Occasional Traveler

A collection of my thoughts and photos on travel.

Posts Tagged ‘Boquete

Breakfast in Boquete

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November 25, 2009 |  Mornings in Boquete felt amazing.   Cool weather, sunshine.  We went to the grocery store the night before and picked up some stuff for breakfast.  We had fruit, bread, eggs, cereal and yogurt.

We had a nice big breakfast to prepare ourselves for the travels of the day!  My dad arranged for our taxi driver from yesterday, Esteban, to take us to Almirante for $120– not bad for a 4-5 hour drive!  Esteban even threw in a stop in David so my dad could find some sugar cane juice (yum!).


Written by Jessica

September 9, 2010 at 9:29 PM

Mi Jardin es Su Jardin

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November 24, 2009 | We changed out of our soaked clothes and my dad went out to rent us a car.  Instead of coming back with a car, he made a new friend who worked at the car rental place– Josefina, who offered to drive us to Mi Jardin es Su Jardin.  Funny story– my dad was trying to bargain with Josefina and she commented that he reminded her of her dad, who’s Chinese!  Anyway, so they got to talking, and next thing you know, she’s offered to drive our family, haha.   Josefina and her husband drove us to the garden, and Josefina told us she’d be back to pick us up after she got off of work, at which time, she was going to show us around town.  Nice, huh?

Mi Jardin es Su Jardin is privately owned but open to the public.  The garden is pretty big and was very well-maintained.  I took a bunch of pictures here!

With the mountains in the background and all the different flowers and plants in the garden, the place was beautiful!  There are also random painted statues around the place (i.e. cows, miniature houses, etc.).  There’s a main house that I think might be used for events?  It didn’t look like anyone was there at the time.



It briefly rained while we were there, but we ducked under a pavillion until it passed and waited for Josefina to pick us up.

Written by Jessica

August 10, 2010 at 11:49 AM

Caldera Springs

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November 24, 2009 | After returning from the coffee tour, my parents and I (my sister decided to nap/relax in the roundhouse) went with our taxi driver to Caldera Springs.  There’s no easy way to really get there.  Our taxi driver drove his truck through some pretty rough roads before he pulled over and made the short hike with us to the springs.

If you’re expecting some fancy developed area, you’ll be sorely disappointed.  It’s basically in someone’s (big) backyard and you pay them a couple of bucks a person ($2, I think) to go on their property and access the springs!  I believe there’s a few spots that has the hot springs and the first one we came across was being occupied by a bunch of students, so we went to the next one.

What I found more amusing were the random animals nearby!  See?

So cute!! And some more pictures– first one is the hike there, next is this unused building next to the springs (perhaps it was once for changing?) and finally, the hot springs.

We didn’t end up staying around too long.  The water was comfortably hot but there’s lots of mosquitos!  It also started sprinkling while we were there (that actually felt nice), and then POURED on us on our hike back, haha.   I think this was more fun for me than for my parents. 

Written by Jessica

August 10, 2010 at 10:16 AM

Friendly Fawn

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November 24, 2009 |  We’re waiting for our taxi driver outside the Finca Lerida restaurant when I spot a fawn (or maybe just a small deer?) prancing through the coffee trees in our direction.  Without hesitation, I pick up my camera and click before pointing out the deer to my family.  I assumed that the fawn would see us and run away.  But instead, the fawn came right at us and actually stopped to sniff us!

We were delighted by this surprise and took turns petting the fawn, that is, until dad tried to hug the fawn, which of course, sent it running. Oh well,  at least I got some shots.

It was completely unexpected, but pretty cool!

Written by Jessica

August 2, 2010 at 12:09 AM

Ngobe Bugle

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November 23, 2009 | Josefina, her husband Jorge, their older son Gabriel, and my family all squeezed into their truck and drove around for a small tour!  Josefina even had her husband stop the car a few times so I could take pictures. =)  Here’s one of some of the Ngobe Bugle (I think)–

I’m not sure which group this is, but Josefina told us that most are in the area to work on the coffee plantations and are generally, very poor.   In the picture, they’re living in concrete homes, which is actually pretty good compared to some of the wooden homes we saw.  Termites are abundant in Panama so most people don’t use wood at all in their homes.

Written by Jessica

February 13, 2010 at 12:18 PM

Mi Jardin Es Su Jardin

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November 23, 2009 | Thanks to my dad’s usual talkative ways, he managed to make a new friend at the local Hertz company, Josefina, who offered to drive my family to Mi Jardin Es Su Jardin AND pick us up after she was done with work!  Turns out, my dad reminded her of her dad, who’s also Chinese, lol.

The garden is privately opened but free and open to visitors.   I’m not sure exactly what the story is but it’s a big house (closed) surrounded by a huge garden.   Here are some more pictures:

Isn’t it pretty??  It was really nice walking around.  There were probably a handful of other visitors walking around.  It started raining a little bit so we hid under the gazebo.  The rain soon stopped through and we continued walking around.  This was pretty common throughout the trip but I guess that’s what makes the place so lush!

Written by Jessica

February 12, 2010 at 8:23 PM

Sendero Los Quetzales

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November 23, 2009 | Early in the morning, we were picked up by Rolando, our Chilean guide with Boquete Outdoor Adventures, at 7am along with another hiker (Dan from Wisconsin) that was staying at Isla Verde.  We definitely got lucky– no rain!  But nevertheless, we had to be prepared as the trail would be muddy and we’d have to cross a few streams!

The Los Quetzales Trail is probably one of the rougher trails that I’ve attempted although it took us just under 5 hours there and back.  It was certainly a challenge and I’m REALLY glad we got a guide for this.  There were a lot of spots where the trail would split off and it’d be easy to get lost!

Embarrassing to say, I almost didn’t make it all the way up the trail.  I got dizzy, nauseous, and according to my sister, a bit green.  I actually had to awkwardly lie down on the trail with my feet uphill to help my circulation.  After taking a few breaks,  Rolando asked if I wanted to just stay near the river and wait while the rest of the group went ahead.  No way.  I was determined, so I slowed my pace and made it!

Here’s our guide helping Dan and my sister to cross one of the smaller streams.

To get back, we basically backtracked and went downhill– to no surprise, the return trip was MUCH faster.  I also felt a lot better after having a light lunch at the top!  I’ve always had problems dealing with inclines for some reason.  Rolando told us that it wasn’t uncommon for people to not be able to complete the hike– the elevation is fairly high and there’s definitely less air.  Still, it was my idea to do this hike so I felt silly that I was the only one who had problems on it!  My doctor had recently told me that my blood level is lower than average though, so I’m guessing that didn’t help.

First image was the entrance to the park.  The road was long and VERY bumpy.  Took us roughly 45 minutes between getting picked up and getting to the trail head.  Definitely couldn’t be done without a 4WD.  Second image is the view from the top (as you can see, nothing amazing).  Last image is a picture from where we started the hike.  It’s the home of some local indigenous people.   As in most countries, the indigenous people of Panama are the poorest of the poor in the nation.

We didn’t see any quetzales (its a type of bird), but we did see some other interesting birds, which is what the trail is known for.  If you really enjoy hiking, this is a good hike for you.  Otherwise, I’d say skip it– it’s a rough and muddy, and there aren’t any super awesome scenic views.  FYI– $50 per person (or $65 per person from Boquete to Cerro Punta).

Written by Jessica

February 2, 2010 at 12:47 AM

Posted in Panama, travel

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