Views – Vistas

The Coffee Harvest has begun!

We had our first small picking, only 10 latas, of coffee yesterday!  These are red coffee cherries that we will process and dry the old-fashioned way right here on the farm for our own use.  By the next picking in a few weeks we will be selling the cherries to a local producer.  It poured rain much of the day, but the guys worked through the rain picking.  At the end of the day everyone was soaked.

First Day of Coffee Harvest 2013 a First Day of Coffee Harvest 2013This is the exciting time on a coffee farm!  The green coffee trees, frequently wet and shiny since this is the height of the rainy season, laden down with green and ripe red cherries.  Our Ngobe Indigenous neighbors with the women in their bright dresses picking, often with their kids and dogs along playing in the bushes while mom picks.  Lots of activity, a fun time, rewarding after all the work of getting to the harvest.  Since coffee trees have several blooms the cherries do not all ripen at the same time.  Our harvest will continue through the end of the year.  Farms at higher elevations, generally above 4,000 feet, will begin and finish harvesting later than we do.

Many Reasons to Come to Panama

Yes, you can live in Panama for less, more importantly you can live better in Panama for less.  There is a myth that is self-perpetuating and that is that Panama is so much cheaper.  It can be, but it largely depends on where you live now.  There is a big difference between the cost of living in Altoona, Pennsylvania and Santa Barbara, California!  You can live in Panama on $600 a month, which is more than some retired Panamanians (Pensionados) make per month in government pension.  But, believe me, they are struggling and are not living the way most expats expect and want to live in retirement.  I recently saw a government statistic that 75% of the households in Panama had incomes of $1,000 a month or less.  Many of these folks are Indigenous living a very simple, traditional Indigenous lifestyle, and others are unskilled workers.  They are not living the way most North Americans and Europeans would wish to live.

Interestingly as Panama’s economy booms and it emerges more and more as the hub of the Americas, there are affluent buyers coming to Panama looking for luxurious housing.  And it’s here!  I came across this article by Panama City real estate agent Kent Davis of PanamaEquity.com.

Luxury Panama City Penthouse $3.8 million

What Big Bucks Will Get You In Panama – Luxury

The change in demographic of the real estate buyer in Panama over the last five years has resulted in a surge of new, higher-end property offerings.

Values have been driven up due to both increased purchasing power of the local Panamanian market along with a new type of foreign buyer who in all likelihood is still working (as opposed to retired), with higher expectations of quality and amenities and fewer restrictions on budget.

What exactly is high-end, luxury real estate in Panama going for these days? What are the best neighborhoods for someone who is less price conscious and more driven by lifestyle and location?

Neighborhoods such as Albrook, Punta Pacifica, and Costa del Este are establishing themselves as the top choices for high-end real estate in Panama. New projects like a private island development and Jack Nicklaus golf community have seen tremendous success and would have been perceived as overly ambitious and ahead of their time even five years ago.

From a real estate agency inventory standpoint, gated communities such as Camino de las Cruces, Santa Maria, and Embassy Club continue to thrive because they are meeting the demands for a living solution offering security, comfort, space, and in many cases a level of amenities that were previously only seen in high-rise developments. This market is also driving new supporting services in their respective neighborhoods such as fine dining, high-end delis and specialty food stores, and new international schools.

So what exactly does your money buy these days in terms of higher end, luxury real estate in Panama?$500,000 will generally get you a two to five-year old apartment (multi-family high-rise condo) that is roughly 225 meters, or 2,450 square feet with anywhere from two to three bedrooms. In all likelihood it will be in an oceanfront district such as Costa del Este, Punta Pacifica, or Balboa Avenue. The property is likely to have ocean views, amenities such as a gym, swimming pool, and 24 hour security, and perhaps some extra amenities such as racquetball or basketball. Examples of high-end buildings offering this type of condo-living option are Parque del Mar in Costa del Este (although not front line to the ocean), Dupont in Punta Pacifica, and Allure, just off Balboa Avenue.

Luxury Homes in this price range are relatively non-existent, but can occasionally be found in the Bethania, El Dorado, Hato Pintado, or the Dos Mares neighborhoods. Don’t expect a large floor plan or stunning views on a “luxury” home for sale at this price point though.

