Volcan has been my family’s hometown for over a year now and let me tell you… we absolutely love it here! You get crisp mornings with the most beautiful sunrises, perfect mid-mornings and afternoons, and quiet evenings filled gorgeous sunsets. The rainy season greens everything up and brings daily rain in the afternoons for roughly five months a year, just perfect to cuddle in bed and drift off to sleep.
The nights during the summer are even more amazing… almost every night God’s amazing splendor is on magnificent display as the clear, unpolluted sky is filled with thousands of stars, and the milky way is so prominent it seems you could almost whisp your fingers through it.
It’s simply incredible, and you just have to see it with your own eyes to truly comprehend just how clear the skies are. There are no chemtrails here! When the full moon rises over Volcan Baru it seems twice as big, and it’s times like that when I wish I was a talented painter. Words just don’t do the beauty justice.
The town of Volcan is filled with many small bakeries that sell fresh bread and pastries every morning, and many vegetable stands where you can find almost every fruit and vegetable that you’ve ever heard of… as well as many that you haven’t.
Tomatoes are juicy and tasty, with the perfect texture. The papayas are large and sweet. The peppers are firm and crisp. The perfect growing environment here yields the most perfect fruits and vegetables that I’ve ever tasted.
On top of the local fruit stands and bakeries, there are approximately 10 small grocery stores the locals call tiendas along the mile and a half main drag, including three American-style groceries – one Romero’s, and two Berard’s. There are many hardware stores here as well, and apart from large American-style appliances you can find most anything that you would need to build a home from start to finish. Many restaurants are sprinkled throughout the community, featuring both local and international cuisine.
This little town of roughly 15,000 people is much more than its great weather. This community has something to offer almost anyone looking for a place to invest, to retire or to raise a family. Volcan has slowly seen increasing construction along with the infrastructure improvements through most of Chiriqui, and as a result many expats have relocated to the region.
Volcan also enjoys tourism from all parts of the globe, most especially from those filled with an adventurous wanderlust appeal to rugged, wild west atmosphere.
My Volcan Bucketlist
You might wonder what a day in Volcan looks like, or what to include in a future visit. Consider adding any of these four spots:
Sendero Los Quetzales
This popular 9 KM trail connects Cerro Punta (a few miles past Volcan) with Boquete, crossing Baru Volcano from side to side. The hiking is a great outdoor activity, combining challenging paths with beautiful nature.
If you’re lucky the Sendero will throw a Quetzal in your way – an amazingly colored bird native to the region that doesn’t wander off too far.
Tourists enjoy birdwatching and incredible spots to catch a break and grab a snack. It only costs $5 for foreigners and $2 for nationals. You will exercise a lot, whether you finish the trail or return at any point, so be prepared: bring your backpack with sufficient water and snacks, and wear comfortable shoes appropriate for a moderately challenging hike!
Burricos Mexican Grill
Everybody loves Mexican food, and Volcan locals are no exception. Jaime and Mirtha always welcome people at Burricos Mexican Grill with a big smile and top great customer service with the most delicious Mexican food in Chiriqui.
I’m not the only one who agrees – 100+ trip advisor reviews will encourage you to visit Burricos as well. Lunch or dinner (it opens at 11 am), stop by and ask for their monster burritos or their terrific mole. You will not be disappointed!
Yeah, I know… how can I recommend a Mexican restaurant in Panama? Well, firstly because this is my adopted hometown and this is my article… and secondly because Mexican food is the best food in the world and if you’ve never enjoyed a Maracuya Margarita prepared by Jaime and Mirtha along with some excellent chicken fajitas then I’m sorry, but you have yet to live your life to the fullest!
Once you’re done with lunch, go grab a quick coffee at Finca Janson, home of some of the finest coffee grown in the world! Volcan features a handful of coffee shops with delicious flavors from Arabica to Geisha – all locally grown!
Finca Janson Coffee Shop is one of my favorite places, not only for the coffee but also because they have a great gift shop to grab some keepsakes and their cafe features a large room for serving guests and enjoys nice views over the coffee farm.
The farm also boasts an amazing nursery where you can pick up your very own coffee trees as well as virtually all of the flowers, plants, and trees that are grown here in the area. You can also check out their tours around the coffee farm if you want to learn the ins and outs of coffee production.
Maybe hiking is a bit extreme, but you still want to enjoy the beautiful outdoors and all that Volcan has to offer. Regardless, you’re going to want to visit Sitio Barriles, an archeological site where you can hold artifacts from pre-Colombian civilizations that first settled the area. They are part of the Mayan culture that lived here long before the Spanish conquest.
You can explore the actual excavation site to witness how artifacts have been recovered. The site also features an indoor exhibit and an outdoor collection of large “Magic Stones” – you can’t see anything written on the stones unless they are wet.
Parking is $5, and allows you to tour the site by yourself. You also have the option to pay $5 per person, which includes parking, for a 60 minutes guided tour. I very much enjoyed the guided tour, as your tour guide will add insight and flavor to the many exhibits and is a wealth of knowledge about the area. The choice is yours.
Ready to visit?
When you’re ready to put your plans together to visit Volcan let us know! There are many more things to do here, these just happen to be among my favorites. We will be more than glad to share a coffee and tell you more about our experience, and we might just have the perfect place for you to stay!
If you are looking for investment opportunities, we will show you top real estate properties in the area that best fit your needs. When searching for flights into the area, use the airport designation DAV. That will get you to the Enrique Malek Airport in David, a quick fifty minute drive up the mountain. You can leave from many hubs across North America and be enjoying coffee with us the same evening!
Did you find this article useful? Please share it with your family and friends!