Paradise Gardens – Boquete

Last Tuesday, I made a trip to Boquete with the sole purpose of visiting Paradise Gardens. I have planed on going many times before and when I would get to Boquete, the day would turn rainy and I would cancel my trip. Tuesday was a very nice morning to go. It was fresh from an previous night’s rain, and perfect for viewing nature and all of the treasures that Paradise Gardens holds.

In a short time, Paradise Gardens has become a Boquete fixture. It is loved by visitors and its surrounding neighbors as well. Lets take a little tour through the gardens and I think you will want to put it on your list of places to visit, when you are in Chiriquí.

To get there, take the road to Volcancito, which is at the intersection by the Cefate. Paradise Gardens will be past Fresa Mary’s and on the right side of the road.

Many of its neighbors think so much of Paradise Gardens, that they donate time for giving tours or assisting in one way or another. The following photo is a perfect example. This young lady is working on illustrating the animals that will great you when you enter.

When you pass through the entrance, to the right, prepare to walk slow, so that you don’t miss anything. A $5.00 donation is requested, but I think you will find it worth much more, when you see the care and planning that is going into this sanctuary.

The days, that Paradise Gardens is open, are Tuesday through Sunday. Plan ahead. You don’t want to miss this nature wonderland.

Take your time as you walk down this path to the beginning of Paradise Gardens. You are going to be greeted with many beautiful plants, and other ornamentation, which will prepare your senses for what is to come.

This is a plant I haven’t seen often and I really like it.

When you get to the beginning of the tour/walk, you will either have a guide to escort you and tell you about what you are seeing, or you will be provided with a paper guide in English or Spanish. The paper guide has a map of the route and what is located at all locations.

As we begin our walk, I feel like I am being watched. Be careful of all secrets you tell others on your walk. Some of the animals can repeat what they hear.

All cages have a description of its contents and where they were obtained and other information. Take your time to read them all.

This is the Tamarin from the previous photo. Unfortunately, the camera chose to focus on the wire mesh and not the Tamarin. However the wire came out nice and clear.

Some of the animals can be fed and if they can, there may be a container with the appropriate food. Do not bring food for the animals. They have special diets and only what is provided should be given them.

Remember that not everything of interest will be in cages. Take this gorgeous orchid for example.

The gardens also has an aviary, with many varieties of birds in Panama.

If you have the time, they have a nice sitting area to rest and watch the birds.

There are a lot of birds to see. Remember to keep your fingers outside the wire. The birds will try to trim your nails for you and it may be a little shorter than you prefer.

The landscaping and all of the decorations of the gardens are very well done. This fountain, for example, contains these large rocks from Ireland. This may be as close to the blarney stone as I will ever get.

One real treat, we had, was to get to see a baby sloth. Its mother had been killed and eaten by some of the local Indians, but the baby was saved. As many locals learn about Paradise Gardens, they bring animals that they have rescued here.

Paul was kind enough to bring out the Margay for us to see. Such a gorgeous animal.

To see the rest of the photos that I took, visit the Chiriquí Chatter photo album.

If you happen to stop by Paradise Garden, tell Jenny and Paul that you heard about their wonderful wildlife rescue center on Chiriquí Chatter. If you are interested in donating to this cause feel free to comtact Paul Saben.

If you have been before, plan on going again. There is a lot of construction going on. A new Japanese garden is planned to open in December.

39 thoughts on “Paradise Gardens – Boquete

  1. Hi, Don:
    I am so glad you made it to Paradise Gardens!
    Paul was kind enough to OFFER to board our four very-loved cockatoos from Canada for their quarantine period; he and Jenny are genuine animal lovers. We just left them there after an arduous journey from Canada; we are worried that they will prefer the Paradise all-inclusive resort to the digs we can provide them when quarantine is up; our landscaping sure doesn’t compare! Also, our birds are highly social and three extremely tame so they will thoroughly enjoy all the tours and people. If any of your readers go to Paradise Gardens, be sure to say I love you to the Umbrella Cockatoo at the veranda and a Whatcha doin’ buddy to Sammy the Goffins Cockatoo; both will answer back appropriately.
    Love this post and looking forward to seeing the album; what a gorgeous, don’t-miss place Paradise Gardens is.

