Monday, November 29, 2010

Coffee Growing Around Boquete Region In Panama

Guest Post By Tyler Ramos

Boquete, Panama is nestled into the slopes of the Baru Volcano and it is famous for producing some of the most delicious and rich coffees throughout the country and indeed throughout Central America. The coffee that is grown and harvested here has begun to garner attention from the international coffee loving community for its rich blends and luxurious aroma.

In the past the coffee grown in the country was over shadowed by coffee growing neighbors Colombia and Coast Rica. But in the past few years the Boquete region has shone brightly and won many international awards that has propelled it to the forefront of coffee production in the world. If you are a coffee lover, then you should make time in your Panamanian holiday to visit the region and see how the coffee is grown, harvested and processed.

The climate in the region is excellent for growing coffee, with just the right measure of sun, shade and humidity. The soil is volcanic and highly fertile, which helps to produce a particularly rich flavored coffee bean.

For visitors who are interested in experiencing some of the world's best coffee as fresh as possible, there are coffee tours that you can do to sample the local brews at the site where they are grown, harvested and roasted. The tours also teach you about the history of coffee growing in the region and you can see coffee mills that are more than a century old.

On the tours of the plantations you will learn all about different aspects of growing and harvesting the coffee as well as historical information specific to the region, organic growing practices, fair trade and secrets to brewing the best possible cup of coffee at home.

There are two different processing methods that are utilized in Boquete. The first is wet processing, which is done immediately after the coffee cherries have been picked by local workers from the trees. The cherries are washed in a machine, then pulped and then finally dried. When the cherry has been dried out, the bean is extracted - interestingly, only 20 per cent of what is pulled from the trees is coffee bean.

There is also dry processing, which is a more labor intensive process and tends to be more expensive as well to produce the coffee. In Boquete, this process is done by placing the beans on platforms in the sun to be dried out and the beans have to be turned every six hours so that they dry out evenly and retain the full flavor of the beans.

When the processing is done, then the beans are chosen according to their size and quality. They are grouped together and then undergo a process known as cupping, where they are stored for up to six months and continually judged for readiness. When they are ready, the coffee beans are packaged and 90 per cent is now exported out of Panama to the waiting lips of coffee lovers worldwide.

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Activities To Look For In Panama

Guest Post By Tyler Ramos

Located between North America and South America, there is a place called Coronado, Panama. Whether you're looking for a perfect vacation spot or the dream retirement village, this is the place you should be looking at. Following are some of the major attractions of the region and why it's so popular.

For one, it's only an hour away from Panama City. So for travelers flying in to the area, they do not have a long drive to their final destination after their flight lands. There is no public transportation to Coronado itself so you will need to plan ahead for a ride to your hotel or resort.

Once there, you will be very busy looking at the wonderful scenery around you. The ocean is so blue and beautiful and the beaches are full of spectacular white sand. There are plenty of shopping outlets and many fun activities like golf and kite surfing. When you're playing and having fun, it doesn't hurt to have some amazing views right there in front of you at the same time.

Something new to Coronado is the New International School. This is a school that specializes in the education of the local language and culture. By keeping the history of the region alive, they are able to teach newcomers and students alike about where they came from, and what traditions they can carry on. Part of a network of schools, they have several all over the globe and have recently opened up this new addition in the area.

If you're looking for the perfect place to retire, consider purchasing some land in the region. Centrally located between North America and South America, the travel options abound with travel in all directions very easy and convenient. If you prefer to stay home and enjoy where you live, then you could not choose a prettier place to do so.

Tourists and vacationers are well taken care of as well, being pampered and spoiled at the local resorts. These resorts offer things that children and adults will love alike, and give both groups a time to remember for the rest of their lives. Find out ahead of time which activities interest your children the most and work out an itinerary everyone will enjoy.

By looking into an area beforehand, you will be able to plan your trip before you leave on vacation. Doing this allows you to match your interests and that of your family against what is available, making it easier to get your itinerary in order right from the start. Another great source of information is that of family and friends who have visited before. Most likely, they will be happy to share their experiences, as well as what activities or sights they enjoyed the most.

