Apple Cider Time

It’s hard to believe that it’s September … almost … and Fall is here.  Of course in tropical Panama it is Paradise  year-round, so no colored leaves and no fresh apple cider.  No place is perfect.  But, in Panama there’s also no cold weather, no slush, no snow, and in Boquete at least a perfect temperature with no heat or air conditioning, so no exorbitant electric and gas bills.

For me this 4th Quarter is shaping up to be a busy time, with lots of fall color and apple cider, and adventures to beautiful and some exotic places in the Americas.


It’s back on the 200-passenger, little ship that I think of a “my yacht with a few friends” sailing along the St Lawrence Seaway in Canada, then “Down East” to New England enjoying the spectacular fall foliage.  I did these cruises on PEARL MIST with Pearl Seas Cruises last year and loved it!

queen-of-the-west-columbiaThen, still in that colorful fall foliage mode, something new for me, the Columbia & Snake Rivers in Washington and Oregon on American Cruise Line’s paddle wheel boat QUEEN OF THE WEST.    Pearl Cruises is a sister company of American Cruise Lines.  Since my daughters went to Willamette and the University of Puget Sound we spent some time around Portland, and went out to see Multnomah Falls, and I’ve always wanted to cruise the Columbia River up through the Columbia River Gorge area. So that should definitely be exciting!

300px-lewis_and_clark-expeditionSince we’ll be following many of the footsteps of Lewis & Clark I got to do something I’ve always wanted to do, research the Corps of Discovery and the journey of Lewis & Clark and put it together in a lecture.  Can’t wait to give it!

Then I’ve got a week vacation … understand the rest of this is all work … in Seattle with my daughter & her family.  The highlight of that is that I get to take my grand kids trick or treating!

Then it’s fly back to dear old Ft. Lauderdale, to get back on “my yacht” … and it really does feel that way, not just for me but for every guest on board.  It’s all-inclusive, the service is personal and superb, there is never a line and it’s comfortable and gracious. Staterooms all have private balconies, food is great,  guests are well-educated and well-traveled and interesting folks.  And with only 200 people on board I get to know the guests, so it’s fun.  So back to Ft. Lauderdale and back to Cuba on PEARL MIST.

dsc_0334I admit it was a little dicey there with Trump promising to scratch Obama’s executive order that made these Cuba cruises possible.  Thankfully, although Trump cancelled Obama’s policy and instituted Trump’s police, it turned out that Trump’s is the same as Obama’s, just basically a different name.  Whatever.  Cuba was great this past Spring and I’m eager to be back again.  If you haven’t been to Cuba you must go!  And go now before the giant ships turn it into another Nassau, St Martin, or St Thomas.

dsc_0299So it’s been hectic putting all of this together but it is, as they say, “in the can” and ready to go.  Then it’s home for Christmas & New Years, and likely back to sea again for the first months of 2018.

As you, hopefully, know our beautiful home and little coffee farm is for sale.  Since I’ve written the book ESCAPE TO PARADISE about moving to Panama, people always want to know why?  Isn’t Panama paradise?  Don’t you already have the ideal retirement?  And, “yes” to both questions.  However, as I plunge into the “Fourth Quarter” and I have all these opportunities, I want to see as much of the world as possible.  I thought, I think correctly, that it was a good idea to stick close to home this summer, hence Canada, New England, the Pacific Northwest and Cuba.  But things will change: they always do.  The ships will be back in the Holy Land, Egypt, the Black Sea, the Med, Asia, and I want to go.  With the amount of time I can travel, I want to be able to lock and leave, and I want my wife, Nikki, to be able to come along.  All of that means that after 13 years its time to downsize and move on to our next adventure.  Whether that will be in Panama, the States, or somewhere else remains to be seen.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, help me find the right folks to take over our beautiful Paradise in Panama.

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Paraíso Tranquilo

Paraíso Tranquilo $769,000

Tired of the noise, conflict, threats, and hassle?  Time to escape?  Paraíso Tranquilo is a peaceful slice of paradise just 12 minutes up a paved road above Boquete in the Chiriqui Mountains of Panama.

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This approximately 4,500 sq ft Tuscan-inspired 3 bedroom, 3.5 bath home includes a high-ceiling living room with double-sided river rock fireplace opening out on to an expansive terrace/porch which overlooks the small valley below.  The living room opens into a dining room and a kitchen with granite counter tops and Burmese Cherry cabinets.  The open concept extends out to a huge terrace/porch ideal for entertaining. It has been called “the most beautiful house in Boquete.” The home is all one level … no steps and the master bath features a large, light-filled walk-in shower.

