Looking For A Home In Panama

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The business sector has been quick to take advantage of the demand for real estate by foreigners who are moving to Panama. Projects to accommodate the influx are mushrooming in the form of high-rise condominiums in the city, spreading along the Pacific coast and appearing on islands, in rural settings and in the mountains.

The trend began in Bocas del Toro several years ago. Boquete then soared into the limelight with endorsements from U.S. retirement publications and the construction of the Valle Escondido complex.

Now the demand is spreading, not just to other areas of the Chiriqui highlands such as Volcan and Cerro Punta, but to Panama City and the mountains and beaches to the west of the city from Chorrera to San Carlos.

On the following paragraphs, we offer a resumé of some of the projects under way.

El Alcázar de Coronado
Coronado Resort, on the beach 80 km west of Panama City, one of the best known, and longest-established developments in Panama, has launched a new residential complex, “El Alcázar”, designed for the growing community of foreign retirees and relocating families in Panama. Its most striking feature is a 21-story con-dominium overlooking Coronado’s superb golf course.

El Alcázar offers 64 four-bedroom residences with ample balconies offering vistas of the Pacific Ocean and the forest-clad hills of the Continental Divide. There will be 24-hour security, a heliport, a modern emergency alarm system, connections for internet and cable TV and two central air conditioning units.

Residents of El Alcázar will be entitled to free membership at Coronado’s golf, beach and equestrian clubs, in addition to the resort’s Full Wellness Spa (the therapists of which are trained in alternative medicine at the prestigious Uplledger Craneal Sacral Institute) and other facilities. Owners also will also have the right to rent their apartments to third parties.

Tucan Country Club
A haven for golf and nature aficionados, it is possible that golfers and residents will see not only toucans, but plenty of wildlife, at the Tucan Country Club since this magnificent course and residential development is bounded by virgin rainforest on one side and the Panama Canal on the other.

The Tucan Country Club and Resort is being developed on the old 180 acre Horoko Golf Club, used by the U.S. military during their occupation of the Canal area ( the name Horoko was an adaptation of the names of the forts of Howard, Rodman and Kobbe)

The old course, laid out in the 1940’s, has been redesigned as a superb par 72 championship course and will be the focus for a comprehensive development which will incorporate 500 homes, a hotel, clubhouse with indoor and outdoor dining facilities, meeting rooms, ballroom, men’s and women’s club bars and social areas for events.

The complex will include a full-service gym, spa and tennis club and a shopping arcade with services like bank, laundry, pharmacy, beauty salons, auto rental and gourmet mini-super.

This will be a gated community for members only. In fact a pre-requisite for purchasers of the villas, townhouses and terrace condos at Tucan Resort will be membership. Prices including lifetime membership range from $198,000 to over $800,000. Non-residents will be able to buy a lifetime membership for $25,000.

Stupendous views of the canal, the canal basin and the city shimmering a mere 15 minutes away, can be enjoyed from the homes and from many points on the course.

Altos del María
One of the most successful and attractive real estate projects in Panama is Altos del María. Located in the highlands of Sorá, 96 km (60 miles) west of Panama City, Altos del María is a country-style residential project offering parcels with an altitude range between 550mts (1,800 feet) and 1,100mts (3,600 feet) above sea level. As a result of the altitude, the area enjoys year-round spring-like weather, with temperatures ranging between 20 and 16 degrees Celsius (61-68 F).

Well endowed with manicured forests, waterfalls, picnic areas and parks, Altos del Maria is ideal for retirees or families choosing seclusion but with easy access to the conveniences of modern life. The city of La Chorrera, the fastest growing settlement of the region, is only 45 minutes away, offering modern supermarkets, restaurants, cinemas and shopping centers.

Altos del Maria is also not far from the most popular stretch of Pacific-coast beaches in Panama – an area featuring numerous recreational and sports facilities. Among them is Coronado Hotel & Resort, which boasts one of the best golf courses in Latin America, and the Royal Decameron Costa Blanca Hotel, the country’s most successful beach development. Altos del María is connected to the capital by means of a modern, four-lane highway.

San Marino Ocean Front
With a choice of two oceans, many people will prefer the Caribbean for its clear water and minimal tides.

If you fill into this category, it will be worth checking out San Marino Ocean Front, a development near Colon, 65 miles or 90 minutes from Panama City. It is on the beautiful coastline known as Costa Arriba not far from the ruins of the famous old Spanish fortified city of Portobelo.

The development consists of 108 lots facing the blue Caribbean and backed by green rainforest slopes.

San Marino Ocean Front has a Club House overlooking the ocean with swimming pool, gazebos, barbecue, bar area for any resident or private meeting. Another benefit is the marina with break water for safe usage of the boat ramp which enhances the entire development.