$1,000,000 will get you a condo with just over 400 meters of living space, or roughly 4,300 square feet. Developments such as Pacific Point in Punta Pacifica, offering a shared community center with tennis courts and a gym with a personal trainer, or the oceanfront Aqua II building in Costa del Este become viable options at this price point. Additionally, penthouse units in YOO Tower on Balboa Avenue start at just under $1,000,000. All of these options will (in all likelihood) feature marble or exotic hard wood flooring, high-end appliances, walk in closets and en suites with all of the bedrooms, high ceilings, attached maids quarters, and in most cases large, ocean facing balconies. Luxury homes for sale generally start around the $1,000,000 mark and would most likely be found in one of a number of gated communities in areas like Costa del Este, Clayton, Albrook, and other parts of the former canal zone such as Quarry Heights in Ancon and the Camino de las Cruces development, near El Dorado. Tucan Country Club, just west of the city, also offers high-end homes in this price range.

Luxury homes would in most cases be within gated communities, however some single family homes for sale are stand-alone properties not associated with any particular development. Stand-alone, luxury single family homes are most likely to be found in areas such as Ancon, Clayton, and Albrook, all of which are within the former Panama Canal Zone, known locally as “Las areas revertidas.”

Gated communities such as Embassy Club (unheard of 5 years ago) are creating a new precedent in Panama, and have been very popular with executives and foreign service personnel who require added security and a higher standard of amenities. Golf course communities like Santa Maria, located just east of Costa del Este approximately 15 minutes from downtown and 15 minutes (assuming no traffic) to the airport, also offer this type of luxury home for sale.
From $2,000,000 – $4,000,000 will cover 99% of the luxury properties for sale in both condos and homes. Buildings such as the Bellagio offer luxurious lobbies, ocean front social areas including infinity pools and barbeque facilities, and in the case of the Trump Ocean Club, hotel style amenities like maid turndown, concierge and room service, along with multiple dining and entertainment options within the building.

Homes in this price point will be built on large, estate style lots (especially in the case of homes in the former Canal Zone) and may even be ocean front if they are located in Paitilla and certain parts of Costa del Este. Island communities like Ocean Reef just off of Punta Pacifica along with golf communities like Santa Maria offer homes in this price range.

Drawbacks and points to consider:

-Traffic can be bad, especially at rush hour in areas like Punta Pacifica or Balboa Avenue. Commute times from areas like Costa del Este and Albrook vary greatly depending on the time of day, and need to be taken in to consideration on school decisions and office commutes. Residents such as Greg from Malibu California, a Panama resident for over five years, made the move from Camino de las Cruces to Costa del Este and shared his thoughts on both neighborhoods.

“We loved living Camino de Cruces because it was close to the office, and took advantage of the equestrian center in the area but found it to be quite far from the center of the city, where the nightlife and activity was. We also felt the quality of the markets, shopping, etc. were a bit more on the lower side versus other parts of town.” After making the move to Costa del Este, Greg discovered “that it has all the qualities of living in Punta Pacifica without all the gnarly traffic and other nonsense. We have good restaurants, fine markets, and everything that’s needed to have a normal living experience. It’s also quite convenient to the center of the city and an easy commute to the International School of Panama.”

-Published pricing and final transaction pricing can vary greatly in Panama, especially in the luxury market. With no transparency and available closed sale comparables, property owners often base their asking prices on similar, potentially overpriced listings. As in any real estate offering, days on market and seller motivation are important factors to consider when evaluating making an offer on a property.
-While crime is not a major concern in Panama City, it is always something to think about in this region of the world. Home robberies and kidnappings are not common, but the security of a well-managed building or a closed and gated community have become increasingly sought after, especially for high-profile residents. Stand-alone homes, especially those on large private lots may be more exposed to this type of crime.
-Amenity level and overall finish quality vary greatly in Panama. Some communities like Camino de Cruces offer very few amenities, whereas communities like Embassy Club offer a wide variety of both amenities and community-driven events and interest groups. Brand new buildings may be very beautiful in their first few years, but can deteriorate rapidly if not maintained properly. A few older buildings, on the contrary, have withstood the test of time and have a large cash reserve on hand (from monthly common area maintenance/HOA charges) because few repairs have been necessary over the years.

Buyers seeking a luxury residence in Panama have more options now than they’ve ever had because developers are recognizing that this growing market is demanding a product that, just a few years ago, may not have existed.

And it’s not just Panama City, nor the beach areas of Coronado and places like the luxury Ventura development, but also in and around Boquete and even off Boca Chica.

Eco resort lodge on Isla Palenque just off Boca Chica $1.2 million

Tuscan Mansion in Valle Escondido $1.5 million

Ocean front family compound in Coco-del-Mar $5.1 M

Here’s something VERY nice, private and fantastic . . .

