall. This wall is a series of horizontal columns formed by volcanic eruptions millions of years ago.
Named, ‘Los Ladrillos’, meaning the bricks in English it’s a fantastic spot for beginner to intermediate climbers. The Gunko climbing route (on Los Ladrillos wall) has 15 paths rated 5.6 – 5.11a. If you’re looking for more for more of a challenge, you can climb Mana Wall nearby.
6. Relax in a hot spring
Hands down the best thing we did in Boquete, Panama on our trip was relax in the natural hot springs. I’m obsessed with natural hot springs and seek them out wherever I go. I’m glad to report that Caldera Hot Springs, about a 40-minute drive from Boquete, did not disappoint.
We have an entire blog post about how to get to Caldera Hot Springs, the cost, and what to expect about the experience. It’s a great resource since this is a bit tricky to get to but it’s a must on any Boquete trip.
7. Take a stroll in their public park
We’ve been to a lot of public parks in our six years of travel. But Boquete’s public park takes the cake in terms of beautiful public parks. Parque Biblioteca (Library Park) is on the south side of town next to, you guessed it, the library.
This park is filled with walking paths that lead you through lush gardens of flowers, man-made waterfalls, and ponds, and meanders next to the Caldra River. You see nothing but lush green jungle with mountain views in every direction. It is stunning!
9. Go rafting
One of the top things to do in Boquete, Panama is go on a river rafting tour down the Chiriqui River. This river is home to class 3 rapids perfect for new paddlers. Certain sections have class 4 and class 5 rapids, giving adventure seekers a fun, wet, and wild ride!
This experience is best during or just after the rainy season when the river has more water in it (May to November). You can take a guided tour for around $65 per person by clicking here.
You can also check out some of the other top activities to do in Boquete, Panama with Viator below.
9. Go zip lining
If river rafting isn’t enough of an adrenaline rush for you, head to Tree Trek Boquete which offers zip-lining through the canopies of the trees. If you’ve never gone zip lining in the jungle before we highly recommend it. There’s nothing like soaring above the treetops.
The zip line is 4.5 kilometers in total length divided into 12 different zip line cables. Tree Trek Boquete also has a circuit of 6 suspension bridges that total 4.5 km in total. The bridges offer a totally different experience than ziplining does.
10. Eat, shop, and drink in town
If the weather’s not cooperating (it rains on and off here pretty much all year), or you simply enjoy eating and shopping like us then you’ll want to spend some time in the town center.
We were pleasantly surprised by the amazing food scene here. For being home to roughly 25,000 people there were a lot of dining options with a wide variety of cuisine. To see our favorite spots check out this blog post.
There were lots of little stores to check out that sold souvenir-like items along with a few specialty shops for coffee and cocktails. We enjoyed grabbing a beer at Boquete Brewing Company. They had some craft beers like IPAs and porters which really hit the spot!
Things to know before visiting Boquete, Panama
Now that you’ve got a plan for the best things to do when visiting Boquete, Panama, let’s talk about some of the important things to know before visiting.
The best time to visit Boquete, Panama
Boquete, Panama has two seasons, the rainy season and the dry season. December to April brings cooler (but still lovely temperatures) and less rain making it the perfect time to escape the cold and explore during the dry season. Almost no homes or hotels in Boquete have air conditioning thanks to its temperate year-round weather. Temperatures range from 53 ºF to 86 ºF (12 ºC to 30 ºC) on average.
The summer months, which last from May to November, are still cool but come with a lot of rain. Boquete is the rainiest area in all of Panama seeing on average 3,810 mm or 150.0 inches of rain each year. It’s common to experience several rain showers in a day with little to no warning. Bring a rain jacket if you’re coming to Boquete, even in the dry season. And don’t forget to pack a light jacket for the evenings.
Money in Boquete, Panama
Panama’s currency is the Panamanian Balboa. Since the United States controlled the Panama Canal for decades, its currency is linked to the United States Dollar at a one-for-one value. You can exchange your currency for the Panamanian Balboa but the United States Dollar is widely accepted and used in equal value to their local currency.
Most restaurants and shops in Boquete, Panama will accept debit, credit cards, and USD. We spent less than $150 in cash as a family of 7 people during our week stay in Boquete.
There are a few banks in town so if you need to pull out cash for some reason you can withdraw money from the ATM. However, there will likely be a fee if it’s not a cooperating bank in your banking network. For that reason, we recommend having $100-$200 US dollars on hand to spend at places that don’t accept cash.
💳 Always have a credit card that you can use to earn points or cash back without international credit card fees. See our favorite travel credit card here.
Where to stay in Boquete, Panama
Boquete, Panama is quite small home to roughly 25,000 people. The town center is quite busy with most properties being within a 5 to 10-minute walk from each other. Most accommodations are hostels, Airbnb, VRBOs, Bed and breakfasts, and a few higher-end boutique hotels located just outside of the city (which offer better views due to its higher elevation).
If you’re not sure where to stay, below are a few recommendations based on your price point.
If you don’t see anything to your liking below feel free to search on VRBO directly. They have new stays popping up all the time!
|Low budget > $100 USD||Mid-tier $100 – $200 USD|
|Selina Boquete: A part of the Selina co-working hotel chain, this hostel offers high-end amenities at fair prices. Its location is right in town and still feels like you are far out of the city. You can choose from shared rooms or private rooms all for under $80.||Boquete Garden Inn: This boutique hotel has 13 incredible rooms in the most picturesque jungle setting. Think lush trees, intense greenery, 90 different bird species flying by the gorgeous flowers, and a beautiful pool to relax in. Your stay includes a free 3-course sit-down breakfast, too!|
|Hotel Central Boquete: This no-frills hostel has very basic offerings, but is an affordable place to sleep. You can rent a single bed in a shared room close to the beach for $25.||The Inn At Palo Alto: If you’re looking for more space without paying for full VRBO, we recommend staying at the Inn at Palo Alto. They have double rooms with queen and twin beds to accommodate families. They have a full gym, restaurant, and pool to enjoy on-site.|
Getting around Boquete, Panama
We got around Boquete with a rental car we picked up in David. David is the second largest city in Panama and where the international airport is located. We highly recommend getting a rental car if your budget allows. Most of the activities we did in Boquete required a 15 to 30-minute drive.
Having our own vehicle gave us the freedom to explore more comfortably.
High clearance or 4×4 vehicles aren’t required to get around here, but definitely would have made certain excursions (like Caldera hot springs) a much easier trip! If they have one available it might be worth the extra money.
Hopefully, this guide to the 10 very best things to do in Boquete, Panama has helped you plan an epic vacation to this charming mountain town. Let us know what spots were your favorite after visiting. And if you have any further recommendations for when we return let us know in the comments below.
CHECK OUT MY OTHER BOQUETE PANAMA GUIDES
- Caldera Hot Springs: A Must-Do Activity Near Boquete Panama – One of our favorite activities from our entire trip.
- Your Guide to Hiking El Pianista Trail in Boquete, Panama – A great hiking guide if you want to venture into a cloud forest.
- A Complete Guide to Hiking The Lost Waterfalls Trail – A great hiking guide for one of the top hikes in Boquete.
- How To Take a Coffee Tour in Boquete, Panama (Complete Guide): One of the top things to do in Boquete is go for a coffee tour. Find out everything you need to know about the experience here.