Valle Escondido in Boquete

Valle Escondido (Hidden Valley) is a very upscale, gated community in Boquete. It is indeed escondido though. I’ve been to Boquete quite a few times but had never seen it. Joel’s friend and drummer lives there at his parents’ house, so Joel has been there and knows how to find it. Yesterday we decided a field trip was in order so went out exploring.

The drive there, actually driving anywhere in the area is a pleasure since it is such a beautiful area.

Valle Escondido has a resort and their website is here. According to the website there are rooms, suites, and bungalows, and the resort looks very health oriented with yoga, swimming, a spa, golf, tennis, and a restaurant serving locally grown organic food. Check the website for details.

Beyond the resort and condos, and past another gate is a very upscale housing area.

I was really interesting to see this area since I’d heard about it for quite a while. I know there is more to see also. There is an amphitheater somewhere also that had a lot of the performances for the Blues and Jazz Festival that took place last year.

I almost felt like I was in a upscale part of Naples, Florida. In a way it seemed odd to me. If someone wants to be surrounded with beautiful, huge homes and perfectly tended and manicured landscaping, Panama is not the place. How do these people feel when they leave the neighborhood and land in town? Does it make them crazy? Streets have pot holes, sidewalks are often broken or nonexistent, people park anywhere on crowded streets, weeds grow, and trash isn’t always picked up. Panama is a lot of wonderful things but perfectly clean and manicured isn’t one of them.

I’m glad I got to see the area though and an added, unexpected bonus – when we drove by the home of Joel’s friend and drummer his wife was outside. Of course we had to stop and say hi, so we were invited in and we had a great time hanging out and talking with them. And, she had been outside talking with the couple who own the Cacoa Cafe that I just posted about, and that is how we learned about the restaurant.

We left as the sun was getting lower in the sky, and the mist was moving in.

Sometimes when you set out on an adventure, you have no idea what a great day is ahead of you. We definitely have to get out more and have more adventures.

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About Kris Cunningham

We live in David, Chiriqui Provence, Republic of Panama! This blog is about some of our experiences in our new country.
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24 Responses to Valle Escondido in Boquete

  1. Marilyn Chadwick says:

    Thank you, Kris – what an awesome post, and such gorgeous pics. Makes me really yearn to see those Chiriqui mountains! Keep up the great work! 🙂

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  2. Yolande Scotland says:

    Thanks. I saved the pictures to watch when I want to “escape”

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  3. bevcavera says:

    thank you, we are really looking at visiting the area around David. Your posts are very informative.

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  4. The fact that Valle Escondido exists gives me a strange sense of unease – particularly so when I think (correct me if I’m wrong) that it’s populated solely by expats.

    India has long had a noticeable gulf between the rich and the poor – but the mansions there belong to well to do Indian families, who’ve been members of the upper class for generations (of course there are the nouveau riche there too – also Indians). People are accustomed to that.

    Visions of disaffected hoards of peasants with pitchforks and burning torches flit through my mind more readily when I think of places in Panama such as Valle Escondido.

    Of course there are very rich Panamanian families (who, it is said, really run – and own the country) – but its people are likely used to that situation and in my mind therefore less likely to feel inclined to revolt against their own countrymen.

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    • I don’t know for sure, but Panamanians I have talked to say it’s all gringos. I haven’t gotten any sense of revolt or resentment though. Yes, there are rich Panamanian families too. Our neighborhood is just above where most of them live but it’s just a part of town, not a separate community behind a gate. What strikes me as odd is that it’s so different from the usual Panama, like they chose to come to Panama but they want their surroundings to look nothing like Panama.

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      • – and that last part you describe puts my finger squarely on bothers me even more about that place.

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        • Perhaps no revolt or resentment, but scorn I’m almost sure of.

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          • I don’t know. People I know don’t seem to be class and money conscious. You are judged way more on who you are, not what you have. But, if you keep to your own world they locals have nothing but the appearance on which to form an opinion since they can’t know who you are. But, I’m generalizing because I don’t know anyone there except the couple we visited, and the wife in Panamanian (and they are on a kind of long term house sitting gig)

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      • Robert&Helen says:

        Do in Rome like the Romans do. As a European I have seen, working almost 14 years in Spain, Germans, Dutch and British retired people forming there own groups and neighbourhoods along the mediterranean coast. Speaking just a few sentences of Spanish. Not our style.

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        • I can see being more comfortable with people who share your language and culture, but it’s a shame to miss out on what you can experience with your new country, culture, and people.

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  5. Nancy says:

    We have been to Panama twice now in the last year. We visited Boquete twice on our first visit and have no desire to go back. We were in the mountains in Veraguas province our second visit recently. Much more “Panamanian”. Gated communities should not be in Panama. If you want to move to Panama, learn about their culture, learn Spanish and leave your rich-man ways where you came from or stay home.

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  6. Sunni Morris says:

    Adventure is always good.

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    • It’s interesting how different people can be. I worked some in a specialty clinic. There was a gal who had worked in that clinic since it opened – 18 years. I worked full time for maybe 3 weeks – every day going to the same place, doing the same kind of care for the same kind of patient, the same paperwork, the same doctors, and I started to lose my mind! Some of us like things predictable and others like adventure and new things.

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      • Marilyn Chadwick says:

        Right there with ya, Kris – the thought of doing the same thing in the same place at the same time for years on end makes me suicidal! 😉

        Liked by 1 person

  7. jim and nena says:

    Hola Kris,
    VE always reminds me of the bus trip from the base where I was stationed in the canal zone into Panama City. The canal zone was maintained as Anytown, USA for the US citizens running the canal. In order to keep Americans there, the US created bowling alleys, golf courses, movie theaters, and baseball teams. Just across the line from Balboa in Panama City were the slums and ghettos of the poor.

    VE is not as nice as the zone and the prices are certainly higher; Boquete is not the slums but the people are hard workers making enough to get by. Strangely enough, the Boquetanos usually seem happier than their neighbors enclosed in their gringo enclave? It also puzzles me why there are always numerous listings of houses for sale or rent. And not new places but 2nd or 3rd hand properties in paradise. Nena’s mom lived in the same house for 70 years, raised 9 kids and 4 grand kids and was the most contented person I have ever known (Nena runs a close 2nd).

    I am beginning to think that money may not be the answer? Ya noe? 🙂
    jim

    http://www.casasolution.com/residential-developments/photos-valle-escondido-premier-gated-community-in-boquete-panama/

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  8. Thanks for the link

    The canal zone is still very nice, though I didn’t see it when it was a US thing. I remember reading about how it was a US city transplanted to Panama for the canal workers.

    The failure rate for expats is said to be very high, like 50%. I don’t know any of them personally except a couple who returned for medical reasons. Maybe life here isn’t what they expected, they read too many ads, it’s too far out of their comfort zone, too frustrating, who knows but it’s too bad. What emotional and financial cost. Yes indeed money is not the answer! What I see here are a lot of happy Panamanians. I have asked some what they consider important and every one answered – family, friends, enjoying life.

    I had an experience some time ago that had a big effect on me. I talked with Javier a lot on a subsequent visit and he said that yes indeed, he is the happiest living in that place in the jungle. He has a house in town but he only goes long enough to do laundry and check in with family, and then he wants to come back to the jungle. https://blog.thepanamaadventure.com/2013/12/13/living-simply/

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