Thursday, September 24, 2015

Highway from Santiago to David

From ExPat blog about the highway from Santiago to David:

I traveled the Pan American Highway from Santiago to David last weekend. It is open all the way but is only two lanes; one each way. There are only a few short areas of alternating one lane only. From Santiago to the checkpoint in Chiriquí Provence the road is bad, mostly unrepaired old road. It is open but very rough. After the checkpoint to David it is mostly one side or the other of the new road. There are some rough "crossovers". Also there are a few spots where the second double lane needs to be cut and graded. Looks like a lot of four lane "could" be open soon. Took the "by-pass" through Soná on the way back to avoid the rough part. Except for the rain it would have been a beautiful drive. I got lost in Santiago and took a while to find the Pan American there. I needed a dedicated map of Santiago.

Comment from another ExPat who lives in Chiriquí

It will be a number of years yet before that construction is completed. Santiago to David is 6 times the distance from David to Boquete. It took 2 years to finish the double laning from David to Boquete. I expect another 5 years before completing. Rivers run through in many areas as the water runs from the mountains to the oceans. Bridges of all sizes are being built as a result. It is quite a landscape change but a much anticipated one..........

Map of Panama showing Santiago to David:,-81.7389944,10.69z

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Funding for a Third Bridge over the Panama Canal

From the news:

PANAMA’S Canal Authority (ACP) is looking for international funding to complete the construction of the third bridge over the waterway in Colon.
The announcement was made in a Friday September 11 press release.

The construction of the bridge, began in January 2013 and is 34 percent complete. The ACP has an A-A2 investment grade rating from the credit agencies Moody´s, Standard & Poor´s and Fitch.

The amount of funding being sought has not yet been revealed.

The concrete structure supported by cables, similar to the Centenario Bridge, and will have a length of 4,605 meters, including access roads. It will cost an estimated $366 million.

Thursday, September 10, 2015

Flooding in Panama

From Panama news:

PANAMA which, a few weeks ago, declared a state of emergency because of water shortage got its wishes for more of the wet stuff on Tuesday, August 8 when 20 parts of Panama City , San Miguelito, Panama West and Colon were affected by floods, following heavy rains,

 The civil defense agency SINAPROC also reported. 19 landslides in Colon and San Miguelito 10 reports of fallen trees in Panama center, West and Columbus and three residence walls collapsed residence walls in Panama City center, San Miguelito and Colon

New Panama Tours & Services website

FYI, from a contact I know in Panama,  Robby Robinson
Health Alliance (DoctorCare / WeCare Pharmabcy)
Veteran Service Officer PANAMA
SEE the REAL PANAMA Tours - Tour Guide/Owner
VONAGE (Stateside Line) 1-512-772-1401
Panama Cell      011-507-6-782-1193

See his new website:


Come and enjoy the day with us!
Date:  Saturday 23 January 2016

Where:  HOTEL Campestre
       eL vALLE DE aNTON
Time: 11:30 A.M. – 4:00 P.M.
Menú (Comida Typica Panamaña)

Cost for members and non members to be announced. We will try to maintain same costs.
Tentative pricing:  Members
         Dues paid members:  $20 (2016 Dues must be paid by 23 Jan).
            Non-dues paid members: $30
            Children 12 years or under: FREE
    Non-members:  $35 - Children 12 years or under: $10

The party will continue that evening
at the home of Dr. Charly Garcia in El Valle with
   our complimentary Annual Lasagna Dinner & Dance Party starting at 6:30 PM.  Live Music.
                  Free ONLY FOR MEMBERS IN GOOD STANDING (dues paid)
or those wishing to make a $30 donation to the Scholarship and Charities funds of The American Society of Panama
Bus transportation
Will be available for those that wish to go just for the day and if the interest is sufficient for those wishing to stay overnight.

For your convenience and assistance, our Dry Season Picnic coordinator and El Valle resident Dr. Charly Garcia
has put together the following list of lodging and options of things to do.

We hope you plan on making the AmSoc dry season event a weekend outing.  If you decide to do so, we recommend that you make your reservations as soon as possible as Dry Season, and especially January is the high season for El Valle and last minute hotel rooms are difficult to come by.

For those staying overnight and wanting to take advantage of a family outing with your children we suggest the following events:
1.     Zip-line (Canopy Adventure) 983-6547 & Fax 263-2784
2.     Bird Watching (Guias Pioneros de Cocle) Cell. 6569-2676
3.     Hiking the India Dormida (Sleeping Indian Princess) Efrain Trujillo Cel 6591-1991
4.     Guide to the India Dormida (Sleeping Indian Princess)  Cell. 6615-8181
5.     El Nispero Zoo
6.     El Valle Museum,  Sr. David & Padre Noto, by Catholic Church, Cell. 6524-9790
7.     Visit Orchid Center (APROVACA) Tel. 983-6472
8.     Serpentarium  Cell. 6569-2676
9.     Thermal Pools Cell. 6621-3846
10. Local Farmers and Artesan Market
11. Piedra Pintada (Petroglyphs)   Cell. 6615-8181
12. The Butterfly Haven (NEW) – See a myriad of butterflies in their natural environment.

