There are about 45 homes in this executive housing area. In it’s prime, lawns were meticulously manicured, lots and homes were considered large (and still are in comparison to typical Panamanian homes), ranging from 1200 to over 3000 square feet homes on lots that are 1/2 acre to 2 hectares. The homes here were engineered to withstand earthquakes, as they are not uncommon in this area, and they have held up for over 80 years already. They are built up on stilts to cool the homes and there are windows all around them to let the tropical breezes flow through. Made from a variety of local hardwoods, including teak.
The neighborhood was gated originally, and there is talk of possibly making it a gated community again one day. There was an active community organization, air-conditioned clubhouse, swimming pool, tennis court, bowling alley and even a nine-hole golf course!
Since Chiquita left Puerto Armuelles, the area has undergone some changes. The clubhouse and bowling alley have burned down and the golf course has been neglected and become overgrown with plants. The 1950’s aura can still be felt in Las Palmas and the current residents, about half expats and half higher wealth Panamanians, have carried on the tradition by restoring these houses and maintaining a beautiful neighborhood.
You can still see the tennis court behind the elementary school.
The swimming pool has been refurbished and opened for operation in December 2014. The pool is open to the public everyday 11am -3pm, for a fee of $3/adult and $2/child.
Las Palmas is a short walk into the hustle and bustle of downtown Puerto, although you would think it was far removed when you stroll around the quiet neighborhood.
If you have about an hour and a half to spare, take our self-guided tour of the neighborhood HERE>