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Volcán, Panama

Entering Volcán, certain adjectives come to mind: unassuming, peaceful, cool (as in “not hot”), welcoming… At this point you’ll have climbed 1,400 meters above sea level. Opening your car window, your senses will be assaulted and invigorated by the crisp, clean air.

Volcán sits on an ancient lava flow from Volcán Barú—the highest point in Panama at 3,475 meters.

Today, Volcán is a farming community and boasts some of the most fertile farmland in the country. This area provides at least 75% of the fruits, vegetables, meat, and milk for the country. Coffee plantations also play a major role in this area… Volcán’s soil, temperature, and high elevation provide the perfect conditions to make this crop a winner.

The infrastructure is excellent: uninterrupted electricity, potable tap water, and internet and cable are all readily available and reasonably priced.

If you crave the quiet life, whether for retirement, to raise a family, or to start a small business, Volcán will definitely fit the bill.

$ 14.95

Not all roads lead to Volcán… but two quite different roads arrive here.

One begins at the Boquete-David highway, a route offering some of the most stunning views in all of Panama. After a little over an hour of jaw-dropping, neck-craning scenery, you arrive in Volcán. The other, less vertical route follows the Pan-American Highway from David to La Concepción. It’s excellent road, so travel is much faster—a mere 40 minutes from David.

Eco-tourism is gaining popularity in Volcán and nearby towns such as Cerro Punta. The local climate, flora, and fauna (some of which are endangered) are of great interest to scientists and laymen alike.

The specialty of both Volcán and nearby Cerro Punta, though, are sweet and juicy strawberries. People travel for miles just for a bowl of fresh strawberries and cream, a dish widely available from restaurants and roadside fondas. The flavor is heavenly—like the nectar of the gods.

Volcán is a dream come true for nature lovers. For hikers there are two virtually untamed parks: Volcán Barú National Park and La Amistad Park, both with trails through the jungle. Or hike to the top of Volcán Barú on a clear day and gaze at both the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea.

The easy access to larger centers, good infrastructure, magnificent scenery, adequate services, cool weather, thriving expat community, low prices, and welcoming locals make Volcán a great place to live.

Fresh, wholesome foods and a low stress level are the icing on the cake.