Before our move to Colombia in December, we wanted to take one last beach road trip with the “kids” – and Susan’s birthday a couple of weeks ago gave us the perfect opportunity. We had our usual requirements: a dog-friendly place with a nice pool, easy beach access, good food, and an extra-large helping of tranquilo.
Our friends Sharna and Bryant had mentioned a place they’d visited on Playa Morillo, the Punta Duarte Garden Inn, so we decided to check it out. The Inn is about a 4.5-hour drive from Boquete and far down on the western side of the Azuero Peninsula at the end of a bumpy gravel road. Although it’s not terribly easy to get to, we’re so glad we made the trip.
The Inn met all of our requirements and offered us a perfect dog-friendly escape. Gaby, the owner, was a wonderful and caring host and went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable. On top of that, she’s an outstanding chef. For Susan’s birthday dinner, she treated us to one of her German specialties, pork with plum sauce and spaetzle. Her fresh ceviche was fantastic (this does need to be requested ahead of time), and her Cóktel de Casa is da bomb!
The resort itself is a bit on the rustic side and could use a bit of a facelift here and there. But the pool is great and the wonderful private beach is steps away. Rosie and Tango had the time of their lives exploring the beach and the volcanic rock formations at low tide. We drank in the lush, tropical surroundings, woke to birdsong, and went to sleep with the sound of crashing surf. We didn’t even miss the lack of hot water (see: rustic)!
Beautiful Panama, the dogs look so happy on the beach. Do you think you will miss Panama?
Thanks 🙂 Yes, there are many things we’ll miss about Panama. The easy access to the beach is a big one. And it is sooo scenic here, especially in the highland cloud forests – as you’re aware, from your time in Boquete. But we’re looking forward to new adventures in Colombia!
From reading your posts I’m sure you will love Medellin too. Have you met anyone from the bloggers group in Medellin? If not let me know and I can put you in touch with them.
That would be great! We know of a couple of Medellin blogs but didn’t know there was a group. Thanks!
That view from the inn is enough reason to visit this rather secluded place. I realized despite living in Indonesia I haven’t been to any beach in the country since November 2016. I’ve been drawn more into the ancient sites here, but I know a little vitamin sea will keep me sane.
Vitamin Sea is necessary for sanity! Sounds like you’re overdue for a dose, and we’ve heard about the beautiful beaches in Indonesia 🙂
It looks delightful. There are parts of Panama we miss as well, and easy access to the big water is one of them. Too bad the rest of the country leaves so much to be desired. It appears the ‘pooped pups’ had a grand time. BTW, your foto of the beach at sunset is now my screen saver, so thanks for that!
De nada, amiga! We’re enjoying the beach while we can.
Enjoying your blog but can you remind me why you made the move from Panama to Colombia? Another blog I follow has returned to US from Panama. I am reading a lot about Colombia recently but I was still leaning towards trying Panama. Thank you.
Thanks for reading! We have loved our time in Panamá. The short reason we’re moving is that we’re rolling stones and we’ve gotten the itch for a new adventure. We’re also drawn by the low cost of living and excellent, affordable healthcare in Colombia. Here’s our blog post about the move, which explains more:
Hi John & Susan, Hope this post is still alive. I’m planning my escape from Washington State, with my little black Persian buddy if possible. I plan to explore a bit and ultimately settle in for retirement. David seems like a great place to check out…as well as Columbia. How do you compare the health care for expats in Panama and Columbia (and Costa Rica if you know)? Great site you have here. Thanks
Hi! Sorry we’re just now responding to your comment. So – at a high level – here are our thoughts on Panamanian vs. Colombian healthcare (sorry, we don’t have any experience with CR). Health care is one of the reasons we recently moved to Medellín – Colombia has one of the highest-rated and most affordable healthcare systems in the Americas. Panama’s healthcare is good, but you really need some supplemental insurance or you’ll pay more out-of-pocket, and it seems to be getting more expensive all the time. Here are a few posts that might help clarify things with you:
Our posts on healthcare in Panama:
Our latest post, in which we briefly touch on the healthcare system in Colombia:
A really good post from Medellin Guru about health insurance in Colombia:
Hope this helps! Let us know if we can answer any more questions about the expat life.