It’s the most recent in a long history of Panama picks. I’ve made a career of scouting the globe to identify interesting places for people to spend time and money. My first recommendation was Costa Rica, in the mid-1980s, followed by Belize, Nicaragua, Honduras…In 1996 I sent my property scout Bob Fordi to Panama City. “This place is shaping up to become the greatest investment opportunity of our lifetimes,” he reported. “And right now it’s a screaming bargain.” I visited for the first time later that year. Over the decades to follow, I put Panama on the map for global retirees and investors. I started by covering the sale of former U.S. miliary housing. After the turnover of the Canal, Panama owned this inventory. They put officers’ homes in Clayton and Albook on the market for US$20,000. Today these sell for a million dollars and more. Next I targeted Avenida Balboa in Panama City, then Coronado and the City Beaches, Panama Pacifico, and Costa del Este. Homes and condos I recommended in those spots two decades ago are worth multiples as much now. I toured Boquete with U.S. developer Sam Taliaferro in 2000. He showed me the valley he intended to purchase to create the world’s first expat retiree community. I reported on Valle Escondido in real time and named Boquete the world’s best place to retire overseas in 2001.
The AARP claimed the same of this flower-covered valley of eternal spring in 2010. From the capital city, the nearby beaches, and the central highlands, I expanded my Panama search to the east coast of the Azuero Peninsula. I told readers in the market for a comfortable, affordable retirement and investors shopping for an undervalued beach property play to look at Pedasí. I predicted this beach town was set to boom and it did.
The Next Big Thing In Panama
Then, in 2008, Lief and I identified the next big thing in Panama—the other side of the Azuero Peninsula, this country’s Veraguas coast. On this Sunset Coast we doubled down on Panama with the purchase of Los Islotes. We’re all in on Panama. This year we’ve returned our focus—and yours—to this little powerhouse of a nation that continues to stack up in every way.