Every tour is just a little different. Part of that is because of the make up of the people on the tour. Part of it is because of the availability of the expats we meet with during the tour. And part of it is TIP ( This is Panama). The April tour was no exception. We had two Brits, a lady from China, a few Canadians, and the rest from the USA.
We discovered that it was a mistake to do a tour on an Easter weekend. When people arrived in Panama City on Good Friday they found a ghost town. There was very little traffic or people so they did not get to see what typical Panama City hectic traffic is like. The only exception was the new METRO. The Metro – subway – was packed with families taking a ride on the only subway in Central America.
After touring Panama City, the group meet with two expat real estate agents in Coronado. We don’t sell real estate during the tour, or even encourage you to buy anything (it is better to rent first), but people always want to meet with expats who live in the area and see a few houses. The ladies we meet with are a real dyn-a-mo team full of energy and excitement for the Coronado/Gorgona area. They showed us two houses for sale and a condo. Because the beach areas were so packed (solid) with people for the Easter weekend, we were not able to see an oceanfront condo this time. But the golf condo we saw was just as impressive. Here are photos of the first house we saw in Coronado. It is owned by a Canadian couple who has decided to move to a condo.
We also saw this house in Coronado
Next we headed to El Valle for a hike in the rainforest. The plan was to meet with an expat couple who is building a shipping container house there. Well, in Panama plans don’t always work out. I think hald the people from Panama City were in El Valle. The town was more crowded than I have ever seen it in the 50 + times I have been there. We are traveling in a huge 50 passenger bus down a narrow road to get to the hiking area. When we arrived there must have been 50 other cars there. We usually have the whole place to ourselves – but not this time. Everyone went on the hike but it took almost an hour to get the bus turned around to go back in to El Valle. By the time we arrived, our appointment with the container house couple had long passed so we did not get to meet with them.
Next we headed to a beautiful all-inclusive resort on the Pacific Ocean. It is such a relazing place with great food. The free booze helps too. What a great place to spend the night after a long day.
The next morning, after a hearty breakfast buffet, we headed to the Azuero Pensinula through Chitre. We meet with an expat couple who lives in the cute town of Las Tablas. They pay $400 per month for a 3 bedroom rental which is only 5 minutes to the Ocean. This time we did not go to the beach area because we were warned that it was so crowded our big bis could not get down the road.
On the say to Santiago to spend the night, we stopped in Parita to see a historical church.
Parita is the oldest indigenous-Spanish settlement in the Azuero region, founded in 1558 as a response to the suppression of the Indian mission by the Mayor of Natá, as decreed by the Spanish Crown on March 21, 1551. Among its founders were Juan Ruiz de Monjaraz and the Dominican friar Pedro de Santa Maria. Since Parita was founded over 450 years ago, that makes it one of the oldest human settlement in the country.
Parita preserves its ancient church, which dates back to the 17th and 18th centuries, as a symbol of its history. Priests and notable persons were buried in this church, as was the custom in that era. In addition, the town has an enormous colonial plaza surrounded by brick houses, some of which also date to the 18th century. Most of these houses have high porches that were converted into bleachers from which to watch bull fights and other activities during their patron saint festival. Parita is named after the Indian chief Paris, who lived in those parts.
Next to the church there was a lot of noise with the burning of an effigy of Judas which was filled with fireworks. It is an Easter-time tradition. There was also a horse show.
We ended the day in Santiago, the half way stop between Panama City and David. We stayed at a funky hotel with a Mexican theme. They have the best margaritas in Panama and a relaxing pool.
The next day, after lunch and touring some shopping areas in David, we headed to the cooler weather and lush green mountains of Boquete.
Here are more photos from the April Panama Relocation Tour…
YES we even have a great gelato place in Boquete! And the group LOVED it.
We caught this Toucan taking a bath.
We also visited Boquete, Volcantito, Palmira, Volcan, Bambito, Cerro Punta and Los Olas.
See what one of our April tour guests had to say about the tour:
Thanks Panama Relocation Tours for putting together a stress-free itinerary which totally surpassed our expectations.
For anyone considering an exploratory trip to Panama, Jackie Lange’s Panama Relocation Tour is a must! The 6 day trip took us through so many different living environments from expat communities in Coronado, to homes in Las Tablas and David to our final stopping point in Boquete and Volcan.
On the trip you get a chance to experience what to expect living in different regions of Panama sampling weather, costs and variety of food, typical shopping experiences and housing offerings. The tour is comprehensive encompassing everything from the nuts-and-bolts to moving to Panama, tax considerations, how and why to hire an attorney, insurance considerations, opportunities for expats and so much, much more. Tour recipients leave with plenty of great documentation to refer to after the trip.
This is so much more than a bus trip with stops in different parts Panama. It’s an experience that convinced us that the people and the country of Panama is a place that my wife and I will return to again for a much longer stay (if not permanently)!
I wouldn’t hesitate recommending this trip to anyone who’d like to explore the possibility of relocating to Panama.Panama Relocation Tours has it all and more!
Barbara Williams says
Which is the most pleasant month to visit with regard to weather?
Panama Relocation Tours says
There are only two seasons in Panama, dry and rainy. In the dry season which is about mid December through mid-April, it is dry and the grass gets brown in some areas. It is also more windy in the dry season – not every day though. Even in the rainy season (my favorite time) it is very pleasant because most months it only rains in the late afternoon 2-3 times per week. Everything is more lush and green during the rainy season. October and November are the two rainest months and that is why we don’t do a tour them. Even October and November are not that bad. So, to answer your question the best time to come to Panama is anytime!
Dale Head says
Hello Everybody !
What a nice looking April Tour Group. I will be on the May Group and looking so forward to it. Love this article along with pics, ( All Inclusive Resort and Richard’s porch sure looks nice ).
Thank you Jackie and Melissa Lange for setting this up for me. Can’t wait to get there on the 16th of this month and to meet everyone in the tour group.
All of us have a lot to learn about Panama and I’m sure everyone is as anxious as I am to do this.
I hope all of you in the April Tour Group had a good time and learned a lot and were satisfied.
Thank You, Dale
One more thing : What is a Gelatto ?? Ice cream ? A drink ?