The extraordinary Chiriqui Province in West Panama on the border of Costa Rica, offers a wide variety of attractions including highland and beach destinations, Indian cultures, idyllic retirement communities, world class rafting, kayaking, birding and hiking.

David: The Capital City of Chiriqui Province

David is the perfect place to overnight on your way to Panama City from Costa Rica or on your way to other Chiriqui destinations. Conveniently located on the Panamerican Highway, it's just 45 minutes from the border with Costa Rica and 6.5 hours from Panama City. David has the best shopping in Panama outside Panama City. The El Rey supermarket is excellent for groceries, Furniture City for furniture, Do-It Center for hardware and housewares , there is a small Chiriqui Mall and there is even a Price Costco ( called Price Smart in Panama). The David Airport is the main airport in the region with flights to and from Panama City, Bocas del Toro and San Jose Costa Rica.

Rafting and Kayaking

Chiriqui Province is famous for both rafting and river kayaking. You can choose an easy family rafting day trip or a variety of more advanced river runs. Even experienced rafters rave about Class 5 Chiriqui rafting opportunties. Chiriqui River Rafting is the rafting outfit to go with, Panama’s original with a more than 20 year perfect safety record.

Highlands and Mountains Attractions

Chiriqui has two highland national parks: La Amistad International Park a 407,000 hectare cloud forest park which is half in Panama and half in Costa Rica and the 14,000 hectare Volcan Baru National Park.
The Chiriqui highlands have a near perfect climate, quaint villages, friendly folk, flower fairs, orchid farms, extraordinary birding, hiking and the panoramic mountain views.

Beach Resorts and Developments

Chiriqui province has three established and developing beach resort areas: Playa Barquete, about 20 minutes west of David, Las Lajas, roughly 90 minutes east of David; and (our favourite) Boca Chica, approximately 60 minutes east of David.

Playa Barquete, with several miles of sandy beach front, has been developing for a number of years and currently is the site of a condominium development. Lots for building homes are also avalable.

Las Lajas also has several miles of sandy beach and is beinning to develop quite rapidly, with one or two companies offering lots for sale and a new hotel under contruction by two young Americans.

Boca Chica is an emerging resort and development area in Chiriqui. It is extremely scenic, offering panoramic views of the Pacific ocean, speckled with lovely barrier islands that keep the water calm and perfect for swimming. Looking inland, you can see the Chiriqui highlands and Volcan Baru, the highest peek in Panama.

There are 2 attractive hotels options in Boca Chica: Seagul Cove on the mainland and Calamia on Boca Brava island, v efry near to Bioca Chica.

More Highland Destinations

Driving past Volcan in the western highlands, you arrive at the small villages of Bambito, Nueva Suiza, Guadalupe, Volcan and Cerro Punta, next to the Cloud Forests of Amistad International Park

Attractions include cloud forest hiking, birding (the Resplendent Quetzal is seen regularly), horseback riding, strawberry farms, canoeing & birdwatching on the Lagunas de Volcan, Panama's highest marsh ecosystem, a visit to Finca Dracula orchid botanical garden; a must with over 1200 species of orchids, pure breed horse ranches, rainbow trout fishing, export quality commercial flower farms and Pre Columbian petroglyphs at Sitio Barriles.