Planning Your Time

Unless you need a day to unwind, or would like to experience the province’s sweltering capital, David is a city you could bypass for an immediate visit to the coast. Dedicate three to four days to the Lowlands and Gulf, selecting your destination based on your agenda. Although Boca Chica and Isla Boca Brava have subpar beaches, they both have excellent sportfishing and are close to the Gulf of Chiriquí. Set aside a full day for fishing, diving, or kayaking, with a second day reserved for island exploration of Chiriquí Marine National Park. Since this area inspires relaxation, spend a third (and even fourth) day just soaking in the setting. For serious divers and surfers, make Playa Santa Catalina your priority. It’s home to the country’s best surf spots and is near Isla Coiba, a true diver’s paradise. From beaches to mountains, unpack those fleeces for the four or five days ahead. Depending on your wish list, three days in Boquete should be enough to experience a coffee tour, bird-watching, hiking, and river rafting or zip-lining. For a trip within your trip, drive one hour to the picturesque valley near Reserva Forestal Fortuna. Within this area are hot springs, waterfalls, rivers, and trails. Carve out your final days for Cerro Punta and Bambito, the bowl-shaped highland valley excellent for spotting wildlife. If you have the time and energy, you could easily spend several days exploring the trails of the two national parks, La Amistad and Volcan Baru.

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