“This type of entertainment in the countryside, like Panaca, has become a medicine”

Grupo Panaca celebrates 23 years of history offering agricultural entertainment with sustainability. As part of the commitment to consolidate the brand concept, the National Park of Agricultural Culture, Panaca, located in Quindío, will launch three new lines that will be open to its visitors from 2023, which will make up the Panaca Territory and will have a investment of more than $710,000 million, which will increase departmental GDP by 3% and generate more than 9,000 jobs. This was explained by its founder, Jorge Ballén.

How was Panaca born?
If we go back 25 years, Panaca’s idea was to anticipate many years of what is happening now in the post-covid era; humanity is looking for nature for the enjoyment of the simple. When I told my father about this dream, he told me that in life the basics would be the most necessary, but at the same time the most scarce. People called me crazy, but I understood that you have to be disruptive so that things have another offer. Panaca’s motto “without a country, there is no city” is much stronger than it was 23 years ago, because this type of entertainment has become medicine.

What’s new?
Apart from the Panaca Park experience, which is agricultural entertainment, we will have Panaca Natura, Panaca Cultura and Panaca Aventura, which will accompany the Panaca territory. We also plan to develop an IPS and beauty center, as well as accommodation in different modalities to develop a world-class destination. It is planned and there is interest from the Decameron chain to expand the hotel from 185 rooms to 430. The Panaca concept has been a progressive development over the years. But we have always had it stated and documented that in addition to the theme park there would be agricultural education through vacations, educational or school camps, university camps, that there would be technology transfer, simple or complex, that has been given to farmers and professionals in the sector. The objective from the beginning was to have an extension of brands developed with respect for the field and for the agricultural culture. Today we have agricultural-themed hotels, the Decameron hotel, the first five stars or five horseshoes, as we say here, due to its conceptual theme.

What strategic alliances will they establish?
The Panaca territory will have specialized lodging that will be managed by retiree tourism companies from different parts of the world: two Colombians and five foreigners, who will bring retirees or pensioners to our territory to live the experience. This will become a reality through private real estate investment funds.

How much will the investment be?
For 2020, an investment of $680,000 million was estimated, but this is not an investment by Grupo Panaca, but by developers of private real estate funds and different companies that will come. One of them will carry the IPS project, which will be international in nature. Now it is estimated that this investment is more than $700,000 million.

What is the season in which you receive the most visitors?
Colombia suffers from continuous tourism throughout the year. It is a country of high seasons and low seasons. The tourism offer in the coffee region is not level with the lodging offer, that represents a deficit for us compared to the entertainment that is offered. It is necessary to break with this seasonality with tourism projects specialized in the subject of retirees who are the ones who have time and money to walk in the low seasons or against seasons of National Tourism.


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