Liz Larroquette
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Satellite image hurricane

No Hurricanes. No Earthquakes. No Volcanic Eruptions.

“I want to visit Panama but not during high season,” came the first comment. “I was all set for November and then realized it would be hurricane season,” was the second. “I always have bad luck when it comes to weather so I figure if I’m visiting Panama in November, there will be a hideous hurricane,” continued the caller.

Hurricane Irma wind

The recent spate of devastating hurricanes has caused chaos and untold damage.

The man was in his fifties and looking for a beachfront condominium where he and his wife could eventually retire. They lived in Houston and had just recently endured Hurricane Harvey. “It’d really have to be seriously bad luck for you to experience a hurricane while visiting Panama,” I said with enough seriousness to know this couple didn’t want any joking about flood waters and soaked drywall. 

“There has only been one hurricane to make landfall in Panama and that was Martha in 1969. It was a really freak occurrence.”

No Hurricane Planning Needed

“Seriously?,” said the caller. “I figured I’d need to plan around hurricane season and that would put me well into December since it’s been a much more intense hurricane season this year.”  There was no need to mention Harvey or Irma and the damage each storm had inflicted on the United States.

Too Close To The Equator

Stunning surf curls are easily accessible from anywhere in Panama.

There are so many reasons Panama is an ideal place to live and invest, ranging from a less-expensive lifestyle to having easy access to everything from beaches and rainforests to stunning surfing curls. The fact we are located too close to the equator to allow for hurricanes to gain enough strength to form or even maintain strength if they first formed off the African coast, is just one more reason it’s easy to purchase property and then not worry even if you live full-time elsewhere.

When you purchase in Panama, with an eye for the future, it’s definitely a plus there aren’t hurricanes, earthquakes or even a threat of a volcano eruption.

Lots Of Good Earthquakes

Map of earthquake zone

Panama was far from any effects caused by the recent earthquakes in Mexico.

Actually there are a lot of earthquakes in Panama but they are small, oftentimes only detected by the scientific community and positive in that they regularly release pressure along the Panama Fracture Zone. These small quakes reduce the chances of an earthquake that would actually cause damage. Most of the earthquakes which do occur are far from Panama City or beachfront property such as Royal Palm, located in Nueva Gorgona, about 50 minutes from Panama City. That was the property I was planning to suggest to the caller and his wife.

There are plenty of tall structures in and around Panama City and none have sustained damage due to an earthquake. When the small quakes occur it’s almost always in the Province of Chiriqui close to Boquete in the region closest to Costa Rica. We rarely feel them in the area around Panama City.

Loving the Volcanoes in Panama

Climb Volcan Baru

The climb was tough, but we made it to the top of the volcano for an amazing sunrise.

The volcano situation is one of my absolute favorite parts of living in Panama. For a BIG birthday—ending in a zero—I talked my friends into hiking up the only actual volcano in Panama, Volcán Barú. The volcano last erupted in the 16th century so I felt pretty safe making the assent. It’s also surrounded by a national park covering some 35,000 acres. The climb was difficult and one of our group actually couldn’t complete the hike.

You can hire a driver to take you up the approximately 11,000 feet in two hours via a four-wheel vehicle (or to pick you up mid-way!), but it’s great fun to climb it on foot in about six hours. Once you have reached the top you can sometimes see both the Caribbean Sea and the Pacific Ocean. It just depends on how clear the weather is that day.

“So no earthquakes to be concerned about,” began my caller after I had bored him with the details of Panama’s geography. “No hurricanes and no active volcanos,” he continued.

Not Getting Ready to Blow!

Peak El Valle Panama

Climbing the side of the crater in El Valle is a popular hike, but is also home to many like this local man who found us on the climb up

“Well, Volcán Barú is active, but there is no indication it is getting ready to blow,” I countered. “We do have another volcano in Panama but it’s inactive. People live on the floor of the volcano and it is the largest inhabited volcano crater in the world. The town is El Valle and there are about 6,500 residents; they are mostly indigenous. It’s cool there and the markets are somewhere you’ll want to visit often when you visit or move to Panama.” I could tell I had maybe provided a bit more information than he really wanted to know. Maybe I should have left it at nothing to worry about! 

“We want the beach,” he began again. “You know where you walk out and the sand almost immediately hits your toes leading to the water.” I knew where he needed to be.

Royal Palm Was Going To Be Perfect

Royal Palm offers absolute beach-front living!

“Well we have a stunning property that is perfect for immediate investment and while you’ll have to walk past the pool and other amenities before your toes hit the sand, it is absolute beach front living,” I began again. “It’s currently under construction and the first units are expected to be ready for occupancy the first part of 2018.” Of course I was referring to one of the most recent projects along the Pacific coast of Panama, Royal Palm.  

"So if I don’t have to worry about a hurricane doing damage when we aren’t there, an earthquake bringing down the building or smoldering lava,” he said, now laughing and getting into the spirit of Panama, “we’d like to be on a top floor.”

"That’s perfect,” I continued. “Royal Palm has two towers one with 19 stories and the other with 24. They all have floor to ceiling glass windows that allows absolutely stunning views of both the Pacific Ocean and the mountains,” I said.

Straight Up The Volcano

“Not the volcano?” he questioned. “No, but El Valle, with the cooler temps and wonderful markets is just up the PanAmerican Highway and straight up the side of the inactive volcano,” I explained.

“We are ready to come down and take a look,” he continued, “and I guess it doesn’t matter when we decide to book the trip.”

“Go ahead and come in November. That way it’s just the start of the season and beautiful as always. I can’t wait to show you Royal Palm and you can stop by and visit the Biodiversity Museum on the Amador Causeway. You know, study up on why you shouldn’t worry about investing in Panama.”

Volcan Baru peak

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About the Author Liz Larroquette

Whether you are looking to retire in Panama, relocate your family, or buy property as an investment Liz is a wealth of knowledge you can and should tap into.

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