Welcome to Panama

So Why Panama?
Panama is such an amazing country and surprises everyone who visits. I joke with our friends that if they are planning on coming to Panama be prepared to be overwhelmed.

So Why Panama? Is there a reason - No, There are several reasons -- the opportunities are plentiful, albeit the prices are going up.

We have really taken to the Caribbean coast as it offers so much nicer water and beaches.

Costa del Este
Panama City, Panama
They Need Your Love
They Need Your Love - animal shelter in Arraijan near Panama City. Hundreds of dogs and cats that have been rescued from a life on the streets, starving, hurt, and unloved.

We have set up a web site to help.

You can Adopt a Pet no matter where you are in the world. For as little as $15 per month you can help make the life so much better for one dog or cat.

Donate Now

The 2012 Spay Panama calendar is now available and it's their best ever! Both Panamanian AND U.S. holidays are labeled. The pictures featured are all of formerly homeless dogs and cats that were neutered and lucky enough to have been adopted. All proceeds go to support the wonderful efforts of Spay Panama to control the overpopulation of unwanted pets. Since its inception in 2002, Spay Panama has sterilized over 24,000 animals! The yearly calendar is their main fundraising tool and they really need your support. Like most other non-profit organizations, Spay Panama has seen a severe drop in donations due to the economy.

So, by purchasing a calendar you get something truly useful and you help out a great cause at the same time! The price is a ridiculously low $7.00 and the calendars can be found at: the U.S. Embassy, Excedra Books, Balboa Dental Clinic, Los Angeles de los Animales (cell 6781-2641) or Mailboxes, ETC in Coronado

Pat Chan


Description: Description: Description: cid:image006.png@01CD497D.59D40820‘Like’ on FACEBOOK! www.facebook.com/GardeningTours



Since we moved to Panama in 2006 every time we tell one of our friends that we moved to the Republic of Panama, the first question is always "Why Panama". So we decided to build a web site to help them understand how simple the decision to choose Panama really was to us. We have included some links to other sites and to articles we think might help understand Panama. This  is  by no means exhaustive, so be sure to move through the suggested sites and explore the links and resources they suggest to ensure  you get as much information as possible.

News and events


Donna has started her tour year with a tour to Singapore and Bali. She will be home on and off now until June - sigh :}

It was great to have her home full time for several months - we enjoyed visiting our friends in Boquete and a number of restaurants around town - more of that later and our cruise out of Tampa.

Now its back to work for me too - our software business works with professional accountants so we take the time while they are busy to get lots of work done on our software and business we don't have time to do during the selling season of May to January.

We are also working on finishing the work on our new office in Santa Maria Business Park - we hope to be in by the end of April. Getting permits is another story that I don't have the room for on this forum.

It was 9 years ago April that Donna and I arrived in Panama to consider it as place we might choose for our new home. The whole reason for this site "why panama" was to answer everyone's question - "why did we choose Panama over other countries or places in the world?" After vacationing in Mexico for over 22 years our friends were convinced that would be where we would move to when we decided to get out of the cold of Alberta, Canada. My business partner, Ted had been to Panama with a friend and he knew we were serious about moving so he suggested we "check it out" before we decided on Mexico.

We arrived at Tocumen airport like so many other expats - starry eyed and a little apprehensive. We took a cab to our hotel the Decapolis in the center of the city. Over the next 4 days we saw some local real estate, visited Mira Flores and walked around downtown. It rained and rained but it was so warm. It was so cheap. It was a city and had all the amenities. It had beaches within an hour and so many things to do. We were hooked. That was April - by August I had moved to Panama. By September we owned a condo, had business and two employees. By October Donna would be here with Cricket and we began our new life.

Panama is not perfect. But after 9 years we still don't regret our decision. Donna says she still loves coming home to the warmth. I still pinch myself periodically to make sure it is real.

The other reason for us creating this site was to let others know if they were thinking about Panama we would be happy to answer any questions we could to help. Feel free to email us and ask anything.

If you are considering Panama - do your homework - I've mentioned it before but it is worth repeating - there is a lot of information available from a number of sites - check them out - ask questions - we love Panama but I understand it is not for everyone and it is a very diverse country. I want them to have seen the beaches, the two oceans, mountains and the city.

Before you chose any new home make sure you've visited, spent time and tried to get a feel for what the area is really like. To often people visit on a vacation, fall in love with an area and then decide to move.

more news >>


 Visiting and living are two very different things in any country. We vacationed in Mexico for over 20 years and we loved it. We enjoyed the food, the people, the weather but when it came time to make a final decision on a move we did not choose Mexico we chose Panama. Why - well it turned out several things. First at our core we are city people and Mexico has few real cities. Second, we wanted some place where the weather was predictable and Mexico has too many hurricanes and bad weather - Panama might be hot and humid but very predictable. Third, it turns out for Canadians, the tax laws are so much better. Finally when we looked closely at the retirement visa options we found that Panama had the best options available and they have even improved with the friendly nation visa.

Still the advice is the same - do your homework or ask more questions. There are sites dedicated to helping you look at lots of other places around the world like BestPlacesInTheWorldToRetire - don't forget to look for other sites using Yahoo Groups, or Facebook for Expat focused pages.

If you want, write us if you have questions - we love to help.

I talked about the restaurants and some of our weekends around Panama while Donna was home. We had a great time going back to Donde Jose with our friends Jordan, Rita, Bob and Reuben.

We also went to Tsugoi, an asian restaurant in El Cangrejo as well as the Fish Market (not the fish market but the mobile fish market truck near Donde Jose) and Milano. We also went to the Golden Unicorn for Chinese New Year with our friends.

You can read about these restaurants and more in both our Restaurant and Food section.

Don't miss all the other comments and resources we've included in People, Services, Tourist Site and others in the links on the left side of the page.

We add to these areas as our experience with each of them change .

more news >>


Donna started iCanGarden.com and now almost 18 years later it has become Canada's largest Internet gardening resource site. Several thousand people visit her site every day. Spend some time looking over the thousands of pictures of gardens from all over the world.

We are so proud of the TV special just aired by Recreating Eden - entitled "the Gardening Tourist".

Donna recently changed the look of the site - - if you enjoy it - let her know - I am really proud of her.


In 2006 Donna started a site dedicated exclusively to her garden tours.

For more than 8 years she has been hosting groups of gardeners to gardens all over the world.

Donna has some incredible garden tours lined up for 2013 and 2014 - her 2012 tours were all either fully booked or over booked. China 2013 is already closed as it is full. 


Home l Contact us l Feedback l SiteMap
Copyright [2009-2014] WhyPanama. All rights reserved