This Is Los Islotes
Los Islotes, on the western Pacific coast of Panama's Azuero Peninsula, is 425 acres along the Pacific Ocean with two separate beaches. One stretches for 9 kilometers to the south, allowing for long, uninterrupted walks on the sand, while the other is in a secluded cove where the waters of the Pacific are calmed and warm – perfect for swimming.
Just off the shore of Los Islotes are three small islands from which the property takes its name. Beyond them each evening is a stunning view of the sunset. As the only developed stretch of Panama's coast that faces west, this coast is the only place in Panama where you can watch the sun set over the water.
This is a natural paradise, a region of Panama that boasts some of the best deep-sea fishing in the world, plus surfing, snorkeling, and scuba diving. Around nearby Coiba National Park lies one of the largest coral reefs on the Pacific side of the Americas.
Up and down the hillsides behind the ocean and alongside the town, we’re building custom houses positioned to take advantage of the ocean views and to showcase the best of classic Mediterranean design. From above, the community will be a sea of red clay-tiled roofs; up close, a testament to the skill of our craftsmen.
Attention to detail is paramount: gates of thick wood carved by hand, ornate iron railings, windows with deep sills and shutters, oversized wooden doors adorned with heavy iron hardware
Interior design will feature high ceilings and elaborate molding, pocket doors and caned archways, polished stone countertops and colorful hand-painted tiles laid out in traditional pattern. Outside views will face white-stone terraces surrounding infinity pools seeming to flow into that beautiful ocean just beyond.
Some areas of the property will be given over to individual homes, others to low-rise condos and townhouses.
Planned community amenities include a gatehouse, a beach club, three pools, an equestrian center, tennis courts that will double as basketball courts, a fitness center, parks, hiking trails, riding trails – even an area for petanque.
The plan calls for underground utilities, central wastewater treatment, high-speed Internet, and all the other amenities important to top-tier 21st-century living. Los Islotes will be the preeminent private residential community, not only on this coast, but in all of Panama. Nothing else in the country compares.
For Lief Simon and Kathleen Peddicord, Los Islotes is a family legacy project. The couple has identified one of the world’s most beautiful stretches of coastline, the best Mother Nature serves up anywhere. Over these rolling hills, they’re creating a community for themselves, their family, their friends, and other like-minded folks who appreciate what this special corner of Panama has to offer. The vision for Los Islotes is not simply development, but a private community that will carry on for generations to come.
Centuries ago, early explorers to Panama’s shores brought with them their Spanish culture and heritage. Panama today is a melting pot of people from all over the world, a land of promise and opportunity where the past is respected and the future is bright.
Welcome To The Azuero Sunset Coast
Los Islotes is a private, gated, residential community on the west coast of the Azuero Peninsula in Panama’s Veraguas Province: the Azuero Sunset Coast. It is one of the most dramatically beautiful stretches of coastline anywhere on earth.
The Azuero Sunset Coast runs from Mariato to the southern tip of the peninsula. Here, the oceanfront land is unique in all of Panama. The gently sloping hills offer ocean views at every turn, including, in some spots, 240-degree views of the Pacific Ocean. This is also the only easily accessible coastline in Panama that is western facing, meaning direct views of the spectacular sunsets.
This beautiful region is also notable for its wildlife. Los Islotes is visited by howler monkeys and populated with rabbits, iguanas, and armadillos. In the beach area are small crabs and snails; on the beach, directly in front of the property, are turtle nesting sites. Pelicans are common offshore, as are whales and dolphins.
Isla Coiba National Park
Nearby Isla Coiba, a national park that was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2005, is a 500 square kilometer island surrounded by one of the largest coral reefs on the Pacific coast of the Americas, with a globally unique ecosystem comparable to that of the Galapagos.
Coiba previously housed an abandoned penal colony. As a result, most of the islands’ natural resources have survived untouched over the centuries. Now, Coiba is one of the few places in Panama where jaguars and ocelots roam free, as well as one of the last places in Central America where the scarlet macaw can be found in the wild. It’s also home to endemic subspecies like the Coiba Island howler monkey, the Coiba agouti, and the Coiba spinetail.
Coiba Island is about 75% forested with a large percentage standing as ancient forest. Certain rare plant species can only be found here, alongside tree species that have long disappeared from the mainland due to deforestation.The maritime park surrounding the islands is also of international repute. The Indo-Pacific current through the Gulf of Chiriqui provides a unique dive environment, and the warm current brings with it humpback whales, sharks, whale sharks, and orcas.
