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The changing face of Panama

In the past, Panama was more known for its canal than as a haven for gourmets, but that is changing. Today, even those with a discerning palate can find restaurants in Panama City that meet their standards. While finding gourmet cuisine gets more challenging out in the country, some options are available there as well, especially in the Boquete area in western Panama, near the Costa Rica border. Madre Tierra, one of the newest additions to the list of options, is about 20 minutes from Boquete and close to the Caldera hot springs. This new gourmet restaurant led by Chef Craig is part of the new solar powered Rancho de Caldera eco boutique-resort. Even those more interested in nature, sustainability and clean energies than gourmet cuisine, may find Rancho de Caldera worth a visit. One of the few luxurious nature lodges in the world operating off the grid year round, it offers fully furnished, terraced bungalow suites with a view of the hills, birdwatching, horseback riding, hot springs nearby, free WiFi, massage chairs, kitchenettes and a solar powered pool. From high-excitement adventures to relaxing natural hot springs, Boquete – a destination not only increasingly favored among expats from the US, Canada and Europe – has a reputation of offering something for (almost) everyone – including golf. Some popular activities include: Local hot springs Natural, local hot springs await you in Caldera, Chiriqui, where you can immerse yourself in natural pools ranging in temperature from 102-106 degrees, and cool down in the nearby river! White water rafting Chiriqui River Rafting – experience excitement with class III and IV rapids. Volcan Baru Hiking Volcan Baru is an awesome experience for those who are in excellent physical shape. Hiking up from 4,500 feet to over 11,000 feet is challenging (5-6 hours) but well worth it. Birding, hiking and coffee tours Hike the volcano or the Quetzal Trail, visit the Ngobe Indians, or learn all about the high quality local coffee with guides from • Boquete Mountain Safari • Coffee Adventures Tree trekking Leisurely glide through treetops of century-old forests, across rivers and waterfalls in these natural landscapes bordering the National Park La Amistad and the Baru volcano. Deep sea fishing and island tours Cruise tropical islands with Captain Merrill Bennett, enjoy deep sea fishing, visit the islands of the Bay of Chiriqui, Isla Bolanos, Islas Paridas, and Islas Secas, all with white sand beaches, snorkeling, jungle walks and birding. From June to January, watch humpback whales and dolphins, turtles, rays, and flying fish year round. Paradise Gardens Observe exotic birds, feed capuchin monkeys or admire the sloths at Paradise Gardens in Boquete, where birds, monkeys, and other animals are among four acres of beautifully landscaped, lush property. Learn the stories behind all of the birds and animals.

Paul Johnson

Paul Johnson is Editor of A Luxury Travel Blog and has worked in the travel industry for more than 30 years. He is Winner of the Innovations in Travel ‘Best Travel Influencer’ Award from WIRED magazine. In addition to other awards, the blog has also been voted “one of the world’s best travel blogs” and “best for luxury” by The Daily Telegraph.

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One Comment

  1. I have a cousin who has travel to panama 2 times.
    He said it is a great place to visit.
    I hope to see the canal one of these days.

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