4 Days Highlands Culinary Delights in Chiriqui, Panama

  • Panamonte Inn & Spa, Bajo Boquete, Panama

4 Days Highlands Culinary Delights in Chiriqui, Panama

  • Panamonte Inn & Spa, Bajo Boquete, Panama

Cooking Vacations in Panama

If you are the wayfaring kind, the jet-setter, the adventurous, or the wanderer, then you are invited to join this specially tailored holiday combining culture, understanding, and exclusivity in Panama. Discover the breathtaking scenery of the Chiriqui with its rich flora and fauna diversity. Tantalize your taste buds with Panamanian cuisine, take a sip of its best shed-grown coffee, and be refreshed while enjoying fresh tropical fruits. Take part in a hands-on cooking class focusing on local ingredients and recipes. Be pampered in a charming boutique hotel that will make your holiday one-of-a-kind. Book now and enjoy this remarkable tropical journey right away.

Highlights

  • Panamanian cuisines
  • Private hands-on cooking class
  • Guided canopy zip-line adventure
  • Traditional sugar mill and coffee plantation visit
  • Volcano and forest walking tours to enjoy the wildlife
  • 3 breakfasts, 3 lunches, and 2 dinners
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • 1 day with instruction
  • English
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Panamonte Inn & Spa, Bajo Boquete, Panama

This boutique, 3-star hotel is renowned for personalized service, gourmet dining, its peaceful fireside lounge and colorful gardens. Opened in 1914, the same year as the Panama Canal, this property has hosted a who’s who of international adventurers. Renovations completed in 2008 modernized the accommodations without forsaking the hotel’s antique charm. Experience the service traditions of one Boquete’s grandest hotels at Panamonte Hotel. With uniquely personalized care and the dedication of our staff, we will do everything in our power to ensure your experience at The Panamonte Hotel is delightfully memorable.

Day 1 - Arrival, transfer, internal flight, excursions, entertainment

  • This morning, you will be transferred to Albrook domestic airport in Panama City to board the scheduled mid-morning flight to David, capital of the Chiriqui Province. Chiriqui is known as “Panama’s breadbasket” and contains some of the most breathtaking highland scenery in Central America.
  • On arrival, you will be transferred to the eastern side of the Barú, the only volcano in Panama. En route you will have a unique opportunity to view a centuries-old tradition at a local trapiche, a horse-powered sugar mill where the delicious raspadura blocks are made from unrefined cane sugar.
  • You will be treated to a local lunch and a traditional folk dance presentation. Dancers wear the elaborate polleras, full-skirts that are the national costume of Panama and part of a tradition that encompasses Colombia, Bolivia, and Spain as well.
  • Proceed to the charming town of Boquete, in the Highlands of Chiriqui, its countryside dotted with flower, fruit and produce farms, coffee plantations and lush tropical cloud forests. Before arriving in the town of Boquete, stop at a look-out point where you can take in the views over the valley.
  • Arriving at your inn this afternoon you will be greeted with a welcome cocktail.
  • Take some time to relax and unpack before dinner.

Day 2 - Excursion, free time, cooking class

  • This morning, your breakfast will be served in the privacy of your room or on your terrace.
  • Afterwards, you will be picked up for a 15-minute transfer to the grounds of a private coffee estate, your departure point for a cloud forest nature walk.
  • You will have the opportunity to look for the elusive resplendent quetzal, as well as the three-wattled bellbird, black-faced solitaire, volcano hummingbird, long-tailed silky flycatcher and prong-billed barbet in their cool habitat of orchids, bromeliads and wild avocados.
  • For lunch today, your visit a nearby Eco lodge. The restaurant here is known country-wide for its delicious creamy squash soup and the sweet key-lime pie, perfectly accompanied by a hot cup of the country’s best shade-grown coffee.
  • The afternoon is at leisure. You may choose to make use of the complementary spa certificate included with your stay.
  • Later, you will meet your hotel’s award-winning Executive Chef and owner and transfer to the new studio-style kitchen located just a few minutes from the hotel. *Here, you will have an exclusive hands-on cooking class with a special menu focused on local ingredients and recipes.
  • Your host and instructor’s mastery in the art of cooking has earned him many distinguished awards. He has been the chef at some of the most important events in recent Panamanian history, including banquets and dinners honoring heads of state from Panama and visiting dignitaries. His weekly gastronomy column appears in Revista Siete, a weekly Panamanian magazine edited by local newspaper El Panamá América.
  • The fertile volcanic soil of Boquete is ideal for growing produce, exotic fruits, and some of the best coffee in the world. Trout swim in the region’s crystalline rivers, and beef and dairy cattle graze on the grassy slopes of Volcano Barú. Just half-an-hour away is Panama’s coastline where local fishermen harvest abundant lobster, jumbo shrimp, sea bass, and yellow-fin tuna. There is no other location in Panama that offers such a rich diversity of fresh products, and Chef Collins takes full advantage of this bounty to offer his guest’s a truly memorable cooking and dining experience.
  • End the evening by savoring your freshly prepared meal with peaceful music in the background and a good glass of wine.

