Six years of our lives were spent living on the road traveling the peaks and valleys of North America.  Road trips are etched in our blood like the initials of lovers encased with a heart and arrow on a shade tree.  We have a special kind of love for road tips and the more precarious and less traveled the road, the more exciting the trip becomes.  I’ll take winding dirt roads, the sound of rocks hitting the undercarriage and dust flying in through the air vents over an interstate any day.  It’s an excitement for the unknown and possibilities of what lies ahead.  It’s a similar feeling we get when sailing only slightly more predictable.

Enter Panama.

We’ve been living at sea level aboard S/V Curiosity for almost two years.  So, when we reached the port of Bocas Del Toro in Panama and could see craggy peaks off in the distance…well, as John Muir said, “the mountains are calling and I must go”.

For the first time since becoming sailors, we pack up the cats and drive the 3,900 feet of elevation to the Chiriquí Highlands village of Boquete.

I hope those sneak peeks in the last few seconds of the video have you excited about what’s next…because we are stoked to show you the beauty we found here!

Boquete was once an almost completely unknown farming village quietly growing bananas and coffee. In the early 2000’s several magazines started touting it as “the land of eternal springtime” and the “best expat destination in the world”.  Fast forward a few years and insert the insane geisha coffee stardom and now this village has become the destination in Panama. After our next few adventures, I think you’ll agree it’s a well earned fame.

exploring panama by road trip

boquete Panama

I think what we like most about this town is the fact it may be “famous” but we’d never heard of it before.  Even crazier is the fact that we’re self proclaimed coffee snobs yet we didn’t realize the best coffee we’ve ever tasted came from Panama!  There’s no doubt Boquete will only get more popular as others discover this little gem set high in the mountains, but for now it’s still wonderfully authentic.  If you couldn’t tell from the video, we had a blast and would urge anyone looking for a cool escape (literally and figuratively) to visit.

water taxi fun in panama

More than one way to get to Boquete

While it took us two water taxis, one shared van ride and a rental car to get to Boquete there are other options.  We could have hopped on the public bus at Almirante and ridden the 4-6 hours there for around $35 per person.  But, we wanted the freedom of having a car and let me tell you…it was the right choice!  There is so much to see and do all around the area and there is no way we could have squeezed in all the adventures we did without a car.  It may be a bit more expensive but the freedom was worth every penny.

Sailing Road Trip Report

To see our full map with interactive pins, click here: gonewiththewynns.com/map

Boquete travel map

  • Dates Stayed: August 24 – 31, 2017
  • Nautical Miles Sailed: 0
  • Miles Driven: Over 400km round trip from Changuinola to Boquete
  • Anchorage:  We left Curiosity docked at Red Frog Marina on Isla Bastimentos.
  • Hostel: Fireside Inn and Grill.  We paid $54 a night, it was basic and marginally clean but a friendly and an inexpensive base camp for the week.  Our options were limited because of the cats and needing a pet friendly place to stay. Otherwise, we would have picked another location.
  • Cell & WiFi: We had good +movil and clairo cell phone service here.

Gear Used In This Video

Cameras Used to Capture This Video

 

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