Hiking in Boquete, Panama is some of the best you will find in this region. La Piedra de Lino is no exception. I have been hiking on La Piedra De Lino a couple of times now. Both times were different but equally challenging.
The entrance to La Piedra De Lino is a short drive or about an hour’s walk out of downtown Boquete. As I didn’t have a car, and public transport was not too appealing during Covid-19, I chose to walk. Unlike most hiking trails in Boquete, this one is actually quite easy to find. There is even a sign, maybe two, a rare thing when hiking in Boquete!
To get there just follow the main road north through town and turn right just after Mercadito Erica. This is also a good place to stop for snacks and drinks. Trust me, it’s a thirsty climb! From the intersection, it is about a 2km walk or drive to the turn off for the trailhead. Look for the sign and Hostal Casa Pedro.
For me, La Piedra De Lino is one of the most difficult hikes in Boquete. But it’s also one of the shortest. From the main road, it is only 45 minutes to an hour to the top. If you think the walk up the driveway to the trailhead is steep then you best turn around now. This is the easy part!
Once you pass a nice, large yellow house on your left, you will need to head right on the dirt road immediately afterward. Now it gets steep! Ignore the barking dogs at the top, they are out of harms way. Look for the trail to begin on your left at the top of the short dirt road.
The trail from here is fairly easy to follow, just go to the left of the abandoned cabin after a few minutes and you are on your way to the top.
From here things only get steeper. You will sweat and cuss like never before, at least I did! I have hiked this trail in the dry season and again in the rainy season. Believe it or not, it was easier in the rainy season. During the dry season, the trail is very dusty. It feels like you take two steps forward and one step back. During the rainy season, the trail is more compacted and a little easier to climb. At least it was the day I did it, although I don’t recommend trying it while it’s actually raining.
From the cabin to the top it is about a 30-minute climb. This is where it gets tough. It’s a narrow slippery trail with lots of tree roots to navigate. You’ll also need those trees to hold onto and pull yourself up at times. Once you hit the shade of the forest you will know that the worst of the climbing is over. But remember, you still have to get back down!
After a few more minutes of climbing over some rocks, you will realize why you came. 360 degree views of the Boquete valley and Volcan Baru await you. Hopefully you get here early enough before the clouds cover the peak of the volcano.
Here there are plenty of rocks to rest on while enjoying a well-desrved picnic. If you are lucky there will be a nice breeze to help dry your sweaty clothes. Unfortunately, the 360-degree views mean there really is no shade up here. Even with clouds all around in the rainy season, I was still in the sun at the top. The clouds in the valley can put on quite a show for you, clear blue skies one minute, a whiteout the next.
After you have relaxed and enjoyed the view for a while, it’s time for the difficult part of the hike! Yes, going down is even harder than going up! The trees you grabbed on to going up will be life savers on the way down. The trail is slippery whether wet or dry. You are guaranteed to fall on your ass at some point, I know I did. Panamanian farmers in flip flops or wellies are the only people who seem to be able to manage it without falling. Gringos in fancy hiking boots have no chance!
Once you finally make it back to the road, you can flag down a taxi, or take a leisurely downhill walk back to town. A cold beer from Supermercardo Erika is always first on my list. A long hot shower is next!
La Piedra de Lino is not my favorite hike in Boquete, but it’s a great one to do if you just have half a day to spare.
Let me know what your favorite place to go hiking in Boquete is. Do you have somewhere I am missing out on?