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Getting There & Departing

Most hotels either provide transportation from the David airport or can arrange for you to be picked up by an independent taxi driver for the 45-minute drive to Boquete.

By Bus & Taxi -- Buses for Boquete leave from the David bus terminal every 25 minutes, take approximately 1 hour, and cost $1.45 (75p) one-way. You can catch a bus from Boquete to David from the north side of the main plaza. If you're coming from Bocas del Toro or from Panama City, you'll need to transfer in David. It takes 7 hours by bus from Panama City, and costs $13 (£6.50). A taxi from David to Boquete costs approximately $15 to $20 (£7.50-£10) one-way.

By Car -- If you're driving from Panama City, you'll turn right on the signed turnoff for Boquete before entering David, at the intersection next to the Shell gas station.

From the airport in David, turn right onto the main road and drive until you arrive at the intersection with the Shell station, then turn left. Drive until you reach a stop sign at the four-lane highway, turn right, and continue until you reach the intersection at the Super Barú supermarket. Turn left and continue onward to Boquete.

The road to Boquete is well-paved; there are two side roads that provide shortcuts if you're driving from the Bocas del Toro area.

Getting Around

If you're a do-it-yourself traveler who likes to explore at your own pace, you'll want to rent a vehicle to get around -- but you'll have to do it from the David airport; alternatively, some hotels can arrange for a rental car to be delivered to you in Boquete for an additional $30 (£15).

Taxis around town cost $1 to $2 (50p-£1); unless your hotel is located in the town center, you'll need one to get back and forth. If you're looking for a fluent English-speaking taxi driver for a half- or full-day tour around Boquete, try Daniel Higgins (tel. 6617-0570); he charges $15 (£7.50) per hour.

Local buses cruise Avenida Central and the hilly roads around Boquete, but taxis are so cheap that you'll invariably end up hailing a cab before a bus.

Orientation

Boquete's CEFATI visitor center (tel. 720-4060; daily 9am-6pm) is the large building on your right just before you enter town. With its location high above the Río Caldera, the visitor center provides sweeping views of town. You'll find Café Kotowa here, too, with a small shop. On the center's second floor is an interpretive display (in Spanish) of the history and anthropology of the region. Ask for a representative here to give you a quick tour and translate the displays. The center isn't within walking distance from downtown, so you'll need to take a cab ($1/50p) or a local bus (25¢/15p).

Boquete sits in a fertile valley below the Barú Volcano, and is bisected by the Caldera River. The main street, Avenida Central, runs the length of town from north to south, and businesses and transportation services are clustered around the main plaza on streets that run east-west. From downtown, a series of paved and gravel roads climb the hilly terrain surrounding Boquete.

Fast Facts

For the police, dial tel. 104; for the fire department, dial tel. 720-1224. The Centro Médico San Juan Bautista, located on Avenida Central, 2 blocks up the road past the Hotel Panamonte, has English-speaking doctors (tel. 720-1881); for serious health problems, you'll need to head to the hospital in David. The post office is located on the plaza, and is open Monday to Friday 8am to 5:45pm, and Saturday 8am to 4:45pm; for fast service go to Mailboxes Etc (tel. 720-2684) on Avenida Central, in front of the Almacén Reina.

Twenty-four-hour ATMs can be found at Banco Nacional and Global Bank, which lie across from each other on Avenida Central and Calle 5 Sur (Mon-Fri 8am-3pm, Sat 9am-noon). There is also an ATM machine in the new Los Establos Plaza in downtown. Most hotels have a computer with Internet access or WI-FI for their guests, or try Java Juice on Avenida Central.

Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.