A part of Panama has been quietly lurking in the shadows for years… Now the spotlight has shifted to this pristine, outrageously stunning area that is loaded with potential. This glorious piece of paradise is Boca Chica, in Panama’s Chiriquí Province.
Nestled beside the Gulf of Chiriquí on the Pacific is this tiny town surrounded by over 50 small islands in one of the most scenic settings in the world. Breathtaking 360-degree views, lush forests and mangrove swamps, and sparkling azure waters are glorious to behold.
This slice of heaven is located off the Pan-American Highway between David (the second largest city in Panama) and Santiago. It’s in the San Lorenzo District and is less than an hour from an international airport.
The town itself consists of a few homes, numerous fondas (restaurants operated from people’s homes), and corner stores. This is a very clean, lovingly cared for area in a setting that is indescribably beautiful. The highlight is the marina.
Accommodation is on a spectrum from small hostels to bed and breakfasts to stylish boutique hotels such as Bocas del Mar and Seagull Cove Resort. Eco-hotels are found on at least two of the outlying islands.
The nearby islands are pristine and sparsely inhabited. Nature lovers and fishermen alike are drawn to this spectacular area. Whether you prefer clean, sandy beaches and quiet serenity or more physical adventures, Boca Chica has it all. In addition, it’s at one with nature: The mangroves themselves attest to this. Their nutrient-rich water and soil serve to sustain many varieties of tropical fish that use their roots as incubators until they are large enough to venture out on their own. Mangroves also prevent erosion and serve as a buffer from flooding. During the dry season in Panama, they act as reservoirs, slowly releasing water as needed.
The entire area is a fisherman’s dream come true and has been the site of numerous world-record catches. Black marlin, yellowfin tuna, sailfish, and swordfish tempt fishermen from all over the world. Many fish species here have not yet been identified. In addition, the Gulf of Chiriquí is the mating ground for humpback whales who travel 4,000 miles from Alaska each year to complete their life cycle.
Catering to these adventures are at least three local fishing lodges offering accommodation, fishing and sailing charters, and more. Looking for an investment or new career? Gone Fishing Panama Resort is one of the most popular lodges and is now for sale as the owners are retiring.
Snorkeling and scuba diving are “best in class” in the nearby area of Coiba National Park. Sea turtles, giant manta rays, and a kaleidoscope of tropical fish are fascinating, as are colorful and intricate coral reefs.
Homes in Boca Chica run the gamut from modest bungalows in town to elaborate mansions overlooking the spectacular vistas below. Investment potential here is wide open. Boca Chica has the potential to be a world-class destination. And, being under the radar, prices have not yet skyrocketed to the stratosphere. It’s still possible to buy oceanfront property here at a very reasonable price.
As an added bonus, accessing Boca Chica has become easier than ever. This is thanks to the expansion of the Enrique Malek International Airport in David, less than an hour away, accommodating international flights for the first time. This means an increase in visitors, an increase in new businesses, and a big jump in real estate values.
A huge new development is also in the works… Called the Marina Boca Chica Project, this giant undertaking will consist of a 60-slip marine facility and the marine concession for the docks area. Located on the island of Boca Brava, it has been five years in the making to this point and will eventually offer the following:
- Full service marina;
- Power, potable water, cable TV, telephone, and internet connections for every slip;
- Yacht-maintenance programs;
- Luxury hotel with 12 rooms;
- Drainage canals;
- Causeway, ramp, and floating dock;
- Owner’s bungalow;
- Caretaker’s home;
- Water system, holding tank, and backup water system.
Currently for sale, the asking price is US$995,000 and has infinite investment potential.
This is merely one of the many business opportunities opening up in this location. Many reasonably priced parcels of land are available on Boca Chica Island, Boca Brava, and more that can be used to build a business or a lovely retirement home. Some of these are titled and some are right of possession so it would be advisable to seek a knowledgeable lawyer to assist you with this.
Whether you are seeking a peaceful, serene retirement haven complete with astounding views, perfect weather (70° to 88°F), and amenities close by, a vacation destination that boasts heart-pumping adventure, or a sound and profitable investment, Boca Chica has it all. It was recently named the best place to buy real estate in Central America.
Relax… Gaze at the gracefully swaying palm trees… Enjoy the plethora of brightly plumed tropical birds and monkeys cavorting among the trees… Take a leisurely swim with the dolphins… Sip an ice cold drink as you contemplate your future… It could be here.