“In natural beauty, biodiversity and dazzling landscapes, Panama is incomparable,” reads an excerpt from VisitPanama.com, the country’s official tourism website.
It’s undeniable, you don’t have to go far to find someone gushing about its tropical delights, but its lush rainforests are not without peril.
The mysteries surrounding the disappearances of hikers Kris Kremers and Lisanne Froon are a stark reminder that one should always travel with caution.
Kremers, 21, and Froon, 22, were Dutch friends and roommates in Amersfoort, where they had grown up.
Both had just finished their studies, Froon in Applied Sciences and Kremers specializing in art education.
For six months, the two saved up working in a cafe and booked a trip to Panama to learn Spanish and do something significant.
10 Volunteer Work Gone Wrong
On March 14, 2014, the two arrived in Boquete, Panama, planning to volunteer with local communities to help children while also booking time to relax.
Unfortunately, it turned out they had arrived too early for the program. An ominous diary entry from Kremers about the experience noted that it was “rude” and “not friendly at all.”
The diary entry also mentions their plans to get ahold of the headteacher the next day, but unfortunately, the cruel hand of fate would interfere.
9 The Last Dog Walk
Despite their disappointment, the two were determined to see as much of Boquete as possible, hiring a local guide to show them around on August 2.
But the day before their guided tour was supposed to start, the two decided to trek out on their own, exploring the areas near the base of the active Baru volcano.
Noted for being a relatively easy hike, the two followed the Pianista trail close to 11 a.m. with nothing more than a lone backpack.
Blue, a local dog in the small village, followed the two young travelers.