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Are you looking for a tropical bird-watching paradise where the hearty aroma of coffee plantations mingles with fresh jungle smells, and lush cloud forests climb towards a volcanic peak overlooking both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean? Plus prices so reasonable that a whole family can stay a week for less than the cost of a night at a resort hotel? Then a Boquete vacation rental apartment, condo, or home might be your money-saving tropical dream vacation come true. Hiking, mountain biking, rafting, horseback riding, agricultural tours, and bird-watching opportunities abound for the whole family.
Less than 10 miles from Boquete in Volcan Baru National Park are the seven craters of an extinct volcano called Volcan Baru. Bird-watching in the cloud forest is excellent, with over 250 species, including sulfur-winged parakeets, white hawks, and three-wattled bellbirds. At the higher elevations, where the hiking gets more difficult and the forest recedes into scrubby grasslands, you have a chance at rarer sightings like the volcano junco. Guided hikes to the summit often start the night before to view the sunrise. If the ocean views from the volcano summit whet your appetite, use some of the money-savings from your Boquete vacation rental to book a fishing or sea kayaking tour.
A coffee-lover’s dream, where coffee trees grow in the shade of cloud forest trees, and it is often hard to distinguish between bird-watching and agriculture. Bring the whole family to witness the coffee harvest from October to May. Cafe Ruiz in the town of Boquete is easy to find. Kotowa Estate runs a small chain of coffee stores in Panama, and their post-tour coffee tasting sessions are popular. The kids could do a term paper on roasting organic beans after a tour of Finca dos Jefes. Bring home bags of your favorite roasted beans.
The November to April dry season is the best time to add the Mayan bird of paradise, the quetzal, to your birding list. When the rains come, the waterfalls and rainbows grow in abundance. For an adventurous daytrip, go whitewater rafting on the Chiriqui River. Horseback ride to hot springs. Tee off across a meandering river at the 9-hole Quebrada Grande Golf Course. If the coffee beans whetted your farming appetite, book yourself on a tour stopping at the organic chocolate farm in the Ngobe Bugle Indian village. Your money-saving Boquete vacation rental is your home base for memories that will last a lifetime. Don't forget to shop for woven jute handicrafts, and bag some organic coffee beans as gifts before you leave.