Coronado Country Club

Experience the ultimate in beachfront living, where life and luxury meet at the crest of a wave. The new Coronado Country Club Resort is a spectacular beach-front condo project, offering lavish sky-village penthouses and turn-key town homes overlooking the largest pool in Latin America.

No details have been spared in ensuring the complete comfort of modern amenities in a breathtaking natural setting. Homes are adorned with walk-in closets, porcelain floors, imported fixtures, European kitchens with granite countertops, and a luxurious Jacuzzi on private terraces.

Residents are just a stroll away from the pristine greens of the on-site golf club, designed by world-famous golf architect Tom Fazio, and the sandy white expanses of the Bahia Serena beach club.

Maid’s services are available for the care of your home, as are chauffeur services and airport shuttles to whisk you to your plot of paradise. For those part-time residents, an on-site property management services can oversee the rental of your unit to generate income while you are away.

This particular stretch of Panama ‘s Pacific coast is a favorite destination for retirement, offering beauty and tranquility, with easy access to Panama City ‘s airport, shopping, restaurants, health care services and more.

Does Panama have a good domestic flight network?

I want to travel the country, but I don’t want to have to rent a car and drive around.

Panama has an excellent network of domestic flights, that can get you to virtually any part of the country cheaply and quickly.  There are more than three domestic airstrips around the country, including on many of the islands on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts such as the Kuna Yala territory and the Las Perlas archipelago.  This makes it very easy to get around by air, as Panama is not a huge territory.  There are several airlines that ply these routes, and the two main airlines that fly domestically are Air Panama and Aeroperlas.  The main hub is the Marcos A. Gelabert airport in the Paitilla neighbourhood of Panama City, also knows as ‘Albrook Airport’.  Not all destinations have daily flights, and some are only seasonal, so you should check ahead to plan your itinerary.  Finally, there are also companies that do charter flights, and many private airstrips around the country as well.

Revolution Tower Calle 50 Panama City Panama

The Revolution Tower is an unforgettable icon in the heart of Panama City’s Banking and Business district. This commercial tower offers units of 2000 to 6500 square meters, with private, secure working areas and superb views of the ocean and glittering city lights.

Offices, meeting and video conference rooms are fully furnished and equipped with standard office equipment such as printer, fax, scanner, copier, mail and postage machinery. The tower offers complete telecommunication services including multi-access T1 and telephone ports, continuous IT maintenance and support, digital telephones, high-speed internet and LAN with security system protection. Common areas include fully-stocked kitchens; offices are cleaned daily. The lobby area includes a reception desk and welcome area, and an on-site center manager is available to address any concerns.

Obarrio – Central Neighborhood – Panama City

Obarrio is one of Panama City’s most prestigious central neighborhoods, set between El Cangrejo and San Francisco. A  blend of the commercial and residential, it is home to many swanky boutiques, shops and office buildings, as well as luxurious homes and condominiums. Many of Panama’s most high-end real estate projects are being erected in this neighborhood, and designer names are plentiful along Samuel Lewis Avenue. Names like Lalique, Ferrari, Ralph Lauren and Rolls Royce head the the gleaming store fronts.

Obarrio is also part of the city’s prestigious banking district with more than 100 international banks operating within Panama, attracting a elite suite of residents and business tenants.

 

There’s a lot of talk about Panama’s biodiversity, just how green is it?

How lush is Panama’s vegetation?

The Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute recently found that Panama has more forest landscape variation, meaning “as many or even more tree species”, than even parts of the Amazon.  Scientifically-speaking this is known as “beta-diversity”.  Researchers say there’s more variety among tree species stretching across 50km of Panama, than a 1400km-span in western Amazonia.  The institute concluded trees in Panama vary more across less distance, whereas the forests of the Amazon are generally more uniform, and less diverse.

What type of Caribbean food should I try in Panama?

I’m headed to Bocas del Toro, what types of dishes should I expect to see?

