Life in the Mountains of Panama – What is Time?

Panama’s Mountain Lifestyle

As I type, I hear the crickets and the occasional gecko. The sun sets early in the tropics at winter time, so if I look outside, it’s pitch black. I’m writing from Altos del Maria, a small community nestled in the mountains of Panama. It’s a 30-minute drive from the main highway that crosses the country. In about 40 minutes, you can get to the Pacific beaches.

Many Panamanians have country houses in Altos, as do expats. But the forest is so dense in places, you can hardly see more than  rooftops blending in with local vegetation. And if you move away from the main road that zigzags up the mountain, you’ll find tortuous paths leading to waterfalls and lookouts. Living in the mountains of Panama could not be further removed from the high energy cities I’m used to, notably Berlin and NYC.

Three Weeks in the Mountains of Panama

I’m so fortunate to be able to escape the “cold” Berlin winter and spend some time in Central America. My parents bought a property here, which they are turning into an inn. Technically, I’m their first guest. I’ve been here two weeks now, and I’m sort of adapting to what I call tropical time. In other words, time has a difference pace here, and a different meaning. There isn’t the same sense of urgency or stress of city life. And how could there be, when the electricity could go out at any time? (Once we went without it for close to 24 hours, and you can imagine what that did to me, the Instagram junkie).

So days tend to involve coffee, long breakfasts on the terrace overlooking the rainforest and peaks, followed by waterfall swims or reading in the hammock. And learning – or training myself- not to worry about the mundane. About whether or not emails will come in or if I will hear back about new freelancing projects, for example.

And of course, I’m taking tons of pictures! For a better look at Altos del Maria and life in the mountains of Panama, check out some shots below:

mountains of panama

12 comments Add yours
  1. Congrats! This is a great start to your new blog..
    Unfortunately, I think Panama will not be in the books for me any time soon, but Amsterdam for sure.

  2. I spent some time in the mountains of Costa Rica rafting and staying in eco lodges. It was DIVINE! So beautiful! I’d imagine Panama is quite similar.

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