We have been in Boquete (pronounced Boe ket ay) for the better part of a month. Most of that time we have been in the same apartment which is furnished with everything you could want, including a mixer, knife sharpener, and lots of dish towels. The bed is comfortable and the entertainment center includes a ton of movies via Kodi as well as Netflix and cable TV. It is clean and well maintained.
Now it is even better maintained (minor fixes) because we made a barter for part of our rent payment. I created a website for the apartments and Dan is doing some minor repairs.
Our view is wonderful, it looks out over the town of Boquete. We are on one of the higher points in the area. The view varies from clear to socked in clouds but I enjoy it all. I’m surprised that the almost daily rain doesn’t bother me. I think that is mostly because the temperatures are very comfortable (shorts or capris most of the time), the humidity isn’t bad, and it is usually in the late afternoons so you can plan around it.
While Boquete doesn’t compare to Durango Colorado in many ways, it is about the same size. About 10% of the population is English speaking so you may or may not run into clerks and wait staff that speak English. Our Spanish has progressed to the point that we can usually do without Google Translate when we talk to people.
Boquete is less than an hour from David (pronounced da veed like the lady who used to be on NCIS) which I would guess is about 150,000 people. Doctors of all kinds come to Boquete on a regular basis so you can get most health care taken care of here and many of them speak English. Dan saw an optometrist (no charge!!!) to get a new prescription for his glasses and the new lenses were about the same cost as the ones he got not quite a year ago.
The monetary system is based on the US dollar although they do give change sometimes in Balboas but it is still based on 100 cents to the dollar or Balboa and the coins (except for the Balboa itself which is a two metal coin) are the same basic size and materials as US coins so it is easy to think in US money. (Makes life less challenging!)
We haven’t done any sightseeing since we were getting over our colds/allergies/whatever but we have enjoyed the relaxed pace, doing a lot of reading, some walking, occasional Zumba using the video that Rebecca Thompson kindly made for me.
And receiving packages is easy here. We are using a company who contracts with Mail Boxes Etc. and we have things shipped to Miami, FL and they are forwarded to us. It isn’t cheap since we pay shipping to Miami and then another fee to get it here and deal with Customs but we got our first two packages today, some of the same products that we couldn’t get in Costa Rica, with no problems!!!
If I wanted to relocate, this might be a good place however I understand that it is very windy like Monteverde during the dry season so I don’t think I’d want that. In any case, it doesn’t have some things I really miss from Durango: recreation center (there are gyms here but not as extensive a selection of activities), Seniors Outdoors organization although they do have small groups that hike several times a week, and most importantly the friends we have made in Durango.
So while we keep a look out in the back of our minds for a better place to live permanently than Durango, nothing has come very close to filling that description.