I'm always on the look out for a great travel deal and finding the most affordable places to vacation is a never ending project. After all who doesn't shop around for the best possible deal? Just like everyone else I'm wanting to get the most from my hard earned cash. I'm really not into material things so besides making sure 'the kids are alright' I work to play - I work so I can spend what I earn on great trips and travel. Well with that kind of priority in mind you can understand why this article really caught my attention and the cheapest time to go to Vegas post did not.
Today, Yahoo Travel had a great little article titled,
The Best Affordable Beach Resorts
I book marked this one as it has some really cool sounding places to visit. I also noticed that a few of these spots are known to appear regularly as Top Retirement Places. One place on the list that jumped out at me was Las Olas Beach Resort in Panama. A few years ago I lived full time in Boquete Panama. I still have land there and return quite often. Anyhow, Boquete has had a reputation for a number of years now as one of the Best Places to Retire in the world. Now Boquete is in the highlands of the province of Chiriqui, not far from the Costa Rican border. It's lush and green and some call it 'the land of eternal spring'. Meaning it rains and it's cool. That's why it's so green and why everything loves to grow here. Boquete and the Chiriqui highlands are also known as the bread basket of Panama. This is where most of the countries fresh vegetables and fruits come from. Now don't get me wrong. It doesn't rain all the time in Boquete. It can get pretty wet in 'Green Season' which runs from May through December but the vast majority of those days also see a good share of sunshine. In dry season there are these lovely mists that keep all the foliage moist and green. They call these light rains Bajareque. During the years I lived in here and especially in 'Green Season' I would take my family on day trips to the beach. Las Olas (the waves) was the closest to us at about an hour away.
Las Olas Beach Resort Panama
This small resort is located on Playa la Barqueta (beach of the small boats) which is a combination of black (volcanic) and golden sand. When we first started going there it was pretty quiet. The road into the beach was horrible and there was very little there except for this small all-inclusive resort. We would often just go to the beach and grab a bite to eat, Comida del Dia, at one of the local cocinas. But we wouldn't swim or let the kids go in the water. It's called Las Olas - The Waves - for good reason. There is a shear drop off which creates a dangerous undertow. But, it also creates amazing waves so the beach is popular with surfers.
Over the few years we lived in Boquete we watched as the road was repaired and Las Olas expanded. A number of Boquete residents who got tired of 'Eternal Spring' moved down to the beach. It quickly got a reputation as one of the cheapest places for retirees to live on the beach. The resort expanded and built beautiful beach homes as well as low rise condominiums which enjoyed the services of the resort.
Today you can still stay at the all-inclusive resort for just $78 a night. I wouldn't recommended a while wek as there is not a lot to do - unless of course you ae really into surfing and/or deep sea fishing. But the nice part is you don't have to. You can simply stay a few nights and then continue your journey up for a few nights in Boquete!