Boquete, land of forests, quetzals and waterfalls

9 hours and 4 busses later, I found a region of the country in the mountains near Costa Rica where I feel much more at home. I hear frogs, insects, and the occasional bird… and this is the mural at my hostel for tonight. (And I made friends with a climber!) (Who has never heard of Joshua Tree).

I am in love with the forest, but the highlight of this place is the locals. Gaboo, who took me hiking and swimming in a nearby waterfall. Ruben, who traded me climbing guide services for a pair of Evolv’s for his little boy. And Mauricio, who invited me into his home for a home cooked meal. I am overwhelmed by how generous and kind everyone has been to a solo traveler and have felt safe my entire time in this town.

Mural at the hostel. I knew after I saw this I’d found the right place.
Paradise is a wooded lawn with hammocks.
It felt amazing to be back in the cloud forest after so many years.
I did The Touristy Thing. I hired a horse and guide for an afternoon to explore the countryside.
Horseback selfie, naturally.
The volcanic rock wall near town was fascinating!
Just hanging out. I promise I looked really hardcore when I was actually climbing.
Next up: Waterfall hike. I heard tons of beautiful quetzals but was not fortunate enough to see one.

When in doubt, take your pants off and tiptoe into the freezing waterfall.