Maru Galvez is inviting people to enjoy a cup or two of Joe and at the same time get the lowdown on how it was produced.
Galvez is with the Casa Grande Bambito hotel, found in Panama’s Chiriqui Highlands, and notes that the farming region is known in part for its coffee production, with coffee plantations found in the area.
“Next to the hotel you will find several specialty coffee farms,” she says. “The one next door is called Bambito Estate Coffee. The coffee plantation is located at an altitude between 1,660 and 1,800 meters, located between two national forest parks and crossed by two mountain ranges from east to west, creating two natural microclimates. These ridges protect our coffee vegetation from the northern summer winds. We also have two water springs, which are the main source of water for our mill. Their coffee just broke a record for their Geisha Washed variety, reaching $1,500 per pound at an auction.”
“The producers have developed and established cultivation systems and processing methods that aim to create an outstanding product: Our coffees have been ranked by experts as some of the best in the world in many international competitions, and our production is highly prized by the most demanding and discerning in the industry.
“You can book coffee plantation tours at the hotel. You will be able to walk through the plantation and see the process from cultivation to a coffee tasting.”
Galvez describes the community of Balbino as “quiet and unassuming. For a laid-back experience, small hotels, inns, and hostels are host to outdoor adventurers who come to enjoy hiking, birdwatching, and touring the attractions around the area. Many visitors make Volcán their home base while planning excursions to hike the famous Los Quetzales Trail.”
The 9.6-km Los Quetzales Trail works its way through Baru Volcano National Park and hikers may spot tropical wildlife on their trek.
Meanwhile, Galvez says that those who are largely indifferent to coffee can still enjoy a stay at her hotel, which has alpine Swiss-style architecture and plans to boost its room inventory from 20 to 80 units, including glamping units.
“It’s a luxurious mountain hotel that offers you a quiet place, with an authentic flavour of family tradition without forgetting comfort,” she says. “Our goal has always been to provide the best service to our guests and visitors. We have been awarded various recognitions that highlight our customer service, such a Trip Advisors Choice Awards for years in a row in 2015 and 2016 always providing the best service.
“Our gastronomy goes beyond the coffee culture. You will find dishes prepared with organic products from the hotel’s farm and incorporating products from other brands in the region, such as craft beer, Montaña Sagrada de Tierras Altas, and products from the Cerro Brujo organic farm, from the renowned chef Patricia Miranda Allen, by outdoor bonfires to enjoy our cool nights with family or couple with their respective distance.”
Among outdoor activities are birdwatching, with colourful quetzals among birds found in the area. Also available are horseback riding, canopy tours, and hiking.
The hotel can also host events and outdoor weddings, festivals, and concerts of up to 500 people.
More information can be found at www.casagrandebambito.com.