Flowers, flamingoes and pop-art cows
Villa Marta? If the town of Boquete ever erects a statue to one of its favored citizens, it should be in honor of Eduardo Gonzales. Senor Gonzales has turned the gardens of his home into a wacky and wonderful paradise called Villa Marta.
Open from 9 a.m. until 6 p.m., the gardens are located on the western side of Boquete They feature beautifully landscaping with an abundance of flora and some rather amazing artificial fauna – life-sized pop-art style cows and bulls.
These fiberglass animal statues are dotted at random around this amazing garden. But wait, there’s more at Villa Marta. Recently, larger than life-size storks have been added, also painted in Picasso-like style.
The gardens also feature a scaled version of one of Chiriqui’s famous suspension bridges. The bridge spans a large pond teeming with goldfish. The gardens have many unexpected surprises around every turn.
Villa Marta is a definite must-see if you visit the Flower Capital of Panama. There's not even an entrance fee. The sign above the entrance says it all. Translated, it reads: "My garden is your garden.”
Boquete has grown in size and international acclaim since I first visited it back in 1998.
Today, it is arguably one of the world's most sought-after retirement destinations for ex-pats. Its eternal spring climate and the abundance of natural floral beauty do justice to the title of The Flower Capital of Panama. – David Dell
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