The model depicts the layout of a complex of buildings which constitute a boutique hotel nestled in a valley surrounded by tall purple mountains. The building on the top in a “V” shape (top left), represents the body of a bird with its wings extended. This was the destination of my trip—Shangri-La in Panama. One of the many attractions of this unique hotel in Panama is that it is in the middle of an organic coffee plantations which exports high-quality coffee beans to the United States, Canada and Europe.
Boquete is located up in the mountains of the Province of Chiriqui. The approximate distance as the crow flies in miles from Panama City, Panama to Boquete is 198 miles or 318.58 kilometers. In order to maximize my time at the hotel, I traveled by air from Panama City to David, and then by automobile from David to Boquete which is a short 30 minute drive.
Panama’s western city of Boquete, just 30 minutes from David, the capital of Panama’s Province of Chiriqui, is nestled among the country’s most mountainous region, at 1,200 feet above sea level. Situated between the Caldera River which lies to the east, and the Volcan Baru to the west, Boquete enjoys a comfortable climate ideal for outdoor adverture seekers—rafting, hiking, mountain biking, birding and a lot more. In addition, the combination of cool, brisk temperatures and rich, fertile land, has created an ideal setting for floral exportation and coffee growing. Three of Panama´s most famous coffee companies are situation in this province (e.g., Café Durán, Café Sittón and Café Ruiz).
We departed (a business consultant and I) from Panama City on board Air Panama on Wednesday, August 15, 2012 at 04:15 p.m. and arrived at David at 5:00 p.m. The flight was as smooth as sitting in your living room watching TV. Not a single bump; not even landing at Enrique Malek’s airport.
Once at the hotel’s premises we checked in rather quickly at the counter and headed for the restaurant. I was hungry and my stomach was anxious for food. You probably know that I have reflux problems.
The food was delicious, the waiters bent themselves backwards to make our stay at the restaurant pleasant, and even the Chef came to our table several times to ensure that everything was the way it was supposed to be. We chatted for a while about what we were going to do the next day, and hit the sack roughly at 10:00 p.m. It has been a long day, but full of rewards.
The next day I would meet with the hotel’s General Manager and start our working schedule. The temperature was a little bit chilly, but the sheets were thick and I slept like a baby. It was my first encounter with Shangri-La. If you return tomorrow, I’ll share with you a story full of excitement, beauty and human emotions. Stay tuned and Good Day.