New stores have followed the influx of foreigners, but there still isn’t much worth buying. The only noteworthy “souvenir” item in these parts is coffee.
Los Establos Plaza, on the left at the entrance to downtown Boquete , is a mini-mall with a few shops selling handicrafts, jewelry, souvenirs, and the like.
Packages of good coffee are easy to come by in Boquete, as you might imagine, in an overwhelming variety of roasts, qualities, and flavors. You can choose either whole bean or ground coffee, though whole beans preserve the coffee’s flavor longer. Attractive souvenir packs are often available, which make for nice gifts. Finca Lérida , Café Ruiz, and Café Kotowa are safe bets for excellent coffee.
Panama ’s most widely available boutique coffee is Café Ruiz (tel. 720-1392, www.caferuiz.com , 7 A.M.–6 P.M. Mon.–Sat., 10 A.M.–6 P.M. Sun.). The best-quality Ruiz is the gourmet, which is a lighter roast and is sold in gold bags. Ruiz coffee is increasingly easy to come by throughout Panama, but its gourmet coffee is sold only at its Boquete shop (just north of town on Avenida Central), its shop in Panama City , and a few gourmet stores and upscale supermarkets, including Super Barú in David . La Berlina Estate is arguably the best of the gourmet varieties. To get to Café Ruiz, keep left at the fork past the church. It’s the white complex on the right, near Mi Jardín Es Su Jardín .
Café Kotowa (tel. 720-1430, www.kotowacoffee.com , 7 A.M.–7 P.M. daily) is becoming the mini-Starbucks of Panama, except that Kotowa’s brew actually tastes like coffee. Kotowa café-cum-store outlets and bags of coffee are popping up around the country. Kotowa has two outlets in Boquete, one at the CEFATI and one at Los Establos Plaza.
Some companies will ship coffee overseas. Several have also made their coffee available for online sale, either directly through their websites (e.g., Kotowa and Ruiz) or through international distributors (e.g., Finca Lérida). However, prices are considerably higher than in Boquete , and shipping costs can exceed the cost of the coffee itself.
The Folklórica Museo (Avenida Central, tel. 720-2368, 10 a.m.–6 p.m. Wed.–Mon.) is really more like a rather pricey antique/junk store than a museum, but it’s worth a quick stop. Items of possible interest include a small collection of vintage postcards from around the country, cocobolo statues, and paintings of Ngöbe-Buglé children. It’s north of the church on Avenida Central.
Souvenir El Cacique (tel. 720-2217, 10 a.m.– 7 p.m. Mon.–Sat., 10 a.m.–2 p.m. Sun.) sells Ngöbe-Buglé necklaces, molas  (handcrafted blouses), cocobolo statues and other crafts from Panama, as well as a few things from Guatemala and Peru. The staff speaks English here. It’s on the south side of the town plaza.
The Bookmark (tel. 776-1688, dembook [at] yahoo [dot] com, 9 a.m.–5 p.m. Tues.–Sun.) is in Dolega, a small town about midway between David  and Boquete. Though not a large place, it has the largest collection of English-language books in the country. It has a little bit of everything, mostly used—bestsellers, true crime, science fiction, nonfiction, history, romance, and so on. There are some rare, out-of-print books on Panama, including some from the old Canal Zone library, and a small Spanish-language section.
This is a good place to sell or swap that tattered beach book. It’s worth stopping by even if the place seems closed. It’s run by a friendly American, Hal De Mun, who lives in the back of the house, and he might be around when you stop by. As you head up toward Boquete, look for it on the left 17 kilometers after the turnoff from the Interamericana.