Palmira 1

Panama Packs A Punch

 

I stumbled across this very interesting news release in Britain about Panama investment.

Panama packs a punch as Canal project makes it even stronger

Gabriela Castro, of Latin American specialists Sunny Sky Solutions, takes her hat off to high-growth Panama.

Panama is a country of just 3.6m people. Fair enough, it’s got the Canal, but is that enough to make it Latin America’s fastest growing economy, averaging 9% growth in the last six years?

The country can definitely punch above its weight, but what makes it so special, and how can British exporters make the most of the opportunities? Panama returned to democracy in 1989 and now enjoys the political and macroeconomic stability many countries in Central and South America crave.

Unemployment is around 4%. Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) was over $2bn in 2010. And to top it all, credit rating agencies S&Ps and Fitch have given Panama the BBB rating.

The publicly-managed Panama Canal attracts directly and indirectly most of the investment, employment and trade for the country, particularly during its current expansion.

The country has therefore strong associated maritime, logistics, shipping and port sectors. Trade not only passes through the canal, it also stays in the country, sometimes temporarily, to be re-exported to Central America, the Caribbean and the north of South America.

This is largely due to the existence of impressive free trade zones, mainly the Colon Free Zone (CFZ), offering important tax and other incentives for companies worldwide. The CFZ market is much larger than the Panama market itself and ideal for consumer goods. In 2011, there were 2,223 businesses present at the CFZ, with an additional 842 having representations in the zone.

British food and drink exporters, for example, have greatly benefited from trading with the CFZ. Because of the number of expats and foreign workers, and the increasing purchasing power of the Panamanian middle class, there is now a rising demand for luxury and good quality items for the national market, although the CFZ also handles lower quality goods for re-export.

In addition to the opportunities resulting from the Canal and the free trade zones, Panama boasts a large and increasing tourism sector, including luxury hotels and ecotourism.

Its service sector is also impressive, from telecoms to call centres, from banking to real estate. Because of its strategic position bridging South and Central America, Panama is often selected as regional HQs for multinationals such as Caterpillar, SABMiller, 3M and Procter & Gamble. Panama is also a regional centre for trade shows and conventions.

Construction is booming in Panama, from roads, hotels and public buildings to the first underground metro in Central America and a brand new airport. Opportunities are also strong in energy, particularly electricity.

Panama’s Foreign Direct Investment is the largest in Central America and the Caribbean, greatly linked to the canal expansion, but also as a result of a system that encourages FDI.

For example, there are no foreign exchange controls, there are strong tax incentives repatriation of profits is allowed and is foreign ownership.

Franchising is a growing sector in Panama, with the majority of franchises being foreign-owned.

However, Panama doesn’t come without its problems. Business is slow and highly personal, it is a tough market to break into, which requires time and contacts.

Bureaucracy is still a problem, and so is corruption, at many levels.

Intellectual property legislation is advancing but foreign companies should seek professional advice on this matter.

Labour shortages are common, and inflation is creeping up. Education and training can let the economy down (the country’s education system was ranked 62nd out of 65 countries by the OECD), which can be a threat for a foreign company looking to hire local labour, but also an opportunity for those working in those sectors to sell services and expertise. Recently, there have also been revolts, as the prosperity is not evenly shared across the Panamanian population, and there are periods of political and social unrest.

Although very much dominated by the US (even its currency is the US dollar), Panama is closer to Britain than many think. UKTI shows that in 2008, for example, Panama imported a per capita average of £49 of British goods, much lower than the £7 and £6 for Mexico and Brazil that year.

The UK is also a key player in terms of investment, alongside the US and Spain. Panama can be a great small test market, or an open door much more.

About Sunny Sky Solutions:

Based in Montevideo, Uruguay, with over 10 years consultancy experience in the UK, Gabriela Castro is director at Sunny Sky Solutions. Making it easier to do business with Latin America is Sunny Sky Solutions’ mission, supporting British businesses with market intelligence, partner recruitment and business development services for companies at any stage of dealing with Latin America (www.sunnyskysolutions.co.uk).

Along other business lines, Juan Valdez is buying up Panama coffee

Ask the average US American about coffee and what do they think of?  Colombia!  And, of course, Juan Valdez, the symbol of Colombian coffee.  Juan Valdez wasn’t a real person, but a marketing ploy dreamed up by an ad agency in 1958.  It is one of the most successful branding in ad history.  The fictional character was played and the fictional character was played for 30 years by Carlos Sanchez, originally a coffee farmer, Sanchez is now retired from coffee and works as artist in Medellin.