  2. Don,
    I very much enjoyed reading your comments about Paradise Gardens. I’ve been volunteering there since April, usually 4 days a week. In fact the existence of Paradise Gardens was one of the key selling points for choosing Boquete as the place to live when my husband and I were deciding where we would be happiest in Panama. I am a complete animal lover and for me , being able to assist Paul and Jenny Sabaan in their work with endangered , or injured , or abused or abandoned animals has been one of the great joys of my life. It is a privledge to educate the public about the many species we house there and a real thrill when we get to release a creature to a refuge or a sanctuary. It is important to note that neither the Panamanian government nor ANAM have abudget for this kind of work and so Paradise Gardens exists solely on the donations of the public and the many volunteers who donate their time and knowledge to this one of a kind labor of love.We have programs for sponsoring an animal for a period of time,and there are a whole host of other ways that people can help if they are so inclined. This is a really greatplace for young and old. In fact the older visitors often experience that sense of childhood wonder as they wander through the paths and flowersand reconnect with the animal world, and the children learn to respect and enjoy the many creatureswho share their amazing country. Thanks again for writing such a lovely commentary.
    Jennifer T

  3. Love your write up; it is so well deserved as Paradise Gardens is an incredible safe haven for animals with the incredible compassion that Paul and Jenny show these animals, plants, and even the humans that drop by. Even some of them want to stay, as well! I have become aware you can sponsor some of these special animals and think it may be a perfect holiday, birthday, or year round gift for people who love animals and care about making a difference. I don’t know how the Sabans do it day in and out, yet I am so glad they do. It was definitely one of the things about Boquete that made me excited about moving here. In fact, we moved in the neighborhood!

  4. This is a beautiful website and Paradise Gardens looks like an incredible place. One day I hope to visit. My neice is the young lady who is painting the mural. She thinks of Paradise Gardens as a second home. Paul and Jenny have been so welcoming to my sister’s family. I am thankful for places like this that appreciate the value of animals and nature and spread that appreciation to everyone who is lucky enough to visit. Keep up the good work. I hope to be there soon!

  5. Don-

    Great write up on Paradise Gardens! My girlfriend and I volunteered there for a month back in July and it was a true highlight of our time in Panama. We still talk about it often and have such fond memories of our time there. The work that Paul and Jenny have done is amazing and it is great to see it recognized by others and the word being spread. They are such fantastic people as well as the other volunteers we met during our time in Boquete. If anyone wants to see videos of some of the animals we took while there they can be found here:

    There are also several other pictures here:

    I hope anyone who is in Chiriqui gets a chance to visit Boquete and the Paradise Gardens.

  6. I have volunteered at the gardens this past year and I am looking forward to spending Feb. and Mach 2009 with Paul and Jenny. It is truly a remarkable and special place. A must see in Boquete.

  7. Hi Adrian. Thanks for taking the time to leave your coment and for your video and photo URLs as well.

    Hi Donna. Thanks for dropping in and leaving a comment.

  8. i went here/there over the summer and it was amazingly beautiful!
    +exiting cause the howler monkey jumped on me!wee!
    hope yall r stilll doing well+the slothe my aunt(mary ann)+uncle(justin) and cousins r taking care of for you.
    hope all is well in paradise!:}

  9. Do Paul and Jenny keep a list of wild birds that are seen in Paradise Gardens and if so is the list available to the public?

  10. The plant that you like is a member of the Ginger family. A similar plant in Indonesia is called a Yellow Torch. This one around Boquete turns from yellow to red as it ages.
    Chester in Paso Ancho

  11. Hey Don what beautiful garden. What a shame these nice folks got in this mess. Where is this Paradise Garden. We would love to visit while we are visting next month. Thanks Lee

  12. Hi Lee. You make a left at the Tourist center before you go down the hill into Boquete. You are now heading toward Volcancito. You will pass Fressa Mary’s on the left and a ways further on your right will be Paradise Gardens. Watch for the sign.

  13. Dear Don, I used to visit Paradise gardens when ever i had visitors over from Europe. Paul and Jenny were so kind and poured their whole love and lives into Paradise gardens, doing so much good for the neighbourhood and country on a whole, as a fact. They were trustworthy an honest and up against the complete opposite, what a terrible awful story they have to tell now. I feel sad for them and hope they settle and enjoy their sudden return to their homeland. If you could please give me their email i would love to say bye to them, thanks so much Clelia.

  14. Hello, I’m from Panama. My cousin is from the States and she was asking me about Paradise Gardens. Truth be told, I didn’t even know about this place. My cousin is planning a trip to panama and wants to visit you. We were wondering if you where still active and running.

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