I received a pleasant surprise when Carol of Boquete Safari offered me a chance to experience one of their Boquete Panama tours. Although I have been on the occasional guided tour in other countries I have never been driven around Boquete Panama. I did the the Boquete Mountain safari. The tour was scheduled to depart Los Establos at 8:30am and it did!
Boquete Safari uses a 1978 Land Cruiser with an open back and seating for six passengers, they do have both larger and smaller vehicles coming for other tours. Our group consisted of two local high school students studying to be tour guides, a very nice couple from the US, myself, our driver and John our tour guide.
Although the terrain we traveled and places visiting were familiar to me, John did an excellent job understanding his passengers and provided keen insight and knowledge of the ecology and community. If speak English or Spanish he is an ideal guide, a native Boqueteno who spent 18 years in the US, this provides him excellent cultural and language tools for communication.
Our tour started on an amazingly clear morning heading up toward Bajo Mono. First stop the unusual rock outcroppings on the road, followed by the waterfall and unfinished castle. All beautiful to behold in this picturesque valley. From there we drove up to the head of the Quetzal trail and took a break for some excellent banana bread and re hydration. For the first time in my experience there was a blue sky and no mist at the ranger station, an unusal site to see.
Our safari then moved down hill and then back up to Alta Lina and Finca Lerida for a cup of coffee and conversation. Once back into the Land Cruiser the clouds started rolling in and we had a nice dose of Bajareque as we approached town. Our final stop was Mi Jardin, Su Jardin and the much anticipated cloud burst one of the first of rainy season.
We arrived back in town at about noon, three and one half hours after leaving Los Establos. The experience was wonderful, I saw things that as a driver I could never see, hear things you cannot hear inside a air conditioned SUV and also enjoyed the company of both the passengers and tour guide. If I had taken this tour early in my Boquete experience it would not have taken me 18 months to discover Finca Lerida. The value is good, the tour is very good and I recommend it as an orientation to the community.
You can contact Carol from Boquete Safari
507-6627-8829, 507-6742-6614 Panama Cell