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Adventure Travelers and Savvy Investors Take Notice of Panama's Gulf of Chiriqui

CHICAGO, July 28, 2009 — Bordering Costa Rica on the Pacific Coast, Panama's Chiriqui Province is emerging as a popular tourist destination – especially the Gulf of Chiriqui, which contains a wide variety of adventure vacation opportunities. Long a favorite of sport fishermen and backpackers, this location is now being discovered by mainstream vacationers, sparking interest in resort developments of all kinds.

"I was immediately attracted to the abundance of occasions for authentic Panamanian experiences," says Ben Loomis, President of Amble Resorts, which is planning development of a luxury eco resort in Chiriqui: The Resort at Isla Palenque. "The opportunities for adventure activities combined with the Gulf's rare, unspoiled beauty are making this location the next hot spot in Panama real estate."

Loomis isn't alone in his praise. National Geographic Traveler, which describes the Gulf as "myriad emerald isles strewn like jewels in a sapphire sea," says the Gulf of Chiriqui National Marine Park "contains most everything a visitor to Panama could expect to see." Insiders laud it for its boating, surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, and sport fishing opportunities. In fact, the region has built a solid reputation as a world-class sport fishing destination, especially for black marlin. Its many islands offer an array of terrestrial adventures as well – from beach hopping, to hiking, to world-class bird watching.

"I'm investing here, because as a hotel broker, my professional opinion is that there's just no way this destination can miss," says Jeff Rake, broker with Marcus & Millichap and investor in the well-regarded boutique eco resort Cala Mia. "Already a popular haven for sport fishermen, it is also being discovered by nature enthusiasts, scuba divers, surfers, honeymooners and soft-adventure seekers from all over the world. Word is traveling fast."

And other development projects are in the works, such as Playa Grande, a resort development that plans to include an 18-hole Jack Nicklaus Signature golf course.

The Gulf of Chiriqui is also home to Coiba National Marine Park, the largest marine park in Central America. Not only does it boast the second largest coral reef in the Pacific Ocean and some of the best diving in Panama, but scientists from the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute proclaimed Coiba an unparalleled destination for discovering new species. "While snorkeling around a tropical island that's [so close to] the United States, half the animals you see are unknown to science," says Smithsonian project coordinator Rachel Collin. From the wonders of Coiba to the adventure-focused island resorts such as Isla Palenque, nature-loving tourists are quickly discovering exciting vacations in Panama's Gulf of Chiriqui.

Isla Palenque:

About Isla Palenque

Amble Resorts' new Panama real estate project, The Resort at Isla Palenque, will be a secluded and sustainable resort community with a unique boutique hotel, ingeniously designed residences, and sumptuous amenities. For more information about Amble Resorts or their new island resort, Isla Palenque, visit

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