Ask any of the happy and healthy expats who have moved to Volcan, and they may tell you that they’ve found the mythical valley of Shangri-La.
That’s how they describe the fertile valleys surrounding the base of Volcan Baru in Panama’s Chiriqui Province. They say it’s a combination of year-around spring-like weather and fresh produce that keeps people here living happily and healthily well into their 80s and 90s. In a recent article, International Living editors named Volcan one of the top five healthiest places in the world to live.
U.S. expat Paul Votava moved to Panama and now runs Restaurante Polineth in Volcan, which serves Thai fare. It wasn’t hard for him to get local organic farms to grow chilies for his dishes, and he grows many herbs in his own organic garden.
Expat Patrick Greer owns the Lost and Found eco-lodge and says few places rival Volcan for green-highland scenery and low-cost living.
“We are surrounded by tranquility,” Greer says. His lodge is in a national park with dozens of hiking trails. His neighbors include an organic farmer who specializes in coffee and makes his own wine.
Low stress and wholesome food are two important keys to living a longer and healthier life. These and other factors combined to make Volcan and four other places the choices of International Living editors and contributors for the healthiest places on earth to live in 2010. In a recent article, International Living highlights these five locations and gives the reasons why so many expats are leaving the U.S. for a happier, healthier lifestyle abroad.