Sunday, August 19, 2012


The mountain town of Boquete is where I go on some weekends to get out of the heat.  It is an less than an hour and only $1.75 to take the bus up there but seems a world away.  It is famous for coffee and flowers.  It is always high on the list of places to retire.  One reason I like to come is to get a hot shower, since most of the houses in David seem to only have cold running water. 

My room at Hostal Boquete

View from my room at Hostal Boquete

My first time I stayed at the Hostal Boquete and had a room overlooking the river.  I walked all over the town, something it is harder to do in David due to the heat.  I took a tour of the Sarracin coffee plantation for $25.  It is family owned and the first male descendant is always named Francisco.  The original Francisco came from Italy in the 1800's and married an Indian woman who knew how to grow coffee beans.

I also went to the Boquete Community theater to see a comedy revue.  The participants and attendees are mostly Americans.  I met and talked with many of them.  Many live her only part of the year, but most are full time residents and seem happy with their choice to move to Panama.  They get discounts on almost everything, from food to medical care to transportation, hotels, movies, etc.

The latest Francisco Sarracin at the coffee plantation
Peanut butter glazed salmon over a corn fritter

On other weekends I stayed at Hostal Gaia, which is $8 for four bed dormitory, Refugio del Rio, a nice house turned hostel on the river and formerly owned by Noriega's secretary, and Hostal Doraz, which is more on the main drag but has private rooms  with shared balcony for $20.

My host mom, Mery, is a great cook but it is nice to have a change from the typical Panamian diet of rice, beans, and chicken.  Memorable meals included peanut butter salmon ($15 at El Oasis), coffee rubbed filet mignon with chipotle sauce and yucca fries ($14 at The Fish House), and Peruvian corvina fish and langostino shrimp ($17 at Macchu Picchu).  I also enjoy breakfasts at Punto de Encontrado, where they give you a cheese, bacon, and tomato omelet with orchid garnish for $7 or Central Cafe downtown overlooking the central plaza where you can get scrambled eggs, fruit bowl and local coffee for $6.