Panamainfo’s Blog

Visit the BioDiversity Gehry Museum- This a Big Deal for PanamaTourism

We recently took a tour of the of the still infinished Biodiversity Museum designed by Frank Gehry on the Amador Causeway. The tour includes an presentation by Ing. Margo Lopez. She shows a video of that the seven major exhibits will look like. One cannot help getting excited by her presentation- Why? Because the exhibits are so unique and outstanding that you can believe this this museum will be a major tourism destination by itself, just as in Miraflores Locks which receives over 600,000 visitors a year. In fact KPMG did a study on the Gehry museum and calculated it will attract 500,000 visitors a year.

The museum is successfully  getting multi-million dollar  corporate sponsorships of the seven exhibits.

Many in the hotel industry are wondering how we are going to fill all those new hotel rooms. The Gehry Biodiversity Museum is an answer.

The tours take place every Friday. You can sign up on the link below. Make sure and follow the instructions on what to where. ( The tour of the construction site requires certain shoes etc.)


Visit Panama for Free: Flying Copa You Get a Free Stopover in Panama

Panama Tourism Ministry and Copa Airlines  Launch”Free Stop-Over in Panama”

  • This applies for those flying on Copa Airlines to a Latin America or Caribbean destination. If your flight has a stopover in Panama, you can stop over in Panama for a day or two and then continue to your final destination. Copa or your travel agent has the details. Many Latin Americans come to shop in Panama’s malls- a great alternative to Miami and US citizens will enjoy visiting the Panama Canal and other Panama City sites.The
    campaign offers potential visitors to Panama the possibility of
    visiting two Copa Airlines’ destinations for the price of one.



The Panama Tourism Authority and Copa Airlines are launching a new
promotion to promote Panama as a tourist destination – the “Visit Panama
Free” campaign. The new campaign provides travelers with connecting
flights through Copa Airlines’ Hub of the Americas at Tocumen
International Airport the opportunity to visit Panama for no additional


promotion positions Panama as an option in combination with other
destinations. Travelers not only will experience the advantages that
connecting through Panama offers, they also will be able to visit two
destinations for the price of one airfare.


passengers make their reservations with Copa Airlines or through a
travel agency, they will be offered the option of visiting Panama for
free and including the stop-over in their itinerary. The promotion is
available in the 52 destinations and 25 countries on the American
continent where the airline flies.


project grew from our shared vision of promoting the country as a
tourism destination among the 5 million travelers to Latin America and
the Caribbean who travel with us every year,” said Copa Airlines’
Director of Marketing Marco Ocando. “They already are taking advantage
of the benefits of the Hub of the Americas at Tocumen, which offers
flights to more destinations in Latin America than any other hub on the

Bocas del Toro # 3 on a list the Top 50 Yachting Towns: Yachting Magazine

According to the Yachting article:

“Bocas Del Toro, Panama – A nature lover’s paradise and one of Panama’s most popular tourist spots, Bocas’ 5,000 residents are still way outnumbered by the surrounding wildlife. Enjoy the town’s laid-back vibe and easy access to the region’s nine major islands, 52 keys and roughly 200 tiny islands. There are two marinas for those who want to explore this archipelago’s treasures. And reader Dan Cranney reminded us that “this island archipelago off the Caribbean coast of Panama is one of the few hurricane-free places in the Caribbean.

The newest Marina is at Red Frog and it’s a beautiful setting with plenty of nearby amenities.

The Planner Planner Wins First Place in Colombia- #1 Tourism Guide

The Panama Planner Wins First Place in Colombia

Thanks  to all of  our Panama Planner Sponsors!

The Panama Planner is a sister business of

The Panamanian tourist publication, The Panama Planner, has just won in Colombia, one of the most sought after prizes for print media in Latin America-the top prize in the category Best Tourist Guide of the Year in 2009-2010, from the Association Industry Colombian Graphic Communication-

“We are very proud that The Planner Panama has won this prestigious award in Colombia, the leading country in Latin America in graphic arts”, says Nancy Hanna, founder and president of The Panama Planner.

