The Lost Waterfalls
The distance between Panama City and David in the province of Chiriqui, located in the westernmost part of Panama next to the border with Costa Rica, is 500 km. It took us 9 hours to get to David by bus (a very comfortable two level bus, $15 per person; we got the front seats on the second level, right on top of the driver and Maya was super happy) and one more hour to Boquete.
We arrive in the late afternoon in a small scenic town in the mountains, where the temperatures are no longer unbearably hot. The air is fresh and much cooler than in the lowlands and we put on light jackets for the first time in many months. As the sun is about to set behind the mountains, we haul our huge backpacks across the main square where the locals are sitting around watching us with amusement, and hurry to the nearest hostel.
There are plenty of hostels to chose from in Boquete as the town is just at the foot of Vulcan Baru- Panama highest land point and a popular hiking destination among locals and tourists form around the world, and backpack have become a permanent part of the local scene. The hot volcanic springs, the Caldera River running through the town with its waterfalls, and the many coffee plantations where some of the best coffee in the world grows, are some more reasons to visit. Boquete and its surroundings is truly beautiful.
Our main purpose is climbing Volcan Baru, but it has been just two days since Ivo’s big 42K marathon and his legs still hurt, so before the big walk uphill with heavy backpacks for 10 hours, we take “a day off”, leave our stuff in the best and cheapest hostel in town- Hostal Boquete (private room with one single bed for Maya and one double bed for Ivo and me, with bathroom, hot-water shower, TV, Wi-Fi, nice kitchen and veranda right on the Caldera River for $35 per night) and go for an easy one hour hike to The Lost Waterfalls.
We take the bus to the trailhead at Bajo Mono and walk to the park’s entrance, where we find out that since December 1 of this year (a couple of days ago) the entrance fee is no longer $5 per person, but $7 per person… The good news is, that kids under 12 don’t pay, so Maya just saved us $7!
Hiking to the waterfalls is easy and pleasant, on a narrow muddy at places but well maintained trail among flowers and tall trees. We come to a clearing from where Baru, illuminated in sparkling sunlight, is smiling at us. Below- forests and fields.
We follow the hand-drawn map which we photographed at the entrance and after about one hour we reach the first waterfall. There is a small pool of cold water to chill in, before the next short walk to the second waterfall. On the way back, we take a small detour and reach the third and highest cascade whose waters thunder over huge boulders.
Back at the hostel in Boquete we cook some hotdogs, take a hot-water shower, which is a real treat for people living on a boat with no hot water at all, watch some TV which is a real treat for people living on a boat with no TV, and rest before the long hike to the top of Panama, sleeping in beds that don’t move at all, which is a real treat for people living on a boat.
Waterfalls Picture Gallery