I wrote last month that Panama is an easy place to travel, and that you can tour this beautiful country in small, three-day trips and see amazing places at every step along the way.
Last week, David Bayliss and I put my claim to the test. On Monday afternoon, we set out on a road trip that took us from the Pacific coast to the highlands of Boquete before going all the way back down to the beach community of Las Olas. We were back home in Coronado by Thursday morning.
Located in the stunning Chiriqui province in the northwest corner of Panama, both Boquete and Las Olas offer stunning views, vibrant communities and easy access to the Costa Rican border.
Beautiful gardens in Boquete
Mike Vuytowecz learns about the Boquete Plantation development
The drive from Coronado to David, the capital of Chiriqui, is four hours on the Pan-American Highway. David is a rapidly growing city with new retail and service-oriented companies arriving each month: the local “fonda” restaurants are just down the street from TGI Friday’s. From David it is a 45 minute drive “up the hill” to Boquete.
Boquete is a small town approximately 1,200 meters above sea level. With amazing vistas, a cooler climate, fresh water, clean air, many restaurants, and a nice slow pace of life, Boquete is one of the most popular retirement destinations in the world. Almost 15% of the population here is of foreign origin, and many expats speak English.
We were there to visit the Boquete Plantation Development. Jack Metzger greeted us and was a wonderful host throughout our stay. As the developer of Boquete Plantation, Jack brings a great deal of experience from his time with similar projects in Pebble Beach, California.
Our accommodations were beautiful. We stayed for two nights in a gorgeous, Boquete Plantation duplex set in the middle of a coffee farm, ten minutes up the road from downtown Boquete. The home, like the others in this development, offers endless views of the mountains above and valley below.
The Tuscan style homes lend themselves well to the stunning topography. The project features 23 lots ranging in size from just under a third to over two acres, with the lots priced at roughly $60 per square meter. Owners will have ownership in the working coffee farm.
With all of these great qualities in one place and under the eye of an experienced and capable developer such as Jack Metzger, this project projects as a great retirement location, second home, or investment.
We also visited the development of Lucero, 25 minutes from downtown Boquete. Lucero, formerly Cielo Paraiso, has seen many setbacks over the years. But the new name reflects the new life we saw in the project.
The property is large. At over 580 acres, Lucero features an 18-hole championship golf course with some of the best scenery I have seen in Panama. The development borders the Jaramillo mountain range to the east and the Agua Blanca River to the west. There are 11 fresh water springs that produce the potable water system for the project. All utilities within Lucero are underground, including electricity, drinking and irrigation water. High speed Internet and cable television are also available.
Lucero currently offers estate home sites averaging over one acre, with many lots yielding panoramic views over the golf course to the ocean. The prices start at $150,000. They will soon offer duplex villas and condominiums as well, with prices beginning in the low $100,000 range.
On Wednesday, we headed down the hill to the beach at Las Olas Resort. Located in La Barqueta, Las Olas is about a 45-minute drive from David to the resort, and every mile of the drive is beautiful. I enjoy the drive every time I do it.
Once arrived, you will find a very nice, sleepy resort. The beach is fantastic, though it can be a bit rough at times. The resort features a hotel, restaurant, gym, tennis courts, several four-story condo buildings, and a large pool. There are also several beachfront villas that offer fantastic views at reasonable prices.
Here is a video we produced last year on the project. I made it past the cutting room floor on the tennis court
David and I left Monday midday, and were back in Coronado on Thursday morning. In less than 72 hours, we saw a good deal of property and a stunning array of beauty here in Panama. Let us know if you are coming to visit, and we will help you organize trips that show you as much property and as much scenery as you desire.
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