This article is a combination of an article in Retire Worldwide's newsletter and my own exeriences and knowledge. Roberto
Penonomé is the folklore capital of Panama and currently offers some of the most attractive real estate investment opportunities in the country. Penonomé affords a peaceful country lifestyle at rock bottom prices. If you thought you missed the boat on Panama and can no longer afford a good life here, think again, Penonome might be your ticket.
The name Penonomé is in honor of an Indian chief, Nomé, who when captured by the Spaish and tortured for over a month in the public square, steadfastly refused to reveal the location of the tribes gold. The Spanish were so impressed with his courage they named the town "Penonomé (the pain of Nomé)
In recent news, the federal government of Panama announced that Penonomé is the site of the new International Airport. Construction bids are being sought in 2011. It is highly likely that daily direct flights from Canada and USA bound for the near-by Royal Decameron, Playa Blanca and Breezes - the only three all-inclusive resorts in Panama - wil be landing here instead of Panama City. This will be a huge boost to the local economy, so the time to act is now, before land prices go up.
(see my article on New Airport announced for Penonomé)
Close To Everything Yet A World Away
Penonomé is close to everything, yet a world away. A medium sized city by Panamanian standards, Penonomé is a comfortable two-hour drive along the InterAmericana highway from Panama City. Penonomé is about 25 minutes from the most exclusive white sand beach resorts in Panama, including Playa Blanca (with the world’s second largest swimming pool - an amazing 17 acre pool), Decameron Resort (complete with an 18 hole golf course), Nikki Beach, Breezes (all-inclusives). Vista Mar and Buenaventura both have 18 hole golf course sunder construction - and several more resorts and gold courses in various stages of planning and construction.
Yet, if living in a high rise tower in a beach resort compound is not your thing, Penonomé offers a quaint and affordable alternative. In Penonomé, you can buy 40 acres of rolling hills with spectacular 360 degree mountain views for $80,000. A 25 acre river front estate with fixer upper house is currently on offer for $110,000, and a tastefully finished, centrally located four bedroom home is available for $100,000.
What I liked most about Penonomé is the warmth of the people and the heritage and folkloric elements of the community. Hat salesmen are not pesky, and do not target tourists – they intend to sell their hats to the local farmers who need a new hat. The town is bustling with activity – shops, banks, supermarkets, and a hospital offer everything you need for a convenient and comfortable lifestyle without the tourist traps.
For an authentic folkloric experience we took the meandering paved road north of Penonomé and in 10 minutes we arrived in La Pintada, a quaint village dotted with neatly landscaped country homes, proud shopkeepers, and homey restaurants. La Pintada feels like it belongs in a story book – we spotted a hand-made Cuban tobacco cigar factory, hand-made hats, and hand-made ice cream… just about everything in La Pintada is still hand-made it seems. Real people offering real services, just the way it used to be.
Penonomé is the place to actualize your gentleman’s ranch, your garden oasis, your organic farm project, or your river front spa. And you can do it economically. New construction in this area is still only about $40 – $60 per square foot complete with high quality marble, granite, and tropical hardwood finishes. A brand new 2000 square foot estate home with a pool on a couple of acres with fruit trees, mountain views, and river frontage will set you back less than $175,000 – home and land included.
To spice up your lifestyle even more, hire a boat over at Juan Hombron, a fishing village about 20 minutes away, complete with a nice white sand swimming beach. If you don’t catch anything, don’t worry, you can buy fresh fish from the locals for a couple of dollars and bring one home to your ranch estate to dine in privacy. How about a hand-made cigar at the end of your meal to round out the evening?
For more on Penonomé, see my articles: If you want to get ahead, get a hat and Happy Wife, Happy Life