Panama Premier Rentals

Did You KNOW?

The most expensive toll for the Panama Canal passage to date was charged on 30 May 2006 to the container ship Maersk Dellys, which paid US$249,165.00 for passage. The least expensive toll was 36 cents to American adventurer Richard Halliburton who swam the canal in 1928. The average toll is around US$54,000.

PPR Blog

Life Living Abroad

Thursday, August 30, 2007

We´re often asked by those back in the States as well as expats living in Panama City "How do you LIVE in the middle of nowhere?" and "Don't you get BORED?" and "How long do you plan on STAYING there?"

I've answered these questions so many times that I can acutally sum it up in about 5 seconds.  "We like living here.  We have hobbies and plenty of things to do.  No idea."

The more accurate answer is much more complicated than that. 

How do we live in the middle of nowhere?
I think like anywhere you live, you settle into your daily life and it becomes normal life.  My husband and I have had the fortune to travel and live in many different countries.  Our favorite ones have always been the 3rd world countries.  But living with kids in the 3rd world would be difficult.  That's part of the reason we love Panama.  It's not 3rd world no matter what anyone tells you.  But it has that good feeling of being a developing country.  It's got the excitement of growth mixed with the strong feeling of authenticity.  Living here definitely isn't for everyone and even less so for families who really like and enjoy the luxuries of the States.  While our daily life is significantly different than a similar family in the States, it's become normal life for us.

Don't you get bored?
Of course we get bored!  Doesn't everybody?  I remember some of the most boring weekends in one of the most fast-paced cities in the world...Washington DC.  Oh wow, those long, boring, rainy, cold weekends would kill us.  Ok, we'd say, another trip to the Smithsonian museums.  When we get bored here, we can easily spend 2 hours at the beach, I can take my kids to go run around the Equestrian Center and ride the horses, we can feed the animals at the zoo, pick fruit from the tree, give the kids their swimming lessons at one of 3 pools around here, bbq on the beach, go fishing at the lakes, tube down one of the rivers at low tide, check out the sting ray that washed up on shore.  That's just to name a few things within 5 minutes of our front door.  Expand that to watching the sea turtles come in at night, go to the zoo at El Valle, take weekend trips to the mountains, islands or other reality there's not enough time to do everything we want to do!

How long do you plan on staying there?
Oh how I wish I knew that answer.  I guess we'll stay until we feel like moving on.  That's the great part about having the freedom to live how and where you want to…

Posted by on 08/30 at 12:34 PM
Living in Panama

XS Memories Restaurant in Santa Clara

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

After a late afternoon at the pool and beach, we hopped into the car to go grab dinner at our favorite burger joint and sports bar (maybe only?) out here.

XS Memories, located in Santa Clara, is a lot of's a great little burger joint that offers all kinds of food specials depending on what Sheila, one of the owners, feels like making that week, it's a sports bar where you can catch all kinds of American sports, it's an RV Park with 22 hookups for motorhomes and campers, (I've heard it's the only one in Panama), it's a 5 BR hotel in fully enclosed grounds with a garden-like setting that includes a pool, rancho, hammocks, bicycle renting and Kayakpanama, a kayaking tour company.

We go there about once a week because I get this horrible craving for their jalapeño poppers.  Their fries are homemade, their hamburgers are actually juicy which is something very difficult to find out here, and their homemade shakes are delicious. 

The kids enjoy strolling around the gardens which are packed full of toucans, macaws and other colorful birds. They have 2 cats which my kids happened to be terrified of.  My daughter, who likes to hug any animal that crosses her path, tried to pet and hug one of the cats several months ago and it bit her.  She doesn´t  forgive easily. 

Last night, I topped off my meal with apple pie and ice cream!  Now I KNOW you can´t find that anywhere else out here!

For more info you can check out their website here:

Posted by on 08/21 at 03:24 PM
Panama Restaurants

Shopping in Penonome

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

I picked my 5 year old son up from his little school in Penonome today with 2 things in mind:

1.  He needs a haircut.

2.  He needs a new bicycle

So we headed into the wondeful town of Penonome to do a bit of shopping. 

Penonome is one of Panama’s last undiscovered treasures. It is the capital city of the province of Cocle and boasts beautiful mountain views, crystal clear rivers. Penonome plays a very important role in Panama’s agricultural industry, and is home to many ranches, and orchards.

We headed down the main street as I drove about 2 mph looking for that bike shop I know I had seen before.  A lady honked at me for going too slow.  That's their version of road rage out here.  Ah-ha!  I found it! 

