Puerto Armuelles is next in line for explosive growth.
If you have experienced Panama over the last 8 to 10 years, I’m sure you have noticed how much it has changed.
Panama City has grown from a chaotic jumble of luxury high rises (some that met no sane building code requirements) into a beautiful coastal city.
My family and I used to consider a trip to Panama City a truly painful experience. At best a necessary evil to get extra pages in a passport or catch a flight.
Times have changed.
Now our whole family looks forward to luxuriating in Panama City for a few days. We still wouldn’t like to live there, but now we enjoy, instead of lament, our visits.
In some ways, the changes to David, the 2nd largest town in Panama, have been even more
dramatic. Whereas Panama City used to be a chaotic “jumble”, a big town struggling to become a city, David, as recently as eight years ago, was a sleepy place.
David was a cow town.
Its feed and fertilizer warehouses catered to the numerous cattle ranches in the surrounding hillside communities. Since then David has exploded in population, buildings, services, and ex-pat residency. In short, David has grown in every direction but up. Its limitation on going up is only because of its soil. For seismic safety, buildings in David cannot rise above 8 to 10 stories.
David For All Your Shopping Needs
Here in Puerto Armuelles, we consider David to be a “not too distant” place to do our major shopping trips. You can buy pretty much anything you want in David, which was not true even 4 years ago. But now you can buy anything from an Apple computer to a tea kettle in David. While you can buy all of life’s necessities in Puerto, for luxury items a trip to David is still needed. About once a month we load our two kids into the car to do a “Costco” style shopping trip at “Price Smart”, the Panamanian equivalent of a Costco. Of course, there are Panamanians, and expats, who think nothing of hopping in the car to drive to David every day, either to shop, or to conduct other business. If an hour and fifteen minutes in the car doesn’t bother you, David is that close, or that far.
Although Puerto Armuelles has steadily become more vibrant over the last 8 years, in the last 2 years the pace of its growth has skipped to a new, higher, level.
Highway Expansion & Growth
For the past year, construction crews have been working double shifts in an effort to complete the 2 lane expansion of the existing 2 lane highway connecting Puerto Armuelles to Paso Canoas at the InterAmericana Highway. (The InterAmericana runs the length of Central America, ending at Panama City)
Puerto Armuelles – A Beach Town Suburb of David
With four functional lanes for travel, the drive between Puerto Armuelles and David should drop to just under an hour. This would place Puerto Armuelles within the radius of being considered a “bedroom community” to David. This new proximity to David is at least part of the reason for the presence of a whole new wave of investors and residents, both Panamanian and expat, seen driving around the town’s various neighborhoods. Many are buying properties that are considered to be undervalued.
The truth is, by the standards of David, everything in Puerto Armuelles is undervalued.
To see Puerto’s values, browse our listings here.
Quality Beach House Construction
Currently there are at least 4 expat homes being constructed or remodeled on beach front lots in Puerto Armuelles. Though the local Panamanian builders here are still best known for low wages, and not for high quality, there are several builders, both Panamanian and expat, who consistently provide good quality at a reasonable price.
We even have one builder, Luis Miranda, who has a whole portfolio of homes he has built in Boquete’s famed Valle Escondido gated community. Luis is currently in Puerto Armuelles doing an extensive remodel of an existing waterfront home. The current expat community now includes those who can afford to build more luxurious homes than we have seen in the past.
Currently, the only decent hotel in Puerto is the expat-owned Tsunami Inn; located in the beach neighborhood of San Vicente. It is where most international visitors spend the night. Owners, Scott and Bob (not a gay couple) are super friendly, relaxed, and give a good impression of what a low stress tropical lifestyle is like. They have recently completed two new cabanas, bringing the total to six.
New Hotel Being Built
Meanwhile, just down the beach from the Tsunami Inn, expat entrepreneur Milton Hutto is also building a beachfront hotel. I not yet been able to speak with him, but it appears that he is remodeling an existing houses, as well as building a brand new section right at the edge of the beach. This project is also in the San Vicente neighborhood of Puerto.
Milton has alot of experience building in Panama, he is likely to create a successful new hotel. Both hotels, given the current surge in interest in Puerto Armuelles, will most likely be full for the entire high season of December through April.
Beach Front Lot Availability
While most of the beach front lots are in the hands of ex-pat end users, there are still a number of beach front lots for sale at investor prices (i.e., under $100/square meter).
Puerto Armuelles’ Property prices are excellent value.
Other places, such as
- la Barqueta, or even
were similarly valued, 8-15 years ago. You can find those same values today in Puerto Armuelles.
For those of us who long ago discovered Panama’s only true beach town of Puerto Armuelles, we can only wonder why it took everyone so long to find it.
You can see Puerto Armuelles’ land values for yourself, by visit these listings.