Experiencing Life In Panama
I’ll admit I knew little about Panama before I arrived in the country—and not even about that guy who faked his death in a canoe. (If you haven’t heard that one, don’t worry—I’ll share more details later.)
I’d heard, of course, about the furious pace of construction in Panama City over the past decade and a half. So I expected to land on a building site surrounded by incredible noise.
Instead, where those cranes once dominated the sky, I found blocks of dazzling new skyscrapers. And the noise… it was no more than I was used to in Paris. Panama City is up-and-running and completely open for business.
My point is: no matter how much you read up about a place in advance, being on the ground is entirely different.
I’ve been getting a lot of queries on Panama these past weeks—both in connection with the Global Property Summit that’s just around the corner and our Live and Invest in Panama Conference coming up in June.
So, especially for those of you that are toying with the idea of Panama, I’d like to share a few insights with you about life here in the hub of the Americas.
Not about the canal expansion (almost complete)… the current state of the economy… or the local political scene. Those things are important, yes… but they’re not what will ultimately affect your day-to-day experience in the city… out at the beach… or tucked away on the Azuero peninsula. (In any case, those are the kinds of things you can get up to speed on with a little online reading.)
If you’re moving anywhere to live part- or full-time, you want a place that gives you a good lifestyle… with options to swim, dive, surf, golf, dine out, enjoy a cappucino while you watch the crowds go by, catch a live jazz performance… whatever it is that you enjoy most in your leisure time. And if you’re investing in property (without any plans to settle overseas just yet), you want to be sure you’re investing somewhere that people are going to come and hang around a while…
Panama fulfills on all of these counts. And then some.
Since moving to the city almost a year ago, I’m out enjoying the beaches two weekends of every month. For me, one of the best things about this country is being surrounded by nature. You don’t have to go far outside the city to appreciate it (and the weather is almost always on your side). Here, I get to live more outdoors—hiking in the hills or playing a round of golf.
And what noise? I live just 15 minutes outside the city center, up on a hill, without shops or cars. Here we’re surrounded by trees, without any of the noise or pollution I faced in Paris. Every morning, as I eat breakfast before work, I’m entertained by at least 15 different species of birds and some monkeys playing around my terrace.
Life is healthier here, too. Back in Paris, I’d fork out 4 euros for a bland piece of fruit in plastic wrap. Here, I buy the most colorful and tasty pineapples and mangos imaginable—directly from the producer—for just 50 cents.
For entertainment in the city, Casco Viejo (the old quarter) is where I like to hit. With its narrow streets and old colonial buildings, it has an incredible amount of bars and bistros, as well as plenty of options for live music. One of my favorite after-work spots is Jeronimo, a bar and art gallery where you can enjoy some of the best cocktails in the city surrounded by modern art exhibitions. (If you’re visiting for a conference, be sure to ask me for directions.)
I’m happy to have chosen the city as my home here. I’m close to the office—and, as I travel often, it’s easy to get to the airport. But Panama City is just one dimension of this extremely diverse country…
Just over an hour southwest of the city, you reach the stretch of “City Beaches.” Coronado—the first you’ll meet along this stretch—has developed into a self-sufficient beach town. You’ll find pretty much everything you need to live and be entertained here day-to-day without having to trek into the city. It also has a growing population of U.S. expats and retirees…
Then there’s the Azuero Peninsula. The eastern side of this landmass is well-populated. The town of Las Tablas is a favorite with many expats—and also a mecca for party-goers when Carnaval rolls around each year. But for a real escape to the beach (and into the best of nature), you need to go west. Small developments are starting to pop up here, infrastructure is being put in place, and the prices are still very affordable. If you come to Panama at all, I’d urge you to check this little-known opportunity out for yourself.
So, which Panama event is for you?
If you’re looking to get the full experience of Panama—for living or investing—then you should join us for our Live and Invest in Panama Conference in June. We still have a number of VIP seats available, at no extra charge, for those who are among the first to register. The doors on registration are fully open—don’t forget to save an extra US$50 on your seat using coupon code PTYCONFIDENTIAL.
If a real estate purchase is top of your agenda—either buying for your own use or for investment—and you’re interested in Panama… but also top opportunities in other parts of the world… then you need to be part of Lief Simon’s Global Property Summit. It’s just a few weeks away, March 14–16, but you’re not too late to get in. (Again, don’t forget your reader discount. Use code GPSCONFIDENTIAL when booking online.)
I hope to meet you in Panama over the coming months.
Meantime, I’m standing by to help with your queries or to walk you through registration…
Editor, Live and Invest Overseas Confidential
Tel. 1-888-627-8834 (toll-free in the United States)