Cerro Hoya National Park
At the south end of the Veraguas side of the Azuero Peninsula, less than 30 minutes from Los Islotes, is the 33,000-hectare Cerro Hoya National Park. The diversity offered in Cerro Hoya is partly a result of the climate, which varies significantly as the topography drops from 1,559 meters to sea level. The park is a world-class destination for horseback riding, hiking, and bird watching. It also is home to some 30 unique plant species and the sources of the Tonosi, the Portobelo, and the Pavo, three rivers that create spectacular seasonal waterfalls.
More than 95 species of birds have been recorded at Cerro Hoya, including the threatened scarlet macaw, great green macaws, king vultures, keel-billed toucans, ospreys, and mangrove black hawks. Hiking Cerro Hoya, you’re also likely to see white-tailed deer, white-face monkeys, howler monkeys, pacas, agoutis, ocelots, and jaguars.
Isla Cañas National Park and Reserve
A thin island running parallel to the southernmost edge of the Azuero peninsula, Isla Cañas is a gorgeous golden beach that serves as sea-turtle nesting grounds in September and October. Thousands of sea turtles arrive each year to lay eggs on this island wildlife reserve. Four of the eight known turtle species in Panama nest here.
The waters around Coiba Island and nearby Hannibal Bank are legendary for their fishing. The large populations and tremendous variety of fish, including cubera snapper, rooster fish, black marlin, and yellow fin tuna, make fishing these reefs and banks a year-round delight.
Within sight of Isla Coiba, skilled fishers regularly land marlin, tuna, sailfish, and wahoo. The nearby mangroves and surrounding smooth waters also make for world-class fly fishing for large snapper, snook, and jacks.Just a few miles farther west, the cliff soars from thousands of feet below the ocean surface to plateau within 120 feet to create the famed Hannibal Bank. This area offers one of the most productive oceanic fish habitats in the world. Marlin exceeding 1,000 pounds and clouds of 300-pound tuna are found here regularly. Just around the corner of the peninsula from Los Islotes is the very aptly named Tuna Coast, where similar catches can be made.
World Class Surfing
Panama boasts some of the world’s best surf breaks, and two of this country’s best surfing locations are close to Los Islotes. Across the bay is Santa Catalina, which has hosted the World Master Championship of the International Surfing Association, and around the corner is Playa Venao, which regularly hosts international competitions. Just up the coast from Los Islotes is Morrillo Beach, an emerging favorite among surfers, and the break off Los Islotes’ own beach is rapidly gaining recognition among the world’s top surfers.
Sharks, Dolphins, and Whales
The scuba diving around Coiba ranks among the best in the world, with shark encounters a huge incentive to get into the water. Hammerheads and tiger sharks may be sighted with relative frequency, but the real star is the massive whale shark. Weighing in at up to 21 tons and measuring as long as 30 feet, the whale shark is the largest fish in the ocean, and swimming with one is a real possibility in the waters offshore Coiba National Park.
The waters of the national maritime park also feature a multitude of tropical fish, swimming alongside dolphins, whales, turtles and rays. The coral is healthy and colorful, and the water offers superior visibility in order to view all the natural wonders.
For those who prefer to keep their feet on dry land while enjoying the marine life, whale and dolphin watching is very popular within the bay directly in front of Los Islotes.
Bird Lovers’ Wonderland
Bird watching is another of the popular activities luring visitors to the Azuero Sunset Coast. In addition to the unique opportunities offered by Coiba and Cerro Hoya, the mountains of Veraguas, including those within the Los Islotes community, are visited by a wide variety of migrating birds. Visitors may encounter parakeets, parrots, toucans, doves, and a range of small, colorful tropical birds.
Panama’s Safe Haven
Los Islotes enjoys a uniquely and dramatically beautiful situation on Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast. Moreover, Los Islotes is in Panama, one of the safest havens imaginable in today’s world. This is a peaceful, stable, welcoming country that is prospering and growing, tumult and uncertainty in the rest of the world notwithstanding. With its pro-business, pro-investor focus, Panama continues to make significant investment in infrastructure and real progress in pursuit of developed world status.
With its many different visa options, including one of the world’s premier retiree visa programs and also one of the world’s only residency programs that can lead to a work permit, Panama is a destination of choice among North Americans and Europeans of all ages looking for second homes, retirement, reinvention, and safe haven for themselves, their families, and their financial futures.
The developers selected the Veraguas region of Panama after an extensive search because they recognized it as the next area of promise in the country. Over the past 15 years, certain regions of Panama have enjoyed a surge in interest and opportunity. The developers have tracked these trends and have targeted the Azuero Sunset Coast as the next hot spot.
Panama By The Numbers
Panama is a small, strategically positioned country. Its location has allowed it to develop as an international business and logistics hub. The Panama Canal witnessed the transit of 12,036 ships in 2015, amounting to US$1.8 billion in fees. The Colon Free Zone is the second largest duty-free zone in the world, with an average of US$26,626 billion in goods transactions over the last five years. The banking industry boasts more than 70 banks, including 27 banks with international licenses.
