Category Archives: Moving to Panama

Tiffany’s Thursday Tips Version 3.0 Sim Cards at the Airport

Today’s tip is going to be a pretty quick one! I read a lot of posts from people coming to visit and live that want to know what to do when they land here about cell phones and sim cards!

010

My wonderful husband just so happened to take a picture of the kiosk at Tocumen airport the last time we were there (good work Todd). This machine is located just outside of baggage claim towards the car rental area. There is usually a very cute Panamanian girl working there that will help you purchase a sim card for your phone and get you going, at least temporarily. All you need is an unlocked phone that takes a sim card, pretty much that easy!

I think we paid about $30 for the card and a weeks worth of service when we first got here, then took it to the Movistar office and signed up for a monthly plan that gives me calling, texts (local), and about 3GB of data per month. I pay automatically by credit card and its just around $32 per month.

Since the roads here are poorly named and very difficult to navigate I would recommend having internet on your phone from the very moment you get here! Of course if you’re being driven and just want to get away from it all, then skip it and enjoy no Facebook alerts at 2 in the morning when you are sound asleep!! Lol!

-Tiffany

 

Bucket Lists For 2016 Instead of Resolutions

For 2016 Todd and I have decided that we would rather put together a list of amazing things we want to do during the year instead of things we want to not do, change or improve.

2015 was a big year for us! We sold everything that we owned and moved here to Panama. That will probably be hard to top for the rest of our lives, but we will keep trying.

So what do you add to a bucket list when you live in Panama? This country is so full of amazing places, locations and things to do.  Here is a Top 10 Bucket List Items in Panama. Some we have already done, but wanted to create a list for others so you can add them to your bucket list!

Top 10 Panama Destinations 

  1. Bocas Del Toro
  2. Pearl Islands-Contadora Island, Mogo Mogo, Taboga, Isla Del Rey 
  3. San Blas Islands 
  4. Gamboa Rainforest 
  5. El Valle De Anton 
  6. Boquete 
  7. Panama Canal & Locks 
  8. Panama City-Casco Viejo, Panama Viejo, Ancon Hill, Amador Causeway, Fish Market, Albrook Mall
  9. Colon Free Trade Zone 
  10. Isla Coiba 
Ancon Hill
Ancon Hill View of the City
Bocas Del Toro
Bocas Del Toro-Hotels located on the water

Continue reading Bucket Lists For 2016 Instead of Resolutions

El Valle’s Hidden Gem Crater’s Edge Brewery: Craft Brews With a View

Crater’s Edge Brewery is perched on a quiet 2 acre property overlooking the entire El Valle De Anton valley.The views are amazing, and the property is lush and sprawling. The owners are Mike and Deb Lunsford, and they have brought together elements to create one of the most unique breweries we have ever been to. Their small batch craft beers are full of flavor that will please a novice beer drinker, all the way to a beer aficionado.

12208623_722884584480358_7293690112647389671_n

Producer Mike Lunsford and his wife moved from Colorado to El Valle in 2015. Mike has been home brewing beer for over 15 years and he is now sharing his passion with expats here in Panama. Their home is gorgeous and the grounds are full and lush.  Of course the backdrop of El Valle makes for a pleasant afternoon of beer tasting and conversation. Visiting with Mike and Deb was part of the fun of visiting. They are great people, with their own fun story to tell about how they ended up in Panama.

Before you start your tasting Mike will show you his impressive brewing equipment and give you a little education on the process. The Red Frog Zensual Ale is the base for all the flavors that we tasted on our trip. He took this based and infused it with mango to produce Toucan’s Delight, and another batch that had a coconut infusion. The products that Mike imports to produce the beers are all natural organic ingredients, and they are making sure to leave a small carbon foot.

IMG_1144

This is a private artisenal brewery and non-profit project that accepts payment in the form of a donation. Mike and Deb support local causes with more than 25% of sales donated to the Spay and Neuter program of El Valle and the Green Team.

We are so happy that we stumbled on to their Facebook page! Mike and Deb are really great people, making an amazing product! Add this to your must-do list!

They are on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/Craters-Edge-Brewery-687065878062229/

Call ahead or message them for directions and to make sure they are open! It’s not hard to find, we included pics below to help you navigate!

IMG_1142
Todd enjoyed it so much he drank it all!
IMG_1140
Oh yes the goodness is in there!!
IMG_1139
Mike, Deb and Tiffany having a glass and enjoying the beautiful afternoon!

Continue reading El Valle’s Hidden Gem Crater’s Edge Brewery: Craft Brews With a View

So What’s Up with WhatsApp?

Before moving to Panama I had never heard of the popular app WhatsApp. We did our homework and learned that almost everyone with a smart phone here uses it! So I figured I would share a little about it, and what has made it become so wildly popular that they now claim over 600 million users worldwide!

WhatsApp Worldwide

Here’s a short list of reasons that contributed to its increasing usage since 2009 and facts about WhatsApp

  • All you need to sign up is your phone number
  • WhatsApp tapped into your contact list to display friends already using the app.
  • All you need for WhatsApp is an internet connection or WiFi
  • Free for a year and $0.99 a year for unlimited messages
  • MMS was rarely used due to its cost, WhatsApp made it affordable with its photo sharing feature
  • Cross platform compatibility (still includes Symbian!!) saw users in emerging marketing jump on the bandwagon

whatsapp-material_al whatsappscreen

WhatsApp got a lot things right in the beginning and its growth rate is reportedly faster than Facebook’s. With Mark Zuckerberg even saying “WhatsApp is on a path to connect 1 billion people.”

On February 20th, 2014 Facebook purchased WhatsApp for $19 Billion yes that’s a “B” billion dollars!

The thing is that it’s just insane the amount of money being tabled for a messaging app. And can Facebook recoup their investment in WhatsApp? The social media giant announced they will keep it independent, and with no advertisements scheduled to appear. Yet, the question of the day is: Where’s the money going to come from?

Continue reading So What’s Up with WhatsApp?

SO Why Panama? Playa Coronado Tops The Charts!

There were many deciding factors behind our move to Panama! Many of them including weather, monetary system, Spanish language, location,  beaches and others!

panama_map

Part of what lead to our final decision to move here was the decision by so many others over the last few years. Panama and the beaches area where we are located has become a huge hotspot for retirees and expats from American and Canada.

12294900_10207738670606408_8242086443118671923_n

In a 2013 article Yahoo Finance named Coronado Beach Panama as one of their top 5 World’s Best Beach cities for retirement.

Coronado, a fast-growing beachfront community about an hour outside Panama City, Panama, offers a high-quality beach lifestyle with all the amenities and services a retiree could want. Historically, this coastal town has been a top weekend getaway choice among residents of nearby Panama City. Over the past half-dozen years, Coronado has developed into a busy commercial center that makes for a turn-key retirement choice. It is evolving into a full-fledged retirement destination with an established population of full-time foreign residents supported by a developed infrastructure, including good medical facilities. Source :Yahoo Finance

12356921_10206911812768314_2135900479114003713_o

When deciding where to move or live make sure you do your research! Aside from actually traveling to Panama we did a TON of homework on our future home. Blogs, books, travel blogs, YouTube videos, Facebook, etc! We checked it all out, but I would recommend that you physically go to the place that you are considering moving to before you make the move! It might save you time, money and heartache!

-Tiffany

12356815_10206911812088297_3151393411537360761_o

coronado