Chiriqui province is located in the western coast of Panama and it is becoming one of the most popular destinations for both domestic and international tourism.
Chiriqui is the second most developed province in Panama and is the main food supplier of the country due to livestock and agriculture activities.
In this province you can experience different climates, depending where you are. In its capital, David, it is hot and humid while in the highlands it is the coldest in the country with temperatures as low as 15 degrees celsius.
The most important and visited towns are David, Boquete, Cerro Punta and Volcan.
David is Chiriqui’s capital and Panama’s 3rd biggest city. It is accessed either by plane (domestic) or by road via the Panamerican Highway and it is basically the hub of the province’s activities. Here you can enjoy shopping, eating and the local nightlife. David is home of the very famous Feria Internacional de David ( David’s International Fair), held every year in March, attracting around 300,000 visitors. From David you can visit the Hot Springs of Caldera by public transport which is a great place to relax and enjoy the thermal baths in a natural place. You can cool off later in the river by the hot springs and spend a great time there. Also, if you are interested in marine wildlife, you should not miss the Gulf of Chiriqui National Marine Park where in season you can see pilot and humpback whales, orcas, sharks, dolphins and much more. Another popular place to go from David is the Gualaca River Canyons (40 minutes away from David by public transport) where you can find great swimming holes and even take a 2 hour hike along the shoreline to take in the whole area and, if you like adventure, you can find several small cliffs for cliff jumping into the blue waters. David is also very close (30km) to the border of Costa Rica and you can arrange to visit the neighboring country by bus.
Boquete is a small town in the west most of the province and it will greatly surprise all its visitors. It is high over sea level (around 1,200 meters) which makes its temperature colder than in the rest of the country. It is definitely one of the best places to go in the country due to the diversity of activities there is to enjoy and it is home to the yearly Feria de las Flores y el Cafe ( Flowers and Coffee Fair) held on the first weeks of January.
In Boquete, you can visit the Volcan Baru National Park
and hike the Baru Volcano, the only Volcano in Panama and highest mountain in the country (3,474 meters). Once you reach its peak you will enjoy a great view of both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea. The trail can be done by foot in around 4-6 hours or by motor bike which you could rent in the surroundings. It is also popular for people to go there and camp on the peak. Other activities people enjoy in Boquete include: The Boquete Tree Trek in the forest canopy, river rafting, rock climbing and hiking the Quetzals Trail (Sendero Los Quetzales)
for bird watching (especially the really rare Quetzal). In addition, dont miss out on tasting Boquete’s coffee, it is one of the best in the world.
Cerro Punta, also in the highlands, showcases gorgeous scenery and a rich diversity of animal species. The most popular place to visit there is UNESCO World heritage site, the Parque Internacional La Amistad (PILA)
, more than 500,000 acres of remote wilderness featuring most of Panama’s endagered animals including the jaguars and tapirs together with more than 400 bird species. It includes some trails for bird watching and the Sendero La Cascada to visit a spectacular waterfall.
If you are a flower fan, you should also visit Finca Dracula, a farm that showcases around 2,700 orchid species (one of Latin America’s largest collections) from Panama and around the world.
The Quetzal trail can also be accessed from Cerro Punta.
Volcan is really popular for bird watching due to the amount of bird species that live or stop by the area during migration periods. You can go visit the Finca Hartmann, a gourmet coffee farm that happens to be one of the best bird watching spots in the country. 282 bird species have been identified there. You can also take a coffee tour of course which is better to do during the October - April harvest. Another popular place for bird watching is Lagunas de Volcan, 2 protected lakes surrounded by forest, making it suitable to take a nice trip by canoe while enjoying the view. You can also visit the Macho de Monte River to see multiple small waterfalls and more bird watching.