This weekend, my boyfriend and I went on a romantic road trip to the little mountain village of Cerro Punta. Cerro Punta is located in Panama, in the Chiriqui province, about 1.5 hour drive from David. This village is well known for all the fresh fruits and veggies produced up there. Loving clean eating and fresh produces, we thought it was a good opportunity to discover the region and buy some fresh vegetables at the same time.
Sunday morning, we are off. The sun is shining, the weekend already looks promising. We booked a night stay at Los Quetzales Eco-lodge & Spa. The place is well signed along the way and easy to find. The lodge is located right in the center of the village, perfect location! There are different types of accomodation available and we chose to stay in one of their private cabins. What the website doesn’t mention and was a bit of a surprise for us is that the cabins are quite far from the village – they are actually lost in the jungle haha! The problem is to reach the cabins, you can’t use your own vehicle, the hotel staff is driving you up there with their own 4WD – when you get on the road, you understand why! You are definitely in the middle of the jungle. Our cabin was located next to the river so it was really nice to hear the water stream! It is well furnished, spacious, cozy, there even is Wi-Fi in the cabin. I really enjoyed it! The only way to communicate with the lodge is by radio – no landline or cellphone reception up there.
At our arrival, the receptionist gave us a list of grocery goods to chose from so we could cook some meals up in our cabin. I recommend you to plan food for dinner and breakfast.
Not too far from the cabins is the Finca Dracula garden – a botanical garden where you can admire local plant species as well as beautiful orchids. There are lots of hummingbirds hanging around there so don’t forget to bring your camera! While you are there, stop for coffee or tea on the terrace.
We went back down to the lodge for lunch and the food at the restaurant is amazing! They emphazise fresh vegetable (some of them from their garden), fish, and poultry – which I really enjoyed. They also have options for vegetarians which is a great surprise considering how small this village is. Go try the food and coffee there, it is definitely worth it and really cheap!
After that, we decided to go and have a look around the village. There are lots of little market stalls selling art & craft as well as local food. Cerro Punta is “strawberry land”, they are selling strawberry specialities everywhere, even if we weren’t really in the right season. I tried their “fresas con crema” (strawberries and cream) and it was delicious!
There is a place on the main road of the village where you can go up the hill and pick up your own strawberries for only US$ 1!!! How amazing is that. It is a bit of a climb but so worth it!
Later on we went to visit “La Amistad International Park”, which is a national park located at the Costa Rican’s border and thus shared between Panama and Costa Rica. There are two different walks you can do up there, one is a 20 minutes walk and the other one takes about 3 hours. We only did the 20 minutes one as we were a bit late in the afternoon and could see the rain coming. It is a nice and easy walk through the jungle.
It can get really chilly at night up in the mountains so don’t forget to pack some warm clothes! Although, the cabin was equipped with a fireplace to keep us warm.
The lodge also offers horse riding, sauna, yoga classes and spa treatments (with more than reasonable prices). As we were only staying there one day, we unfortunately didn’t have enough time to try all the activities but if I go back there one day, I will definitely book a honey and oatmeal facial at the spa :p
On our way back to David the next morning we stopped at a few market stalls to get our fresh vegetables for the week. They are much cheaper than at the supermarkets in town.
And this ends our little road trip to the mountains. It was so nice to see a different side of Panama than the beaches. It felt like we were in a totally different country!
I hope this will give you some ideas if you ever come and visit Panama. Let me know if you have been there already, where you stayed at and if you have any good adresses or tips in the comment section below.