Walking the Trails of Finca Lérida


After staying one full day at Finca Lérida, it was time to stretch my legs and climb to the heights of the coffee plantation and wander through the various trails of this lush tropical site. The color green captured everything, then it gradually changed to blue (the sky) and purple (the mountains).  The combination of colors which you can see from the trails is indescribable.

My guide and I started the mountain walk at eight o’clock sharp.  Right after a quick breakfast.  It was a bright sunny morning and the weather was fine, cool and brisk.  The air was as fresh as it can possibly be; excellent for my lungs accustomed to the polluted air of the city.

Before I forget, the name of my informative guide is Edilberto González, but he prefers to be called Eddy.  So Eddy it was during the four-hour tour.

After a few footsteps I was out of air.  It’s amazing how lazy you become in the city.  Automobiles, elevators, electric stairs, couches, television sets, and computers don’t cooperate in providing you with a healthy lifestyle.  Eddy understood and stopped when he noticed I was gasping for air.  I appreciated his patience.

Finca Lérida’s trails are surrounded by primary and secondary forests, where a variety of exotic animals and vegetation make their home.  The perimeter of Finca Lérida borders the Amistad International Park (PILA), a natural reserve protected by Panama and Costa Rica, and has been declared a World Heritage Site by the United Nations.

Finca Lérida’s hiking tours start at 7:30 a.m. (a hike lasts about 4 1/2 hours).  The current fee per person is $53.50, tax included.  It includes an interactive tour, a specialized guide and bottled water.  During our tour we met two young women from Madrid, Spain (Concha and María) who were spending a day at the hotel.  That afternoon they would fly to the sunny beaches of Bocas del Toro.  They were both enthusiastic and talkative, so we chatted amicably along the way.  It was a very warm and friendly experience, plus the information flowing out of Eddy’s head made the tour even more interesting.

Below are some of the pictures I shot while I hiked the trails together with Eddy, María and Concha.  Here we go.

Snapshot of one of the trails which took us through a thick patch of bamboo trees. It was nice and cool under the shade of these elegant trees. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
A nice view of the coffee plantation from an observation point of the trail. It was a clear day, perfect for hiking. Eddy pointed out and I could see the Pacific Ocean from the trail. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
These purple mountains represent the Continental Divide that extends all the way from North to South America. At this point, it divides the Province of Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro. “For purple mountain majesties”. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
A landscape view of the valley where the coffee plantation and the mountain hotel is located. We were about 1,800 meters (5,900 feet) above sea level when I took this shot. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.
Snapshot of our guide, Eddy, showing Concha and María the coffee berries which would later become a steaming cup of strong black coffee somewhere in Madrid, Spain. Photo by ©Omar Upegui R.

If you love nature and outdoor activities, please return tomorrow for more pictures of a tour to a cloud forest in Boquete.  It’s dramatically different from what you see from your office window in a large urban center where cement, steel and glass asphyxiate your sight.  Good Day.

4 thoughts on “Walking the Trails of Finca Lérida”

  1. So wonderful! There are things about our world we know, but tend to forget – like the mountain “spine” running far beyond the confines of the American west.

    Here’s a coffee question – are they called berries before harvest and beans after? Or are the terms interchangeable? I always have heard “coffee beans”, but of course my experience is only with the roasted ones.

  2. Morning Linda:

    Coffee berries is when the outer pulp is on and the colors could be green or red. When the coffee berries are red, they are ready to be harvested by hand. After you remove the pulp, you get two small coffee beans which are dried up in the sun, roasted, ground and made into steaming coffee.

    The following pictures of coffee berries will give you a better idea of what I’m talking about.

    https://www.google.com/search?q=coffee+berries&hl=es&client=firefox-a&hs=9zU&rls=org.mozilla:en-US:official&prmd=imvns&tbm=isch&tbo=u&source=univ&sa=X&ei=dRdCUJyJK-KU2QWZg4HQDA&ved=0CCwQsAQ&biw=1024&bih=582

    Regards,

    Omar.-

  3. Really breathtaking views in your photos, Omar! I really want to check out a coffee finca in PR on one of our visits. I didn’t really know about the berry/bean thing either. Very interesting and thank you for sharing this link for me!

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