Chiriqui, Panama Vacation Guide
The Chiriqui Province is emerging as one of the hottest travel and retirement destinations in Panama. It is home to an amazing variety of attractions including beaches, islands, rivers for white water rafting and kayaking, high altitude mountains for hiking and climbing, lush tropical forests which host exotic flora and fauna. Chiriqui is located in the western part of Panama between Costa Rica, the Pacific Ocean and the Province of Veraguas and its main city is David. Because of the proximity to the ocean and the mountains, it has become a preferred outdoor adventure destination and its particularly unique terrain gives Chiriqui an ideal climate for agriculture. The highland areas, including Boquete and Volcan, are gifted with fertile soil. All of these factors contribute to an abundant harvest of coffee, oranges, strawberries and vegetables every year. Cattle farms are also very common in Chiriqui. Visitors will also find a wide variety of hotels in Chiriqui, from simple guesthouses to deluxe resort hotels.
David Panama is the Capital of the Chiriqui Province and its commercial center. It is a landlocked city in the lowlands, close to the Gulf of Chiriqui. It is usually very hot with fairly consistent temperatures in the 90s during the day. Like most of Panama’s lowlands, the rainy season lasts from May to November. During the rainy season, mornings and early afternoons are usually sunny while in the afternoons and evenings you will experience intermittent rainfall. Travelers will find a wide selection of hotels and guesthouses in David, and the city is a gateway to many of Chiriqui’s attractions including the Gulf of Chiriqui with its many islands and to the mountain highlands where the weather is cooler and the forests are green and lush.
Boquete is only 30 minutes from David in the mountainous highlands. It is among Panama’s best adventure destination and has attracted many foreigners from the US and Europe which call Boquete their new home. Travelers will find a wide range of hotels ranging from Luxury Hotels including SPA’s to homey Bed & Breakfast’s and many real estate projects geared to retirees from the North. The area of Boquete also produces some of the best coffee in the world. You will find small and large coffee estates and coffee tastings are one of the most popular tour adventures. The famous Quetzal Trail runs from Boquete to Cerro Punta. Adventure sports include whitewater rafting.
Volcan in Chiriqui is a small town located in the mountains on the western slope of Volcan Baru, and only 30 minutes away from David. This lovely area of Panama is blessed by nature, and is famous for its year round perfect weather (between 60-80 F°) and the natural beauty of the territory, whose mountains resemble a little the Swiss Alps. On clear days, from the highest craters of the extinct, 12,000-feet high Volcan Baru, it is even possible to observe the Pacific and Atlantic oceans. Although tourism is rapidly growing, the most important commercial activities are still agriculture and cattle farming. The rich and fertile soil is ideal to grow oranges, coffee and flowers. Travelers can practice sweet-water fishing, mountain biking, rafting and hiking. Birdwatching is another popular activity: among the many species of endemic birds, it is easy to spot the resplendent quetzal.
Another attraction of the Chiriqui Province is the Gulf of Chiriqui and its many islands: Isla Palenque, Isla Boca Brava, Isla Paridita and Islas Secas! Boca Chica, which is also known to be an excellent destination for sports-fishing serves as the gateway to reach the dozens of islands in this gulf. Long a little fishing village, Boca Chica moves to a slow tempo, housing tourists and big game fishermen in a few quaint, family-owned inns. A short boat ride away lies Cala Mia Island Resort, which offers 11 bungalows on Isla Boca Brava. Just past Boca Brava is Isla Palenque, where a boutique eco-resort unique in the island.
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