Someone in Costa Rica came up with a brilliant idea to create bumper stickers and T-shirts with the slogan, “Juan Valdez Drinks Costa Rican coffee”. Of course this pissed off the Colombians, and you don’t want to piss off Colombians. The Colombians sued. Eventually the case was settled, but the frequently told story is that the Costa Ricans went through the San Jose phone book, found a dozen guys named Juan Valdez, and deposed them asking a series of questions. “What is your name?”

“Juan Valdez.”

“What kind of coffee do you drink?”

“Why Costa Rican coffee, of course!”

End of story.

Except the Colombians have opened Juan Valdez Cafes right here in Panama in the Panamanian temple of retail commerce, Albrook Mall. And if that weren’t enough, Colombian-owned companies have quietly been buying up large local coffee farms from Panamanian families. I guess Colombia knows a good thing, and maybe they need the special flavors of Boquete coffees to liven up their cup!

NATIONAL INQUIRER STUFF: PANAMANIAN BABIES BORN WITH CELL PHONES ATTACHED!

I’ve always thought this was true and now I find out that it is!  Panama has one of the highest cell phone penetrations in the Americas!  3.6 million people with 6.5 million cell phones!

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Not just what I say when folks ask to borrow money . . . but since we announced that our beautiful Coffee Estate in Palmira, Boquete, Panama is for sale, a lot of you have commented, emailed, and asked me directly if we are moving on and leaving Panama.  NO WAY JOSE!  We’re not going anywhere.

We’ve been in Panama and Boquete for almost 10 years and we’ve seen lots of folks, and good friends, come and go . . . but we’re still hooked on Panama.  But . . . things change . . . life changes . . . and it’s time to look for new adventures.

The house in Palmira is our dream house, designed by us, and we love it.  And we love having turned a jungle with old coffee trees into a beautiful coffee finca producing exceptional coffee. But the facts are that we are 10 years older, Nikki, who manages the farm has had some serious health issues that are forcing her to slow down, and for the past five years I have been away at sea half of the time.  So it’s time for us to reassess and regroup.

When we came to Panama to check it out, I was dreaming of a place by the ocean and we were headed to Bocas del Toro, an island group of the Caribbean side “discovered” by Christopher Columbus who used the islands as a place to repair his boats.  We never got to Bocas, but ended up in Boquete in Valle Escondido.  At the time I think there were only three or four houses in Valle Escondido.  Over the years as the project developed it became more and more like an upscale gated community in California and less and less like the Panama with which we originally fell in love.  Along the way we invested in a few properties including the property in Palmira where we’ve built our home and coffee farm and a place overlooking the Chiriqui islands on the Pacific called Boca Chica.

From our little casita in Boca Chica we look across the water directly at Boca Brava Island and at the other end of Boca Brava, connected to it at low tide, is another island called Isla Palenque where they are building an exclusive and very expensive island community.  The folks at Isla Palenque recently released a little artsy promotional video which will give you an idea of what I find so appealing about our casita in Boca Chica.

Palenque is just one of the many islands off Boca Chica, Palenque being about a 20 minute boat ride away.  These islands have black, brown and white beaches, depending on which side of the island.   A little bit further out is the Chiriqui Gulf National Marine Park.  When I lived in New York, as a young guy just out of seminary, I started going on cruise ships as a volunteer chaplain and I discovered the islands of the Caribbean.  Over the years we spent a lot of vacations with dear friends in St. Thomas.  Long before the movie Cocktail I was dreaming of my Kokomo.

I’ve discovered that my original dream of having a tiny bar in the sand on Jost Van Dyke, off the radar with no tax reporting requirements . . . just me in cut offs, toes in the sand, and a cold bottle.  Now I realize that beaches at night  have no-see-ums, that you need ice and electricity for cold beer, that there is nowhere on earth where you can be truly “off the radar” and that if you are a US citizen  you will be in bed with the IRS for the rest of your life.  But as I head into the last third of my life (hopefully!), my little casita at Boca Chica is the next best thing, granted that the Beach Boys, Tom Cruise, and I are now just old men . . . but we can all dream!