It is stressed that AmSoc is not endorsing or recommending any particular hotel, we are just providing a list to help you in your search.
We remind you to contact and make your own reservations directly with the establishment you choose.
                  1. Hotel Campestre  983-6146   Recently remodeled, one of the oldest hotels in El Valle built in 1939 has 20+ rooms with private baths.  Tel: 983-6135
Email: Hotel Campestre<>;

                   2.  Anton Valley Hotel
Tel.  983-6097 or  983-5118
This is located in front of the Catholic Church and has an excellent restaurant.

                   3.  Hotel y Restaurante Valle Verde                                                                                                                                  Formerly known as Hotel Los Capitanes, renamed and under new management.                                                                            //

                         Nuevo Sitio Web: ·                    
                         Teléfono: (+507) 983-6080
             Teléfono Celular: (+507) 647-18250   Great restaurant.  I consider this to be a very special place with a very special atmosphere.

                     4.   The Golden Frog Inn: Presently not available as B&B.  Will advise when status changes.
                             8 rooms, Suites  
                            One of the nicest places to stay.  Pleasant, huge pool, fireplaces.
                            One of my favorites.
                Phone: 983-6117                  Cell Phone: 6565-8307

        5.    Hotel Rincon Vallero:
14 Rooms Tel #: 983-6175/264-9119 / 983-6791  Includes breakfast.
Info: and their website is at  Excellent restaurant.

                  6.   Park Eden Bed & Breakfast:
           5 rooms Tel #: 983-6167 / 226-8858 / 6695-6190
           Info: &    5+ rooms, includes full breakfast for 2 persons per room,                      additional cost per each additional person.  No restaurant.
                     7.    La Casa de Lourdes      
           El Valle de Antón, Panama  Hotel: 983-6645    Restaurant:  983-6450
Gourmet breakfast included...exclusive cuisine &  accommodations...where the IN people dine. Best restaurant and best hotel complex in the area. People drive up from Panama City and adjacent areas to dine and wine in style. The Casa de Lourdes has available rooms and a renowned gourmet restaurant owned and run by Lourdes Fabrega de Ward.

           8.  Los Mandarinos Boutique Hotel & Spa
(adjacent and part of a magnificent complex with   Casa de Lourdes)
Boutique Hotel & Restaurante          Hotel: 983-6645  / 6808-2743
        Best hotel complex in the area. Hotel has beautiful buildings, very nice accommodations,  Irish Pub, Pool, & restaurant.  People drive up from Panama City and adjacent areas to dine and wine in at the sister complex, The Casa de Lourdes and stay at either Casa de Lourdes which also has several rooms and a renowned gourmet restaurant, or they stay at Los Mandarinos Boutique Hotel & Spa. which is a complex of Italian style buildings providing 31 guest rooms with magnificent accommodations, spa, pool, Irish pub, + restaurant.  Not inexpensive, but the finer moments in our lives usually aren't cheap.

                 9.    Crater Valley Adventure Spa:
              8 Rooms Tel #: 983-6942  / 215-2325 / Fax 215-2329
       Tel #: 215-2325 / 215-2328 & 983-6942
              Fax: 215-2329  Among the best in El Valle. Has pool, sauna, massage parlor, beauty saloon, and lush grounds. Expect it to be pricey, but worth it. Good restaurant.
                10.  Cabañas Potosi
               Tel # 983-6181/ 6946-6148

                11.   Hostal Cariguana
           Tel # 983-6269  6598-5122
                12.   Hotel Don Pepe
Hotel Don Pepe +507 983-6425  (After 6pm call  +507 983-6835 )
    13.  Casa de Pietra
                                Cell phone: 6675-6901

Note:  There are many other nice Hotels in El Valle.
Please do a search for more available hotel information.

The American Society of Panama
"Americans and Friends United Abroad"

Monday, September 7, 2015

Repairs and Maintenance of the Bridge of the Americas

From the internet (from prior news I understood the whole bridge was going to be closed for repairs?):

PANAMA’S Ministry of Works (MOP) will be working on repairs and maintenance of the Bridge of the Americas for the next 10 months, which means the closing of some lanes. The timetable the Ministry has given for September is:

8 a.m. to 5:30 pmClosing of a lane, with an approximate length of 100 meters. Two operating lanes to La Chorrera, One operating lane to Panama City or vice versa.

8:00 pm - 4:30 am. Closing a south side or north side lane, with an approximate length of 100 meters. North side lanes operating, one to La Chorrera and the other to Panama Centro or vice versa.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

PANAMA’S fourth bank robbery this year

From the internet news:

PANAMA’S fourth bank robbery this year took place in Versailles, Juan Díaz, on Tuesday morning, August 1.

Thieves in a stolen car, robbed a Banco General branch,
The amount of money taken is unknown so far.