The Lost Waterfalls of Boquete, Panama

Want to find The Lost Waterfalls of Boquete,'s how!

‘The Lost Waterfalls’ in Boquete, Panama. They aren’t really lost. Actually, they’re a 25 minute bus ride out of town on a very clear path! Yet it doesn’t make them any less spectacular. In fact, they’re stunning.

Waterfall in the forest

Exiting the bus in what seems like the middle of nowhere, a dusty and rocky trail leads to a rusty suspension bridge. The kind you only see in the movies. It creeks and sounds like it could collapse any moment into the stream below.

Suspension Bridge
The suspension bridge at the entrance…I do love a good suspension bridge!

A steep ascent now awaits. Winding up the hill, after a few minutes you’re greeted by flowers red and yellow flowers. Their beautiful colours offsetting the grey rocks. At the top it feels like you’ve entered another country. Rolling mountains, lush green trees, wooden cabins. This could be Switzerland, were it not for the looming clouds above the rain forest up ahead.

Panama Valley Boquete
This is the kiosk where you pay to enter

Paying the $7 USD entrance fee to a lovely man in a cabin, your name is taken and a receipt issued. It’s to make sure everyone that goes in comes out! He’ll show you a map of the route, but it’s easy to follow without one.

Panama Valley
A view over the Boquete valley as you enter the forest

There are three waterfalls. You can trek through the jungle to the final waterfall and then work your way back to the other two. Alternatively you can start at waterfall one and trek onwards to the other two. We opted to experience the jungle first and then see the waterfalls on our return trek. Either route is fine and you’ll be walking both trails either way.

With the fee paid and a map in hand, on we went.

It was the end of March and still the dry season, but the paths were far from dry. Green grass and wooden steps soon turned to muddy paths and slippery rocks. Online advice suggested that The Lost Waterfalls of Boquete are a flat and leisurely trek. This is a lie.

Forest trails
Rose goes hopping through the forest to find the waterfalls

Whilst not difficult if you have a basic level of fitness, the paths are steep. Between waterfalls two and three there is even a set of hanging ropes to pull yourself up. The ascent is 120 degrees and a hell of a lot of fun.

Rope trail
You’ll need to use the ropes to ascend some of the trails

Throughout the trail, the views are out of this world. The sun cracks through the dense rain forest and bell birds can be heard singing high up above. In the distance you can hear the waterfalls cascading.

After an hour you reach waterfall three. All the hard work pays off. It’s gorgeous. Some might say a waterfall is a waterfall, wherever in the world it is, but in this setting, it takes your breath away. Now is the perfect moment to relax, take it in and revive yourself before heading back down.

Waterfall in Panama
Waterfall One of Three on the trail

Lost waterfall number two flows from an even greater height and if you’re feeling brave, it’s possible to jump across rocks and peer over the edge with water gushing between your feet.

The ultimate sight however, is lost waterfall number one. At least double the height of the others, it’s a perfect spot to rest amongst the flowers and watch it smash on to the rocks in the river below.

Bench and flowers
Time for a peaceful break

The Lost Waterfalls hike is incredible. After doing it I felt totally alive. The scenery, the adventurous hike, the beauty of Panama’s thick green rain forest.

You have to do it if you’re in Boquete.

How to find The Lost Waterfalls of Boquete

Collectivo buses (they look like minivans) leave the two blocks up from the park. Ask which one takes you to “cascadas” and they will put you on the right Collectivo. 

They depart every half hour and the journey takes around 25 minutes. It will cost you $2.50 USD per person one way.

When it’s time to return to Boquete, wait where the collectivo dropped you off. One will be along within half an hour.

Taxis are also an option and you can expect to pay $3 USD per person, each way.

How much do The Lost Waterfalls of Boquete cost?

The entrance fee is $7 USD per person and you pay this at a hut on top of the hill after the suspension bridge. There is a sign saying to turn right for 700 metres and pay the $7 USD entrance fee. Ignore this, go up the hill and pay there.

How long to spend at The Lost Waterfalls

The whole hike, at a leisurely pace, with rest stops should take around three hours.


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