The Bocas del Toro archipelago is rich in Afro-Caribbean, American, Spanish and indigenous cultures.  The Caribbean’s food reflects a deliciously vibrant mixture of these influences.  Unlike the majority of Panamanian dishes, spices play a bigger part will in Panama’s Caribbean cuisine, as evidenced by the use of jerk sauces, curry flavors and cilantro.  While Panamanian cuisine on the whole can become pretty repetitive, cuisine in Bocas will keep you pleasantly surprised.  You can expect to see dishes like “corbina con arroz” (sea bass with rice) and “arroz con coco y frijoles” (coconut rice with beans)—a very typical Bocas dish.  You’ll also see “pargo” (snapper) cooked Caribbean style with onion and sweet garlic; patacones (pressed and fried yucca); the very rich Jamaican dish of “rondon”, a soup which includes fish, coconut milk and Caribbean vegetables; and other seafood-based dishes.  To be sure, Caribbean food is delicious, but, for conservation reasons, I highly recommend not trying any dish involving turtles or turtle eggs.

What does the word Panama mean in Spanish?

There are different versions as to how the country got its name, but the strongest etymological origin is that a fishing village was called Panamá, which meant “many fish”.  Some people argue, however, that Panamá is a type of tree; and yet others attest the word comes from the country’s indigenous people and means “many butterflies”.  Nowadays, Panamá’s schools teach children that the word means a mixture of all three etymologies: “an abundance of fish, trees, and butterflies.”

Is Panama positioning itself to be an energy hub in Central America?

There has been a lot of talk about refineries, natural gas plants, oil pipelines in the news lately.

Panama’s central location in the Americas, plus the Canal, does make it an ideal location as an energy hub for Central America and the Caribbean, and even linking South American and North American markets.  Plans are still (slowly) under way for a major refinery on the Caribbean side, in partnership with Qatar.  In 2008, the defunct TransPanamanian oil pipeline got a new lease on life when British Petroleum signed an agreement to modernize the pipeline for reverse shipments from the Pacific to the Atlantic, and last October there was an announcement that the terminal storage facilities would be expanded, which indicates there is likely to be a jump in usage (think: Venezuela).  Finally, the Ministry of Finance announced earlier this month that the government would be spending $430 on a new natural gas terminal and gas-fired generating plant.  It all seems to point to a very specific plan to take advantage of Panama’s location and existing infrastructure.

Avenida Balboa

Balboa Avenue is Panama’s most famous promenade and thoroughfare, stretching along the waterfront between the Casco Viejo (Old Town), the financial district and Punta Paitilla. It is lined with some of the city’s most prestigious projects overlooking the Bay of Panama, with luxury high-rises like Arts Tower, Hilton Hotel & Casino, Yacht Club and many more, shopping malls, restaurants and shops jockeying for position on this impressive roadway.

It has undergone an expansion to relieve traffic congestion by linking some of the city’s major roadways, and beautification of the waterfront, with an additional 35 hectares includes green zones, pedestrian walkways, sport facilities as well as cultural and recreational facilities. The expansion was completed in 2009, Balboa Avenue is one of the major attraction in its own right for residents and tourists alike.

Where was Survivor: Panama filmed?

I’m a huge fan of the show, and I would love to visit the location.

Survivor: Panama was filmed in the Las Perlas Archipelago, a.k.a. the Pearl Islands, a gorgeous cluster of islands off the Pacific Coast of Panama, due south of Panama City.  It’s actually just one of three seasons filmed there – ‘Survivor: Pearl Islands’ and ‘Survivor: All-Stars’ were also filmed at the same location.  Most of the 200+ islands in the archipelago are sparsely inhabited, or completely uninhabited, but Contadora Island is famous as the playground of the rich and famous.  Isla Viveros, Isla del Rey and Isla San Jose are some of the bigger and more populated islands, where development is taking place.

Who is in charge of the Panama Canal?

Is the Panamanian government in charge of the canal, or is it a private organization? Are any other countries involved?

