Finding a place to stay in Boquete, Panama, from November through April – Why is it such a problem?

Blog by Manzar Lari

Over the past decade, Boquete has steadily gained popularity as a tourist destination as well as a retirement haven for many expats from all over the world.  It keeps showing up as one of the top places to retire on ratings done by “International Living” and similar publishing groups. It is no wonder that each year Boquete experiences an influx of tourists, especially during the “High Season” that starts with the Panama national holidays in early November all the way through April Easter Holidays. As the rains become more and more infrequent and people throughout Panama are gearing up for their November holidays, many Panamanians from larger towns and cities, especially Panama City, are ready to escape for a few days to higher elevations where it is a bit cooler, less humid and the air is a lot cleaner.  Many Panamanians have had fond memories of their childhood vacations in El Valle, Boquete, Volcan and Cerro Punta. One of our recent guests told us that they come to Boquete at least 2-3 times per year, just like many of their Panama City friends. They typically don’t mind taking the 7- hour road trip to come here.

As the first signs of winter show up in North America and Europe, we see a dramatic rise in inquiries and reservations at the Inns, Hotels and Bed & Breakfasts in Boquete. Most people are looking for an adventure and a respite from the cold weather. Not everyone plans early, there are those who like to live on the edge and just show up in town over Christmas and New Year. Imagine their surprise when they spend hours driving from one hotel to the next, looking for a room.  As for us, we advise people to always book way in advance to avoid being inconvenienced later. High Season is also generally the time when many tour companies from Europe and North America like to book large groups of people to come and visit Panama. A large group can easily take over a whole place, especially a place like ours that has fewer rooms. We pride ourselves in being able to provide personalized service to our guests and for that reason, we have chosen to only have six rooms.

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The Boquete Flower and Coffee Festival that lasts for about 10 days brings both Panamanian and overseas tourists. Festivities at the fairgrounds last into the early hours of the morning. It seems like the population of Boquete doubles during those days. In recent years, the Boquete Jazz and Blues Festival has steadily gained popularity. This past February, each and every person at our Bed & Breakfast was visiting Boquete to attend this 4-day event. Already, we have had multiple inquiries for next year. The Carnaval in March is a time for celebration and many locations in Panama host huge parties and several days of events. Dolega, located just down the road from Boquete, is one such location. Many tourists like to stay in Boquete and just drive down for the day to Dolega.

Boquete has also become a destination for young people who are interested in all kinds of outdoor adventures such as horseback riding, mountain climbing, zip lining, river rafting, etc. Many backpackers can be seen around town, especially in the High Season (aka Dry Season). People of all ages also come to Boquete during these same months to take Spanish Language Classes. These classes can last anywhere from a few days to several months. We have had several students stay at Casa de Montaña for a few weeks to a month since we are walking distance from “HablaYa”, a Spanish Language School.

For some of the reason shared above, we would encourage our guests to make their reservations early so that they are guaranteed a room at our Bed & Breakfast. We would like to be able to make your stay in Boquete a relaxing and fun experience. The High Season is around the corner and we are here to assist you in any way we can. Either book through our website: www.casademontana.com or send us an email at info@casademontana.com if you have any questions. See you soon!

Manzar & Terry

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