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Biodiversity in Panamá is well known worldwide. Case in point: Panamá's prime humid forests, especially in Darién, with one of the oldest jungle areas, as well as Gamboa, Chiriquí and Bocas del Toro. Rainforest tours are very popular, and many adventure tour operators offer them, in combination with bird watching.

But there is a place, almost unknown to visitors and foreigners, called the Summit Botanical Park, situated 30 minutes from the city, with an area of 620 acres, over 15,000 exotic plants, and close to 300 animals of all kinds.

It started 90 years ago as an experimental farm summit for tropical and sub-tropical plants, including Panamánian species. There you can see jaguars, monkeys, iguanas and all kinds of animals. But the most important is the Harpy Eagle, Panamá's national bird, which has a magnificent sanctuary open to the public.

Entrance is extremely inexpensive, around $2 for adults, and worth a visit.

If you like, you can have a family picnic, and spend all day enjoying the quiet and the beautiful plants. You can also extend your visit to Gamboa, a former military base with a beautiful rainforest and a nice resort that offers boat and other tours to see butterflies, snakes, and monkeys, etc. And the hotel itself is a peaceful and graceful place.

- See more at: www.bestplacesintheworldtoretire.com-Story courtesy of Best Places In The World To Retire. To see more stories like this, copy this into your web browser: www.bestplacesintheworldtoretire.com
Date of Posting: 31 October 2013
Posted By: Lourdes Townshend
I just want to bring up some information that very few visiting Panamá are aware of.

If you are a visitor, for the first 30 days, you are 100% covered with medical services, totally free of charge. This is a courtesy service provided by the Tourism Department.

This free coverage includes home (hotel) visits, hospital, or whatever you need to get better, and doctors speak English.

Even if your health issue is only something you think is not an emergency, don´t take any chances. Just ask for your brochure at the airport, (or cruise ship) upon your arrival. The hotels should also have this information available. Panamá is the only country that offers this service. That´s one of the ways how Panama values its visitors, and shows her appreciation for visiting the country. They want you to stay healthy, happy and have the greatest experience.

Sorry I don´t have the direct phone number available, but the number to the Tourism Bureau switchboard is: +(507) 526-7000.

-Story courtesy of Best Places In The World To Retire. To see more stories like this, copy this into your web browser: www.bestplacesintheworldtoretire.com
Date of Posting: 31 October 2013
Posted By: Lourdes Townshed
My name is Giselle and I have been a runaway for 12 years.

Well...at least according to some of my stateside friends.

It all started innocently enough (as most adventures are want to do): My husband and I had begun to contemplate our retirement options. We were living in Florida at the time. He was a doctor and I was a Real Estate Agent. We talked up a storm about places we would like to see and destinations that would be good fun to wake up in. Of course, this being a marriage, we went from a discussion to a debate and from a debate to an argument about these places, their relative prices insofar as living there, the crime rates, and their relative proximity to outlets offering comfortable shoes at reasonable prices (the important stuff, as you can plainly see). This went on for a good few months before my dear husband, in his typical fashion, grew frustrated with our continual deadlock and shouted out the first thing to come to his lips, "Fine! Why not Panama?!"

To hear him tell the tale now, you'd think he had been carefully planning this turn of events like he was channeling Machiavelli by way of Ricky Ricardo. But the truth is, Panama? Neither one of us had ever visited Panama at length (and the only times I had set foot there was during layovers). But the idea stuck with me. So much so that we bought tickets to come down and stay in Panama for a month. That month turned to twelve years. The phone calls I got from my friends were understandably apocalyptic:

"What?! Panama?! Why are you in Panama? You'll get robbed!"

"It's a third world country! Disgusting!"

"You'll be back in a month. Why are you wasting your time? That place is too rough for you."

...and of course, they all ended their calls with the ever popular "How can you live there?!"

The calls kept coming in, seemingly without end. But I did not pay them any heed. They didn't know. How could they? They had not seen the beauteous rivers coursing through moonlit mountains, nor the cliffs which beheld both Heaven and the sea. They had not heard the grand symphony of rain through the jungle canopy , nor the soulful aria of a humpback whale mere inches away from the boat. They had not felt the sand from deserted islands at their feet, nor tasted the powerful, life-giving bitterness of coffee so fresh that the flower's subtle perfume still clings to the bag. They didn't know about the lower crime rates, they didn't know about the wonderful people, and they didn't know how much this place reminded me of my Cuban homeland.

-Story courtesy of Best Places In The World To Retire. To see more stories like this, copy this into your web browser: www.bestplacesintheworldtoretire.com
Date of Posting: 31 October 2013
Posted By: Gisselle Socarraz
One of the best things about moving to Panama is that I have met and I am now friends with people who I would have been likely to even meet at a coffee shop back in Toronto. My group of amigos range from 30 years to 65+ years in age and come from all walks of life and corners of the earth. In the last few months a group of these "unlikely's" as I would call them got together with a common interest and goal of completing a series of Triathlons in Panama. It really happened at a weekly expat gathering when I asked a few of the unlikely's if they ever thought of doing something of this nature. Two months later we completed the Coronado Extreme Triathlon and for 4 out of the 6 of us it was their first completed triathlon. This past weekend, we all traveled up to Fort Sherman and knocked off another Sprint Triathlon and now there is no stopping this group of Coronado Triathletes.

While up on the Caribbean coast we got the opportunity to check out the new Italian Canal Doors that will be installed in the Atlantic locks of the 3rd Canal, which is the recent expansion of the existing canal. It was truly an incredible site, to see these doors on land that will be the gateway to the Atlantic and the entrance into the Canal.

If you do ever get the opportunity to visit Fort Sherman, go for it. Nestled into the Rain Forest on the Atlantic coast you will be sure to encounter a jungle creature or have a monkey cross the road or a gang of "cotamundis" or possibly even a sloth. You may also get a chance to meet a new "unlikely friend" and proceed to experience such amazing adventures in Panama.

-Story courtesy of Best Places In The World To Retire. To see more stories like this, copy this into your web browser: www.bestplacesintheworldtoretire.com
Date of Posting: 31 October 2013
Posted By: Karyn Saunders
hola. ayer estuve visitando la playa santa clara y al pasar por rio hato senti una gran sensacion y motivacion, ya que este aeropueto es una gran oportunidad para las provincias centrales, en especial para cocle porque nuestro turismo aumentara al igual que el comercio, ver como playa coronado practicamente se esta convirtieno en una cuidad tan solo por la construcion de esta obra produce una gran satisfaccion, estoy muy contento por estoy muy contento por la contruccion de este proyecto y quiero felicitar a quien iso posible de este proyecto una realidad.
Soy estudiante de servicios de aerolineas y me desidi por esta carrera porque espero formar parte al nivel laboral...
Date of Posting: 24 January 2012
Posted By: antonio

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