I was getting a bit beached out and wasn´t terribly looking forward to the usual only other option which was sweating it out in the jungle, I saw that there was a really nice area in the mountainous coffee region of the central north. Boquete for those in their golden years and in the know (have the membership to the AARP and magazine) will be able to oooh and ahhhh as Boquete was in the top five places in the world to retire and die.
Even though I am not yet at the golden years, I do like to do my share of retired life, maybe more than is probably recommended, however, I could tell why it is so highly regarded. The place is picture perfect. Imagine a golf course in Florida but with a cool breeze and a rocky mountain river running through it. That is basically it. The town is built in the little gully along the river. The surrounding hills are cultivated with coffee and flower farms. I met a farmer and he explained that they sell a lot of their flowers to Taiwan for distribution throughout Asia. In town is kept pretty pristine with fairly good roads, a nice manicured little central park, a few well stocked grocery stores, and about a dozen expat oriented fancy restaurants with flavors expounding the worlds favorites. Spotted throughout town and along the hill sides are a bunch of gated communities where you would be hard pressed to see the difference from those throughout the US. All the comforts of home without all that third world experience. I was sticker shocked for a place to stay just like in Bocas, but after a bit of walking I again found a reasonably priced Hospedaje right at the bus stop where I got off. Down the road was a cafeteria style locals place where I spent my lunch and dinner. The grocery stores were well stocked and had some awesome pastries.
I ran into the Swiss girls and ended up staying four nights doing a bit of hiking, lots of eating, and some quality non beach living.
Tags: 1, Panama