The Panama Canal is under the control of the Panama government, and administered by the Panama Canal Authority (ACP), a semi-autonomous government agency.  The operation of the shipping container ports at either end of the Canal was contracted out to a Hong-Kong based firm, Hutchison Whampoa.  The Canal used to be under US control, but in December 1999 the US relinquished control of this valuable shipping and trade hub, and withdrew their presence from the country.

Pacific Village – Punta Pacifica – Panama City – Panama

Located in the posh Punta Pacifica district, with complete access to elegant shops, restaurants, banks and all amenities, Pacific Village is one of the largest and most exclusive private residential developments in Central America.

Residents of Pacific Village can enjoy exclusive access to the complex’s private beach club and docking pier, stroll through lush gardens, enjoy a relaxing massage at the Village Spa, and browse through the complex’s boutiques and shops. The Village also offers great recreational areas for all ages, including the sky lounge, bar, swimming pool, children’s playgrounds, racquetball and squash courts. The fitness center includes an aerobics room, a spinning room, cardiovascular equipment, free-weights and sauna.

Need Care, Will Travel; Medical Tourism in Panama

Medical tourism. Ten years ago the phrase was almost unheard-of, but today it is the catchphrase of a growing segment of patients who, disillusioned, ignored, or simply unable to afford vital care, are choosing to travel outside their home countries for medical procedures.

Panama is one of the latest countries to emerge on the health tourism scene, offering US-trained doctors, state-of-the-art infrastructure and equipment, plus a distinct advantage — proximity to North America. With as many as 45 million Americans uninsured, and Canadians waiting up to two years for critical procedures, many are looking south for alternatives.

Recent political campaigning in the US has turned the spotlight on health care, exposing the largely crippled medical systems of first-world countries and the impact on their residents. The Congressional budget office estimates Medicare and Medicaid costs will triple by 2050 and baby boomers have been clearly told: Medicare will not be able to foot your future bills.

In Canada, endless waiting lists and a dire shortage of specialists have left patients out in the cold. While public health care in Canada is paid for through taxes, long wait times for complex, specialized surgeries are sending Canadians south in search of more rapid solutions. In Ontario, for example, hip replacement surgery wait times average six months, and knee replacements eight months. Even simple diagnostic scans such as MRIs have an average wait time of more than three months.

Little wonder, then, that medical tourism is garnering so much attention. With countries such as Panama and Costa Rica — just a stone’s throw away — joining the roster, more and more North Americans are opting to bypass their countries’ health care systems altogether in favor of becoming ‘health tourists’. In fact, an estimated half a million Americans per year are traveling abroad for health care.

For them, the cost of travel is more than made up for by the savings in medical costs, with the added bonus of recovery in a beautiful, tropical setting.

According to Pana-Health, a group of more than 100 Panamanian specialists working with the Ministry of Tourism to meet the needs of health tourists in Panama, some of the most popular procedures being sought out in Panama are in-vitro fertilization, dentistry, plastic surgery and laser eye surgery.

Dr Richard Ford, the medical coordinator for Pana-Health, believes Panama is poised to become the ‘Mecca of health tourism of the Americas’ in the next ten years.

Lower prices – 50-70% less than in the US – are just the tip of the iceberg, he says, with highly personalized care by English-speaking doctors and nurses, rapid access to critical procedures and great places to visit while recovering creating a high-quality, comfortable experience for patients.

According to one example, one patient’s in-vitro fertilization treatment cost a grand total of $5250, compared to up to $18000 in the US. Another patient’s cataract surgery cost $2500 per eye, compared to $5000-$6000 per eye in the US.

Nor are all the procedures elective. Panama’s hospitals offer care in cardiology, pneumology, oncology, orthopedics, urology, endocrinology, cochlear implants, cardiovascular and thoracic surgery, and much more.