Brisas de Los Lagos
Twenty five years ago, Ricardo Velasquez, a respected eye surgeon in Panama City, bought a cattle farm near Chorrera, between Panama City and the Pacific beaches. He named it Brisas de los Lagos (Breezy Lakes) and began to plant trees–teak, mahogany and pine. He set out to create, not only a re-forestation project but an ecological park.

Now, 57 well-chosen lots among the lakes and streams have been segregated from the wooded acres and are being offered for sale to form an exclusive residential enclave, in the country but within 40 minutes’ drive from Panama City.

Hacienda Las Nubes
One of the most intriguing projects is Hacienda Las Nubes (Ranch in the Clouds) above Cerro Punta in the Chiriqui highlands which will be the highest residential project in the country and the closet to nature, situated in the cloud forest on the borders of the Baru and Amistad National Parks.

It is the brainchild of author, photographer and film-maker Ricardo de la Espriella. He has sub-divided a tract of his land on the slopes of the Talamanca mountain range, overlooking the town and fertile valley of Cerro Punta and with a magnificent and almost eye-level view of the peak of the extinct volcano Baru.

Lots of generous proportions (eg.half acre $50,000) are on special offer as the project gets under way. A hotel with bars, restaurants and meeting rooms will add country club style to the project.

Valle Escondido
Valle Escondido translates as Hidden Valley, and its name is appropriate, since the magnificent valley of about 150 acres, although only a ten-minute walk from the town center of Boquete, is totally hidden and isolated.

A U.S. citizen, Mr. Sam Taliaferro, discovered the valley while out riding horseback. Although not a developer (his career up to the revelation of Valle Escondido had been in computer equipment) he envisioned a community in this idyllic place, and set out to buy the valley and build.

Built in Spanish colonial style, the complex is self-sufficient. It incorporates its own “town center” with shops, an amphitheatre for music and cultural events, alternative health center and even a school. A very special feature is a multi denominational chapel with a magnificent ceiling and murals of allegorical paintings by Roger Valdez depicting the initial ferocity of the Baru Volcano and the fertility, which followed its eruption.

Valle Escondido has its own water supply from a pure spring, which gushes from the mountainside. A river runs right through the property, creating scenic hazards on the 9-hole golf course. Coffee, the original resource of the valley has been left largely intact and the working plantation’s profits are shared among home-owners.

Hacienda Los Molinos
Boquete is also the site of another residential development, Hacienda Los Molinos, offering the most exquisite scenery to be found on the mountain slopes. Lots are scattered around a 360-foot-deep canyon — a beautiful gorge with the Río Cochea running through it. A system of lakes also beautifies the area.

The project, designed by the Dutch architect and landscape specialist, Angrid Titanos, also offers views of the peak of Baru and the Pacific Ocean. Residents have access to trails through natural forests and past rivers and waterfalls.

The developers of Los Molinos also plan a clubhouse, restaurant, piano bar, library, pool, tennis courts and other facilities.

Montañas de Caldera
This private residential community is aptly named for its magnificent 360 degree view of pure mountain scenery including the continental divide and the mountains of El Peñon. The district of Caldera lies about two thirds of the way up the slope leading from Chiriqui’s capital city David up to Boquete just under the peak of Volcan Baru.

Montañas de Caldera is the vision of John Richardson, a well-known property developer originally from the United Kingdom, who latterly lived in the Cayman Islands until he visited Panama in 2001 and discovered the mild climate and green beauty of Caldera. Associated companies of his family have been established since 1895.

The community is being developed on 460 acres — plenty of room for nature trails (and the 954 species of birds, which also call it home) around the residential areas, which are being divided into 350 lots of between 1,500 m2 and 5,800 m2. The community will have its own plentiful supply of pure water from springs on the property, which borders the area’s principal river, Rio Caldera.

Amenities planned for the community include a country club and restaurant, coffee shop, bar, driving range, tennis courts, fitness center, equestrian center, doctor’s office, a store and even a church.

Brisas de Amador
The Amador Causeway, which joins three islands alongside the entrance to the Canal, is on the way to realizing its tourism potential.

On the island of Perico an ambitious project called Brisas de Amador is underway.

The first phase, Causeway Boulevard, a restaurant and shopping complex is already complete with a number of first class restaurants and bars building up their trade.

The promotors are now moving on to the provision of tourist accommodation… a marina, hotel and a cruise port, which will take four years and $50 million.