We hopped out of the car and went inside.  The selection wasn't enormous but they had a bike that fit his size.  And I even found a little pink one with a basket and training wheels for my 3 year old daughter.  As I inspected the bike, my son wandered next door to a movie store.  After a bit of adjusting by the owners, the bikes were ready for my purchase.  My son's bike was $40.00 and my daughter's was $25.00.  I never know if I'm getting the real price or not.

Next we went across the street, down a hall where I found a salon.  We popped in and the wonderful woman placed my boy up on the chair.  I'm very very picky about my son's haircuts and she did a really nice job.  Mid-way through, she asked if my husband had visited her the week before.  I told her yes.  It didn't really surprise me though.  I think we're the only American family with no Panamanian roots living out this way.  Her cost...$3.00...and I think that was gringo pricing.  But you can't beat a $3.00 haircut.

Posted by on 08/15 at 10:48 PM
Living in Panama

Sunday in the City

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Contributed by Donna Wilkins 

We all know Panama has some of the best beaches around and you would think that ever Sunday you want to rush out of the city to take them in but let me tell you there is nothing like a beautiful sunny day in the city. Yes you heard me right! Well for one thing I don’t have to get into the car and drive instead I just have to pack a picnic and off to the pool you go.

It rained cats and dogs yesterday so most of the day was spent in avoiding getting wet but today brought on a whole different day look to Panama. That is the good thing about Panama.  It never really rains more than one day in a row. If you get a down pour one day for sure the next day will be bright and sunny.

So with pool bags packed down we headed to the pool to take in the sun and get wet. Our son Kyle loves to do cannonballs into the pool followed by his father. Mom on the other hand is the referee deciding who has the best splash and who made the most noise. Now take this and add a couple more kids and adults and you soon forget who the kids are and who the adults are.

When pool time came to an end we all dried off and changed and headed off to the Causeway for a drive. The Causeway is a very popular area for the Sunday drive. It is a located on the outskirts of Panama City. The Causeway connects three small islands to the mainland. It is basically one long road from the main land out with the ocean on both sides. As we drove down the Causeway we passed people running, on bikes, roller skating and just out taking a walk. The breeze is amazing as you don’t have anything to obstruct it. The city is in the background and frames the view.  It feels like it is a day’s drive away but really within 10 - 15 minutes you are back in the city.

Kyle is always amazed seeing the large ships that pass by. Funny thing that even for us living here for the last 8 years I am too still amazed with the Panama Canal and the large vessels you see pass. One of the those views you just don’t get tired of seeing.

There is a new Bennigans at the end of the Causeway so we stopped by for a cool drink and something to eat. Kyle always asks for the same thing, calamari so a plate later and a cool one inside we finished our afternoon off with a stroll around to look at all the beautiful boats at the marina before heading back to the truck and home.

School starts early here, 7:15 am and for a 6 year old that means getting up at 6am so it is dinner, bath, book and then bedtime.

So our Sunday in the city...while it isn’t the is nice!

Posted by on 08/12 at 08:34 PM
Living in Panama

Back to Riding!

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Yesterday was my first day of riding horses again since I have returned.  Unfortunately my horse Canelita, a beautiful young Peruvian mare, has been sick so she´s not able to be ridden for the next few weeks.  So I took out one of my friend´s horses, a handsome older Peruvian named Lucero.  We immediately headed down one of my favorite trails following a meandering smaller river. 

We passed a mango tree where all the of the mangos had fallen and were beginning to rot.  The mango season ended about 6 weeks ago.  Passed a colorful blue butterfly.  As always, I looked for crocs in the river.  I have an obsession with crocs and sharks for some reason.  I saw a very small one about 10 months ago.  It must have been less than a foot long.  Nothing since then.

And then the trail opened up to the beach.  I looked to the right and didn´t see anyone.  I looked to the left and saw one person.  Wow, it´s crowded today.

We did our regular loop of riding and headed through the development.  A lot has building has occurred since we left and it´s amazing to watch.  I stopped to talk to one of the guys cleaning the paddle boats on the river.  Any crocs in there I asked in Spanish?  Nope not in this one he responded.  Ok good.

We turned back to the Equestrian Center and Lucero picked up speed.  He's a beautiful horse and likes to "dance".  So we danced our way back to the barn. 

I dismounted and soon realized that I was going to be a bit sore after today.  Not a big deal though.  I'm heading back out this morning.

See Canelita below....


Posted by on 08/11 at 08:49 AM
Living in Panama

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Vacation rental information, travel tips and advice, and general observations about life at "The Crossroads of the World" from an American and a Canadian on the ground in Panama.

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