Lost & Pipeline Waterfalls, Boquete, Panama

Hike These Spectacular Waterfalls In The Boquete Cloud Forest.

Boquete is known as hosting one of the largest expat communities in Latin America and ranked as the fourth best place to retire in the world. Who wouldn’t want to live in an inexpensive mountain town with a volcano as their backyard backdrop? Sounds perfect to me! As retirement is years away, rather than living the everyday Boquete Life, I lived a life of hiking and walking. Oh, and more walking. My feet melted into the paved road.

 

THE LOST WATERFALLS

From the center of Boquete and right outside our hostel (Mamallenas) we took a taxi ride ($9) the 25-minute drive to The Lost Waterfalls. After 10 minutes of huffing and puffing up a hill (for me, not the guys) we made it to a little hut and was greeted by the kind caretaker. Here we paid the $7 entrance fee then the boys waited as I used the restroom. By far, the best peeing experience of my life. Look at the photo below and you will notice that there is no door. Sitting and watching the birds soar through the sky and the clouds move atop the mountains was spectacular. I made sure to have a pee on my way out!

It took about 3 hours to hike around The Lost Waterfalls and enjoy a little picnic. The first two waterfalls were easily accessible, but the third waterfall might be a little challenging if you are not wearing proper runners or if it is too muddy. Some spots are slightly steep so you may need an extra hand. But don’t fret, this beautiful hike in the Boquete cloud forest with birds fluttering and whistling, the falls spraying against the pools of water below and seeing many beautiful plants and trees are well worth the slight muddy uncomfortableness.

 

  • Drive Time: 25 minutes from Boquete  
  • Entrance Fee: $7
  • Level of Difficulty: Intermediate to advanced. The Third waterfall is challenging.
  • Hike Time: 3-4 hours
  • Attire: Runners or hiking boots. Do not wear sandals or converse type shoes.
  • Food: Bring snacks and water, however, you can buy them from the caretaker

PIPELINE WATERFALL (HIDDEN WATERFALL)

We felt upbeat after having a lovely picnic at The Lost Waterfalls and decided to walk the 20 minutes back towards Boquete to hike the Pipeline Waterfall. After paying a $3 entrance fee (children noticed us standing near the entrance and went to tell their parents we wanted to pay) we strolled up a path, passing chickens and hanging laundry then ducked into the forest. We walked along three rickety footbridges, hugged The Really Old Tree (1400 years old), and Roland attempted to eat a Beetle.

Unfortunately, the Waterfall wasn’t in its full glory. Instead of water hurling itself over the ledge, it was more like a trickle coming out of a broken hose. Did not matter. Sitting on the rocks and enjoying the almost 360-degree panoramic view of the surrounding mountain made up for it. The hike back was pleasant as it only took 35 minutes instead of the 1hr15min to get there. Downhill is a godsend! (Don’t worry, it is an easy walk up, just a slight continuous grade).

After 5 hours of enjoying 4 glorious waterfalls, we decided to walk back to town on the relatively quiet paved country road. The scenery is spectacular, why wouldn’t you choose to walk over taking a bus or taxi? Well, let me tell you. After walking for about 1.5 hours maybe 7km, a bit of rain here and there, my feet were burning and screaming obscenities. By this point, we walked for about 7 hours straight.  How the guys were also not in pain was beyond comprehension. Luckily a driver, perplexed as to why we were walking, pulled over and kindly asked if we would like a lift back to town. I was ecstatic and assumed the boys would be too. Nope. They wanted to continue walking and leave me in a car with some random guy. I don’t think so. My death stares got them quickly in the car – safety first!

  • Drive Time: 20 minutes from Boquete  
  • Entrance Fee: $3
  • Level of Difficulty: Easy  
  • Hike Time: 1.45-2.5 hours  
  • Attire: Runners or hiking boots. Do not wear sandals or converse type shoes.    
  • Food: Bring snacks and water. 

HOW TO GET TO THE WATERFALLS

Taxi, bus or vans from the main square in town ($2-3 bus, $8-10 taxi one way): Ask the driver to take you to The Lost Waterfalls or Pipeline Waterfall (Hidden Waterfall). The bus will take about 25-35 minutes depending on how often it stops. When you are ready to leave, either text your taxi driver or wait at the bus stop shelter. Don’t worry, you won’t be left stranded. There are always buses, vans and friendly locals that will take you back into town. Or you can walk!

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