Adjacent to Causeway Boulevard will be an apartment hotel with 180 rooms in ten separate buildings. The target market will be executives and professionals who need to stay in Panama for a while and who are looking for a place more “intimate and personal” than a hotel and also more economical. Another type of guest would be passengers and crew of visiting yachts.

There should be plenty of business in this category since the planned marina will have 400 berths for luxury yachts, sailboats and other craft.

The cruise ship pier will have duty free shops and a cultural center featuring the seven ethnic Indian tribes on the isthmus. A five-star hotel and casino adjacent to the cruise pier will complete this tourist-oriented complex and really put the Amador Causeway on the map.

Punta Barco Village
For those seeking real estate on the beach, Punta Barco Village offers an attractive opportunity. The project is located at Punta Barco on a small bay with a private beach. The offering is varied; the choice is between 1000 m2 lots, “garden apartments” and condos.

Prices of a lot with house start at $190,000. Three 3-story buildings round a pool contain the garden apartments which are from $235,000. The condos, each with 212 m2 in two 9-story buildings, start at $230,000.

Punta Barco, a gated community incorporating a driving range and tennis courts, is 48 miles to the west of Panama City and next door to the leisure community of Coronado with its supermarkets and restaurants. There are three golf courses within a 20-minute drive. Another charac-teristic of Punta Barco is the exclusive homes for which the area is renowned and the ranches of breeders of Peruvian paso horses who use the equestrian center at Coronado.

Costa Blanca Golf y Villas
The enormously successful Decameron resort at Farallon on the Pacific Coast west of Panama City has been quietly promoting an adjoining residential development called Costa Blanca Golf and Villas for the past three years and it is now a well-established community with 35 per cent Panamanians and 65 per cent foreigners of many nationalities… from Canada, U.S., Italy, France, Spain, Colombia, Venezuela, Argentina, Japan and other countries. Sales of villas and townhouse are ongoing.

This exclusive beach project is surrounded by a beautiful professional Golf Course “Mantaraya”.

An 80-minute drive from Panama City, this residential resort has everything you could want, not just for living but also for investment.

The project itself has two models of houses: Townhouses: A comfortable two-story house with a backyard, terrace, barbecue and decorative pergolas. There is a spectacular view to the “Mantaraya Golf Course” of which purchasers will automatically be members. The minimum size of the land is from approximately 726sq feet to 4,900 sq feet, with a construction area from 610sq feet. The ground floor has a spacious living/dining room, kitchen, laundry room, guest bathroom. The first floor includes two comfortable bedrooms, each with its private bathroom, balcony, terrace and independent entrances.

Villas: There are three models of three, four and five bedrooms, each with its private bathroom, and with a construction area from 802.59 sq feet. These excellent villas offer the alternative of choosing independent lands from 2,475sq. feet to 4,950 sq feet, each with a view to the golf course. On the main floor there is a powder room, ample living and dining room, domed ceilings and maid’s bedroom and bathroom that some owners use as an office or storage room. The laundry and kitchen is also on the main floor.

Owners of Costa Blanca Golf & Villas, and their families, will become members of the exclusive Mantaraya Golf and Beach Club offering a professional 18-hole course that surrounds the entire Costa Blanca development. The spectacular Beach Club is designed for the owners and their guests with a restaurant, swimming pool and what they claim is the best Pacific beach in Panama. There are nature trails, convention center, casino, spa, tennis court, water sports.

Nüare Boquete
The developers of Nuare in Boquete have reached back into the culture of the indigenous people of the mountains for inspiration in the planning and construction of a new residential project. As their brochure points out, the Gnobe Indians of Chiriqui regarded Boquete as a special place — a place of enchantment and magnetism. They have a word to describe it, “Nuare”, which means something agreeable and enchanting.

The luxurious houses on offer are a far cry from a thatched hut, but the guiding principles are sound. The resulting concept is even better. The first phase consists of 35 lots along two streams and on the edge of a canyon through which flows the Caldera River.

The project, located on a superb site at Alto Boquete will incorporate a 24 hour security gate, spectacular club house, pool, spa gym, tennis courts, piano bar, reading room, billiards room, a shopping center and medical facility with ambulance. Nature trails are provided, throughout the property.

The Azuero Peninsula
One such emerging destination is the tip of Panama’s Azuero Peninsula.

Favorable articles in many publications as distinct as The New York Times and The Robb Report suggest this previously unheralded Pacific peninsula is about to join what The Times and many others are calling “Panama’s land rush.”

The Azuero Peninsula is usually described in the guidebooks accurately enough, as being “off the beaten track”. A charter flight from the skyscrapers of Panama City to the Azuero peninsula takes 40 minutes. By car, you travel, some 250 kilometers west on the Panamerican Highway before turning south for another hour. You pass through country sprinkled with roadside homes and Spanish-style towns to take brief respite in quaint central squares amidst friendly Panamanians and their folkloric festivals.

