Camp in a Cloud Forest at Bajo Mono Camping Site

We visited the Bajo Mono Camping site, which is about 25 minutes from the town of Boquete. You must go to Los Naranjos and take the left at the intersection, then you will arrive at La Cantera and you must take the right way. You will pass a wall of basalt rocks where they do climbing lessons. In Horqueta you take the left again and you will go through the waterfall of San Ramon, ideal place to take photos. You will arrive at the famous castle that could be visited before but they have fenced it with barbed wire. Then you will pass the entrance to the Sendero de los Quetzales and just after you will arrive at the farm.

We received by Isaac Quiel with his wife and son who accompanied us on the tour of his beautiful estate.

The legacy of the Quiel family in Boquete

Basilio Quiel, Isaac’s great-grandfather, arrived in Dolega at the end of 1890 and got married. They decided to move to the area of Boquete when there were not many houses or people. It was a inhospitable place because of the climate and the surrounding conditions. He came to colonize wooded areas, because the more terrain you chopped down, the more you were worth. He located himself from the La Cantera area to Alto Chiquero, including the Alto Quiel and Bajo Mono areas. He had a lot of land that he gave away to his children who sold it little by little. The Bajo Mono farm we visited was a piece of this great estate.

Boquete was founded on April 11, 1911, but Basilio was not recognized as founder at that time. However, the municipality did a posthumous honor to him, as the founder of the district, naming the “Alto Quiel” road that leads to the farm and the ring road.

A sustainable agricultural farm

Isaac tells us that if they use some chemical products but they are biological. They do not use products that affect the environment or people. They use mechanical agricultural practices to control pastures, including tractor, machete and low impact herbicide.

They practice the crop rotation and fallow system that leaves a plot of land to rest during one or several agricultural cycles.

He took us to walk around his farm while he was explaining to us about the daily activities of sowing and harvesting.

His son showed us how to feed the sheep and cattle. He says he goes with the father to show the other children not to be afraid of the animals.

The star of the farm is a goat called Gringo that stands on two legs while you feed it.

Some of the residents of Bajo Mono Camping Site are sheep, goats, pigs, cows, chickens, geese and turkeys.

Bird watching in Boquete

The biodiversity is immense because of the location of the farm. Bajo Mono Camping Site is on the edge of the Volcán Barú National Park in the transition zone between the agricultural and protected area. They have native flora of the cloud forests. They have inserted anthropic plants to bring hummingbirds. In addition, they have planted aguacatillo and other plants to attract the quetzal during the nesting season.

Boquete is famous for its coffee. In Bajo Mono Camping Site they plant it under shade for conservation. At the same time, this coffee provides food for the surrounding birds. Bird watchers will love visiting this farm where they can find euphonia, peacocks, trogons, tucancillos, among others.

There is another deeper path that can be accessed with guides who know the farm. Some of the guides recommended by Isaac are Armando Rosas, Raul Velazquez, Jason Lara, Cesar Gonzalez, Plinio Montenegro and Alexander Ortega.

Tatica waterfall in Bajo Mono Camping Site

The Tatica waterfall is on the bed of a stream that rises from Respingo Hill at 2,700 meters above sea level. It is a tributary of the Caldera River that passes through the town of Boquete. We walked along a small path to reach the waterfall that passed through some streams. In the river watercress was growing, Isaac grabbed a bunch and handed it to us.

They maintain a concession with the Ministry of Environment for landscaping use of 75 meters upstream and downstream from year 2,011. The water is suitable for human consumption in the community, livestock and agriculture. Not only do they use it, but also their neighbors. They maintain 17.7 hectares of forest that belong to the Quiel family.

This forest is a succession that is the maximum stage that a wooded area can reach to protect a water source. Bajo Mono Camping Site has 60 hectares of which 35% is maintained as a wooded area.

Visiting the waterfall costs $5 and tours cost $10 per person with a minimum of four.

Stay in a Hotel in Boquete.

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