Friday, October 29, 2010

National Parks In Panama Have Immense Variety

Guest post By Tyler Ramos

Tourists are often drawn to Panamabecause it offers travelers variety and adventure. Panama is surrounded by rainforests. Its forests boast thousands of plant and bird species, and an array of other animals. There are also numerous national parks in Panama.

The first national park to have boundaries in two countries is the Amistad, which is situated in Panama but also in Costa Rica. A tourist visiting Amistad can easily find accommodation and modes of travel, among other services. They are also invited to fish in a local river called Teribe.

The Bastimentos is a collection of islands that constitute a marine park. It is unique in that protection is provided not only to the wildlife and beaches but also to the coral reef found off its coast, deep beneath blue waters.

The Baru Volcano is contained within the Baru preservation. The volcano is visited by numerous tourists who drive to its top with the hopes of seeing wildlife along the way. The volcano also boasts scenic views.

The Barro Colorado Monument is a smaller park and is made up of a mix of peninsulas and an island. Travelers can enjoy a guided day tour which culminates with a viewing of the Giant Tree.

Campana is known for its exciting wild animals, such as monkeys, pigs and a mix of birds. It is also home to a variety of reptiles including the Golden Frog. This frog, which is endangered, is considered a local treasure.

The Canas Wildlife Refuge has many differing turtle species. These turtles are known to entertain tourists when they come out at night. The refuge is also known for its hiking and water sports.

The main water supply for the Panama Canal is from the rivers of the Chagres National Park. The Chagres permits rafting in at least some of its rivers and has lakes where visitors engage in all kinds of water sports. It is also enjoyed by campers and bird watchers.

Coiba is further from bigger towns than other parks, and as a result has fewer accommodations. Despite this it still witnesses a fair share of yearly travelers who seek out its beaches, where reportedly turtles make their nests. In addition, in its ocean waters swim Marlins.

Darien is not only home to rainforest animals but also to indigenous tribes. Travelers can explore the jungles where it is not uncommon to meet indigenous people. Some visitors have even watched tribal dancing.

Iguana is known for the vast size of its iguana population. However, that is not all. There are other animals that live in Iguana, such as turtles. It is also famous as one of the places migrating whales stop at.

This has been a taste of what Panama offers in terms of national parks. They are all filled with an assortment of flora and fauna, and each with its own special offerings. Just to further illustrate the extent of diversity awaiting a potential visitor, there is even a park found just minutes from the downtown area of the capital city

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When searching for a home in Panama, you might want to take a peak at panama condos. We have a great list of real estate in Panama that you will be happy with.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

It's a cheap place to live!

The South Yorkshire Star says South Yorkshire is one of the cheapest places to buy a house in the UK. That's based on a study which was done by Zooplola property specialists.

The study found that average houses prices in the region are 137,413 pound. This average equates to just a 10.6 % increase over the past three years. Not too bad when compared to London, the most expensive place to live in the UK, where average house prices top 400,000 pound.

Source: It's a cheap place to live - The Star

Monday, October 25, 2010

Hong Kong one of the world's best places to live?

The Lifestyle Group head of Asian travel, Lucy Jackson, reported this weekend about why she thinks Hong Kong is one of the best places to live.

Lucy says that comparatively living in Hong Kong one has to get used to the tight and small living quarters and she certainly wouldn't put Hong Kong on our list of Cheapest Places to Live. So, what are the pluses? Well according to Luck the weather is constantly changing but but usually nice and warm. There are tons of things to do from a recreational stand point and the work-hard' 'play hard' society means there is never a dull moment.

Source - Hong Kong one of the world's best places to live?

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Panama Bay Clean Up Focus On Now And The Future

Guest post By Tyler Ramos

With a large growth in population Panama has fallen behind in the proper disposal of sewage from their residents. Because of this, the sewage was routed into rivers that carried it to the Panama Bay. With the raw sewage going to the bay the smell and contamination of the bay has set forth, over the past decade, a massive clean up of the bay and creating a better system of waste processing.

Panama is the southernmost county located in Central America. It is famous for having the Panama Canal, which is a key shipping canal used to travel from the Atlantic to Pacific Ocean. The country has seen its way through various military regimes, United States involvement in government, and have now settled into a government that is presently ran by President Ricardo Martinelli. The population has grown at a fast rate from 1.1 million people in 1960 to almost 3.4 million people in 2008.

With no sewage treatment plant for the country and the large growth in population it was difficult for the country to maintain waste disposal. Cities dumped their sewage into rivers that dumped into the bay, contaminating both the rivers and the bay. Because of this contamination the waterways were filled with bacteria and had a horrible smell.

CAF, Latin America's development bank, helps fund the Panama City and Bay of Panama Cleanup Project to begin correcting this health and environment problem. This project has been funded for more than $1 billion in the past five years, with $540 million of that coming this year. The scope of the project is to clean the areas, develop, and place a plant for waste water treatment.

