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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