Retire Here, Americans
Boquette may be the best place in Panama. Or at least that is what we thought before we had seen that Panama has other delightful mountain valleys. It sits in a valley just below and to the east of Volcan Baru, the highest point in Panama, and pretty high for anywhere, at 3475 meters. (New Jersey tops out at 550 meters. If place on the surface of the Dead Sea, which is 408 meters below sea level, it would hardly stick up more than Nelson's column.)
In the last decade or so many Americans have discovered the place and now call it their retirement home. One enterprising American hotel owner bought up a tract, renamed it Escondido Valle (Hidden Valley) and laid out a whole planned community, complete with golf course.
We found a hotel that suited us to a T. Our room was big, spacious, and included a mini-kitchen: refrigerator and microwave. So we enjoyed having cold fruit and milk as part of our standard-inroom cereal. At in the evening we got to relive childhood with free pop-corn and earlier years with a glass of wine.
We made two hikes, or perhaps more exactly, one walk and one hike. The walk was into the Jaramillo hills to the east of town, along gravel roads, where we passed fine if modest homes on very green sites. The hike was the eastern half of the Sendero des Quetzals, which winds its way around the north side of Volcan Baru from Boquette on the east to C?? on the west. Jan made it 1/3 of the way before deciding her legs had been committed to too much. Gerry went on to the saddle point, perhaps a bit more than half way, enjoying conquering something.