The country's Ministry of Health is overseeing the construction of the sanitary sewers, drain network and water treatment plant. The drain network will service the cities with approximately 135 kilometers of pipe. For the sewer system there will be a 3 meter in diameter and 8.2 kilometer long interceptor tunnel.

With such a large project Herrenknecht in Schwanau, Germany was contacted to build a large tunnel boring machine. The machine is 3.6 meters in diameter and 124 meters long, and was shipped to the country in August. The machine is nicknamed after President Martinelli's mother, Gloria, and is painted in the Panamanian flag colors.

Because of the contamination, the rivers and bay have a bad smell and bacteria in them. No fishing or water recreation takes place because of this contamination. There are fish in the waterways but they are contaminated themselves. Prior to being contaminated, the rivers and bay would be a place for people to go swimming but that no longer takes place.

Once the project is completed the natural clean up of the environment fixing itself may take another 10 or 15 years. The biggest concern for those living in Panama now is to get a solid infrastructure built to stop the environmental and health impact going on at this time. Many people hope that, once the project is completed, and in place that, they will be able to enjoy their waterways by swimming or fishing in them.

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Thursday, October 14, 2010

Cheapest place to buy a house in the UK

South Yorkshire in the UK is one of the cheapest places to buy a house according to Zoopla and as published on

Houses in the region are pretty cheap at 137,413 pound while North Lincolnshire homes are priced at 124,921, Hartlepool 124,949 and Durham 123,257 making for cheap properties all round.

Of course London continues to be the most expensive place to live and buy property with average house prices at 413,350 pound. Windsor is next in line where cheap houses simply can't be found. There the average price is 409.939.

If you're look for the best place to invest in real estate the UK may not be it. It seems their troubles continue much the same as the U.S. and there's little hope in sight right now.

Cheapest place to buy a house

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

UNESCO World Heritage Sites Found In Panama

Guest post By Tyler Ramos

UNESCO is the United Nations Educational, Scientific, and Cultural Organization. Created by the United Nations in 1945, it is tasked to perform a number of important functions. One of these is to identify UNESCO World Heritage Sites, and to publicize and otherwise support these sites. We are going to be looking at some of the five identified Sites located in Panama.

UNESCO selects locations to be designated as World Heritage Sites based on either their cultural or natural significance, or both. Panama has a total of 5 recognized sites. It has been blessed with not only natural points of interest, but with cultural and historical ones as well.

Besides designating the sites, UNESCO supports them in several ways. The designation itself has great publicity value as the selection process is recognized as having integrity. Worldwide there are only 890 designated sites, so making the list has some significance. UNESCO also provides funds for conservation as appropriate.

The initial Panamanian World Heritage Site was Fortifications on the Caribbean Side of Panama: Portobelo-San Lorenzo, which received recognition in 1980. Portobelo and San Lorenzo were both forts established by the Spanish to strengthen their defenses. During this period, the 17th and 18th centuries, there were a number of attacks and counterattacks.

Archaeological Site of Panama Viejo and Historic District of Panama was added to the list in 1997. It includes the site of Panama Viejo, the first European settlement on the Pacific Ocean. It was established in 1519 and abandoned after it was destroyed by the privateer Henry Morgan in 1671. Some call him a pirate, he seemed to favor attacking this area, perhaps because of the wealth present.

Darien National Park was added to the list in 1981. It is the largest national park in the country and one of the most important in Central America. It includes an incredible variety of habitats. It is large enough to provide a viable protected habitat for a number of endangered species. Two Indian tribes still live in the Park.

After this, the city was rebuilt in a safer location, where it remains today. The Historic District of Panama, also known as Casco Viejo de Panama, is where the city was rebuilt. It is central to the much larger city that it has become.

Panama has the Canal and that is what most people associate with it. The fact that it has these five World Heritage Sites shows the error in this. This small country has plenty of things to see. Tourism is a major factor in the economy. It sounds like an exciting place to tour.

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Monday, October 11, 2010

Retirees Find Altos Del Maria Panama Desirable And Budget Friendly

By Tyler Ramos

Scattered in the hills and valleys of Altos del Maria in Panama are home sites and homes for sale offering dream views of rushing waterfalls, lakes and oceans, and volcanic mountains in the distance. Much like Boquete Panama, you can hike along trails and take photos of sloths and monkeys and wonderful birds in the trees. You might even see a yellow frog.

Spread out on more than seven-thousand acres, the developers at Altos del Maria have thought of everything. The gated community offers security and urban services such as Internet and phone services, including cell phones, television via satellite, plus a heliport, golf courses, swimming pools. The developers have paved miles of road and made sure there is plenty of electricity and water. The roads facilitate the hour and half drive to and from Panama City. Closer by are tropical beaches when you want a change from the mountains, and the townships of Sora and Bejuco.

