Country Guide » Places
Nicknamed ¨Pequeña Suiza¨ (Little Switzerland), this small village opposite of Boquete on the western slopes of Volcán Barú has been on the rise for investment and tourism over the past decade. The sloping, triangular rooftops, wood eaves and balconies are evocative of Swiss chalets in the European Alps, remnants of the original Swiss emigrants that dominated the region. Today many Panamanians, tourists and expats continue to see the region´s natural beauty of large mountains and highland climate, diversifying Panama´s definition as purely tropical. Large horse farms dominate the area, with some of the best of Panama´s racehorses coming from this region. Visits to thoroughbred horse farms as well as horseback coffee tours available.
The cool weather and moisture of the 1200+ meter elevation, along with the volcanic soil of the nearby slopes, has resulted in fertile land rooting the economy in agriculture. It is common to find strawberry stands along Volcán´s main road, as the nearby town of Cerro Punta is responsible for the production of the majority of the nation´s garden vegetables: lettuce, onion, tomato, carrot, potato, celery and cabbage, as well as strawberries and of course, coffee. Many of the area restaurants feature strawberry dishes. With rolling hillsides of green pastures, refreshingly cool mountain temperatures, panoramic views, flower farms, and eco-tourist parks, visitors will be sure to see why Volcán is growing in its´ retirement expat communities.