Ocean Views, Tequila, and Cosmopolitan City Living in Panama

“My wife Lylia did not want to come to Panama and not have a view of the water…that was the whole point,” says Washington, D.C. native Nick Polit. “So we chose a building on the bay with a pool and exercise rooms. We have great views across the water all the way to the historic district of Casco Viejo. In the evenings, we enjoy the glittering city lights and the Cinta Costera public recreation areas.”

The Polits moved to Panama three years ago with their daughter, now 12. “She really likes her school, and getting her enrolled was easy,” says Nick. “In some countries, kids can’t enroll until their residence visa is all squared away. In Panama, you can enroll in school without being a resident. Combined with Panama’s booming economy and use of the U.S. dollar, the choice seemed obvious. Plus, it’s centrally located, making it easy to travel and see family back home. It just seemed like the natural choice.”

Nick recently opened a tequila lounge/restaurant in the Costa del Este neighborhood of Panama City—a new, ultra-modern area with wide, modern avenues lined with palm trees and gleaming towers. Hundreds of offices and big multinationals are located here, and the thriving restaurant scene touts all manner of international cuisine. With so many international businesses based in Costa del Este, Nick has a built-in lunch crowd.

“We are near all these offices…Procter & Gamble, Ralph Lauren, Adidas, Under Armour, Haliburton…” says Nick. “So we get a varied crowd, with plenty of Panamanians and foreigners.” The location is so good, his wife recently snapped up the space next door and turned it into a fun venue for children’s parties.

When they’re in need of a little R&R, the family piles into the car and heads to one of their favorite beaches. The beach town of Coronado is just an hour’s drive from Panama City but the family prefers a beach about a two-hour drive away. “We discovered Pipa’s Beach early on,” says Nick. “It has shaded parking areas, showers, bathrooms—everything we need. There’s a little restaurant and the servers will bring your order out to you on the beach.”

Overall, life is easy for Nick and his family. “It’s a compact city and easy to get around even with its traffic issues,” says Nick. “We don’t worry at all about safety here, as the security level is great. I don’t think many understand just what a hub this is. Everything is close. Travel is simple and, in my experience, there is no easier place to do business.”

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