Boquete is a small town on the Caldera River, in the green mountain highlands of Panama, about 37 miles from the border with Costa Rica. Due to its altitude, about 3,937 feet above sea level, its climate is cooler than that of the lowlands.
Boquete’s mesmerizing scenic site, temperature, and natural environment, make it extremely popular with locals and attract tourists and retirees from all over the world.
In Spanish, the word “boquete” means “a large gap or opening”. It was through this gap that adventurous gold seekers traveled looking for a cheaper and quicker route to the California gold mines in the Pacific Coast.
According to the U.S. News & World Report, “about 3,000 foreigners live in the colorful mountain town of Boquete in the Province of Chiriquí. Migration continues, and the number of foreign residents in this picturesque place, es expected to escalate to 10,000 by 2016.”
What’s so special about Boquete? Beautiful setting, excellent climate, straightforward pensionado rules for the country of Panama, but mainly; the draw in Boquete, is the established American community. This is a place to come to enjoy many of the benefits of being retired abroad without leaving behind too many of the comforts and conveniences of American suburban living.
More recently, Boquete has become the home away from home for many American and European retirees. Some 14 percent of its population of about 19,000 inhabitants, are of foreign origin according to La Prensa, a widely distributed Panamanian newspaper. This means that communicating in English with the local people of Boquete is no problem at all.
Ex-pats are attracted by the comfortable climate, first-class drinking water, and clean air, by the quietness and Panama’s relatively low-cost of living. Boquete is also well-known for its coffee, judged to be among the finest in the world. Residents of Boquete have access to good medical care at hospitals and clinics in David, about a half hour drive away. If further medical attention is needed, you can travel to Panama City which has medical institutions similar to the United States. By plane, you can reach Panama City, in about half and hour from David’s Enrique Malek international airport.
About 50,000 acres of coffee are now in production, and the best of the country’s Arabica coffee is grown about 3,000 feet in the Chiriqui’s Highlands. The highest quality coffee is shade-grown, organic and handpicked.
I recently returned from this exciting place and plan to dedicate several blog posts about one of the best kept secrets in the dynamic world of tourism. This sweet spot is called Hotel Finca Lérida in Alto Quiel in Boquete. Stay tuned for jaw-dropping photographs of this spot delicately nested in the highlands of Chiriqui. The first blog post with pictures depicting Panama’s unique Shangri La will start at the break of dawn tomorrow morning. Until then Good Day.