I posted a review on TA but felt the need to list it here as well. Nothing earth shattering but rather a quick commentary on a wonderful community. This is just one persons opinion and expression:
We love Boquete. We have visited multiple times and have just completed a stay. I wanted to share what I feel is a bit of an unrealistic expectation for first time visitors. An interesting conversation with a fellow traveler we met this trip spurs me to write this review.
All of the beauty and kindness that is reported regarding Boquete, and Panama in general, is fair and true. The geography can be breathtaking. The climate is yours for the choosing (unless you want to snow ski!) and the relaxation and eco-possibilities are endless. Panamanian food is, by and large, very reasonable in price. Boquete itself can run about $3.00 per person for a wonderful, typical breakfast and/or lunch (don't expect ooooh's and ahhhhh's since the food is generally very good but a bit bland by most comps); $10 for a very good dinner and if you wanted to eat at one of the finest (Panamonte Inn) in town, a dinner for 4 will run about $100 total, including a nice glass of wine each.
Accommodations are varied and can run from hostel rates up to $300 a night. We personally love the Boquete Garden Inn and it's name speaks its reality.
Here is where I need to sound a bit negative but i do not mean it that way at all. The town of Boquete, the downtown central business district, is NOT Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills! It is NOT the thriving, fast paced, hotbed of love, music, food and life that is Panama City. It is NOT House Hunters International snips of lush, pristine, manicured lawns. The town itself, the town center, is NOT a quaint Italian Tuscan village. It is NOT a Spanish park. It is NOT a little Alpine village of Switzerland. It is, quite simply, the town of Boquete. It is a small village town. It has poverty. It has a very mixed pot of small shops, stores, real estate offices, a church and construction, along with some actual homes in the middle of it all. The traffic is pretty congested for a small town. The buses all spew diesel fumes. Pedestrians DO NOT have the right of way. People walk where they want to walk. They park where they want to park. Once in a while a child will potty where they need to potty. The crazy thing is, it all works. There is not threat or unsafe feelings. Quite contrary. It is a walking town. The people go about their business....locals, the native Panamanian "Indian" families, tourists and animals alike! I love it. That was my expectation on my first trip. We have been blessed to travel in 1st, 2nd and 3rd world countries and kind of knew that House Hunters was a TV show. Oh, don't get me wrong.....beautiful homes exist in the Boquete area fit for the wealthy. There are some that are being worked on. There are some that need work. Get the picture?
In closing, our fellow traveler said "When I first arrived in town my heart sank. I wondered what in the heck made this hole in the wall rank in the Top 10 International Living places to retire and live in. Then after a week, I stared to see. I changed my expectations and now I see where this grows on you every day." With that, I leave you with a wish that you have the opportunity to visit this slice of beauty on earth and experience the fine folks of Panama in general. I bet you can't just go once............