A knee or hip replacement, normally about $20,000 in the United States, costs about $12,000 at one of Panama’s private clinics. Demand for orthopedic surgeries is skyrocketing at private facilities like Panama City’s Punta Pacifica Hospital. And there is no corresponding drop in quality; this John Hopkins affiliate boasts state of the art facilities, intelligent operating rooms, English-speaking, US-trained staff and a level of care that is almost Elysian compared to the cramped conditions of the average US hospital.

Consider their nurse to patient ratio: one nurse for every two patients in general wards, and three nurses for every two patients in intensive care. In comparison, patient to nurse ratios in California average four to one. Punta Pacifica also offers digital diagnostics such as virtual MRIs, CT scans, and X-rays.

Panama City also boasts two other world-class private health care centers, the San Fernando Hospital and Paitilla Medical Center. The San Fernando Hospital, Panama’s first private hospital, opened its doors in 19449, and has affiliations with prestigious institutions such as the Tulane University Medical Center of New Orleans, Baptist Hospital South Florida and Miami Children’s Hospital, among others. The Paitilla Medical center, long favored by wealthy Panamanians, is best known for its excellent oncology unit.

These facilities, and Panama’s position as the ‘Hub of the Americas’ mean more and more health tourism agencies are choosing Panama as the preferred destination for their clients.

“The demand is very strong, and we haven’t even begun to scratch the surface,” says Rudy Rupak, president of Planet Hospital, a medical tourism agency researching qualified doctors and hospitals in countries around the world to perform procedures for clients who cannot afford, or wait, in their home countries.

His company added Panama to its roster of qualified countries in 2006

“We look for doctors who are educated in the USA, or other excellent institutions abroad such as in Canada, the UK or Europe,” explains Mr Rupak, “as well as peer review, publications over the years in their area of specialization, and patient interviews.”

“I see Panama as a strategic place, with a good location, just a five or six hour flight from the US. But the main factors are quality of doctors and the presence of a US hospital,” he says.

While the push for Medicare to outsource health care has yet to bear any fruit, more and more companies in the US are covering out-of-country procedures for their employees. For them, lower costs and rapid access means a better bottom line and a quicker turnaround for their employees.

More than just North Americans are looking to Panama for health care.

“Most [patients] come from the USA, Canada, Spain, England and France,” agrees Dr Ford, “but there is a growing number of people from South America who are coming to Panama.”

Tougher visa laws in the US mean many Latin American patients who would have previously gone to the US for procedures not available in their home countries, are now turning to Panama.

Costa Del Este Panama City Republic of Panama

Costa del Este is one of Panama City’s most modern neighborhoods, made up of planned residential communities, office buildings, shopping centers, banks, and an industrial park. Located east of the downtown core, Costa del Este was created by filling in more than 20 million cubic yards along the Bay of Panama in the country’s then-largest construction project. The resulting 310 hectare-project, is one of Panama’s most coveted waterfront neighborhoods, known for its high-end construction and ultra-modern amenities.
Costa del Este has become a showpiece of modern construction and careful planning; exquisitely landscaped, with residences ranging from modest to millionaire, it is a city within a city.Connected to the mainland by a two kilometer-long bridge, Costa del Este is fringed with mangroves on the east, and looks across the curve of the bay to the city lights just ten minutes away. Despite this proximity, Costa del Este is very much a world apart. Planned to the last detail, this ambitious project provides generous public spaces, with several parks (the largest of them 30 hectares, buffering the commercial and high-density residential areas), recreational areas, a central plaza, and a four kilometer-long pier. Most of the infrastructure is buried, leaving the views clean and uncluttered. Gardens run the lengthof the central boulevards, creating a welcoming and genteel atmosphere.

 

Costa Sur Panama?

Costa Sur is a planned urban development on the outskirts of Panama City, east of Costa del Este, with just minutes to the Corredor Sur (Southern Expressway). The project is 44 hectares across, broken up into three neighborhoods, with residential dwellings, a school and a commercial center.