Most people think of the canal or a hat when they hear Panama. Panamanian locals have several versions of where the word Panama originated. Some say indigenous peoples named the land after a common tree. Others say the word means either many butterflies or many fish. All versions seem appropriate. The fact that the country holds vast expanses of unspoiled nature feels like a secret someone has been keeping.

A long and profitable relationship building the Panama Canal with the US has resulted in many Panamanians speaking English in addition to Spanish, their national language. Panamanians have a reputation of being friendly. US dollars exchange at a rate of one-to-one, and are acceptable, legal tinder in Panama. Reports indicate that the dollar goes further for retirees in Panama. A monthly income of twelve-hundred US dollars buys one a very nice lifestyle there.

Panama City has all the perks expected from a big city: good medical services, good restaurants, lots of things to see and do. The Panamanian economy remains stable in large part because of the Panama Canal. The US and Panama continue work together on a canal project referred to as the Third Set of Locks, to allow more ships through and maintain economic stability.

Worth mentioning is the pensionado program Panama offers retirees, which provides discounts on travel, entertainment, housing costs, and prescription medications. A pensionado application and visa are required for this program for non-citizens. However, it is possible to buy, build, and live in Panama without signing up for the pensionado program.

A map of Panama shows it to be a long, thin stretch of land. Panama City and Altos del Maria are found on the east and west sides, respectively, of the same narrow neck of land. Altos del Maria is at a much higher elevation, starting at 1,476 feet above sea level. The highest sites are at 3,608 feet. The high altitude keeps the temperatures at 75 degrees F year-round. Its possible to see the Pacific and Caribbean from some of the sites.

Whether you dream of building your own home or prefer to find a bungalow ready to move into, the developers at Altos del Maria can accommodate you. Big lot, small lot, high elevation or low, it is your choice.

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Boquete Needs To Be Your Next Vacation Destination

By Tyler Ramos

In the Chiriqui Province in Panama, South America, the small town of Boquete Panama has been capturing the hearts of a great many tourists. Many parts of this town are causing a stir among people from all over the world. If you are ready to have an experience in a land that is beautiful and enchanting, you need to start making your travel plans.

One of the things that this town is famous for is the coffee growing. People travel to here from all over the world to enjoy the coffee harvesting festivals each year. The native Indians dress colorfully and the excitement begins as they start picking the coffee cherries. It is truly something amazing to experience, especially if you are a regular coffee drinker.

Some of the flowers you will see in this town are going to have you snapping photos every time you turn around. This has been called by many the land of flowers. The number of well maintained flower beds will have you in awe of their beauty and fragrances. A lot of species of birds are present as well due to the flowers and the seclusion of the natural settings. Hummingbirds in particular are attracted to some of the flowers.

The Vulcan Baru area is a large part of Boquete. It is right at the Baru Volcano. You can hike these areas and tale your time in enjoying the environment. Make sure to take the tour that will allow you to reach the very top of the volcano as well. You can imagine the views you will have while on this hike. Many people have begun to travel to this little town for these very reasons.

Are you ready to start making your travel plans for Boquete? You can do so by visiting online to some of the fine accommodations available for you to reserve. Located nearly right in town, the Valle Primavera is one of the loveliest places you could stay to be able to enjoy the festivities going on. You might also want to check into the rustic accommodations of the Finca Larida as well.

Think about kayaking on some of the rivers flowing through the lush green woodlands. Maybe you would like to go horseback riding to be able to enjoy this kind of natural setting. You are going to have plenty of things to do while you are visiting Boquete. Check online trip advisors for more than you might believe going on in this little town.

Meal times are great times while on vacation as well, especially when you are visiting another country that serves different cuisine than you normally eat. This is a time for diversity and intense flavors. The restaurants in Boquete that can offer you some of the finest panama dishes ever. Be sure to try Casado with a cup of brewed coffee.

Make your vacation destination traveling plans for Boquete online. It is fast and easy plus you will save money in doing so. Be ready to go straight to your lodgings when you arrive to prepare for the greatest adventure you have ever been on.

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Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bradford - Best places to be a pensioner

The Telegraph and Argus reports that Bradford is the 3rd cheapest place to retire in the UK, according to a new survey.

Editors Update: Check out our November review of the latest Telegraph list of the Top Cheapest Places to Retire in the world.

Bradford was narrowly beat by Cardiff, which is the cheapest city to retire in, followed by Hull which came in 2nd place.
Yorkshire is also noted as the cheapest county to retire in, three of its cities in the top five cheapest places are found in Yorkshire. Sheffield is 4th followed by Leeds in 5th place.
The research was done by retirement income specialists at MGM Advantage. The report also reveals London to be the most expensive city in the UK requiring an annual income of almost £35,000 compared to the national average of £26,000.
Bradford 'best' places to be a pensioner

Editors Note: Looking for the Cheapest Places to retire in America? Check out our new series (November 2011) where we explore the great nation of America from Coast to Coast looking for the best places to live and the cheapest states.