Altos del Maria
Altos del Maria is a gated mountain community located in the Mountains of Sora roughly 30 minute´s drive from the nearest beaches and golf resorts of the Pacific Coast, and approximately 1.5 hours west of Panama City.
The development of Altos del Maria consists of 7000 + acres, and boasts beautiful mountain views, amidst a pristine natural setting. Many green areas have been maintained, and there are a variety of mountain trails which help maintain the look and feel of a national park. Attractions include panoramic mountain, valley, green belt and Pacific Ocean views, a near perfect spring-like climate year round (75º F - 24 Cº), a first-class infrastructure including miles of paved roads, vast common areas, waterfalls, rivers, hiking trails, observation decks, parks, lookout points, flowers and trees everywhere.
Within Altos de Maria one can find a wide range of prices to facilitate different needs. Spacious residential lots and Homes are available in Subdivisions with different altitude ranges, views and climates. Compared to neighboring El Valle de Anton, which is now separated from Altos del Maria by 20 minutes via a new over the mountain road reserved for Altos Residents and future development of Altos del Maria, prices in Altos are very affordable, and in many cases as much as 1/2 the price.
Altos del Maria is made up of a mixed community of both locals and expats representing every continent, that is with the exception of Antartica. Such amenities as broadband Internet, a community center with social areas and shops, a natural swimming pool next to a waterfall, a heliport, Direct TV and 19 miles of paved roads. There are also 11 miles of nature trails with suspension bridges, stairways, walkways and buttresses. The active community center includes tennis courts, exercise machines, table tennis and a pool table. There are activities such as yoga and others held several days a week. Full time residencies currently number over 60 and part time residencies are nearing 200 and there are dozens and dozens of homes currently under construction within the gates of Altos del Maria.
Altos del Maria features an independent electrical power grid serving every lot in the project. The system is the same as in North America :120 V, 60 Hz, 1 F.
Altos del Maria is a gated community, with security gates which are manned the 24/7 and the only owners and their approved guests may enter.
Altos del Maria is adjacent to an ancient volcano so flowers and trees thrive in the rich volcanic soil. From the beginning, concern for the ecology of the area was a priority for Grupo Melo. There are vast common green areas where no construction is allowed and green areas are cared for daily by gardening crews. Some of the animals to be seen are deer, monkeys, sloths, birds, butterflies and Panama's famous golden frog.
One of the attractions of Altos del Maria is the access to nature. Beautiful rivers, streams and waterfalls offer year-round recreational opportunities such as swimming in the natural pools and rivers, hiking, and birding.. Many residents take up gardening as a hobby and to serve them Altos has provided a community green house, Just half an hour from Altos you can enjoy beautiful beaches, both popular and fine restaurants, several world class golf courses and even casinos. The fun and cultural attractions of cosmopolitan Panama City are just 1.5 hours away.
The Areas of Altos Del Maria
This area of Altos is tucked under the Picacho Mountain and ranges from 1800 – 2000 ft above sea level. It is one of the higher locations in the Valley and many homes have views across the Maria Valley to the Highlands of Piamonte and Buena Vista, and along the length of the Maria Valley towards the south east. The very first home to be built in Altos was built here 11 years ago and is a Panamanian weekend home.
Frauke, another long term resident, has 2 guest cabins in this area on Calle Manantial - Los Juanes.
This area is the closest valley area to El Valle which is barely 18 kilometres away on the new private road through Asturias and Navarra.
Valle del Laurel
This section of Altos, on the south side of the valley, is unique in that most of the lots and homes are on flat ground, or at most, gently sloping ground. The area is approximately 1500 ft above sea level and it is an easy walk, from any home, to the hiking trail which starts here and runs along the length of the Maria River for 2 ½ kilometres. The trail and its swimming holes, waterfalls and viewpoints can be accessed from 3 roads in this area – Anayansi, Sora and Careta which is where the trail starts. Large numbers of parakeets live on this south side of the valley and are frequent and noisy visitors in the large old trees which fill the green areas here.
This area starts low in the valley at 1500 ft and climbs up, again on the south side, to 1700ft above sea level. The lower homes have views across the Maria valley and some of the upper homes have distant views of the Pacific Ocean. Most of the homes in this area have adjoining green space, which is common throughout most of Altos Del Maria.
This area nestles on a south east slope of Altos Del Maria and is the location that Grupo Melo has chosen for their community of spec homes. There are a number of excellent lots for sale and a choice of 13 homes which are completed and ready to occupy. This community is ideal if you only wish to spend part of the year in Panama or if you don’t want the worry of a big garden. On clear days you can see the Pacific!
