I just wanted to give you a quick boots on the ground update from Panama City, Panama. My business partner and I, Steve, have been in Panama City for the past couple of days on our way to Bocas del Toro for our offshore summit, Global Escape Hatch.

For the past couple of days we have been staying at the Hard Rock Hotel in downtown. Yeah, yeah I know – it’s touristy, but hey – we’re tourists.

It’s a pretty cool hotel and compared to many parts of the world – a great deal. We are paying $139 per night, per room. But this includes $20 per day in alcoholic drinks (no problem meeting that minimum…) and an amazing breakfast buffet. It really is a great hotel in a great location.

Take a look at the pictures below:

Apparently the national bird of Panama is the crane. There is construction everywhere. And while it may not beautify the skyline, it is a great sign.

Construction is progress. Construction is necessitated by demand. Demand for housing, office space and retail. This city is growing. The signs are everywhere. This is clearly a place where business happens.

Panama City is not the cheapest place in the world, but it isn’t overly pricey either. As I type I am sitting at the Hard Rock Hotel pool drinking a delicious Pina Colada for the price of $7. Not cheap, but if I were in a similar hotel in Miami it would be more like $15.

Not all is beautiful though. There are shanty towns everywhere. It is strange to see beautiful high rise condo buildings flanked by a sea of dilapidated makeshift sheds housing hundreds of local poor Panamanians.

My feeling is though, this will not last. As business increases here, so will the higher paying job opportunities. Economic growth follows progress. And there is clear progress going on here.

There are business opportunities everywhere. If you are serious about escaping from America then Panama certainly deserves a consideration.

We are heading to Bocas del Toro in a couple of hours so keep your eye on email updates from Global Escape Hatch this week.