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Walden69: Bandera de Chiriqui (Panamà); 10 October 2006

Chiriquí is a province of Panama, located on the western coast of the country. With the capital and the largest city David Chiriquí is the most developed province in the country. The capital is the city of David.


Nepenthes: Chiriqui, Panama; 2006

Home to Santa Catalina, one of the best surfing destination in Central America, the Chiriqui Province is a virtual peninsula extending out into the Pacific from western Panama.  Sitting just north of the Equator and with a clear view of both the North and South Pacific, the coastline around here is in prime position to receive energy from the two most powerful and consistent swell trains on the planet. Having a reliable north and south facing surf coast further adds to the amazing construction of the region.

Being so close to the equator, the winds here are generally light or non exstent for much of the year so it can get a little humid but the possibility of day long sessions at any time of the year is almost to good to be true.

There has to be something wrong with this place and there is. crowds, surfcamps, surfers with ugly attitudes. It's worth taking a surf tour for at least part of your stay here to give yourself the best shot of experiencing something a little less known, not quite as perfect but all yours.



Puente De Las Américas (from www.

You can rent a car and get around quite easily. Just be careful, as road engineering standards are fairly low.

The roughly linear shape of the country makes it ideal for a bus system, so you don't even need to rent a car (only if you want to get to some remote areas). There are two different types of buses: city buses and highway buses. The ones you will find on the highways are pretty frequent and usually air-conditioned. To stop the bus you should give a sign with your hand and when you want to get off, yell "PARADA!". Buses are not expensive and will take you pretty much everywhere.

City buses are crowded and often have no air conditioner, so taxi can be a better option, especially because they are not expensive at all and they can take you way out into the country. Just note that if you plan to take a taxi from Tocumen airport to Panama City, better share it with other passengers, as this particular ride will be much more expensive.

where to stay

Jquarns: House on the Rio Caldera in Boquete, 8 September 2007

There are three cities in Chiriqui: David, Boquete and Cerro Punta. 

In David, there's a lot of Hotels to stay at, all around the city. They've got BIG letterings so you can easily make out what's a hotel, and what's a building. A recommendation is The Purple House Hostel - reviews from other travellers have stateed that the owner Andrea is extremely helpful.

In Boquete, there are quite a few hostels around the central parc - the less expensive ones are usually grouped down the parc, close to the firefighters and the police.

"Hostal Paradiso" is nice but a bit nosy as it lies right opposite the bus station and central parc. One block east and one block north is the "Nomba" Hostal which is known to rent out outdoors equipment (such as rainjackets, tents, etc.).

In Cerro Punta,
Cielito Sur Bed & Breakfast Inn Rustic Mountain Charm and Hotel Bambito 5 Stars Resort have been given top review.

what to pack

Fir0002: Canon-Deluxe Backpack-200-EG; 26 June 2005

The province features a variety of climates. Lowland areas near David are hot and humid, while highlands of Cerro Punta are cool. So pack accordingly. Bring your own toilet paper and anti-septic hand-shower stuff.

Raincoat and rubberboots with light, long trousers if you plan bushwalking. Waterproof bag will be great for the rainy season.  
You won't regret swimming & snorkelling gear and a quick drying towel! And take films and memory cards with you  (can be hard to find and expensive). Little swiss knife and a good torch will be useful. Anti-malaria drugs (Aralen) and all the medicines you use on a daily basis.

Bring plenty of memory for digital cameras and bring plenty of batteries. And take a good protection for your camera from the sand.  

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