The colourful valley of Boquete is located in the western highlands of Panama at 1,200 meters above sea level in the beautiful province of Chiriqui. This green and lush village is mainly famous for 3 reasons – it’s proximity to the challenging but dormant Volcan Baru, the highest point of Panama, Panama’s delicious gourmet coffee which is produced in the highlands of Boquete, and least but not last, Boquete is known to be Panama’s eco-tour capital.
Because Boquete is Chiriqui’s most mountainous region, it is a hiker’s paradise, but it’s numerous rivers, hills and cloudforest also offer great possibilities for rafting, trout fishing, ziplining, rock climbing, rappelling, bird watching, mountain biking, horseback riding and numerous other activities for all age groups.
The Noge Bugle are the most predominant indigenous group of the area, and are known to mostly work on coffee plantations. With a count of about 20,000 inhabitants, Boquete is mainly populated by Latinos, but also Europeans from Switzerland, France, Germany, and retirees from the United States who have chosen to settle down in this area, thanks to its low cost but high quality of living.
Bocas del Toro
The paradisaical islands of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago was discovered by Christopher Columbus in 1502 are located in the country’s north western Caribbean sea. First famous for its banana industry (Bocas del Toro was home to the headquarters of the famous Chiquita brand), the archipelago is now mainly living from tourism and has become Panama’s number one beach destination. Situated near the Costa Rican border, the enchanting town of Bocas del Toro, home to 8,000 inhabitants is situated in the south eastern tip of Isla Colon, the Archipelago’s main island.
Bocas del Toro has some of the best surf breaks in the world, and attracts surfers from all over the globe. If surfing, sunbathing, snorkeling, diving and nightlife are what you are looking for in a vacation, look no further! It’s beautiful beaches, bars and restaurants and lush tropical vegetation offer endless opportunities for wining and dining, watersports such as diving, snorkeling, kayaking or sailing in the turquoise Caribbean waters, but also great hiking or biking in the jungle, in addition to wildlife observation as numerous bird species, monkeys, sea turtles, sloths, dolphins and many other animals populate this enchanted area.
Bocas del Toro is not only interesting thanks to beautiful mother nature, but also because of its interesting cultural background. Considered a bit of a melting pot, Bocas del Toro has a great combination of ethnicities, including indigenous communities such as the Ngobe Bugle, the Naso or Teribe, as well as descendants from Jamaican and French Antilles who mainly traveled here to work on the banana plantations, Latinos, Chinese, and a small but tight community of expats from all over the world who have decided to make Bocas their new home.
The first impression you will receive of our beautiful country is one of modernity in Panama’s capital, Panama City. If you have the chance to fly during the day, you will be greeted by a modern coastline of shiny skyscrapers.
Panama City has it all, a cosmopolitan atmosphere, a modern infrastructure with malls you could spend an entire day in, luxurious hotels and restaurants, a financial district with 90 banks, vibrant nightlife and a booming economy. That being said, one should not forget it’s history and culture, and a visit to the Canal and its Miraflores Locks, Casco Antiguo and the Amador Causeway are a must-see during your trip through Panama.
As Panama City receives more and more international investment and attention, airlines are starting to pick up on the trend attracting visitors from all over the globe. Currently there are direct flights from many major U.S. cities to Panama City, as well as Latin America and Europe.
Panama City is currently modernizing its bus and taxi system, and is replacing their old American school buses called Diablo Rojo with brand new and less polluting Metro Buses with rechargeable cards. The Panamanian government is also currently building a new Metro system in order to relieve the streets from heavy traffic especially at peak hours, and the first line is said to be running in 2014.
Panama City is a great place to enjoy just for a visit, or to relocate, as a U.S. style capital city with high speed internet, the second largest Free Trade Zone in the world, tap water you can drink, first rate hotels and restaurants, and the best shopping in Latin America. The highway infrastructure, medical care, telecommunications and business services are excellent and comparable to the USA or Western Europe, and attract tourists and investors worldwide.