Panamainfo’s Blog

20 Billion Dollars in Investment in Panama to Start in the Next 3 Years /Even a Diamond Bourse!

According to an article in La Prensa based on the study of local consulting firm, in the next 3 years projects worth 20 billion dollars will be started in Panama. These include 8 billion for a refinery in Puerto Armuelles by Occidental Petroleum and Qutar, 3.5 billion on the Petaquilla gold mine, 3 billion on the Canal expansion, 3 billion by Panama’s government in infrastructure projects, 600 million for Farfan Port, 100 million for Rodman Port, 100 million for the Puerto Armuelles pipeline and 60 million for MIT Port.

I am asking around if these projects really will happen and most people say “yes” to most of them and “probable” but not sure to others.

If even half take place, this is huge for a tiny country like Panama with just 3.3 million people. In 3 years, less than 4% unemployment is predicted as well as the relaxation of immigration laws so that these projects can bring the professionals not available in the Panamanian market.

I see Panama becoming the Hong Kong of the Americas in the next 10 years. It is the geographical and historical destiny of Panama which has always been a business crossroads between East and West, North and South.

In business circles, everyone is talking about the BRIC countries (Brazil, Russia, India and China) and how they will be the motor of the economy now, as the US economy slows down. Latin America as a whole is growing as never before and it needs a business capital- voila Panama. ( Long ago, Latin America liberator Simon Bolivar, said that Panama should be the capital of Latin America. )

Do you agree Panama will be the Hong Kong of the Americas?

Other important smaller investments are being made- like a 50 story building being built now as a diamond bourse with 350 offices related to everything that has to do with the diamond trade. An Israeli businessman saw that Latin America is growing and will increasing want diamonds and decided it needed a diamond headquarters- and found Panama City to be ideal.

Other smaller investments are being made.

New Survey: Panama City # 2 in Safety and Quality of Life in Latin America/ #1 in Central America

The multinational consulting firm Mercer according to press reports today, just released a study in which Panama City is rated as # 2 in Latin America and for safety and quality of life. It is # 1 in Central America. (Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic is # 1/San Jose, Costa Rica is #8. )

(The study included San Juan Puerto Rico which is rated # 1, but as Puerto Rico is not generally considered a Latin American country, Panama takes the first place. )

This survey confirms what many multinationals and individuals have already concluded- Panama City is the best place for their regional HQ- among those who have come recently to set up HQ are Dell, Hewitt Packard, Proctor & Gamble, Caterpillar, 3M, the United Nations, and I just heard Frito Lay is coming.

Panama City is far from perfect….especially traffic problems can be intense, but aside from that Panama City is a great place for international corporations, families and individuals. It is one of the safest cities anywhere if you follow rules of common sense that apply to cities everywhere, ie don’t walk around at night in a poor area.)There is a variety of fine neighborhoods to choose from, the best food and appliance shopping in Latin America, 3 major new shopping malls, lots of reasonably priced excellent restaurants and for vacationing many attractive beach and mountain destinations. Not to mention the Panamanian people themselves-accustomed to foreigners, friendly, helpful and warm.

Panama’s Top Beach Romantic Getaways

Panama’s Top Places for a Beach Romantic Getaway

Note: Our idea of a Romantic Getaway: Romance for us is to get totally away from it all   surrounded by pristine , beautiful nature, yet to have good food and attentive service for all our needs. If the same appeals to you, then read on.

 In no special order:

Coral Lodge: Coral Lodge on the Atlantic coast near the San Blas Islands-  in the middle of nowhere, yet the facilities are fine and  well appointed. We love the “water villas”- over- the-water villas- each with  a Jacuzzi in the bedroom and a private deck with a chaise lounge and chairs. You hear the waves lapping all day and you can jump in the ocean from the deck of your villa for a swim or just stay there all day feeling close to and embraced by nature. You don’t have to leave your villa and  be very happy. The dining room is beautifully done and  you can breakfast on an outside terrace with 365 ocean views. The food is another attraction-mostly famous Peruvian cuisine and excellent.

Start out with a picnic on an island to yourselves: We highly recommend you choose their “San Blas Island  picnic arrival”- after flying in to San Blas , you are taken by  boat to a beautiful tropical island you have to yourselves for a gourmet picnic lunch for two and snorkeling gear to explore. What a way to begin your vacation- It doesn’t get better than this!


Hacienda del Mar- The Pearl Islands

Many regard the Pearl Islands as the most beautiful islands in Panama and Hacienda Del Mar is a private island resort perched on a bluff on one of these spectacular islands. The sands are white, the sea is a deep indescribable blue and area home to world class fishing and some great diving destinations.

We love their Club House on the bluff with its large common areas including the dining terrace with wide open ocean and jungle views. Each meal a tucan comes down from a tree and perches nearby or even jump on our table for some crumbs- to see and experience these gorgeous exotic birds close up is priceless. The pool below is picture perfect. The cabins are tastefully appointed, each with its own view deck  and made of bamboo so you feel comfortable yet close to nature

Calamia Boutique Hotel- Boca Chica, Chiriqui

Conveniently located in Chiriqui province, Calamia is a great beach escape for those who are also exploring the Chiriqui Highlands. In Boca Chica on the Chiriqui coast, 40 minutes from the airport and another 20 minutesby water taxi,  Calamia is a pristine paradise island with privatetwo beaches and nature all around. We loved the large bungalows – all of them have ocean views  and a good size  private terrace for private relaxing.  You can hear the ocean and also from time to time howler monkeys in the jungle nearby. The décor is rustic chique. The dining pavillion has almost 365 views and the food is good with fresh and natural ingredients. The owners live nearby on the island- some greens come from their organic garden. Spa and massage services are also part of the Calamia experience.


Punta Caracol- Bocas del Toro

Punta Caracol is on Boca’s main island situated in a place where you see no other sign of man. The view of their over-the-water cabins  set in the sea are so beautiful they were featured on the cover of  Travel and Leisure. The cabins look simple on the outside, but inside they are as luxurious as an eco-friendly lodging can be, with delightful design details and two stories.  From the deck, all you can see is ocean, mangroves and  mountains in the far distance. The snorkeling is good right from the cabins. The food is good and the dining is also in a outside terrace over the sea with 100% natural views.

Being in Bocas, you there are plenty of activities- you can boat over to take various excursions like diving and dolphin watching or for some  night life  and shopping in the fun, laid back  town of Bocas.

 What are your favorites?