After a steamy couple of days in Pavones Costa Rica, we set our sights on the sleepy mountain town of Boquete just across the Panama border. We were looking forward to a little tent camping and a cooler climate.

The town is a growing haven for retired expats and the tourism industry is booming. We took advantage with a trip to the Finca la Milagrosa coffee estate where we met Senior Tito, a man with true passion for the coffee seed. The loan officers of Panama did not share his vision for coffee production in this valley. With no financial support, Senior Tito took matters into his own hands and built most of the complicated machinery required out of his old Suzuki 4×4. Today he is a world renown coffee producer and the name of his estate could not be more fitting,  translated it means the miraculous property. We left the three hour tour with a new appreciation for our morning ritual.

After the coffee tour we set out to explore Volcan Baru, Panama’s highest peak at 11,398 feet. We originally planned to summit the peak on foot but soon learned we could drive and could not resist the off-roading opportunity. We read Rick’s story from 2001 and had visions of popping the camper top at the peak. Unfortunately, there was a good reason Rick rolled his jeep, and we were only able to make it to km marker 3. We put the truck in park at 7,500 feet and set out for an afternoon hike, exploring the area for a good campsite. With the wood chopped, sundowners poured, and the moon making her debut, we sat before our first campfire of the trip reminding each other exactly where we were on the planet.


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