When planning our trip, we thought it would be a good idea to break our journey to Boquete in David. In practise, there’s no real need to do this when travelling from Santa Catalina. This is because the regular shuttle bus service travels straight to Boquete with just a short stop in David.
We were dropped off our bus at the north end of the city, and walked down to the center. It wasn’t too far to walk, and considering the amount of traffic crawling along the road into town, this was probably the best way of travelling. However, it’s difficult to find street names, so our GPS map turned out to be useful.
Hotel Residencial Cervantes David
Our hotel of choice of accommodation in David was the Hotel Residencial Cervantes, located in the center of town.
The room we were given at the hotel was a bit old-fashioned, with a dated airco system. But the bed was comfortable and there was cable TV. Our room cost $42 for the one night, including taxes but excluding breakfast.
Since we arrived late afternoon, it was already getting dark when we found a Romero supermarket close to the hotel. We bought some snacks there to eat back at the hotel.
Early the following morning we took a look around the area close to the hotel. David, officially San José de David, is the capital of the province of Chiriquí. We were located close to the Parque Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra.
Right next door to our hotel we found a bakery where we ordered pasties and coffee. Nearby, there was a lot of commercial activity around the busy Parque Miguel de Cervantes Saavedra. You can also visit the Parish church – Parroquia La Sagrada Familia.
Chiriqui’s Indigenous People
More noticeable in David than in other places we visited in Panama were the Ngäbe, Chiriqui’s indigenous people.
The women and young girls often wear the traditional brightly colored cotton dresses with shoulder and neckline adornments, and embroidered bands around the waist and bottom; these are called naguas, and are usually made at home.
The triangular and straight-line designs represent the mountains and rivers of Comarca.
The Ngäbes have distinctive high cheekbones, broad faces, full mouths, thick straight black hair, tanned skin, short stature and stocky body size.
David Central Bus Station
The main bus station in David is on Paseo Estudiante, just 10 minutes walk from the Hotel Residencial Cervantes.
The bus station platforms are clearly marked. Luckily, we were among the first to board our minibus to Boquete. The bus rapidly filled to capacity, with not even standing room. We were planning to spend 4 days up in the mountains of the extensive Boquete region.
However, our first priority would be trying to explain to the bus conductor exactly where we wanted to get off…
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