At the tip of this attractive peninsula are tan-sand beaches with surf, hills, and dales for campers, excellent fishing just off-shore. And everywhere, it seems, cowboys, horses and cattle share the road with modern automobiles.

The visionaries who have first seen the potential of this area are more concerned with restoring its ecology than maximizing human habitation. And for good reason: The wealthy or the well-known who have bought land here (the Robb Report lists such recognizable names as Mick Jagger, Bruce Willis and Tommy Lee Jones) tend to value both ecology and privacy.

Among advocates of responsible development, two of the most influential are Edwina von Gal, a New York landscape designer, and Gilles Saint-Gilles, an internationally known French designer of mansions for princes and other wealthy Europeans.

According to a two-page color spread in The Times, Ms. von Gal and her associates “are pooling their funds to buy up old cattle ranches before developers buy the land for high-rise resorts, casinos and golf courses. They are reforesting eroded lands and planning to build with local wood and local labor.”

Saint-Gilles, who on 1,000 acres is accomplishing much of what Ms. Von Gal and others laudably hope to, coalesces his passion for Old World craftsmanship, exquisite design and environmental stewardship in “Azueros”, a sustainable luxury community just outside of Pedasi. Enamored with the area’s Tuscany-like hills and cerulean ocean waters, Saint-Gilles chose a secluded stretch of the Pacific as the location for Azueros and has now commenced his ambitious vision– a balance of luxurious living and ecological restoration.

Azueros’ work force is currently building masterfully crafted homes designed by Saint-Gilles on beachfront and ocean-view lots of up to 20 acres, some of which are surrounded by their own private nature reserve. Four years into the project, Villa Camilla accommodates prospective buyers seeking privacy and such recreations as fishing and horseback riding, but who want telephone and Internet access as well.

Ocean Park Tower
Ocean Park is a private and secure luxury residential complex located in Punta Pacifica, one of the most desirable neighborhoods in Panama City. Its towers offer panoramic views of Panama City and the Bay of Panama.

The Ocean Park lifestyle offers the advantage of living in the heart of the city within walking distance of shopping, hospitals, and entertain-ment, in a modern, luxury complex.

Ocean Park consists of two towers 42 stories high within 55,000 sq feet of land in Punta Pacifica, overlooking the Pacific Ocean. Tower 1 is all sold, and Tower 2 has few units left.

Ocean Park Tower 2 has more than 6,000 square meters (64,583 square feet) of recreation and social areas, including two parks for children, controlled security access, and high-end luxury finishing.

Amenities include 24/7 security gate, large indoor pool and visitor parking.

Each building has two pools, fully equipped gym with sauna, basketball court, lounge, spectacular lobby, three high speed elevators, 24/7 concierge; full reserve power-plant, internet-ready and security surveillance system.

Isla Viveros
The wave of real-estate developments targeted at foreign expats and second-home buyers has now reached the beautiful islands of Las Perlas archipelago, more specifically to Isla Viveros -a little-known, but well-endowed tropical island approximately eight miles south of Contadora.

Grupo Viveros is currently marketing an ambitious residential project on the island. With mansions facing the crystal-clear waters of the Gulf of Panama, and a golf course designed by Jack Nicklaus.

Isla Viveros will be transformed into a secluded community of 550 residences built on 600 hectares (300 on the seafront and 250, facing the golf course.) The project also calls for two marinas with capacity for one hundred, 150-feet yachts, shopping centers, an air strip, medical facilities and three five-star hotels, featuring between 100-300 bedrooms. Lots, range between $300,000 and $500,000.

Clients will have the opportunity to choose from various house models, although the company can also build mansions for the most demanding tastes. The total price of the average property, land included, is approximately US$750,000.00.

A small canal separates Isla Viveros from Isla del Rey, the largest and most populated of the Pearl Islands -an archipelago that gets its name from the abundance of pearls found there during the colonial period. The entire region is a paradise for anglers, divers and water-sport enthusiasts. The waters of the Pacific, are filled with Blue and Black Marlin, Wahoo, Sailfish, Red Snapper and many other species. The project is only a few minutes from the popular resorts of Contadora Island and not very far from Piñas Bay, one of the world’s top sports fishing venues.

A service of regular, scheduled flights, which will soon include Isla Viveros, provides an easy access to and from Panama City (15-20 minutes).

Author:

Kenneth J. Jones

– General Manager –

Focus Publications (Int.), S.A.

Panama, R.P.

[http://www.focuspanama.com/]

Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Kenneth_J._Jones




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