Top 5 Things to Do in Chiriqui, Panama’s Western Wonderland

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Panama is a small country that packs some of the most diverse terrain and wildlife in all of Central America. This means that each region of Panama is different, and each with its own flare and attraction for travel, as well as retiring and living in Panama. Chiriqui, Panama’s westernmost province, is a great example of this diversity, and on the top of many to-do lists for both people visiting and living in Panama. With so many things to see and do that you just can’t get anywhere else in the country, we’ve compiled a list of our top 5!

1. Boquete.

Clearly, this has to be at the top of the list, because when it comes down to it, the majority of all tourist and expat travel to Chiriqui is going straight to Boquete. Boquete is Panama’s picturesque mountain paradise that looks more like the Swiss Alps than Central America. Boquete has a cool climate, cute village for shopping/dining, and many outdoor excursions and activities to take part in. It’s also well known for coffee, and now, craft beer! Make sure to check out the local waterfalls and hikes while you’re there as well.

2. Visit Las Lajas.

Las Lajas is on the southern side of the Chiriqui province, and is a well-known beach area for people all over western Panama. It’s the Pacific side, so waves can be a bit bigger, and water a bit colder, but it provides a great tropical beach escape for many in the highlands, as well as David. Las Lajas is very affordable as far as vacation rentals, food, and drink prices, and can be easily accessed from David by car, taxi, or bus. It’s considerably uncrowded, so if you’re looking for a quiet beach time, this is definitely the right place for you.

3. Volcan.

This town is kind of like a smaller Boquete, with fewer tourists and development, but just as much natural wonder in its surroundings. Volcan is as picturesque and peaceful as it gets in the Chriqui highlands. It’s also (as the name suggests) on the side of the Baru Volcano. It’s worth it to pay Volcan a visit, and make sure to check out the coffee plantations in the area. The coffee tours are world-class, and some of the country’s most award-winning beans come from the hills surrounding Volcan. Definitely worth a trip.

4. Los Cangilones de Gualaca.

If you’re staying pretty much anywhere in Chiriqui and like swimming (or even just exploring), you’re going to love Los Cangilones de Gualaca. They are located just east of Boquete, but you’re going to need to drive down to David to get up via road. They’re nestled in a forested area a bit off the grid, but once there you’ll find a swimming hole on a river with some of the most beautiful diving cliffs and freshwater wading around.

5. David.

While David isn’t well known as a tourist city, it is Panama’s 2nd largest, and the hub of the Chiriqui province. Pretty much everything you do in Chiriqui runs through or is connected to David, so if you’re planning a trip, you’ll need to pass through it. While there, check out. While there, pay a visit to Parque Cervantes, and the Catedral de San Jose. You can also use David as a hub to fly or bus into Chiriqui from either Panama City or Costa Rica!

About Manoj Chatlani

Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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