The Planner Panama was founded in 2002.

“This award is special because of our design team Panamanian – Kira Morelos and Julie Walls Salt and pepper, to your printer, Panamericana de Colombia and the support of our sponsors.”

For more information contact:

The Panama Planner


Nancy Hanna
President and Founder
The Panama Planner
Tel: 315.0609/Cel: 6676.0349

“Paperless Panama”: Martinelli Government Aims to Make Panama One of the First Paperless Governments

Paperless Panama/ Panamá sin papel

The government of Panama is working with Microsoft to make Panama one of the first countries to digitalize all government transactions.

This project was presented at Panama’s recent Competivity Forum Oct. 19th at the Playa Bonita Intercontinental Hotel.

The National Innovaction Authority aims to accomplish this by 2012. 50 million dollars have been designated for this project.

Even though Panama is a so-called underdeveloped country, this digitalization will increase efficiency and reduce corruption, enabling Panama to jump ahead in development.

Panama’s education system is also working with Microsoft to create online training for teachers, provide teachers and students with laptops and improve education in general- a critical intiative since Panama’s public education system is one of the weakest in Latin America.

The digitization of transactions will save the country an estimated 25 million a year.

Also, in 2011, the  private sector will soon be able to make tax payments online-  saving money by elimination  countless hours of private sector time. Until now tax payments had to be made with certified checks.

The Martinelli government deserves congratulations for using innovation to develop Panama more quickly, more cost effectively and more effectively.

Reuters Article: Panama- A model of success for today’s frontier markets.

Panama as a business capital continues to get positive press

(Reuters) – A generation after Panama shed a tradition of military rule, canny fiscal management and good stewardship of its emblematic canal have made the tiny country a model of success for today’s frontier markets.

An investor darling that has grown rapidly over the last decade and even managed to dodge recession during the recent global downturn, Panama’s government debt has received a coveted investment grade rating by Fitch and S&P.

Panama will not realize its ambition of joining the world’s most developed nations until it cleans up its murky banking system and narrows a wealth gap that leaves a third of its people in poverty, but economists say it is well-positioned for steady growth.

“What’s striking is that this is such a broad-based economy,” said Boris Segura, an economist with the Royal Bank of Scotland. “Yes, they have the canal but there is also tourism, construction and a growing financial services sector.”

With a population of just 3.4 million, Panama will never be a China or a Japan but local leaders say it can aspire to become like Singapore, an affluent and diverse crossroads for international finance and trade.

“Nobody is going to come to Panama to sell to the domestic market. We tell investors ‘Come to Panama and sell to the world'”, Trade Minister Roberto Henriquez told Reuters. He sees the small isthmus nation’s future as a boutique exporter of high-margin goods and services.

See the whole article here:

Panama Will Be the Top Performing Country in Latin America thru 2015- IMF

The International Monetary Fund has just released an analysis of the economic progress of each country in the region over the next 5 years. Panama comes out on top with a projected growth rate of 5% for 2010 and between 6.1% and 6.5 % until 2015.  This good news comes along with the recent good news that Panama now is now investment grade.

This analysis reflects confidence in Panama and its 5 billion dollar Panama Canal widening project and in the Martinelli government which is undertaking numerous important infrastructure projects-including two new international airports, a Panama City Metro, and a convention center. At the same time, the government is  seriously reducing corruption- the major reason that Panama and other Latin American countries have been held back in their development.  Transparency International estimates that corruption costs 30% of the GNP in Latin America.

Visas: How to Stay, Live and Do Business in Panama

Panama is such a great place that a lot of people would love to live and do business here.

To prevent too many foreigners from living here and to promote investment, the Panama government does not make it easy to live here.