I’m not really ready to completely “retire” . . . and there is a lot of the world left to explore . . . but it is time for a new adventure for both Nikki and I.  Nikki is producing fantastic coffee.  People are always asking if we sell our coffee directly, but that’s more work, and a business, and we don’t want to go there.  There is a trend in upscale restaurants in the US to offer their guests something other than cheap “restaurant grade” coffee, so these restaurants are looking to offer exceptional single source estate coffee.  Again we’ve had some inquiries, but we’re looking to slow down, not speed up!

So as we slowly develop Boca Chica, our coffee estate in Palmira is available.  We’re moving into what looks like a record harvest year, at least for us because of Nikki’s focus on growing fantastic coffee.  It’s taken a lot of work but I think we’ll do well and I think the price should be up this year.  We’re in no rush to sell, but if someone comes along and wants to spend Christmas by the fire in Palmira, we can do that, but meantime we’re enjoying our lives in Boquete while at the same time looking for new adventures.

Hope that explanation helps!

Palmira 1

Palmira 2

Mountain Coffee Estate For Sale, Boquete

Coffee Estate Boquete for sale 1The Panama you’ve dreamed of away from the noise of “downtown” and the “Southern California-wantabe” developments. Plus all the home-grown, single estate gourmet coffee you want . . . along with orange juice, bananas . . . and, privacy!

Up the mountain, 10 minutes drive from the hustle and bustle of “downtown” Boquete, in the heart of coffee country lies Finca Jaguar Java: 1.4 hectares (3.4 acres) planted with over 4,000 Arabica coffee trees producing exceptional high-altitude, shade-grown Boquete coffee. In addition to coffee there are orange, lemon, banana, guava, avocado and other fruit trees.

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A long, palm-lined private driveway leads to a Tuscan-inspired 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath, 4,500 square foot home designed for outdoor living and entertaining. The home is surrounded by lush tropical garden and has numerous high-end features. The formal dining room, great room with soaring ceiling, fireplace, and clear story windows, library/music room, and master bedroom all open to covered spaces for enjoying outdoor living.

Coffee Estate Boquete for sale 3

Home features include:

  • Exempt from property tax until 2027
  • Open floor plan
  • Bright and airy
  • Burmese cherry cabinets
  • Granite counter tops
  • Stainless kitchen with side by side refrigerator & freezer
  • Spanish tile roof and floors with Indian slate floors in library and outdoor living spaces
  • Mexican Talavera sinks
  • Walk in shower in Master Bathroom (no curtains or glass to squeegee!
  • Spacious “His and Hes” walk-in closets
  • Library has built in shelves and cabinets, French doors to outside and a two-person, 11 foot built in desk for two with green marble top
  • Antique Egyptian antique entry doors
  • Hand-crafted chandeliers
  • 8 ceiling fans
  • Separate laundry room with Whirlpool Duo washer and dryer
  • Inside/outside river rock fireplace, excellent for rainy nights!
  • 4,500 sq ft, 3 bedrooms, 3.5 baths
  • Covered, attached parking garage
  • Covered front porch and huge rear covered terrace ideal for outdoor living and entertaining
  • Floor safes
  • Reliable Internet currently 1M upgradable to 3M

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Finca features include:

  • Over 4,000 producing Arabica coffee trees [The present owners keep and process a limited amount for their own use and for gifts while selling most of the production as red "cherries" to Cafe Duran, a major Panamanian coffee producer.]
  • Both city water and well water with a water system that includes pressure pump and two 1250 gallon storage tanks
  • Gate house/casita approximately 1,000 sq ft originally built for a family member, furnished, rented for $650 to 700 a month (3 month minimum). Has been occupied since originally offered for rent. Current tenant has a year lease until July 2014.
  • Farm worker quarters. Currently have one full-time worker who devotes half time to coffee production and half time as gardener for estate.
  • Coffee drying shed – roofed in clear plastic, used to dry coffee current we hold out for our own use.
  • Deposito for storage and houses water storage tanks and “pulpadora” used for removing cherry husks from coffee held out for personal use.
  • 1.4 hectares or 3.4 acres
  • Paved roads right to property

For a complete online view of the house, the finca, outbuildings and the garden just give it a few minutes to load the slide shows below.

Offered at $900,000. Available with or without existing corporation. Will accept payment US bank to US bank in US, thus avoiding cost and hassle of transferring money out of the US to Panama.

Like many properties for sale in Panama, which has no multi-listing service so real estate people tend to present only their own listings, this property is exclusively for sale by owner. Your inquiries are welcome: richarddetrich@yahoo.com. If you are in Panama or planning a house hunting trip and would like to schedule a visit, please drop me an email.

