Scott is volunteering in Boquete, Panama – both Scott and Joyce are really busy!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

(This is a follow-up to last week’s blog titled: Joyce is working hard at volunteering in Boquete after retirement – resistance is futile!) 

So, you get nervous around large animals and yet you love them and want to help! This is me as well and you’re not alone! This is called Zoophobia: However, this is not what her husband (Scott) has…

This is Joyce’s story…..

Scott is the animal lover between the two of us. I have always been extremely nervous of some animals–particularly large ones that have a tendency to jump up on me. Animals can sense my nervousness, and it’s a negative feedback for us both.

Scott, on the other hand, is really, really good with animals. They nearly always like him, especially how he scratches their itches–literally. A couple of weeks ago, he was scratching a goat between its horns. The goat was in love and cried when we left.

So, he has started volunteering with a group (Amigos de Animales) that does monthly neutering and spaying. Vets are brought in from Costa Rica and some from other parts of Panama–apparently, the few vets in this area work on large, farm animals. Volunteers bring in strays and coordinate local families to bring in their pets. The day long clinic neuters and spays hundreds of animals, with volunteers running all parts of the operation except the actual surgery. Scott says it’s quite an operation.

Many of the animals who are spayed and neutered are strays, feral or abandoned. Recently, a local woman was introduced to one of the animal organizations in town. She is a soft hearted woman who was taking care of 39 drop-off and feral cats. The organization is helping her pay for food, move the cats into homes and pay for the low cost spaying and neutering with the organization Scott is working with.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

Because of this, Boquete is not beset with hundreds of feral and wild dogs and cats roaming the streets, as is the case in many places we’ve visited. Because people are not inundated with so many wild and somewhat dangerous animals, people tend to treat the animals better, thus they are not mean, and the positive circle.

Here is a video of two dogs that are loved tremendously!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=23872rWorXM&list=PLwz-744OmrNPdFOjzK8uojrPnMUnaLDLp

 

This is a great thing for the animals and the people in the community and Scott is really enjoying working with the animals. The last two times, he’s had the job of waking cats up from the surgeries. As anyone who knows Scott has experienced, he loves playing with cats, so he’s gotten to have fun while helping out. I can imagine him doing more with this organization over time, as they always seem to need more help.

We here at Casa de Montaña Bed and Breakfast help out in the form of donations as well as our staff volunteering. Animales also supplies a calendar for purchase each year and the proceeds go to the clinic. Come and stay with us, if the time is right, we can get you in touch with them and you can volunteer to help in the clinic or support them financially. You have a great heart and we cannot wait to meet you!

Talking about “sloths” in Panama!

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Most people either love them or think they are cute or they fear them and think they are ugly. My cousin Tiffany, absolutely loves them, so when her mom came to Casa de Montaña and shared on Facebook a video and photo it was all too much for her! She went crazy (not literally) with jealousy! Watch the video below to see Tiffany’s mom and what sent her through the roof!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CtRAlAFvQ2E        (Take a look at the video of the event)

 

Excerpts taken from Wikipedia.

Sloths have a bad rap! First of all, they have been named “Sloth” from the 7 deadly sins. Because they seem slow and lazy. However, what is actually happening is that they are conserving energy. (Something I think we all should try from time to time.) When faced with a predator, you would be surprised how fast of a burst of speed they can become. They are also really good swimmers.

And just how big can these lazy, good for nothing, and so loving little guys get? Extinct sloth species include many Megafauna ground sloths, some of which attained the size of elephants.

Extinct sloths are medium-sized arboreal (tree-dwelling) residents of the jungles of Central and South America.

Though they have really long claws, which are for hanging in the trees and make it difficult to walk on the ground, they are so gentle. They like to sleep in a ball between the forks of two branches but can also sleep by hanging from their claws. They will leave the tree to poop and swim.

We here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast, have been fortunate enough to know a special lady that rescues animals including sloths. Her animal rescue is named “Raquel’s Ark”. She is located in the town of Volcan, about an hour and a half drive from Casa de Montaña. She has the two sloths that she is currently taking care of (that you watched on the Youtube video. Along with two baby monkeys that remain on her body 24 hours a day. Raquel has an amazing love for animals and if you would like to go and hold a sloth or play with a monkey and see other rescued animals, we can help set this up for you. Just ask us when booking  a room with us!

 

The 10 Must-Do activities while visiting Boquete, Panama!

Blog by Terry Richmeier & Manzar Lari

Ok, so, here at Casa de Montaña we have been talking a lot about taking some time out – a respite from life and a tranquil vacation from the daily stressors of life. It suddenly dawned on us that not everyone wants to sit around sipping wine while lounging in their room!
So if you are seeking some thrills as well as create life-long memories of a vacation full of adventure, we have the best options for you!

