On the other side of the Baru Volcano from Boquete, lies Volcan, a mountain destination rivaling Boquete in natural beauty. Not being as "developed" as Boquete is a big part of the Volcan's charm.
Bordering Costa Rica, Volcan's attractions are the Volcano itself bestowing majestic views everywhere, the Amistad Internacional Park which straddles Panama and Costa Rica and Volcan Baru National Park. Activities include hiking the volcano, sighting the prized and elusive Quetzal, the quaint town of Guadalupe home to the famous Los Quetzales Eco-lodge and los Barilles— a pre-colombian archeological site. The town of Volcan has services, restaurants and an enclave of satisfied foreign retirees.
How To Get There
By air, car or bus. You can fly Air Panama from Albrook Airport to the nearby city of David. Airfares are around $180 round trip. David is also an easy 7 hour car trip from Panama City or you can take a bus ($15 one way) from the Albrook Bus Terminal. Volcan is about 45 minutes from David.
Where To Stay
Los Quetzales in Guadalupe: Los Quetzales has two attractive lodging choices; a pretty European style lodge, including a comfy lobby with a center fireplace and full length mountain view windows, and an on premise restaurant or individual cabins within the cloud forest all in Amistad National Park.
Bambito Hotel: Panama's only mountain resort. A four star hotel nestled at the foot of Volcan Baru featuring a swimming pool, scenic lounge, sauna, hot tub, conference facilities, tennis courts, mountain bike rentals and horseback riding and other tours.
You can rent a car in David National Car Rental and Thrifty Car Rental and turn it in in Panama City or vice versa- rent a car in Panama City and turn it in in David. The trip between David and Panama City is about 6 hours.
Where To Eat
Valley of the Moon in Volcan: Sample dinner menu: Vegetable Silk Soup of the Day, Organic Delight Mixed Salad with Gail's Poppy Seed Dressing, Signature Espresso Chocolate Cake or dessert of your choice. All ingredients are organic, including minor ingredients like spices. Reservations are advised: 6936 5226.
What To Do
Activities with Laguna Adventures
Janson Family Coffee Farm tour, horseback riding, birdwatching, kayak etc.
A fascinating pre-columbian archeological site.
Cerro Punta in Amisdad Nationa Park which include both Panama and Costa Rica is home to this famous birding and ecolodge. Los Quetzales is set in a 400-hectare reserve protected since 1970 by the private efforts of its founder Carlos Alfaro. A pioneer of ecotourism in Panama, Carlos is both a knowledgeable and caring host. Los Quetzales is famous because you are sure to see the elusive Quetzal in season—birders flock here from around the world. Book early for the Quetzal birding season- December-April.
Finca Dracula a orchid farm
A brilliant collection of more than 2000 species of orchids of every shape and color.
Highlands and Mountains Attractions
Chiriqui has two highland national parks: La Amistad International Park a 407,000 hectare cloud forest park which is half in Panama and half in Costa Rica and the 14,000 hectare Volcan Baru National Park. The Chiriqui highlands have a near perfect climate, quaint villages, friendly folk, flower fairs, orchid farms, extraordinary birding, hiking and the panoramic mountain views.