Finca Vista Baru, owned by the Palma family for generations, is in the corregimiento (like a sub-section) of Jaramillo, just east of the town of Boquete itself. The steep slopes of Jaramillo are directly across the river valley from the Baru Volcano, an active stratovolcano that is Panama’s highest peak and the centerpiece of a 35,000-acre national park. In this area, tucked into the Continental Divide, Pacific and Caribbean winds alternate at different times of the year creating cooler temperatures, overlapping rainy periods, and limited dry months. The result is an extremely lush and microclimate where coffee—along with a number of tropical fruits—tends to thrive.
The Palma family got its start in the Boquete province in 1920, when Don Alfonso Palma Saldaña founded his first coffee farm to the north of Boquete city, in the corregimiento of Alto Lino. Fifty years later, in the early 1970s, the growing Palma family began Vista Baru in its current location, embedded inside a natural forest canopy, in plain sight of the province’s namesake volcanic peak. Now, fifty more years since, the family is in its fourth generation of coffee production.
Vista Baru has three plots of coffee, including 2,000 gesha trees, 650 of pacamara, and the largest, a 15,000-tree mixture of caturra, catuai and typica. The Palmas see their purpose as continuously working to perfect the quality of their coffee, without forgetting the critical importance of their natural environment or the farm workers they rely on for continued success.