Next time you want to travel, check out Coronado, Panama. You are sure to get your money's worth in the vistas alone, besides all the wonderful hotels and resorts nearby. Travel agents will be able to help you plan your vacation, along with necessary transportation, and can sometimes offer you discounts not available otherwise.

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Top Retirement Places For 2011 - On Retirement (

US News and World Report recently published it's ranked list of the Best Places to Retire for 2011.

Here's a peak at there picks -

Nicaragua - they're hot on Leon and San Juan del Sur. Of course Nicaragua is beautiful and it's also one of the Cheapest Places to Live. They also have a pretty good retiree & foreign residency program which I believe was modelled after Panama.

Ecuador - much like Nicaragua this small country has set it's sights on attracting retirees. With a love climate and a cost of living that US News calls, "the cheapest place in the world where you'd want to live" Ecuador is certainly a retirement place to consider.

Editors note: You may not find very many pleasant places to retire in the U.S. on a low budget but step outside American borders and the world is your oyster! Click on the image below to learn how you can retire on as little as $694 a month!

Panama - no longer considered 'the cheapest place to retire' Panama still continues to be rated as a very reasonable cost of living, especially for retirees on the famous 'Pensionado' Visa program. The one thing that puts Panama far and above our retirement hot spots is their infrastructure. It's the best you'll find in all of Central America and even revivals many large cities in the U.S. U.S. News points out that there are still many parts of Panama that offer bargains in real estate and cost of living. It's just the areas like Panama City, the Azuero Peninsula and Boquete which have developed world wide recognition and increase prices as a result. Not those those areas don't still offer some bargain too!

Source - The World’s Best Places to Retire For 2011

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Panamas New Cinta Costera Coastal Beltway

Guest post By Tyler Ramos

Beautiful Panama, located at the southern most tip of Central America, has become a highly popular destination due to its economic stability and steady growth. The economic upswing has made available the necessary funding to improve the infrastructure of Panama City. This is needed to alleviate the congestion that plagues the city's Avenida Balboa.

The Cinta Costera Coastal Beltway is a project that was designed to alleviate traffic congestion in Panama Bay by bypassing the city. At present, the Avenida Balboa is used daily by over 72,000 vehicles, causing major delays. In addition to the new Coastal Beltway the city will also have a car park area built to reduce parking congestion that covers twenty five hectares of land.

Due for completion in the month of April 2009, the cost of the Cinta Costera project is estimated at a total of $189 million. The contract work is shared between two companies, the first is the Constructora Norberto Oldebrecht. They will work jointly with another construction company, called the Constructora Urbana SA. The latter will ensure the proper maintenance to the entire project for five years after construction is completed.

Boris Aguilar and Alberto Arosemena are the two architects who work for Alliance Pro City, the company responsible for the design of this extensive infrastructure improvement project. Dredgers had to be used to pump sand directly from the submerged seabed and to use it to at the landfill site. Roughly thirty hectares of land will be reclaimed in the area known as Panama Bay to make the completion of the project possible.

A four lane highway will be built that extends to 2.6 kilometres in length, with each lane measuring 3.5 metres wide. The end product will be a stretch of road measuring 7 kilometres in length with three interchanges at regular intervals along the route to ensure the smooth flow of traffic. Two elevated viaducts, a bike path, pedestrian access and a breakwater will be part of the structure.

The twenty five hectare car park that is being built will also house an ampitheatre. Due to the new construction, the Avenida Balboa will be adjacent to the new Coastal Belt roadway, running parallel to it, eventually feeding into it. The existing six lanes will become ten lanes to further help with traffic congestion. Six of the lanes will run from Punta Paitilla to San Felipe, with four lanes going the other way.

The current bridge that runs from the Avenida Balboa to the Avenida third de Noviembre will be altered to include an entrance and exit to the new Coastal Beltway. Another access point will be made further along in the direction of the city and closer to Casco Viejo. Another exchange will be created at the bridge near the Matasnillo River via the Israel route.

There will be multiple improvements made to the overall infrastructure while the new highway project is under construction. Along with the building of the Cinta Costera, the sewerage systems and the drainage systems will be upgraded in the entire Panama Bay area. The clean up and improvement project will make a vast overall difference to the area.

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