  1. Tourist visa: The tourist visa you get when you come into Panama gives you 90 days in the country. This visa is for Americans, Canadians and citizens of the European Community and some other counties.  After 90 days, you must leave Panama and go to another country for three days and then you can come back and get another 90 days. There is no cost to this visa.


2 Retiree Visa or “Pensionado Visa” This is called a retiree visa but you don’t actually have to be retired to get it-you just have to be over 18. All you need to do is to prove you have a lifetime pension of at least $1000 per month.  If you buy 100,000 worth of property in Panama, then the minimum is just $750.

The pensionado visa comes with many benefits and discounts including 25% discount on all flights both international and domestic and major discounts at restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, certain medical services, prescription drugs and utility bills.

  1. Economic Solvency Visa: To qualify for this visa you need to deposit $300.000 in a bank account in a three year time deposit or purchase real estate for the same amount.
  2. Panama Bank CD Pension Visa: For this visa, you just need to create CD in  one of the national banks that earns a monthly minimum income of $850.00
  3. Reforestation Visa I: The least inexpensive visa, you need to invest $60.000 in a government certified reforestation project.
  4. Reforestation Visa II: You invest $80,000 in a government certified reforestation project and after a few years you have the right to permanent residence and citizenship.
  5. Business Investor Visa: Requires investing at least $160,000 in a Panamanian business that employs at least 5 Panamanians. Permanent residency is included.
  6. Agricultural Investor: Just make a $60,000 investment in agriculture or aquaculture but you only get a six year visa
  7. Tax Free Processing Zone Visa: You need to rent land, an office or building in one of the Free Trade Zones.


Others basics  you’ll need for a visa are a police certificate from the town you most recently lived in  your country of origin, a health exam and an AIDS test.


You must hire a lawyer for your visa and at the present time it takes a very long time to go through. It is very important you hire a lawyer from a well known firm or that comes with excellent referrals from people you know well.  See our Law Firm in our Business and Services section page for a good lawyer.

New President Martinelli Welcomes American Retirees and Promises to Make Make Everything Easier

Sam Taliaferro, the owner Valle Escondido, Panama’s original resort community posted an important interview with an American retiree couple who were invited to converse  with  Panama’s new President Ricardo Martinelli when they ran into his group at the Marriott Hotel in downtown Panama City.  President Martinelli told this couple ” he wants to make it very easy for Americans to move here and to invest. He said he was planning on having meetings with ex-pats to see what their concerns are. He told us it was going to be easier to get residency, drivers license and he was going to make it safer.”

See the whole interview here:

We are also are hearing  that Pres. Martinelli is moving quickly on a number of fronts so that foreigners who invest and live in Panama will have less bureaucratic hassles with government in immigration and setting up businesses etc.  He will also improve security which is already excellent  compared to other countries in the region.  The police have been instructed to help foreigners in any way they can and not hassle them as has happened in the past.

In fact, in his inaugural address President Martinelli declared his goal to make “Panama the best place in the world to do business”. This man does not think small.  And he is proving as good as his word on his campaign promises.

Spanish Panama- The Best Place to Learn Spanish in Panama City

Spanish Panama , owned by Canadian Joseph Ennis,  is the place to learn Spanish in Panama.  Their new attractive facility is  conveniently located right on Via Argentina in El Cangrejo which is  Panama City’s most attractive business and residential neighborhood full of coffee shops. restaurants and services.

Spanish Panama is a l a language immersion school.  You can learn Spanish by attending classes at the center  or they will send their professional teachers to your office or home for private lessons. Home stay is also an option.  They even have a “crash course” if you are in a hurry.

Spanish Panama has extras like a Spanish computer lab, a city view terrace for socializing or enjoying a cup of coffee, free salsa dance classes and other Panamanian cultural activities.

Joseph and his team including a charming Panamanian wife have thought of everything to make learning Spanish in Panama easy and fun.

Contact them at 213-3121 or 6624-3302 and



Next Page »