Long story short, Boquete was wonderful…my brother met up with us the last weekend we were there. We stayed at a really interesting hostel called Pension Topas which is owned by a German couple. Being a few blocks from the park, it made it super convenient and incredibly cheap ($12 a night for a private room). Also, this hostel has a pool, which was an awesome way to cool off after our long mountain hikes.
Monday, the 8th of June Justin, Evan and I went on the Sendero Los Quetzales. We started the hike from a town called Cerro Punta. To get there we took the bus from Boquete to David, then, out of our own stupidity and lack of fully being conscious from getting up at 5am we ended up taking another bus that went to the Costa Rican boarder missing our stop by about 45 minutes. Evan, not having his passport or even a copy on him lead for a very scary feeling that we might not be going on our hike and possibly spend the day detained in some Costa Rican jail for stupid travelers….But, luckily, the bus that we hopped on to head back in the other direction was a local bus which I don’t think boarder control stops very often. The Tica bus (mostly foreigners) in front of us got stopped and we sped right through. It was a glorious feeling.
After three hours of being on the road, we made it to the start of the Quetzal Trail. The beginning was mostly uphill, being very steep. After about an hour and a half we stopped for our first snack (Justin and I packed a few apples, some granola bars, and some cereal while Evan was solely adamant about his meat and cheese). While stopped we saw the only other people of the day that did the trail starting on the Boquete side ending in Cerro Punta. They were on such a hiking high it almost scared me. They were giggling like little girls and all jumpy about the trail. They warned us about how some of the path got destroyed by the rains in November and that it’s quite difficult in parts and pretty dangerous. They didn’t scare me too much but I did get a little concerned, with reason.
For the most part the path was “mild” according to Justin. It was definitely pretty hard for me with my clumsiness and lack of sneakers with proper grip. I ate it a few times and found myself having mud in places there shouldn’t be. But, it was very fun falling, sliding, slipping and climbing. The best fall goes to Justin who flew off a hill bounced off a tree on his butt and jumped into the air almost flying off a huge cliff….it was amazing. I saw the whole thing thinking this was the end! I don’t think it fazed him too much but I saw the whole thing and it scared the bejesus out of me…. he laughed afterwards…I laughed nervously with him. Evan had a bunch of nice slides but never managed to get in a good spill. It was a great team, the three of us helped eachother out at all different parts of the trail. Actual hiking was about 8.5 hours but the day spent between the three of us was about 12 hours which was fun, thrilling, scary, and exciting. I’m a little disappointed we didn’t see any of the famous Quetzals but I think the day couldn’t have been any better. It was beautiful, we didn’t get any rain, and we had amazing company. Plus, I felt like a million bucks making it through that long hike alive.