Day 3 - Forest zip line, excursions

  • This morning, after breakfast, you will set out for a privately guided cloud forest canopy trek, with a zip line offering views of the rain-forest from fourteen different canopy platforms while soaring through the heights of the cloud forest from one treetop to another.
  • Glide through the trees and encounter a world unknown, exploring a fascinating new perspective on wildlife. Native species of flora and fauna are abundant, including a great variety of orchids, trees and wildflowers that are found throughout the area.
  • Break for lunch at a nearby Peruvian seafood restaurant that blends local seafood specialties with international cuisine.
  • After lunch, you will go on a brief sightseeing tour of Boquete. Stroll on the hill at Volcanito Loops with beautiful views of the valley and cloud forest. Visit Mi Jardin es su Jardin, which is a private garden that is open to the public - the neatly arranged gardens and flower arrangements here offer a glimpse of the diversity of Boquete’s flora and fauna.
  • Return to your hotel in mid-afternoon and enjoy some leisure time or make use of your complementary Haven Spa certificate if you have not redeemed it yet.
  • Tonight, you are free to enjoy dinner on your own in town or at the hotel.

Day 4 - Transfer, internal flight, departure

  • After breakfast in your room or on your private terrace, you will be transferred to David for your one-hour flight to Panama City.
  • Upon arrival, you will be directly transferred to Tocumen International Airport (PTY) for your departure flight (afternoon departure flights only) or continue on to your next Willing Foot destination.

Panama’s Chiriqui Province is known for its stunning highlands, the Barú Volcano and pristine land and seascapes. Fertile soil here produces a variety of vegetables, exotic fruits, and some of the best coffee in the world. Trout swim in the region’s crystalline rivers, and cattle graze on the Barú’s grassy slopes. Nearby is Panama’s coastline where local fishermen harvest abundant lobster, jumbo shrimp, sea bass, and yellow-fin tuna. This is Panama’s bread basket, offering rich culinary diversity.

Activities
  • Cooking classes
  • Horse riding/rental nearby
  • Kayak nearby
  • Spa
General
  • Garden
  • Restaurant
Services
  • Tour assistance

Beach trips

Leave early in the morning, spend the day in the sun, return to the Panamonte in time for cocktails and dinner. Las Olas is the option for a comfortable beach front resort restaurant, swimming pool bar and crashing surf. The Panamonte staff can arrange transportation, if needed.

Bird watching

Close to 1000 species of birds make their home for part of each year in the Boquete area. Birding groups from around the world come here annually to count, catalogue and admire the variety of feathered friends. The Audobon Society and The Smithsonian have been tracking migratory patterns of birds through Boquete for almost 100 years. Don’t leave without seeking the elusive Resplendent Quetzal, the most rare, beautiful and renowned of Boquete’s birds (hint: March and April are nesting months and local guides know where and how to find them).

Coffee tour

Tours are available at a number of coffee fincas and processing beneficios, from large commercial to small private operations. Guided tours during harvest season (November through February) are a fascinating way to learn about this internationally famous Boquete crop. See how and where it grows. Learn how it is processed. Taste freshly roasted, ground and brewed coffee on site, and learn why it is as complex as any wine tasting.

Flower festivals

Every January people flock from all over the world to participate in the celebration of Flowers and Coffee in Boquete, Feria de las Flores y del Café, an event celebrated for over 50 years. Crafters from South and Central America display their wares, music plays, people dance, children play. It is a family friendly, high-spirited ten days of merry making. In April, the Orchid Festival draws enthusiasts for these exquisite flowers from as far away as Japan.

Hiking

For short hikes, long hikes, river hikes, up the volcano hikes, the Panamonte staff will help you arrange guides that will see you safely to your destination and back. The Volcan Baru hike is very challenging, but for those fit and adventurous souls, it is the only place you can stand and look in one direction to the Pacific Ocean and the other to the Carribean! Overnight camping excursions are also available.

Horseback riding

Ride through the mountains or along the road.

Hot springs

Natural volcanic hot springs soak away your travel weariness in nearby Caldera. Combine this trip with a horseback riding tour, take a dip in the cold river water near by, relax in the hot (non-sulphurous) waters and be amazed at the flocks of parakeets that land in the nearby trees.

Rafting and kayaking

From gentle, lulling rivers to Class 4 and 5 rapids, there is rafting for every skill level, every adrenaline threshold.

Volcan Baru

Towering over Boquete at almost 12,000 feet, this dormant giant begs the intrepid to hike to the summit or tackle the daunting trail with an ATV. Do not go without a guide.

  • 2 dinners
  • 3 nights accommodation
  • All fees for scheduled activities
  • All land, air, and water transportation within Panama as indicated in the itinerary
  • Daily breakfast
  • Daily lunch
  • Glass of wine with dinner on days 1 and 2
  • Local guides’ services and expenses per itinerary
  • Private cooking class
  • Services of an in-bound land operator for airline re-confirmations and tour operations
  • Spa gift certificate: value 170 USD for two people
  • Welcome cocktail on day 1
  • Baggage fees
  • Gratuities
  • Hotel accommodation in Panama City
  • International airfare
  • Meals not specified in the itinerary
  • Optional activities
  • Passport, visa, immigration fees
  • Personal items, such as additional alcoholic beverages and laundry
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

The nearest airport to the location is Tocumen International Airport (PTY). Willing Foot will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

Testimonials

  • Review by Camryn from United Kingdom

    "I wasn't too sure what to expect when taking up services, but the professionalism from the site to the customer service is the slickest I have ever experienced."

    Trademarkia website, edited

New York, United States

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