Pedasi, Panama is home to people from all over the world. Drawn by different aspects of the area, we share in common our love for natural beauty and the lifestyle of simplicity. Some live here full time and others only during the cold winter months. The lifestyle here can be considered an “escape” from the normal pace of life, stress, and harsh climates.
I want to thank Jack Schultz for taking his time to share the story of how he and his wife Betinha came to find their “paradise”. If you are currently going through the same decision process, you might find this much more helpful than just taking my word for it. The photos to the right depict the area they fell in love with and their lovely beachfront home here in Pedasi.
Why Panama? Why Pedasi?
My wife and I first decided on where we wanted to retire in 2008 when we purchased a luxury condo under construction on South Padre Island, Texas. We had looked at several places up to then, wanting to find something that was on or close to water. We had originally thought we might end up in Brazil, where we both had lived for several years but found it too far away and becoming unsafe. We ruled out Florida due to its high density and overcrowding. A beachfront condo in Texas fit the bill of what we were looking for.
We started spending winters in Texas beginning in 2008 and eventually moved our official residence there in 2010 from Illinois. My wife had famously told me in 2008, after living through dreary, icy winters in Illinois for 28 years, “The only ice I want to see in the future, is that tinkles in a glass!” I got the message and other than a few visits to see our kids, we’ve been in warmer locations for the winter ever since.
Even though we lived in Texas, we continued to travel extensively, mostly to South and Central America. One of the reasons we had chosen South Padre, was its location on the border with Mexico and we hoped to use it as a jumping off point for jaunts into the interior of Mexico. However, escalating violence on the border precluded us from making those trips. Hence, the reason for our trips to South and Central America.
Despite South Padre being further south than Miami, the continual strong winds and frequent northerners was not what we had imagined when we moved there. There had to be better weather than this!
To date, we have visited 11 of the 13 countries on the mainland of South America, and even gotten to the Falkland Islands, which are considered a part of the continent. We’ve also travelled to several of the countries in Central America and many of the islands in the Caribbean. We found several of these countries intriguing as possible alternatives to coastal Texas, but none grabbed us until we found Panama.
A business trip to Costa Rica and Panama City ten years ago was a big eye opener to me. The following year, my wife and I decided to take a month-long trip in the country, exploring it from the Costa Rican border down to the Darien on the Colombian border. We logged over 2,000 miles and felt we really got to know the country with some very positive interactions with many Panamanians.
One of the beaches we stumbled across, mostly because of its name was Playa los Destiladeros, the Distillers Beach. What did it have to do with distillers? Were they still there?
A unique boutique hotel, run by an eccentric French expat, sat in a prime spot on the beach. We fell in love with both and returned the following year to spend the month of January in a Tahiti-style bungalow. Walking the 2-mile long beach, we were enchanted by 3 houses which literally sat right on the beach, with the booming Pacific waves crashing just feet away. My wife always said, “If we could get one of those houses, that’s where I would move.” That was a pipe dream though, as who could afford such luxury and such proximity to the ocean?
We returned numerous times to the same boutique hotel, continued to walk that same beach, explore the small historical town of Pedasi, WWII history (3 US installations within 5 miles of our house), and the expansive Azuero Peninsula’s back roads. We were hooked on this tiny slice of paradise.
“One of those houses is for sale, and it is listed at a price that is 10 or 20% of what it would cost in Florida or California!” my wife exclaimed as she saw it listed online.
We made immediate plans to go back to Pedasi and ended up buying one of those three houses within a couple of weeks. We couldn’t have been happier.
And, the more time that we have spent in Pedasi, the more we have fallen in love with it. The number of great restaurants like Terry’s, Segreto, Bohemia, Smiley’s and others is incredible for such a small town. Even though we don’t have school age children, the Oxford School is going to greatly elevate the attractiveness for other expats to relocate to the area. And, the local Panamanians couldn’t be friendlier.
Panama has also impressed us and if you look at the statistics, they are greatly distancing themselves from other Central and South American countries in their economic numbers. Having the stable Panama Canal bringing in 1/3 of the national GDP is a huge plus and continues to make Panama more of a hemispheric center point for growing trade. A dollar denominated currency is also a big plus, as well as the growing number of expats who are flocking to the country.
We are so proud to call Panama and Pedasi home!
Well, if what Jack had to say resonates with you, please contact us for more information about Panama, pedasi real estate, Luxury Properties, Beachfront Estates, or anything else that comes to mind that you think we could assist you with in your move to Panama. My direct line is on Whatsapp +507-6390-5229. Talk to you soon! – Karla Adams