Don Wormack:  Altos del Maria

VIEW LISTINGS IN THIS AREA: Altos del Maria is a gated mountain community with a great deal of diversity:  diversity of nationalities, politics, and age spread.  There are twenty-somethings and eighty-somethings and every age in-between.  There are younger retirees, as well as some individuals who are still working, either from home offices or traveling to other countries for contracts in various businesses.

Without an exact census at this moment, it is probably safe to say that that are many residents in their 40’s, but the majority are in their 50’s and 60’s.  However, some of the oldest among the entire population here are the very active.  Many residents you will get to know say age is just a “stupid number”.  What a great spirit!

For example, a couple in their 80’s teach dance, anything from classic to line dancing.   There are whole groups who hike up Mount Picacho each year and walk the many senderos (trails) daily.  There's a tennis court and an active birdwatching group.  Many enjoy the scenery from horseback.  Something for everyone and not a chance to get bored!  You can be as social or as reclusive as you want.

Even with this diversity there is a great sense of community.  Thanksgiving and Christmas bring the residents together for meals and parties and there is a huge BBQ for every Independence Day.  And this doesn’t even count the many important Panamanian holidays where expats are often included in Panamanian celebrations. 
This community is also known for its active support of various charitable causes.  Not only is there involvement in activities with the groups, such as Spay
the Strays, New Mom’s and others, but fundraising is provided through hosting of dances, craft fairs, and pancake breakfasts.  With this much going on, it is
easy to make friends that will be close for a lifetime.

One trip to Altos del Maria and another form of diversity will hit you in the face:  the terrain.  You will see mountains, valleys, quiet and rushing water in rivers,
streams, and waterfalls.  In another direction, the Pacific Ocean grabs your eye.  In the highest locations, you can see both the Pacific and the Atlantic
Oceans.  Whow!

There is diversity in altitude here.  The highest point is about 3600 feet (1097 meters) above sea level, the lowest altitude is approximately 1400 feet (427

One thing that doesn’t have a lot of diversity is the weather in this area.  It is most often spring here, with an average temperature of 75 degrees F.  In higher
altitudes, you may see fireplaces in the mountain homes for an occasional cool evening.

Often referred to as the Mountain Garden of Panama, there is lush vegetation tended to by daily crews of gardeners.  This is an area of rich volcanic soil;
reforestation projects were completed before the turn of this century.  Homeowners can enjoy gardening as a hobby or hire local gardeners for a fair price. 
Many homes have a huge inventory of fruit and vegetable plants on the property.  Just the right amount of sun and rain make even the worst gardener a

With miles and miles of paved roads, driving becomes a pleasure.  There are approximately 11 miles of nature trails to hike. 

Altos del Maria is only 90 minutes from cosmopolitan Panama City and just 30 minutes from some of the Gold Coast beaches. Every town from Punta
Chame to Rio Mar has one or many restaurants. Check out DESTINATIONS above especially for close-by Coronado, Gorgona, Punta Chame, and points
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