Welcome to Panama

So Why Panama?
Panama is such an amazing country and surprises everyone who visits. I joke with our friends that if they are planning on coming to Panama be prepared to be overwhelmed.

So Why Panama? Is there a reason - No, There are several reasons -- the opportunities are plentiful, albeit the prices are going up.

We have really taken to the Caribbean coast as it offers so much nicer water and beaches.

Costa del Este
Panama City, Panama
The 2012 Spay Panama calendar is now available and it's their best ever! Both Panamanian AND U.S. holidays are labeled. The pictures featured are all of formerly homeless dogs and cats that were neutered and lucky enough to have been adopted. All proceeds go to support the wonderful efforts of Spay Panama to control the overpopulation of unwanted pets. Since its inception in 2002, Spay Panama has sterilized over 24,000 animals! The yearly calendar is their main fundraising tool and they really need your support. Like most other non-profit organizations, Spay Panama has seen a severe drop in donations due to the economy.

Pat Chan


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Since we moved to Panama in 2006 every time we tell one of our friends that we moved to the Republic of Panama, the first question is always "Why Panama". So we decided to build a web site to help them understand how simple the decision to choose Panama really was to us. We have included some links to other sites and to articles we think might help understand Panama. This  is  by no means exhaustive, so be sure to move through the suggested sites and explore the links and resources they suggest to ensure  you get as much information as possible.

News and events


We had an old friend visiting from Canada the last couple of weeks. He has been here almost every year since we moved.

Like most visitors, I really enjoy when John comes as it reminds me again why we moved. He so loves the warmth as it is minus 15+ below "back home". He also loves the beaches, the culture, the food, the people and the music. It's just fun to be around someone who really "gets it". Too often I hear from expats how they "hate it here" - "why can't it be like Canada or the USA?

It is not Canada. It is not the USA - and thank goodness. We moved here FROM Canada. Granted the bulk of the reason was the weather - but I admit I like the other perks.

One of our new "must do visits" when John is here is a night in Casco with friends, bar hopping. The first is always the Strangers Club. A bar started by 6 bartenders from the USA. They rotate looking after the Panama bar and it has been fun getting to know some of them. So far we've met Steve, Gabriel and Ulysses. They are all characters.

The new mall finally opened in Costa del Este - Towne Center. We stopped by the other day to check out the menu for a new restaurant - Gobe. An upscale restaurant with what looks like a great menu. Probably will visit in the next couple of weeks.

Went diving for the first time in quite a while. Portobelo is not the greatest visibility all the time, but the water temperature and the quality of dive master  (Rey Sanchez from www.goldenfrogscuba.com ) is worth the visit.

more news >>


We are well into a routine now 12 years later. We love our life here. Almost every week one or the other of us will make the comment how great it is to be here.  Have there been issues - of course - it is life. But we don't regret one iota.

We've been so fortunate to meet and enjoy so many other expats and Panamanians over the 12 years.

We love to eat and drink and explore so we make a point of every month getting out as often as we can with friends.

We get notes often asking about something to do with Panama - because we encourage people to ask. We've been so fortunate with our move and the people that have helped us we are more than willing to help where we can.

Feel free to ask if you are you just thinking of a vacation in Panama or if you are thinking of making Panama home we'd be happy to point you at some resources or give you some suggestions - we have nothing to sell and nothing to gain except maybe meeting a new friend. We have been really privileged to get to know some great friends during our past 10 years.

Our area of Costa del Este has just continued to evolve. Not all the growth has great - the traffic in the morning and evening is unbearable. But the upside is all the new services. 

If you want, write us if you have questions - we love to help.

We add to the areas of the site like people, sites, and services as our experience with each of them change so you should feel comfortable dealing with any of them.

more news >>


Donna started iCanGarden.com and is now over  20 years later it has become Canada's largest Internet gardening resource site. Several thousand people visit her site every day. Spend some time looking over the thousands of pictures of gardens from all over the world.

We are so proud of the TV special just aired by Recreating Eden - entitled "the Gardening Tourist".

Donna recently changed the look of the site - - if you enjoy it - let her know - I am really proud of her.


In 2006 Donna started a site dedicated exclusively to her garden tours but she has been hosting tours since 1998

For more than 18 years she has been hosting groups of gardeners to gardens all over the world.

Donna has some incredible garden tours lined up for 2017 and 2018 - her 2016 tours were all either fully booked or over booked. 

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