With so many tour options available in Boquete, Panama, the hardest part is choosing what you want to do in this beautiful hillside town.
After looking at a number of tour options, we decided to go with Horses and Hot Springs and booked an afternoon with Franklin’s Horseback Riding Tours.
Franklin Rovetto, a bilingual Panamanian horse rider and writer, came to pick us up from our accommodation in Boquete. On the 25-minute ride to Caldera, he told us all about Boquete, places he likes to eat, and information about the upcoming elections. He also answered any questions we had about local life and vegetation.
Our first stop was at a local hot spring – Caldera Springs. It was a bit of a hike through a forest to a small farm. Here, the small thermal springs were waiting to soak our travel aches away. From here, we walked down to the river to cool off and spent some time here, sunning ourselves on the big, flat river rocks.
After we were thoroughly refreshed, we then made our way to Franklin’s family farm to meet our horses. Franklin has a horse for every type of rider, from those who have never been on a horse, to those with a lot of riding experience. I fell somewhere in the middle and my horse was a beautiful girl named Pimento.
After some of the animals we’d seen on this trip, I was immediately impressed by how well taken care of these horses were. After making sure we were all secure, we started out on a flat trail, with the horses stopping along the way to munch on fresh mangoes (apparently the Panamanian equivalent to apples!)
After riding through most of the little town of Caldera, we made our way back to the farm and up into the hills. The trails here were beautiful, often rocky and narrow and at times quite steep.
The rural countryside goes from volcanicstone to wide open fields where the horses love to gallop. We headed past cows grazing and little waterfalls, where the horses took a break to have a cool drink of water before continuing up to the top for a breathtaking panoramic view looking out over the treetops and houses below.
After spending some time up here taking photos, Franklin led us back down a trail he knows by heart. We were definitely in great hands with him as we explored the peaceful highlands of Caldera.
*The tour cost $55 for the afternoon, including pickup and drop off, the thermal hot springs and the horseback riding.
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