1) Boquete Overview Tour

22

Let’s start with our very own Boquete Overview Tour! You inspired us to create this unique experience of Boquete – see the beautiful landscape, precious people, and to help you decide if Boquete could be a future home for you. This tour gives you an overview of Boquete from the comfort of the van while you enjoy a bottle of water and a snack. This is a half day tour and is full of information about Boquete and the surrounding areas. It’s our number one must do for a reason! Whether you are looking at a possible re-location or you just want to see the magnificent and amazing place we call home, this tour is designed just for you. There is a charge for this tour but check out our specials to look for discounts here .

2) Coffee Tours

23 24 25 26

 

There are a couple of coffee tours that we highly recommend. The first one, “Café Ruiz” picks you up here at our hotel and takes you to the finca (farm) where they grow and pick coffee beans and do the initial processing of the coffee beans. Later on they take you to the plant where they roast and taste test. During this truly entertaining tour you learn a lot about the history and the current state of the coffee business in Panama. You also get to smell and taste different variety of coffee and you even end up bringing home your own bag of coffee! This is the perfect tour if you have never been on a coffee tour before. Just let us know and we can get this set up for you. And if you have been to a coffee tour before, Dos Jefes (Cafes de la Luna) is a great option for you. Remembering your knowledge on how the process works to put the great tasting coffee on your table, Dos Jefes details the process of winning the world’s best coffee awards. You will become the expert yourself as you pass through taste testing and talk about the living environment of the indigenous people that work the farms as well as why organic coffee is fast disappearing and much more. Unique to this tour is the chance to taste the new tea that is being produced from the Cherries of the coffee bean! This is a second tear/level of coffee tours. Note: We have information about a special and unique program where you can buy a portion of a coffee farm through “International Coffee Farms” (ICFC). If you are interested, you would be welcome to join their regularly scheduled conferences that is chock-a-block full of information about how you can be part of the Socially Responsible way of producing coffee by giving back to the community. Let us know if we can assist you in getting connected to ICFC or other coffee tours. Click here for more information.

3) Zip-Line

15

For some real thrill and adventure we can get you scheduled for a Zip Line/Canopy Tour where you ride sky high from tree to tree looking onto the rivers, suspension bridges and the cloud forest below. This amazing adventure is not for the faint of heart! You may want to put this onto your bucket list! Contact us to schedule here.

4)Whitewater Rafting

1

Another must do for the enthusiastic adventurists is to take scheduled whitewater rafting trip which is about 1.5 hours away at the Costa Rican border. This tour is particularly thrilling during the rainy season with the river rafting level going up to Level Four in the months of August-October!  The tour guides take in a van to the river, provide all the equipment and instructions and provide the adventure of a lifetime! They even break for lunch that is included in the fee. Click here to request more information.

5)Island Tour

 9 14

With tours that take you into the deep rivers with “White Water Rafting” (above) to zooming across the ocean in a water taxi on your way to a remote island, life couldn’t get better! Along the way to the Pacific island of Bolaños, you will get to experience whale and dolphin watching as well snorkeling when you arrive at the island.  And, when you are hungry, eating a lunch of sandwiches, fresh vegetables and fruit while you are sprawled out across the sand is definitely in order! Don’t forget to bring your swim gear! Click here for more information.

6)Cloud Forest Hikes

17 19

8 11 17

 

Your thrilling adventure can continue upon your return to Boquete when you hike through the many more easy to difficult hiking trails (and everything in between) that Boquete has to offer! Start with “The Pipeline” trail, the easiest trail for those who want to see the animals, sloths, Quetzals (see bird watching) and Panama’s oldest and biggest tree as well as a beautiful waterfall at the end of the trail. Another great hike is “The Lost Waterfalls” hike, it consists of three different waterfalls. This is a moderately difficult hike. As you see nature at its finest don’t forget to jump into the middle waterfall, get wet and cool off! The “Il Pianista” hike and “Volcan Baru” are two of the most challenging hikes and we strongly recommend that you go with an experienced local guide to do these. There are so many more hikes that you can do. Our Manager Debra has done many of them herself. Contact us and she can give you more information.  Contact us here.

7)Caldera Hot Springs and Gualaca Mini Canyon (Cangilones)

12 13

Don’t forget that we also have amazing Hot Springs and Canyons! You can sit in the Caldera Hot Springs as you relax in the hot water so natural and healing or you can dive into the water in the Gualaca Canyon. Really exhilarating! This tour is usually a combination all-day tour. Let us know and we can get either (or both) of these set up as well.