While Panama is mostly a services-based economy, it also exports more than US$12.8 billion in goods each year. Inflation has been historically low in Panama; the rate averaged 4.10% from 2008 to 2016.
A vibrant and stable local economy is important to anyone considering a property investment. Panama has shown itself to be one of the most stable countries, both economically and politically, in Latin America.
Our Place In The Community
We at Los Islotes understand that the community we’re building is part of a larger community, and that our presence in this rural region of Panama is, in fact, reinventing the existing local community in important ways.
Los Islotes is the largest development undertaking along the Azuero Sunset Coast and is committed to following through on our vision in a socially and environmentally responsible manner. Our objective is to enhance what exists here already, never to detract from it. Los Islotes is currently the largest employer in the region, creating hundreds of jobs in an area where employment opportunities are otherwise limited.
We are also working hard to be good neighbors in order to give back to the local community that has welcomed us so warmly. To this end, Los Islotes has partnered with a local Panamanian landowner to undertake the development of a student center. We are building a centrally located facility that will serve as a place where students in the area can meet after school each afternoon for tutoring, English-language lessons, and computer training. Los Islotes is staffing the center, which features a library and a computer lab, with trained teachers from the United States while providing materials and supplies for the students. As Los Islotes grows, so, too, will our student center. Our long-term goal is a fully fledged school.
Phases Of Development
Los Islotes is a fully master-planned beachfront community being developed over a series of “village” areas. Each village area has its own look and feel while conforming to the style and vision of Los Islotes as a whole. In some cases, village areas have local amenities in addition to the central amenities made available to all owners.
The look and feel of each village is subtly distinct from each of the others, whether in the textures and colors of the paving, the landscaping, or the lighting. Some villages have squares and parks, gardens and monuments, cobblestoned courtyards and shaded plazas, all designed to accentuate the natural beauty of each setting while also contributing to the Old World feel and genteel elegance of the community overall.
Mango Village is a village area situated among towering 100-year-old mango trees that lend shade as well as their name to the community. This charming Los Islotes neighborhood is traversed by a creek and flanked by nature on three sides. Mango Village owners will have a clubhouse and pool as part of their private neighborhood, plus a central park area defined by the massive mango trees and direct access to the estuary where you can launch kayaks and small boats.
Mango Village offers very affordable lots for owners who opt to construct their own homes. Currently under construction in Mango Village are low-rise condos and two models of turnkey two-bedroom, two-bath "casas.” These Mango Village casas and condos, like everything on the property, reflect the overall Los Islotes vision. They've been designed in the Spanish Colonial style and feature archways, clay barrel-tiled roofs, and small courtyards.
The Mango Village Casas and condos are ideal for full-time living or part-time second homes and also make great rentals.
The Toucan Forest village area is perfect for anyone seeking privacy within a gated community at a very affordable cost. Most of the lots in Toucan Forest are heavily wooded, lending the area a jungle atmosphere, but are only steps away from a full range of amenities and just a few minutes from the beach. The Toucan Forest village area of boasts a wide variety of fruit trees, including cashew and passion fruit. These attract an abundance of exotic wildlife, including howler monkeys and toucans.
Toucan Forest is an ideal Los Islotes opportunity for buyers on a limited budget who still want to be part of a fully master-planned beachfront community with extensive amenities and services and private beach access.
Tiburones Estates is one of the most exclusive areas in all Los Islotes. This private enclave enjoys privileged ocean views from many vantage points. Lots in Tiburones Estates are ideal for private custom homes of value.
Turnkey Ocean-View Casas
Turnkey Casas are available on select ocean-view lots. If you’re interested in owning an ocean-view property at Los Islotes but not up for building your own custom home, a turnkey Casa can be the ideal option.
Los Islotes will launch its first ocean-view condos by the end of 2016.
Town Centre Apartments, Lofts, And Townhouses
The Los Islotes community features a Town Centre that combines public spaces, shops, and residences. The setting is reminiscent of the Old World, a place where residents can meet and linger, walk, shop, dine, and enjoy each other’s company.
Town Centre residences will include apartments, lofts, and townhouses. Private villas will encircle the perimeter of the Town Centre.
Los Islotes will begin offering Town Centre residences starting in 2017.
Select lots along Avenida Los Islotes are available for investment in commercial undertakings. This is a great opportunity to start a small business to support the growing Los Islotes community, from a restaurant or café to a tienda or water sports equipment rental shop.
