Friday, April 11, 2014

Panama: Coffee, Volcan Baru, and more!

Frequently when asked about my Central America trip I get questions like: Which country did you like best? or Where was your favorite place you visited? My answer all of them! Each place was unique in its own way and I have things I liked best about each place.

What struck me most about Panama was how beautiful and pristine the country is. I had the pleasure of seeing the northern part of Panama riding by bus from the Caribbean side to the Pacific side. It was one of the most beautiful bus rides I had taken. 
Panama countryside
Another highlight of Panama was the coffee tour at Cafe de la Luna. I am a coffee fanatic and learned so much about the coffee process and the world market of coffee and trade. An amazing eye opening and educating experience. I have to thank Rich for opening up his farm to us and giving an amazing tour.

Coffee berries drying in the sun

 My favorite place I stayed was Hostel Refugio del Rio. How cool is it to stay in a hostel and camp down by the river! These tents were provided by the hostel equipped with twin size mattress. For the same price of a bunk in a shared room you could get your own private tent. I LOVED IT. Nothing better then laying down listening to the running water of the river 10 feet away.
My private tent!

The hostel grounds

One of the reasons I choose to come to Panama (besides the coffee farms) was to hike Volcan Baru, the highest volcano in Panama. I was able to find a group night hike that left from Hostel... we started our hike around midnight to summit the volcano at dawn. It was a very cold, long overnight 19 mile hike. We had to slow our pace several times to prevent summiting too early and waiting in the frigid temps to see the sunrise. If you want to do the hike and are in pretty good shape I would suggest starting later then midnight. But for me as a single traveler this was my best option, so I stayed with the group hiked slowly and froze my butt off! The trail itself was nontechical mostly steep fireroad, easy enough to climb at night with a headlamp and not get lost.

Sunrise at last!!!

Looking west from Volcan Baru down onto the town of Boquette

Trying to stay warm as the sun rises
Best seat on the Volcan!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.