Hey Suzie2/others - what about Amistad:

Old Nov 6th, 2005, 04:43 PM
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Hey Suzie2/others - what about Amistad:

Saw your message Suzie2 that you stayed in a cabin in Amistad (must be Los Quetzales?) and also at Coffee Estates Inn. Wondering what your thought of both. We're planning a trip to Panama in Feb - and plan to do Darien with Ancon, some time in and around Chiriqui and some time in and around PC. Both Los Quetzales and Coffee Estate appeal. Am wondering - could you drive from Coffee Estate directly to Vulcan Baru/Amistad - or do you have to backtrack to David and then north again? Couldn't tell from my map. Just wondering about need to stay in both places . . . . etc.
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Old Nov 7th, 2005, 09:28 PM
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Glover,
Four of us are doing the Coffee Estate stay in February and then going over to Los Quetzales and have one of their cabins in the park. You do have to backtrack/drive back through David, and then go up the other side. Another option, if you are up to it, is to hike the Quetzales trail, which runs from Boquete around the north/west side of the volcano. Some folks have their bags taken over by car and do the hike, but it is better to end up in Boquete if you hike because it is lower elevation. Lots of people go to these two places and enjoy them.
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Old Nov 8th, 2005, 07:00 AM
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Both places are great and very different... Barry and Jane will spoil you at Coffee Estate Inn - super food served by them on your balcony... One of my favorite places in Panama. Los Quetzales is more rustic but perfect for getting close to nature - especially if you take one of their cabins in the forest - where you cook for yourself but have a guide to take you on the trails.

No you have to go back down to David, over to Concepcion and then up the other side of Volcan Baru.

Each side has its charm

Cheers,
Andrew
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Old Nov 8th, 2005, 10:02 AM
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Hey you two, thanks for your replies, very helpful! Actually it had just occurred to me that instead of driving from Boquete to Cerro Punta, etc (3 hrs? someone said because of need to go back to David) -- that it might be cool to hike the sendero de los quetzales and somehow have our bags sent on. As we were going to do some or all of the trail anyway!
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Old Nov 8th, 2005, 02:06 PM
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Quite an interesting thread you've started Glover. . .do let us all know how it went for you--sounds wonderful!
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Old Nov 10th, 2005, 08:15 PM
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Hi Glover!

As was mentioned, Jane and Barry will spoil you. Fresh oranges, fresh coffee, and if you have dinner prepared by them they bring it over to your room complete with flowers, candles, and linens.

There is a little kitchenette with a microwave, stove, french coffee press and an orange juicer.....hubby was in 7th heaven with all the fresh orange juice he could drink.

Do go on Barry's tour of the property, we learned a lot and were just amazed at how small his coffee roaster was. I was expecting a huge thing but his is a counter top model. He only roasts small batches so it is always fresh.

We ate several meals at the Panamonte as well and the food was wonderful. Do go back and sit by the huge fireplace in the bar.

Again, as was mentioned, you do have to backtrack but once you turn off the main road on to the road towards La Amistad it is an absolutely beautiful drive. The roads are in very good shape down there btw just fewer of them. If we go back we will do the hike between the two places. We hiked part of it and it was pretty nice.

Try not to get the first cabin. They are duplexes and we had the bottom one. It was dark and damp (there is a fireplace) and the floorboards up above are not real tight so we would get sand filtering down on us from our upstairs neighbors feet. The upstairs room was so noisy when it rained we could hardly talk to our neighbors.

The next group of duplexes are in a beautiful setting. There are two buildings set back. A little hike to get to them but worth it. There is another group just a little beyond that. Not as pretty a setting but great birds. There is even a geodesic dome tent.

You can have the main hotel bring you dinner prepared or as we did, they sent the cook and everything to make it fresh right there in the room. There is a gas stove. No fridge so you would have to have a cooler if you plan on cooking any meals. We cooked breakfast and just had lunch meat for mid day.

La Amistad is a beautiful area. I have never seen anything so lush, moist and green. The trails are not marked very well but the hotel does have a couple of guides. Any maps of the place are in their heads. We just asked some of the other guests. We were glad we had our hiking poles and noticed several other people with them as well. It can get muddy and slippery. Most people left their cars at the main hotel and just got rides into the park in the hotels vehicles. It is a pretty rough ride. They go back and forth all day so you can always catch a ride if you want to eat at the restaurant or go into "town".

Boquete is a must. It is a darling town. La Amistad...well, it is not for the faint hearted-the trails are pretty strenuous but there are some that aren't bad. You can stay in the main hotel and just go hiking in the park rather than stay in the cabins. We would go there again but stay in a different cabin. David...get in and out as fast as you can. It is the hottest place I have ever been.

The Darien with Ancon is on the top of our list for future travel. It sounds fascinating down there. Will be looking for your trip report on it. This Feb. we are going to Guatemala with friends we met from the Virtual Tourist Costa Rica forum. 10 days traveling with them and then 6 nights at Chiminos Island Lodge for some much needed R & R. We will be back in CR next July.

We will be in CR in just over a week for a quick trip. Mostly to look at properties. Hubby is finally going to retire and go back to school to get a degree in tropical biology. It was always his first love so I am glad he is finally going for it. I guess we will be living there pretty soon. Travel will be cheaper to the surrounding countries!

On your recommendation we have finally managed to get a night in Pacific Edge. Wish we had more time this trip but we will have all the time in the world soon enough. Still holding out hope that we will be able to get through to Rafiki from Dominical for a night also.