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The open concept extends out to a huge terrace/porch ideal for entertaining.

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The estate includes a fully furnished, charming 1 bedroom guest house which can be rented out.


A private driveway lined with beautiful king palm trees leads to the main house. The estate is located off a paved road 12 minutes from the town of Boquerte and only 35 minutes by 4-lane highway from he new, giant mall now under construction in David, Panama’s second largest city and location of hospitals and the David airport.


3.5 acres abounds with coffee, bananas, oranges, grapefruit and other tropical fruits. Enjoy your own home-grown coffee, orange juice and bananas for breakfast!


Offered at $769,000, below replacement cost. Available with or without existing corporation. Owner will accept payment US bank to US bank in US, thus avoiding cost and hassle of transferring money out of the US to Panama. Will consider trade for comparable property in Sonoma County, CA.

READ “Behind The Scenes” … everything you want to know about the cost of operating and running a property in Panama!  

Additional Estate Photos – Skype: richard.detrich – In Panama: Richard  507-6549-4736 or Nikki 507-6808-4833 – US 707-243-3454

If you are in Panama or planning a house hunting trip or would like to schedule a visit, please let us know.


Boquete Center of Panama’s Coffee Culture

Panama properties for sale and rent by owner.

enjoy-coffee-life-is-short Coffee is to the mountain town of Boquete, Panama, much the same as wine is to Napa, California. Ken Davids, writing in Coffee Review, says

“ . . . Boquete Valley resembles California’s wine-growing Napa Valley. The Boquete terrain is more precipitous than Napa’s, its river more sparkling, its farms less pretentious, but the feel of an entire community focused with passion and sophistication on a single specialty crop is familiar . . .”

dsc_0115Coffee has been at the heart of life in Boquete since it was settled by European farmers near the end of the 19th Century.  On the slopes of the highest mountain in Panama, high quality Arabica coffee has thrived in the rich volcanic soil, cool climate, warm rain, and mixture of sunny days, cool nights and sufficient cloud cover to make our coffee naturally shade grown.  We have large farms which export massive amounts of coffee to big companies, yes, like Starbucks, who blend our coffee to bring up 009the taste of their ordinary coffees.

Just down the road in Palmira, a community just outside and above Boquete, is the home of Cafe Esmerelda and Price Peterson who has developed the Geisha strain of Arabica coffee which is the second most expensive coffee in the world, second only to the stuff from Indonesia that is eaten and excreted by the civet animal.  Then someone digs through the civet poop, pulls out the beans and sells it to you at an exorbitant price.  Peterson’s coffee is far more appealing, even at over $100 a pound wholesale and tastes far better.  I can only describe it as “like drinking liquid velvet.”

Boquetdsc_0057e produces “specialty coffee” which is defined as “a coffee that has no defects and has a distinctive flavor in the cup…like wine and honey, specialty coffee has a unique flavor thanks to the micro-climates that produce it.”   Our little town has 21 different micro-climates, and just like micro-climates in wine growing regions, each produces as slightly different cup of coffee.  The old guys in Boquete  can sip a cup of coffee and tell you what farm produced it!

We have large farms and small farms.  A lot of expats, like ourselves, have, developed small farms producing coffee, some making a business out of it, selling their coffees to tourists in town or at the Tuesday Morning Market, or selling it online and mailing it to the US and Canada, or selling their entire production to upscale coffee-pickingrestaurants in North America who want to be able to serve an exclusive single-source coffee.  Others, like us, have what are essentially hobby farms, breaking even but having a blast growing, consuming and sharing exquisite coffee.    Ours has flavors of chocolate,  black cherry,  plum, blackberry, with a citrus finish.    With our coffee you never have that bitter aftertaste on the sides of your tongue that you get with many coffees.  Most of our coffee we sell “in the cherry” to the large producers, but what we keep out for our own use we process entirely.

Most of the physical work is done by Gnabe Bugle Indigenous people who have lived in this area since before Columbus arrived and are the essential backbone of all agriculture in Panama.  They are the only Indigenous group that was never subjected by the Spanish conquerors.  Most of the large farms import Indigenous folk from the Gnabe Bugle Comarca [a little like a US Indian OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAReservation except that the Indigenous live there by choice and have complete autonomy and are self-governing] but we are small enough that we use our neighbors, families who’ve now worked with us 8 years.   We’ve watched their kids grow and start their own families.  So we break even with coffee, although, the truth is I think we would gladly have paid for this experience.

When we take our coffee into town to sell it we meet neighbors with trucks loaded down with hundreds of bags, and those who’ve come in cabs to sell maybe a single bag.  It is a wonderful experience!