Our second road trip in our new car took us to the beautiful mountain community of Boquete. There is quite a large ex pat community in Boquete, and we have visited the area several times over the years. We’ve never been disappointed in its beauty.
According to Wikipedia: “Boquete is a small mountain town located in the western-most Province of Chiriqui and lies on the Caldera River in Panama’s green mountain highlands. Because of its elevation, some 1,200 metres (3,900 ft) above sea level, its climate is cooler than that of the lowlands. Its scenic location, temperature, and natural environment make it popular with Panamanians and attracts tourists and retirees from all over the world. Furthermore, Boquete is only 40 miles from the border between Panama and Costa Rica.”
We chose Valle Escondido Golf Resort and Spa for this adventure and what a great choice it was! The resort was absolutely breathtaking in its beauty.
Our first day was spent relaxing after the five-hour drive from our “Slice of Heaven”. The second day, we signed up for an afternoon coffee tour, and then took off to explore the downtown area, ending up at Gringo’s Grill for lunch. Yup…tacos in Panama!
We both need to become more proficient and comfortable speaking Spanish while living here in Panama. Jimmy has conducted his usual extensive research on a school located in Boquete called “Habla Ya” and really liked what he saw online. So, while we were downtown, we visited Habla Ya’s facility. We both enjoyed our in-person visit, toured the facilities and are still impressed. The school offers three levels, with 10 steps in each level. We both took verbal placement tests – I placed in 1.8. Jimmy placed in 1.3. Neither of those placements was a surprise to us. Therefore, we’re tentatively planning to spend October in the area taking daily classes and “immersing” ourselves.
After lunch, we returned to the hotel, took a brief nap and then headed to the lobby and waited for the coffee tour company to pick us up. They arrived, only a few minutes late, and we piled into the vehicle. Besides the driver and his young son, we were the only two in the 9-passenger vehicle. That is until we stopped at another hotel to pick up another couple. Then it was up, up, up and further up twisting mountainous roads with very steep inclines, and up into the clouds. We arrived at our destination, Finca Milagrosa, fully intact, and in awe of the skill of the driver and the performance of that old truck.
Finca Milagrosa is a small, family owned and operated coffee farm. They produce limited amounts of two different coffees. This farm is unique in that they have taken bits and pieces of many different types of machines (literally a Suzuki and a washing machine), put them together and have come up with a working coffee farm. We really enjoyed the tour and the coffee is delicious.
After the coffee tour, we relaxed around the resort for the evening. Jimmy was even able to enjoy a cigar or two outside the lounge area. I admit to going a bit crazy with photos of the resort’s flowers, but simply couldn’t help it.
The next day was again spent lounging around the spectacular (and serene) beauty of the resort. That evening, we took a taxi into town for dinner. We ended up having one the very best Italian meals I’ve ever enjoyed at Tre Scalini. Bonus: they had lemon pie!
We got up early Monday morning for the drive back to Las Tablas and arrived smack in the middle of the craziness of Carnival. That story is continued in the next post.