Panama Country Guide

Everything you need to know about moving to Panama

Cost of Living in Panama Compared to the U.S. & Canada

Panama is a diverse country and costs depend on what part of the country you’re in. For example, apartment rentals can vary from $300 per month to over $2000. That’s why we’ve included sample budgets for several different areas in the following pages. Generally, costs are higher in Panama City and more affordable in other cities and towns.

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Key Cost Considerations for Expats in Panama

Food – Generally, food is less than what you’d pay in the U.S., although imported and processed goods may have high price tags. Shopping in local markets and buying fresh foods are the best ways to keep costs down. You can easily buy fruits and vegetables for a week with $20. A local lunch (look for menu ejecutivo) will cost $5-7 in Panama City and less elsewhere in the country.

Transport – Transportation is cheap as well – if you are in Panama City you can take advantage of Metrobus and Metro systems, which charge $0.10-1.50 per ride in the city. Uber is available and offers low fares for taxi rides. Buying a car, even a used car, can be expensive, particularly when compared to the U.S. 

Utilities – Utilities prices fluctuate widely depending primarily on usage of air conditioning. A home without AC may have an electric bill near $30. If you run your AC constantly, you can expect closer to $300. Water everywhere is extremely affordable. 

Healthcare – Another major cost to consider is private health insurance, where costs can vary considerably. Plans covering just Panama may be only $30-40/month, while international plans including U.S. coverage will be well over $300/month, even if you are young and healthy.

Sample Budgets for Expats in Panama

Please note that these sample budgets are directional only. The town you live in, changing prices, and your lifestyle will all influence your ultimate budget.

Living in the Bocas del Toro for Two People per Month (USD)
 

Please note that these sample budgets are directional only. The town you live in, changing prices, and your lifestyle will all influence your ultimate budget.

Living in Panama City for Two People per Month (USD
 
Living in Boquete for Two People per Month (USD)

Remember, these figures should be considered directional only. Your cost of living will vary significantly depending on how you choose to live. You can get buy on less than  $1000 a month if you live like a local, or live a lavish lifestyle for much more.

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