Mystic Point Condos Panama City Panama

Mystic Point is set in Panama City’s posh Punta Pacifica district, with beautiful views of the ocean and city skyline. The neighorhood is quiet and upscale, with easy access to modern shopping centers, restaurants, the Banking district, and less than 20 minutes to the Tocumen International Airport.

Residents can choose from a variety of three-bedroom suites, ranging from 1700 to 2800 square feet.

Each apartment includes two parking spaces. The complex’s amenities include swimming pool, racquetball court, gym, Jacuzzi and sauna, as well as a ballroom for social events.

How long can I say in Costa Rica with a European union passport?

Currently all EU tourist visas (automatically issued when you enter the country) are valid for 90 days.  You can automatically renew your tourist visa by exiting the country and re-entering.  There used to be a requirement to be out of the country at least 3 days, but that is no longer the case – even an hour or two suffices for the renewal, though you might have to stand your ground with some officials looking to extort you, particularly at the Nicaraguan border.  There are also rumors that you will soon be able to renew your tourist visa at a government office for $150 or so, instead of having to get to a border, but no official word yet.

Ocean One & Ocean Two Costa Del Este Panama

Ocean One is located in the rapidly-growing waterfront neighborhood of Costa del Este, offering expansive ocean and city skyline views. Apartment and penthouse suites are spacious and elegantly appointed, from 3000 to 8000 square feet. Each unit includes a master bedroom with walk-in closet, private bathroom and breathtaking views from picture windows, a breakfast nook with panoramic views, a sprawling living room and dining room with picture windows overlooking the ocean, and up to three additional bedrooms.

Residents can lounge by the pool, bordered by landscaped gardens and complete with bar and barbeque, keep active on the basketball, racquetball, volleyball and tennis courts, work out at the fully-equipped gym, or relax in the sauna and wellness spa.

Ocean Two is down the road on Paseo del Mar boulevard in the upscale Costa del Este neighborhood.

Just ten minutes to the heart of the city, Ocean Two enjoys magnificent views of the ocean, cityscape and mountains. Modern architecture and sophisticated finishes make this an impressive addition to the Panama City skyline.

With just two units per floor, and floor-wide penthouses available, your privacy and comfort are assured. The master bedroom, den and kitchen all offer floor-to-ceiling windows with glorious ocean and mountain views. Apartments also include walk-in closets and a private bath for all bedrooms with marble finishes, an elegant living room, family room, spacious dining room, and terrace. Each residence comes internet-ready with fiber optic cable, modern security systems, laundry, and up to three parking spaces per unit.

Casco Viejo

Flanking Panama City’s gleaming high-rises and cosmopolitan allure lies the Old Town, or Casco Viejo, which thrived in the 17th century in the heyday of Spanish colonialism in Panama. It sits on the waterfront of the Bay of Panama, and the arc of the city can be seen rising in the distance. Much of the exquisite architecture has fallen to ruins, but restorations are under way breathing new life into the charming and colourful old district. Newly-restored buildings stand shoulder to shoulder to centuries-old ruins, giving the area a surreal and very appealing atmosphere.

Some of Panama City’s chicest cafés and restaurants are within the Casco Viejo, as is the presidential palace, the National Theater, several churches and cathedrals, and small plazas and parks adorned with statues of Panama’s heroes. Many of the renovations are being converted to stylish lofts and studios, art galleries and shops, making this one of Panama City’s most attractive neighborhoods and a popular tourist attraction.

Its latest starring role is as the setting for the newest Bond film, a Quantum of Solace. Panama attracted international attention last year as the film shot on location within the captivating quarters.

The Panamanian government is offering special incentives for the restoration of historical monuments and buildings with the Casco Viejo, including:

  • 10-year income tax exemption on the sale or rental income of properties
  • 30-year real estate tax exemption
  • total exemption on the 2% transfer tax of real estate on the first sale of properties valued above $50,000
  • preferential interest rates on loans
  • total import tax exemption for equipment and materials related to construction and restoration that are not available in Panama