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


It has been almost 2 months since I've written. So many things have been happening there never seems to be time to write. Poor excuse I know. Donna finally arrived home from all her tours this year. Her last tour was Italy - I have to join her one day on that tour. Food, wine, scenery. She brought back a really interesting idea - to spend a month in Tuscany and learn to back Italian bread. Wow. I really need to do that.

First, I want to take a small group to Greece to rent a sail boat and tour the islands for at least 2 weeks. The last time we did that was one week back in 2004. It was amazing. This time a larger boat, less people.

Now - to around Panama.  Donna gave me a card with lots of pictures to share. One group is from a restaurant I already shared with you Thai2112. The reason for visiting was two of our friends decided to move to the Caymans - we'll miss them - we only knew them for just over a year but they are nice people. One way to look at it is it will give us a reason to visit and dive the Caymans.

More pictures are of Donde Jose, Golden Unicorn, Cinta Costera, new Soho mall, Playa Blanca, JW Marriott - check out the pictures page and the food page for all the pictures

Here is just a taste.


more news >>


I finally took some time and updated some of the pages on www.whypanama.net - pages that were updated and additions made are - othersites, touristsites, services, and articles.

A few weeks ago Donna and I we spent time in a condo at Playa Blanca. For almost 9 years we've limited our beach time to the Caribbean as we never found a place we enjoyed. Well that changed at Playa Blanca. We had a great time. We walked on the beach for hours, we enjoyed the area and the condo. Friends of ours Jessie and Faudia always raved about the JW Marriott at Buenaventura and we decided to visit to see what it was all about. What a class act place. The entrance says it all and when we walked to the beach you could see why they really enjoy the time they spend at the resort. Surrounding the resort is a huge golf course, massive homes and condos - one can only imagine the cost - I saw advertised - 229m2 for almost $900k. Check out all the pictures of these on the picture page

Over the past 9 years we've watched Panama City grow and become more like any upscale city. The latest addition is a mall on calle 50 called Soho - the stores read like a who's who - Jimmy Choo shoes, to Cartier to name just a couple. Donna spotted one store/restaurant called Ladurée - a French store that sells real Parisian macarons - flown in from Paris - they are amazing but pricey.

The other thing we had fun doing was the Beer Week offering at the Hilton Hotel. The ticket price included all the food and beer you wanted. I was skeptical but after almost 2 hours there was no let up in the food service or the beer merchants willingness to pour another beer. Unlike wine tasting where lots sip and spit, this is a disaster waiting to happen - way too much beer - but fun.

We're gearing up to do the Gastronomic next month at the Atlapa Convention Center. We always used to go with Alan & Geri but they are in Boquete. This year we will be going with Rita & Jordan. 

Speaking of Boquete, Geri sent me the link to the local Boquete online news feed as she was mentioning the number and ferocity of crimes. Home invasions, robberies - pretty scary stuff. All of this seems to be targeted at expats. Something like this was going around on the Pacific Coast near Coronado a few years ago. Thieves were barging into restaurants and robbing patrons at gun point. No where near the violence you hear about in some US cities with mass shootings but scary none the less for what should be a very quiet, peaceful country. We even had a lady stabbed at a bus stop in CdeE a few weeks ago.

Are you a pet person? If so, consider helping some of the really worthy groups trying to make a difference to thousands of homeless cats and dogs in Panama. I've mentioned them before but it is worth repeating - Hogar San Roque, the shelter Mari Pily runs with the help of volunteers, see them on Facebook as https://www.facebook.com/hogaralbergue.sanroque?fref=ts&ref=br_tf, or https://www.facebook.com/hogar.roque?fref=ts and then there is Spay Panama at http://pchan5.wix.com/spaypanama - there are many more but these two we have supported and know how dedicated they are to helping make the lives of abandoned dogs and cats more liveable.

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

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. 


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