This is a small group of lots on the south side of the valley close to the Maria River Bridge and the swimming hole in the river. The altitude is approximately 1500ft above sea level and the few houses which are already constructed nestle quietly amongst the natural flora of this convenient location.
This neighbourhood of 21 lots is a nature lover’s delight. The Geoffrey’s Tamarind Monkey has been seen here – on its way to the river. No pine trees have been planted in this area, as it is already rich in both flora and fauna. The main water course through the area runs strongly for about 8 months of the year and is a delight to listen to, as it tumbles down to the Maria River just below. There is a trail which leads from Calle Rio Marina directly to the Maria River Trail - perfect for early morning exercise and walking the dog. The views from this area are of the spectacular Picacho mountain above – inspiring.
The homes in this area range from 1400 to 1600 ft above sea level. Located on the north side of the Maria Valley it has views across the valley to Picacho, west towards the head of the valley and east down the river valley, as it falls away to meet the Chame River a few miles away. As the road climbs up the hillside through the area you find homes nestled on idyllic lots amongst the trees. This area is dramatic and is proving to be very popular for those wishing to build their own homes. This is the perfect location for sundowners – as you watch the sun set behind Picacho mountain.
This is the largest area in Altos with 269 lots spread out in many sub divisions including: Santa Fiora, Livorno, Arezzo, Pisa, Saturnia, Florencia, Castiglione and Bolsena. These subdivisions are located between 1400 and 1800ft above sea level. The views and topography of the lots is as varied as the homes built upon them. This area boasts 55 homes and there are another 12 under construction (in 2010).The whole area lies on the south facing slope of the northern side of the Maria River and is dominated by the distinctive Picacho mountain
The highest areas are Fiesole and Piombino at 2050ft. Piombino is a delightful area with 10 homes each built on lots of about 1/3 acre. This friendly and quiet area has a real community feel, with neighbours close by, yet respectful of each others space. The sea views and surrounding green space ensure calm and tranquillity.
The lowest subdivision in Toscana 1 is La Vega de Campiglia at 1250ft and it borders the Maria River itself. This is another unique area of Altos del Maria and the wildlife here includes deer, agoutis, opossums, coatis and varied bird life. The area boasts the Campiglia Residents Club and is beautifully landscaped.
Montalcino has a newly opened area of 40 lots – each between ¼ to 1/3 of an acre. They too have open panoramic views across the valley.
Siena is the closest area to the main entrance to Altos Del Maria. It contains a number of homes and many more under construction. The commercial area of Altos will be here. It is hoped that, in due course, as the community grows there will be a health centre, bakery, convenience store and pharmacy here.
This is the newest area to be developed in the Valley area of Altos and it is located above Valencia to the east of Picacho. The drama of the valley and its surrounding mountains is laid out before you – a stunning location with panoramic views.
The Northern Highlands
Mirador Del Pacifica, Triana, Piamonte, Buena Vista and La Rioca range along the top of the hillside to the north of the valley, have distant sea views from many lots and fresh mountain breezes. From here on clear days you can see the areas of Campana, Punta Chame, Gorgona and Coronado. The altitude in these areas range from 2700 to 3000 ft above sea level and you will find your self enjoying the cool temperature, year round. The mosses, lichens, bromeliads and orchids all attest to the area being true cloud forest. Many locals have weekend homes and lots here – where they can escape the heat and humidity of Panama City.
Santiago de Apostol at 2400 - 2800 ft above sea level Is located beyond La Rioca and is spread out on the north-eastern side of the mountain range with open views of the Cerro Campana Mountain range and the Pacific Ocean and coastline. From the highest lot in Santiago Apostol, you can see both the Pacific and Caribbean on a clear day. Abundant fruits and wildlife make every day special here. This green and verdant area is a nature lover’s delight. Frauke has 2 cabins here that you can rent by the day, the week or longer – Quintas Juan Costa. In the evenings you can curl up, in front or your open fireplace in peace and tranquillity.
Galicia Forest is a ‘yet to be released’ area to the west of and beyond La Rioca. The lots are larger here and are due to be released sometime in 2010.
The Western Highlands are located between Altos Del Maria and El Valle.
South Asturias ranges from 2500 to 2800ft and North Asturias from 2950 to 3300 ft above sea level. These areas, together with Navarra form part of the great continental divide which runs along the length of Panama to the canal. From time to time it is possible to see distant views of both the Caribbean and the Pacific from these lofty heights. Driving through this highland area you will be reminded of the scenes from Jurassic Park – the towering palms and wind blown, moss covered trees, with their amazing shapes abound here. This together with abundant tree ferns and the green, verdant and lush undergrowth completes the scene and you can almost believe that dinosaurs will appear at any moment. This is ‘The Interior’ of Panama at its best.