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
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.

Pat Chan


Description: Description: Description: cid:image006.png@01CD497D.59D40820‘Like’ on FACEBOOK! 



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


After having been in Panama for more than 9 years Donna and I are both still convinced it was the best decision we made and we should have done it sooner. We still love waking up and finding that the weather is still the same and our biggest challenge is what pair of shorts and t-shirts to wear for our morning walk.

A lot of things have changed in our lives having made the decision to move to Panama.

Take this weekend for instance - we left the city Thursday afternoon to spend the weekend at a condo in Playa Blanca where we walk the beach each morning and sit in the pool in the afternoon. We use our time here on the Pacific coast or in Portobelo on the Caribbean to unwind.

Unlike so many of our expat friends here in Panama, both Donna and I still work full time in our businesses so it is really important to find some time to relax and refresh. While we love our condo in Costa del Este the area is not serene and easy to refresh and relax so our times at the beach are critical.

We've talked a lot about "what's next" - meaning what do we plan on doing when we slow down or stop working? Do we stay in Costa del Este? Do we stay in Panama? Do we sell everything and rent or do we we keep the condo? A lot of big decisions, but thankfully we don't need to do that for a number of years.

Donna starts her tour season in February and my friend John from St. Albert is coming to visit during her absence. John does this every year and it is always fun :}

Hopefully I am back to some diving soon - I miss my weekends in Portobelo. When we went to Asia, I dove in Thailand and when we went on our Caribbean cruise I dove in Belize - Thailand was a huge disappointment - no viz and cooler water, Belize, the viz was amazing but not much marine life - and both cost a fortune compared to Portobelo where the diving can be really nice if the viz is good.

more news >>


Over the past 9 years we've watched Panama grow and expand - the most obvious demonstration of these changes are out our balcony window - we've taken 3 pictures every month and it is amazing to see how our little area has exploded - when we moved in to our condo there were two other apartment towers finished - since then we've watched more than 40 condo and office building go up around us. Incredible. The downside is the exploding costs too. In 2006 the prices were under 1,000 /m2 - now in Costa del Este that can hit 3,500 /m2 - 3.5 times increase in 9 years. Not that our condo in Costa del Este has jumped 3.5 times - but a recent appraisal did show it had more than doubled in 9 year so not bad considering.

Something Donna and I have always wondered about was active adult living facilities - in Canada, it was quite common to find condo like facilities with various levels of adult care - meaning everything from full live alone and care alone to full medical 24 hr facility in one place. A place where adults aging could grow old with grace. Here the norm seems to be to hire a live in or full time nurse or live at home with the family. Donna did run across one advertising but we've never checked it our nor have I heard anyone in the expat community talking about it - maybe you've heard of it - ESTANCIA DORADA

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 livable.

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

We add to the areas of the site like people, sites, and services as our experience with each of them change so you should feel comfortable dealing with any of them.

more news >>


Donna started iCanGarden.com and now almost 20 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 18 years she has been hosting groups of gardeners to gardens all over the world.

Donna has some incredible garden tours lined up for 2016 and 2017 - her 2015 tours were all either fully booked or over booked. 


Home l Contact us l Feedback l SiteMap
Copyright [2009-2016] WhyPanama. All rights reserved