Potential Return On Investment
Panama’s Azuero Sunset Coast is attracting increased attention, including from Panama’s President Juan Carlos Varela, his Minister of Tourism, and his administration in general. The result is a focused investment of government funds and resources in improving infrastructure and developing tourism in the area.
For the past 15 years, the path of progress along Panama’s Pacific coast has drawn tourists, retirees, second home owners, and investors steadily westward. Now, with the full support of the Panamanian government, all these folks are discovering the western coast of the country’s Azuero Peninsula.
This is very good news for our Los Islotes community. We are benefitting in practical ways, e.g. improved property access, and in the form of appreciating property values.
Furthermore, compare Los Islotes with private communities along California’s Pacific coast, where prices are many times greater, as are property taxes and all other associated costs of ownership.
Rental Cash Flow
The demand for quality rentals is expanding rapidly on the Azuero Sunset Coast, especially in the targeted region around Los Islotes. A home or condo in the Los Islotes community would make an ideal and a sought-after rental property.
Rentals yields in Panama average 5% to 9% net on average.
The Development Team
Los Islotes is the vision of Lief Simon and Kathleen Peddicord.
Lief Simon has been living and investing overseas for more than 20 years. Kathleen Peddicord, the founder and publisher of the Live and Invest Overseas group, has more than three decades of experience scouting and investing in property markets around the world. The couple has been doing business in Panama since 2000, and they and their family have been living in Panama City full time since 2008.
Lief and Kathleen know Panama well, and they, like so many, are more bullish on all this country has to offer today than ever. The many benefits of being based in Panama include currency, business, and tax advantages the likes of which are harder and harder to find in our world.
Lief and Kathleen know Panama, and they also know international real estate. The couple has bought, sold, managed, developed, and profited from property investments in 24 countries.
To help make their vision for Los Islotes a reality, Lief and Kathleen have enlisted the help of professional designers, architects, and builders with long experience developing the kind of product being created at Los Islotes.
Master Planning: LandDesign, Charlotte, North Carolina
The land-planning professionals at LandDesign are driven by a simple question: Why just make something when you can create something that matters?
From national landmarks to decades-long master plans and community playgrounds, the pros at LandDesign create places that bring people together; places where people work, live, and play; places that people love.
Founded in 1978, LandDesign is a collaborative group of landscape architects, civil engineers, planners, and urban designers who approach projects with unique expertise and diverse perspectives but with the shared goal of making places that matter. This is the context that LandDesign brings to Los Islotes.
Our partners at LandDesign are passionate about every aspect and every detail of their work, from grading and drainage to locally manufactured tiles and native plants. We dig deep into the details, but we are not in the weeds.
We and LandDesign see the horizon for what it is—opportunity.
Environmental Impact Consulting: Ingemar, Panama City, Panama
Since 1994, Ingemar has been recognized as a top environmental planning and impact consultant in Panama and has worked with some of the biggest and most respected development projects in the country.
Architectural Planning And Design: Arosemena & Soundy, Casco Viejo, Panama
Arosemena & Soundy is a Casco Viejo-based architectural design firm of passionate professionals with a broad array of experience from New York, Chicago, and London to Guatemala, Brazil, Costa Rica, and Panama.
The architectural design professionals at Arosemena & Soundy believe that good architecture is timeless, not a passing fashion. Their work is driven by a commitment to beauty, propriety, and permanence.
The group is bringing this perspective to Los Islotes, using locally available materials to create buildings that will exist harmoniously, naturally, and enduringly with their extraordinarily beautiful natural surroundings.
The aim is an entire community conceived in the classic Spanish Colonial style that will live on for generations.
Construction: Alfa Company, Guanacaste, Costa Rica
Alfa Company is a full-service construction, design, and development group with a decade of experience building custom homes of value on the northern Pacific coast of Costa Rica.
The professionals at Alfa Company understand the importance of attention to detail in creating the caliber of homes, townhomes, and condos called for at Los Islotes.
Engineering: F.G. Guardia, Panama City, Panama
F.G. Guardia is an engineering and architectural design company with more than three decades of experience designing integrated engineering solutions for projects across Panama.
F.G. Guardia specializes in several sectors—infrastructure, water, transportation, inspection, and the environment and is at the forefront of wet infrastructure in Panama, having been responsible for several important local projects, from complex water distribution and sewage systems to water treatment plants and the conservation, maximization and protection of water resources.
Landscape Design: Carson-Magness Landscaping, Pasadena, California
Carson-Magness Landscapes is an award-winning California-based landscape design group that blends artistry and ecology to bring art and elegance to every project they undertake. This is a full-service landscape design, installation, and maintenance group with more than 20 years of experience bringing their passion for art and the environment to bear transforming communities and private homes into Edens of delight, serenity, and escape.