Pamamanian Highlands

Trip Start May 01, 2010
Trip End Apr 30, 2011

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Where I stayed

Flag of Panama  , Chiriquí,
Saturday, June 5, 2010

Boquete is a small town nestled in a valley and surrounded by forested mountains, including Volcan Baru. A spring-like climate and clean mountain air have made Boquete a magnet for American retirees although its still very much a Panamanian town. Clear rivers, gushing streams and mountain trails criss-cross the area, making it great for hikers. 

On our first day here, we visited Paradise Gardens, an animal rescue sanctuary set up by an English couple that is set amidst beautifully landscaped gardens. We saw a baby kinkajou, which we could stroke, a margay, which is a spotted cat that lives in trees, a baby capuchin monkey, tamarins, scarlet macaws and other parrots. Most of the animals here were rescued as babies after poachers killed their mother in order to capture the young animals to sell as pets on the side of the road. The centre then looks after them until they can be released back into the wild. Unfortunately, we were told that the owners had to go back to the UK due to some kind of family misfortune and the place is now up for sale but being looked after by volunteers.

On the second and third days, we explored the local area on foot, walking up into the surrounding mountains, which are a patchwork of cloudforest and farm land with coffee plantations interspersed with fields full of onions and potatoes. We also visited a lovely but very eccentric garden called El Explorador, which the owner has filled with all sorts of random recycled objects each painted with a smiley face! The garden cafe also serves delicious strawberry batidos (smoothies) which sorted us out for breakfast!
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