Please be patient while slideshows load – it’s worth the wait!

Welcome home!

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Rental Casita & Out Buidings

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Jaguar Java

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Tropical Gardens: Always something in bloom year-round!

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All information believed to be accurate.

Views – Vistas

The first structure on our coffee farm.

The other day as we were admiring all the coffee on our beautiful coffee trees Nikki reminded me of way back when we were first looking at this property and what is now beautiful coffee was basically jungle. The guy who owned it and I were walking the perimeter of the property hacking our way through jungle!

I came across this photo of the only building on the property when we bought it: the owner’s house.

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Of course that original structure is long gone. What a difference time, a whole lot of hard work, and investing a lot of money can make.

Palmira 1

Views – Vistas

How time flies!

I stumbled on this picture this morning: Milton and Nikki taken on our farm 8 years ago.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAUnderneath that jungle is what was once a coffee farm, now restored by Nikki to be a beautiful coffee farm raising excellent Arabica, high-altitude, shade-grown Boquete coffee.  This picture was taken on the spot where our house now stands.

And Milton . . . For whatever reason, Milton adopted us.  Every time we showed up in Palmira there was MIlton.  Today Milton and his family are our next door neighbors.  Milton is this big, strapping, 18 year-old kid who hefts 90 pound bags of coffee like they were 5 pound bags of flour.  Milton has been mentored by our coffee farm worker, Sabino, and is active in the local church.  He helps us when we need extra help, and is now working on on the construction project of our friends Brad and Jackie.

But this single picture reminds me of all that has happened in 8 years!  Wow!

Milton

 

Available For Rent in Boquete

The view from the front porch where you can enjoy your morning coffee: high-altitude, shade-grown, Arabica from Palmira

The view from the front porch where you can enjoy your morning coffee: high-altitude, shade-grown, Arabica from Palmira

15 minutes from “downtown” Boquete. Away from the noise*, traffic, tourists of the center of Baja Boquete (i.e. “town”), nestled amdist coffee and orange trees, surrounded by birds and bananas with glimpses of the Chiriqui Islands. This is the Panama you imagine . . . not a Southern California planed gated and guarded Gringo enclave.

View from the front porch where you can enjoy your morning coffee.

An oasis of relaxation amidst coffee, banana, orange trees and flowers.

Boquete Casita for RentAVAILABLE NOW – FOR RENT: Nestled on our coffee farm in Palmira, surrounded by coffee, banana and orange trees, fully furnished 1 bedroom guest house at the entrance to our farm. Over 1,000 sq ft with living room (sofa, lounge chairs, flat screen TV, CD/DVD player), bedroom (queen bed), dining room (table & chairs), kitchen (with basic cooking and eating utensils, coffee maker – of course! – microwave and toaster oven), inside washer and dryer, large walk in closet and storage room. Hot water on demand (electric US-made Titon water heater, not propane), computer safe, and more.

Boquete Casita for Rent cCovered porch, and flower-filled fenced in garden with space for small vegetable or herb garden. Birds and butterflies abound and help yourself to bananas, oranges and lemons. 10 minutes from downtown Boquete, 30 minutes from David. Basic TV and Internet. $700 per month with 3-month minimum lease. $650 per month with minimum 12-month lease. Includes electric and water. Nonsmoking inside. Perfect for single or couple not wanting to spend a fortune. Will consider pets. This is the ideal home while you check out life in Boquete and look for permanent place to buy or rent. richarddetrich@yahoo.com. 507-6584-0213. Skype:richard.detrich

*What many expats considering Panama don’t realize is the cultural attitudes to music are different.  In the US & Europe your music is for you to enjoy.  In Panama music is for everyone to enjoy, whether you like that kind of music or not.  There is no concept in Panama of noise pollution!  Anyone’s party is for everyone to hear, even sometimes on a weekend in Palmira.  But in the town of Boquete it is EVERY weekend, music, parties, travelling discos with speakers 2 stories high, thumpa thumpa everywhere.  And during the fair in January . . . forget it.  Even ear plugs won’t help!  Which is why we love living outside of Boquete town in Palmira.  Yes, occasionally there is a party  If we chose to show up we’d undoubtedly be welcome..  Even in a “gated, guarded” enclave like Valle Escondido, if there is a wedding, although you are not all invited, you all will “enjoy” the music into the wee hours whether you like it or not.