Have a great trip.
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 06:57 AM
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Thanks so much, Suzie, for your detailed reply - I've been looking forward to it! I was reading about Los Quetzales just last night and what you've said about that first cabin validates my reaction. Did you see quetzals? We'll try for another or stay at the hotel - or maybe the Cielito del Sur B&B nearby, which sounds nice also.

How exciting about your move to CR. Will be interested to hear where you end up. And so glad to hear you're planning a stop at Pacific Edge, hope you'll enjoy it as much as we did. Such a beautiful setting.

Did you get get to David from Panama City or Come down from Costa Rica? If from PC, did you drive or fly to David? Just wondering as we're weighing whether to drive from PC to David or fly. It's a long drive but we might find it interesting since it'll be our first exploration of Panama.
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 09:22 AM
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The drive from Panana City to David is "okay" - not a very scenic drive but interesting the first time or two. If you have the time you could drive down the Azuero peninsula to Pedasi for a night - this is a very untouched part of Panama. Not a lot of choice for accommodation though.
Just be aware as you don't say when in Feb but Carnaval is the 24 to 28th and the country pretty much shuts down and parties. Especially in the Azuero in a place called Las Tablas. Otherwise all the outlying areas are packed with families who left Panama City for the 5 day break. No banks are open from noonish on Friday to noon on Wednesay, offices are shut, many stores are shut, Via Espana in Panama City is closed to traffic and is a big party.
So if it's during that time you need to reserve now.

Cheers,
Andrew
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 09:52 AM
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Thanks, Andrew, for the Carnaval dates. I was wondering when those were and thinking about the impact. Looks like we'll be there and back before then though. Doubt we'll have time for Azuero/Pedasi unfortunately. It's gonna be all we can do to cram in 4 nights Darien, 4 in Chiriqui, and 4 in PC.
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Old Nov 11th, 2005, 11:52 AM
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Cielito Sur is a darling little place. We had to cancel our time there but spent a little time with the owner when we stopped by to let them know. They were very gracious about the last minute cancellation. We did have to pay a small fee. They have lots and lots of chihuahuas LOL!

We did see a couple of quetzals as well as some other great birds. I have been trying to learn the Guatemalan birds for our trip so I can't say off the top of my head what we saw. I am afraid I will get them confused.

If you want a list of some of the birds we saw I can get it from hubby. He is the keeper of the bird list. We aren't real listers in that we have to see certain birds. We just like to keep track.

Jane and Barry pointed us in the direction of some good birding places although, just sitting on their porch was quite a show. Be prepared for some cool temps. I was quite cold when on the Quetzales trail.

Hopefully the flowers will be beautiful when you are in Boquete. Floods seem to be preceding us on our trips lately. Last year it was the border crossing on the Caribbean side and Boquete. This year it is the area between Dominical and Quepos. I think we need to start planning trips on higher ground ;-). Boquete was dry by the time we got there but the flowers weren't very good. The local indians in their colorful traditional clothing made up for it.

We did cross down from Costa Rica through Paso Canoas. We had Orlando drive us down and travel with us.
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Old Nov 12th, 2005, 06:28 PM
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Suzie, What type of clothes do you suggest for Los Quetzales, with the colder temps and rain? Gore Tex over fleece? My experience in these types of areas is that you are going to get wet, so just accept it, but perhaps it will just be too cold for that approach when we go in February.
Also, did you lug around serious, heavy hiking boots for the trail, or just trail shoes? Did you do the entire trail to Boquete?
Thanks for the help.
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 02:46 AM
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Apologoes straight away , this is a high jack !! Suzie ? Are you actually " Jessie " who used to post with us a lot last year ? I'm simply curious ..... After reading the new Fodor's with the quotes , I was thinking about all the regulars and remembered " Jessie " , then I noticed you had signed off in a post under that name ? As I said , just curious . If not , I wonder where Jessie is ? lol ,Faith .
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 03:03 AM
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Huh !! What rock have I been under , Suzie2 = Jessie !!! ( did a little search , I am up really early with a sore throat and have a little time as you can see !! )
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 06:04 AM
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Fathie, thank you for asking. I had gotten a new computer and of course none of the regular places I go to recognized it. Some places let me easily reset a new password but I had trouble figuring out how on Fodors. I couldn't remember my password (it was Fodors assigned) so created a new sign on using my grandaughters name with a new password. aka Jessie. That computer had problems so I had to start all over again with a new one and when I tried to sign in with either Suzie or Jessie they kept telling me I was already registered (which I knew duh) but for some reason I couldn't figure out how to sign in with the Jessie password. (possibly due to my having been in the heart hospital 3 times in 2 months?) I thought about using my new grandaughters name but figured that would confuse people even more. Being the non computer geek that I am I couldn't figure out how to change either one of them to have my own password so I just gave up and let them reassign me a new one on my Suzie sign in rather than confuse people any more by starting a whole new name. Once again I have no idea what my password is. Maybe one of these days I will learn to write it down??? LOL

No sinister meaning behind all of the name changes as has been implied just ignorance on how some things work on these web sites. They are all different.

I haven't been on for awhile because I have been working hard to get healthy so I can enjoy my grandchildren (4 of them!) for a long time to come. Not to mention Costa Rica!
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Old Nov 13th, 2005, 06:23 AM
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Never occurred it would be anything sinister !lol Same thing happened to me , I started off as Willem ( my son's name ) , and due to the same problem as you , had to change to Faithie !! I never put 2 and 2 together until today . I am very sorry to hear you had been ill , I wish you a continued speedy recovery and great health . Happy to know Suzie2 is you . ( I was actually going to ask where " Jessie ' was ! ) Faith .
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