Exploring The Azuero Peninsula, Panama: Central America’s Best Kept Secret

Azuero Peninsula

If you’re an ocean lover, it’s hard to beat a home on the Pacific. Imagine waking each day to a view of dramatic coastline and the crash of surf… and, later, winding down, cocktail in hand, with a front-row seat for one of the world’s most spectacular sunsets.

Remember that the same great wide beaches and surf that California is famous for don’t stop at the U.S. border. For years, expats have been finding great values farther south… on the Pacific shores of Mexico, Costa Rica, and Nicaragua…

And now it’s Panama’s turn.

Panama’s Azuero Peninsula is our area of focus today. Looking at a map of Panama, it’s the box-like area of land, 100 kilometers wide and 90 kilometers long, that hangs off southern Panama into the Pacific Ocean.

Map of Panama
The towns on the eastern side of this peninsula have become popular among foreign retirees looking for an affordable beach lifestyle. The living may be more affordable down here than in Panama City, but prices in towns like Chitré, Las Tablas, and Pedasí are rising. Today, those seeking better value are discovering the peninsula’s less-developed western side…

At our recent Live and Invest in Panama Virtual Conference, expats Peg Fairbairn and April Hess talked about how they’d considered building a home in Pedasí…

“We couldn’t afford the oceanfront lots we looked at in Pedasí,” said Peg. “And if we took a cheaper lot set back from the ocean, we knew our view would soon be blocked by those building closer to the shore.

“Once we explored the western side of Azuero, we were sold. It’s greener than the eastern shores and more undulating. We finished building our home here three years ago. We’re surrounded by nature, with a wide ocean view… one we know will never be broken. And it’s just a seven-minute stroll to our community’s private beach.”

The western (Pacific) side of the peninsula is known as the Azuero Sunset Coast. A four- to five-hour drive out of Panama City, it’s truly one of Central America’s best-kept secrets…

And not just because of the affordable beachfront. As Peg mentioned, the landscape on this side is superior. It’s also the only place in Panama where it’s possible to see the sun set on the water.

Sunset at Los Islotes, Azuero Peninsula, Panama
Western Azuero boasts some of the world’s best sunsets

Despite the low density here, you wouldn’t be entirely alone…

Torio is one of a few towns that dot this side of the peninsula. It’s the social center for 300-or-so foreign retirees that currently call this part of Panama home year-round. In Torio, you’ll find a handful of small expat-run bars, restaurants, and guesthouses.

Nor would you be short of things to do out here…

In western Azuero, you’re surrounded by pure, raw nature. Capuchin and howler monkeys call from the trees, sea turtles lay their eggs along the beaches, and, in season, dolphins and whales swim and play offshore.

The main attraction is the Pacific Ocean, with some of the best sunsets in the world seen from the undeveloped, west-facing shoreline. Expats on this coast spend their days surfing, swimming, diving, beach combing, fishing, and looking for ways to get involved with the local community.

Beach at Los Islotes, Azuero Peninsula, Panama
This is a true surfer’s paradise

Development in this part of the country is slowly moving forward—there are talks of repaving the rutted road out to here and providing a link road to the eastern side. But, for the foreseeable future, this part of Panama remains a frontier and a top option for someone looking to get away from it all.

One thing you won’t find out here in abundance is gated communities. But here again, progress is afoot…

If you’ve been reading LIOS publications for some time, you may have heard of Los Islotes—the five-star, master-planned community being developed by Kathleen Peddicord and Lief Simon.

Covering 425 acres along the Pacific, Los Islotes has two beaches—one stretching for 9 kilometers to the south, allowing for long, uninterrupted walks on the sand. The other is in a secluded cove where the waters of the Pacific are calm and warm… perfect for swimming.

Nestled among these rolling hills, with unrivalled views over the Pacific, Kathleen and Lief are building a community for their family, their friends, and like-minded folks who appreciate what this special corner of Panama has to offer. For some—like April and Peg mentioned earlier—Los Islotes will be a full-time home. For others, it’s a chance to escape the world… or the cold North American winter… for a few months of the year.

A handful of homes have already been built here, adopting the traditional Spanish-colonial style. Roads are installed, internet is available, and the community is protected by 24-hour security. Residents and visitors can gather at Panama Jack’s bar to watch the sun set from this private piece of paradise.

Friends gather at Panama Jack’s in Los Islotes, Panama
Friends gather for a cocktail at Panama Jack’s

And that’s just the beginning. Big things are on the cards for this community. Last year, travel restrictions kept Kathleen and Lief away from their Los Islotes home. They’ve just returned this past week to Panama and are now eager to move ahead with their plans… and also to open the doors to you…

If you’d like to hear more about what’s coming in Los Islotes… and get the scoop on the remaining lots available here (many with ocean views)… don’t miss your chance to join Lief and Kathleen for a live chat next week…

On Tuesday, Feb. 2, they’ll introduce you to this under-explored region of Panama… take you on a virtual tour of Los Islotes… and be ready for whatever questions you may have on living and investing in this Pacific gem…

This is an exclusive session for LIOS readers and it’s completely free to join. Stay tuned for further details.

Lynn Mulvihill
Editor, Overseas Property Alert