Guide to hiking to the Lost Waterfalls near Boquete, our favourite hike in Panama
Hiking to the lost waterfalls in Boquete was one of the highlights of our time in Panama. I am a huge lover of waterfalls and knew that I needed to experience the best that Panama had to offer.
After some digging I found a hike called; ‘The Lost Waterfalls’ and that had my full attention. I mean, with a name like that I had to go and see them for myself. The Local name for the waterfalls is Las Tres Cascadas – The three waterfalls.
Well, it’s safe to say we were not disappointed with our hike and now I’m going to share with you everything you need to know to be able to go and explore this hidden gem for yourselves.
Hiking To The Lost Waterfalls Boquete – Everything You Need To Know
Luckily, despite the name, these waterfalls are actually not hard to get to at all.
Where is the Lost Waterfalls Hike?
The Lost Waterfalls are located just outside of Boquete in Northern Panama. About a 30-minute drive from the town centre. In the Map below you can see the location of the waterfalls in relation to the town.
If you love waterfalls, check out our favourite waterfalls in El Salvador too!
How to get to the start of The Lost Waterfalls Hike from Boquete.
To get to the start of the Hike you are going to need to take a minibus from the centre of town. The buses can be found waiting here. There isn’t really a timetable or schedule you just show up and let the drivers know you want to go to the Lost Waterfalls.
They will put you on the right bus and you will most likely have to wait until they have a few more people before they set off. They will do a loop of the town and then head up to the start of the trail. Our minibus dropped us off directly at the start of the trail.
We have heard that sometimes they stop further away. If this is the case for you, keep walking further up the road until you reach these signs, this is the start of the trail.
Coming back we just waited on the main road for the next minibus to come and drop people off and we jumped in and back to town. The route is a loop and the drivers just spend the day going up and down, so you usually don’t have to wait too long.
The cost of the bus each way was around $2.50.
Alternatively, you can take a Taxi up but this will cost more, around $10 each way. Which Is great if there’s a group of you all going together.
If you have your own rental car you can drive yourself up and park along the main road (near the signs we showed you) for free. We saw a row of rentals there when we left the trail, there’s plenty of space.
How much does The Lost Waterfalls Hike cost?
The waterfalls are on private land and the trails and viewpoints are very well maintained. Due to this, the cost to enter the land and the trail was 10PAB which is also $10 USD per person.
It’s good to note that you do not need a Guide to do this Hike.
How long is the Lost Waterfalls hike?
The full Hike, all the way to the third waterfall takes around 1.5 hours. So around 3 hours in total to do the full loop back to the start.
I highly recommend Starting the hike early in the day. It is not a trail that ever gets particularly busy. but we did notice that there were definitely more people on the trails in the afternoon as we were leaving than there were in the morning when we arrived.
How difficult is the Lost Waterfalls Hike?
The hike is not difficult but it is pretty steep in some parts and was very slippery and Muddy when we were there, which I believe is pretty normal for this hike. You will need a moderate level of fitness and be able to climb steep steps.
You will also need to wear sturdy hiking boots or trainers for this hike, trust me.
What to Pack for the Lost Waterfalls Boquete
As with any hike you will want to take as little as possible and not be carrying a big heavy bag around with you. This is what we had in our backpacks when we visited the Lost Waterfalls in Boquete;
- Raincoats because it rains pretty often in Boquete
- Snacks like cereal bars and nuts to keep us going
- Water Bottles – We have Water-To-Go filter bottles that we can fill from anywhere to always have clean water to drink. We even filled them up from the waterfalls.
💧 Get your very own Water-To-Go Filter Bottle Here!
- Dry Bag – In case we decide to go for a swim or if it rains to keep the camera dry
- Microfibre towels – Lightweight and fast-drying towels in case we want to swim
The Hike To The Lost Waterfalls in Boquete
Once you step off the road, follow the track down to the rickety old metal suspension bridge. I would cross it quickly if I were you because it looks like it has definitely seen better days.
Carry on up the path and to the hut where you will sign in and pay the entrance fee. The path just to get to the hut is already pretty steep so it is a good warm-up.
Once you’ve paid, the paths to the waterfalls are really well signposted. You couldn’t get lost even if you tried! But maybe don’t try, just in case.
The first waterfall of the three is not far from the hut, maybe just a 5-10 minute walk. You cant swim in the first waterfalls, but they have built a nice viewing platform for you to sit and enjoy the view or take some photos.
When you are ready to continue, carry on up the path to the second waterfall. The path will lead you into the jungle as it winds around trees along the edge of the water. Enjoy the views and all the sounds that come along with the jungle.
We heard some pretty unique birds the day we hiked to the Lost Waterfalls in Boquete.
Keep following the signs to waterfall number two and be prepared to be blown away, number two is impressive!
There are a couple of spots along the path where you will get a sneak peek of the waterfall but you can go right up close to this one. If you’re feeling brave you can even take a dip in the water. But it is pretty chilly.
Waterfall number two is where we spent most of our time, we just couldn’t get over how beautiful it all was.
The last stretch of the hike between Waterfalls Two and Three is the most challenging. As you head deeper into the jungle the path gets steeper and even muddier if you can even imagine that. Be careful and take it slow, that way you can enjoy the views along the way more too.
The third and final waterfall will leave you speechless and feeling very small as you stand in front of the huge towering cascades. When you are ready to leave, you just need to head back the same way you came in.
Best Places to Stay in Boquete Town
Boquete is a pretty small town so no matter where you stay it will be safe and easy to walk to the town centre. For some inspiration here are a few places we would recommend staying;
Budget option – Agartha Hostel and Camping – If you are on a tight budget then this spot is ideal. The Hostel has a lovely garden with tents already set up with double beds for just $12 per night.
Mid-range option – Hostal Boquete – This is where we stayed and it was perfect! Located right on the river and very close to the town centre. We enjoyed a private balcony overlooking the river and a lovely peaceful night’s sleep all for $40 per night.
High-end option – Hotel Rebequet – This Hotel located just outside of the centre of town, is highly rated and offers large clean rooms. Breakfast is also included for $90 per night.
If you want a real Jungle adventure experience, then the Lost Waterfalls have their own cabins you can stay in – Check them out here!
The Lost Waterfalls Boquete – FAQs
What is the Pipeline Trail in Boquete?
The Pipeline Trail is another hike in the same area as the Lost Waterfalls in Boquete. We didn’t do this hike but we drove past the entrance to the Hike on the way. We also drove alongside the pipeline for a stretch that the Pipeline hike follows.
What is the most beautiful waterfall in Panama?
If you ask anyone who has visited Panama they will all agree, The Lost Waterfalls In Boquete are the most Beautiful waterfalls in Panama.
When is the best time of year to visit the lost waterfalls?
The best time of year to visit Boquete and the Lost Waterfalls is in the dry season from December to April. We visited in March and it was already pretty wet, even in the dry season due to the nature of the jungle.
The Lost Waterfalls Boquete, Final Thoughts
So there you have it, everything you need to know to enjoy a day of hiking to the beautiful Lost Waterfalls in Boquete. One of the best hikes we did in all of Central America.
Set your alarm, wake up nice and early, put on your hiking boots, grab your camera and go go go!
Want to know more about visiting Panama, then check out our guide here.
Let us know what you think of the Hike!