Looking for property can be a lot of fun, we all know that. But I never knew quite how much fun it could be.
If you’d have told me 2 weeks ago that our search for the perfect little piece of Altos Del Maria based Panamanian paradise would have led to us sleeping in a glass-fronted, elevated chalet staring up at the stars whilst listening to the sounds of the adjacent river, I never would’ve believed you! Yet here we are.
Nestled high up on the mountain, tucked into the breathtakingly beautiful pine forest, lies Villa Hermosa. We quickly realized it’s called Villa Hermosa for a very good reason – it’s 110% beautiful.
I don’t just mean ‘Oh that’s a pretty little place’ kind of beautiful, I mean ‘Stop the car, this place is outstanding’ levels of beauty.
After winding slowly up the mountain from the beach district of Chame (and stopping for Chorizo’s at a fabulous Fonda restaurant on the way!) we arrived at the gates of Altos Del Maria.
Now everyone loves a gated community for safety, right? But I’ve not always been in love with them until I arrived at Altos. The community is so large, rustic, and wild that you’re living safely and exclusively without even noticing it.
It took us waaaay longer than it should have to reach our destination as we stopped constantly to check out the latest stream, view, forest walk, or brightly colored bird!
When we arrived at Villa Hermosa we were instantly greeted by Ray the most wonderful host imaginable. He couldn’t have done more for us whilst still giving us complete freedom and space. We were instant fans (and that’s before we tried his out-of-this-world breakfast – Holy Guacamole!!!! But I’ll come to that!).
Beautiful architecture isn’t always a ‘given’ in Panama where functionality and practicality often take first place, so finding this refuge for the eyes was just the tonic our souls needed.
Surrounded by a stunning river, gentle waterfall, craggy rocks, and imposing forest sit the most unusual houses we’ve seen in this new country of ours.
Were we in Europe? It was honestly hard to tell as we stared up at the prettiest glass-fronted chalet we’ve seen and the perfectly illuminated other buildings with their fancy-shaped curved roofs. We were in love.
After stepping inside on our little tour our heartbeats went into overdrive! The features took our breath away! Curved brick ceilings reminiscent of Italy adorned with Turkish lamps and some of the finest art imaginable made these homes galleries as much as a place to stay.
Perhaps I ought to start at the beginning – Mom likes the climate up in Altos and as the lovely American lady we met in a neighboring property said, “If you can’t find what you’re looking for here, you ain’t looking hard enough!”
We think she’s definitely right, and that’s where Catherine comes into it. We enlisted the help of Catherine from Panama Equity Real Estate with the simple mission – find mom a house!
After a couple of meetings with her, we quickly realized her knowledge of Altos Del Maria is second to none and we secretly dubbed her ‘Queen of the Mountain.”
Catherine had the most brilliant idea – stay at Villa Hermosa B&B and see what you really think of the area. What an outstanding suggestion that turned out to be! Now we’re getting to grips with this community and having the best possible time relaxing whilst we’re here!
Back to the Accommodation
After checking into our chalet up high, we quickly rushed to unpack our Felipe Motta bags and hit up the Gin and Tonics, complete with fresh limes from a stall on the way here!
We looked around and couldn’t believe how fortunate we were to be here. This magical destination was all ours for one fabulous night.
What a night it was too! The sheer joy of falling asleep under the stars was only bettered by waking to all the colors of a glorious sunrise, filtered through the form of the forest whilst the river gurgled on by. Absolute heaven.
I lay there asking myself what could possibly be better than this and then I found out – Holy Guacamole! That breakfast I mentioned!!
Coffee, fresh pineapple, the world’s greatest yogurt with lashings of Apple & Cinnamon compote were all awaiting our arrival before we tucked into the heartiest Mexican breakfast imaginable of eggs, mini Cheese toasts, and oh did I mention the GUACAMOLE!! What a game-changer!
We weren’t informed we’d be sharing the table with other guests so imagine our delight when a family of Hummingbirds came down to join us. They flapped away merrily just an arms distance away as if anything could make this stay any better!
We’re excited to continue our property search with Catherine but delighted to know we also have the perfect base to stay on the mountain. Fabulous accommodation that includes wonderful and attentive hosts, killer architecture, art, nature, and some seriously good eating!
We will be back and we hope to see you there too!