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The Panama Tourism Authority (ATP) has opened the first Coffee Exploration Center and the country’s seventh lookout (the others are in: the Coastal Strip I, Pedasí, Amador, Chame, Las Tablas and Colón) in the Boquete district of Chiriqui province, under the official Panama logo (the butterfly).
The Center, which was built at a cost of $107,000 by the Consorcio Museo del Café (Coffee Museum Consortium) is located on the top floor of the Centro de Interpretación y Facilidades Turísticas (CEFATI) (Tourism Facilities and Interpretation Center) located right at the entrance to the actual town of Boquete. The lookout is on the ground floor of the same building.
Gustavo Him, ATP administrator, pointed out that the inauguration of the center and the installation of the lookout will be two new attractions for tourists who come here to enjoy the beautiful natural views of Boquete, and taste the high altitude coffee. Photos from the lookout will be treasured mementos of a great vacation.
The Coffee Exploration Center seeks to show the work of the coffee growers and incorporate rural tourism as an economic alternative through tours around the plantations that exist in the area.
The Center has four themes: Nature, History, Route of the Coffee and the Science of Coffee. It has informative murals, artifacts, screens with video and ambient sound in an area that invites visitors to explore and interact with its content.
According to Him, this is an interpretative center that shows the deep relationship between the people of the Highlands and coffee. The center will be the entrance gate to the ‘Route of the Coffee’, allowing visitors to experience the coming and goings of a coffee plantation.
The excellent coffee that is cultivated in the Highlands of Chiriqui province has won several international awards in the last few years, due to its quality, variety of aromas and unique flavors. The Geisha coffee, produced in Boquete and Volcan, is one of the favorites among international buyers.
The great production of this bean in the country, the work carried out by coffee growers and visits to coffee plantations have become an attractive activity that should not be missed by local tour operators. In addition to this are the visits to the botanical gardens, butterfly farms and the new trends such as the bee and honey, tea and gastronomic tours, as well as more usual tourism options such as adventure, hiking and climbing.
Currently, the ATP is developing other important projects in the Chiriqui province such as the renovation of the Paso Canoas Border Building, at a cost of $570,000 and the Verde Convention Center of Boquete, the first in Central America with an environmentally friendly infrastructure.
This iconic center will have an area of 4,000 sqm with capacity for 2,000 people. For this project land has been acquired in “El Frances Arriba”, on the way up to Boquete from David which was donated by the entrepreneur, Ricardo Pérez, and was negotiated in part by the Boquete Municipality.