 

8)Horseback Riding

6 21

You continue your nature adventures by taking a “Horseback Riding” tour throughout the mountains and canyons of Boquete! There is not a better way to experience all the senses with the sounds of the birds the touch of the horses and the sites of the amazing and ever changing landscape of Boquete, Panama. Click here to schedule.

9)Bird Watching

And speaking of the sounds of those birds, if you are a bird watching enthusiast you have HIT THE JACKPOT while visiting the province of Chiriqui! Panama is home to 978 species of birds. Grab a book on Panama birds, take a journey on the Los Quetzals or the Culebra trail (for example) and snap those pictures! We even have guides available to help you spot them. Contact us for setting up a guide for you.

 

11 16

 

 10)Relaxation: Massage and Yoga

 28 29 30

31 32 33

 

Ok, now that you have done the top nine things, it is time to pamper and rejuvenate yourself! All the Must-do’s have been accomplished and you are feeling great about your bucket list! One of Terry’s most favorite and highly rated must-do is to have a Massage or take a morning yoga class. Both melt away the soreness and allow you to relax and re-align yourself. Contact us for more information and to schedule here.

 

IMG_2962

We at Casa de Montaña know that vacation time is so short, we want to help you make it your most amazing trip possible! We will do our best to assist you in setting up your “Must-Do’s” creating the perfect vacation for you. We are available by email: info@casademontana.com or by phone, Panama: 507-7309472 or U.S. 952-931-9770 or just contact us by clicking here  and get your “Bucket List” checked off!!!

 

Indigenous creatures and animals that surround Boquete, Panama

Blog by Terry Richmeier

Over the last several weeks, Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast has been encountering many of the wild life that lives and surrounds the mountains and valleys of Boquete Panama.

Starting with the ever so clever Cotamundi, an indigenous animal. Manzar witnessed a bit of “feeding frenzy” when he happened to stop by at the Boquete Visitor Center recently. Here is a video where you can see this relative of the Raccoon family:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Y9SdTf4i9c

Also indigenous is the Glass Winged Butterfly. Often missed unless you take a tour guide with you, these amazing creatures are just one of many different species of butterflies in Boquete, Panama. The transparency of its wings results from the combination of three properties: first, from the low absorption of the visible light by the material constituting its wings, second, from the low scattering of the light passing through the wings and finally, from the low reflection of the light impinging on the wings surface. Adult Glass Wings can be found from Mexico through Panama and down to Colombia. They can migrate great distances and have been documented as far north as Florida:

1

Then, there is the Respondent Quetzal! This bird is a must see while in Boquete, Panama! The males are filled with color and this indigenous bird is hard to spot unless you have a tour guide to find them for you. They can even make interesting noises to help attract and locate the bird. You can literally be sitting under one and never see it. It is found from Chiapas, Mexico to western Panama and it is well known for its colorful plumage. The resplendent quetzal is Guatemala’s national bird, and an image of it is on the flag and coat of arms of Guatemala. It is also the name of the local currency (abbreviation GTQ).

2

You will find many other animals and creatures running around the outskirts of Boquete, Panama as well. From Toucan’s and Monkeys to the Scale-crested Pygmy-tyrant and the Golden Frog and snakes and many many more!

3

4

The Elusive Sloth • Boquete, Panama’s Pre-Historic Resident

Taken from http://boquetesafaritours.typepad.com/boquete_mountain_safari_t/wildlife-update-boquete-panama/

Central and South America provides a home for a living pre-historic mammal. The very strange looking and odd behavior Sloth has its ancestral roots dating back 35 to 40 million years ago. They are very shy and live almost entirely in the tree tops. Their dwindling numbers are directly attributed to the de-forestation of the rainforest and the encroaching human habitat.

Slide2

While you are on your hike, be sure to look down at the ground as well! There are some amazing creatures that roam the grounds. You will see just a glimmer of yellow on a dried up leaf. Look closer, it may just be the most amazing little insect. Or you may see a very rapidly moving green lizard! Take a look as they will surprise you how amazing their colors are.

Presentation1

Yes, indeed as everywhere in the world there are poisonous creatures as well. It’s always best to keep your distance from animals you are not sure of and remember that they attack when they are fearful and feel threatened!

Here at Casa de Montaña Bed & Breakfast we want you to know that you are coming to an amazingly colorful and tropical place! We want you to see all that Boquete, Panama has to offer and can set up a tour guide to take you safely to see these creatures and animals alike and to enjoy the amazing Indigenous and other animals that surround Boquete, Panama.

Contact us through our website at: www.casademontana.com or view our Exploring Boquete page for more information on setting up a tour guide.

Please look at our specials and book a special package while you are here as well. We look forward to your visit!

%d bloggers like this: