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Trips along the legendary â€œTuna Coastâ€ are featured in numerous sport fishing magazines as some of the most illustrious in the world. National Geographic has done a series of specials on the Portuguese leatherback turtle nesting on Isla Iguana and the nearby Isla de Cana is reputed, in snorkeling and diving rings to have the largest and most active coral reef in the Gulf of Panama. Isla Coiba, off the peninsula's west coast, is Panama's largest island characterized by teeming rainforests and postcard-perfect beaches. Why, if this region is so spectacular, is there so little development there? Why is there so little information on it?
The Azuero Peninsula, for starters, sits more than three times the distance than most other hotspots within car-shot of Panama City. The tourism and real estate industries in Panama are young, very young, and it only makes sense that the few tourism and real estate booms that do exist, take place close to the country's credible and already-proven capital. Towns like El Valle, Gorgona, Coronado, and Santa Clara seem to be forecasting the development trend as we see hotels and real estate projects popping up further and further along that Central Pacific coast. In Azuero though, things are just getting started.
Terrific paved roads wiggle down along each coast of Azuero, occasionally sprouting off smaller side roads into the interior of the region, an inner stomach characterized by cooler temperatures and eye-popping views. Both coastal and inland towns have a matchless feel of rural and rustic Panama, a sensation that seems to have been tainted elsewhere by high-rise condos and Subway sandwich shops. People seem to be dementedly happy down here. Cold bottles of beer cost twenty five cents.
The attention is now starting to turn to real estate and investment in Azuero, where farms with ocean frontage and large lots with stunning views have sat undisturbed now for hundreds of years. Small towns have not yet been infected with new-age drawbacks nor globalized difficulties. The farmers who own these properties have lived simple lives, money not being the center of attention. Things are starting to change though, for better or worse.
Developers and investors with a keen eye have started exploring Azuero, picking up giant Panama properties for absurdly low prices. That the Azuero real estate market is so young can act as a double-edged sword: great for those looking to pick up large lots yet teasing for those who want small pieces of land. Properties near the beach are being offered for as little as $.25 per square meter and beachfront lots are almost embarrassingly marketed for as little as $2 per square meter. The investors who are making it down here today, are experiencing a phenomenon similar to that of Costa Rica circa 1970. Not unlike the early 1900's, when the pure coastline and dazzling mountains of modern-day California struck a cord with planners and visionaries.
Why Azuero? Well, it's located strategically on the road from Panama's two top destinations, Chiriqui and Panama province. It's a simple 3 hour car drive from each way and the roads (thanks to the ex-president) are terrific. Water and electricity reaches even the most remote corners of the peninsula. The cost of living is perhaps half that of city life. The weather is more dry, the mountains offering a cooler climate. Most of the property is titled which avoids and right-of-posession entanglement. Exotic wildlife, stunning coastlines, rich culture, cheap property...why the hell not Azuero?
Dreams of having gotten in early on Hawaii or Florida beach regions are not all that delusional any more. They're becoming a reality.
The opportunities to invest in Azuero today are boundless, and those who have been jumping on ship are already reaping the benefits. It's not by any means for the feint of investment: $50,000 probably won't do you all that much good at this point. But for those who are ready to seriously commit in becoming, essentially, the pioneer of a region, Azuero is for the taking.
Read more travel stories, overviews, and descriptions of the Azuero Peninsula, Panama
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