Today we did the Pianista – one of the hiking trails on our “Faves List” – with friends and the pups.
Susan cracks me up. Every time we do a hike, she says, “This is my favorite trail!” Well, today she said it again, but this time I tend to agree with her. The Pianista really is a knockout, winding through meadows with stunning mountain vistas along the rushing Rio Pianista, and with an abundance of lush cloud forest vegetation. This trail goes up to the Continental Divide (a more ambitious hike that we did with a group last year), and if you’re especially adventurous, it can take you all the way to Bocas Del Toro on Panama’s Caribbean coast. (CAUTION: no one should EVER go beyond the Continental Divide without an experienced guide. Just Google “Dutch Girls in Panama.”)
Today we had something much more mellow in mind – we wanted to get to the “secret” waterfall that Susan and I had not seen yet, but the others in our group had been raving about. The trail begins at the Il Pianista Ristorante (outstanding Italian food, BTW) in the Alto Lino area just north of Boquete. You need to wade across the Rio Pianista after 200m, but then it’s a steady, leisurely incline for 2km before you start to climb a steeper, narrow path. Today, we were accompanied by two young guides, Jefferson and Miguel (as it happens, these cousins are nephews of our gardener, Sergio) – and it was a good thing, because finding the waterfall required us to get off the trail and take another cow path that leads into the cloud forest. We could not have found it on our own. Since we’re right in the middle of rainy season, it was a pretty muddy slog – but not too bad.