Panama Country Guide
Everything you need to know about moving to Panama
Popular Towns for Expats in Panama
Panama offers everything from a modern city to tropical coastal getaways to tranquil mountain towns.
Panama has become a preferred destination for expats worldwide. Whether you’re contemplating a coastal residence in the Bocas del Toro region, an apartment in the vibrant urban hub of Panama City, or a home in the serene highlands near Boquete Panama offers a range of attractive living options. To find the perfect place for you, we suggest taking a trip to explore the diverse locations that Panama has to offer.
Panama City & Surrounds
Panama City, situated on the shores of Panama Bay on the Pacific Coast, is the vibrant capital that boasts the best of everything you could desire, from top-notch healthcare facilities to diverse dining options and excellent shopping experiences.
Popular suburbs for expats include El Cangrejo, Punta Paitilla, and Punta Pacific
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Nestled in the mountains, Boquete is a charming town with approximately 20,000 residents and a mild climate, boasting temperatures ranging from 70-80°F during the day. Positioned just 60 kilometers from the Costa Rican border, Boquete attracts a substantial expat community, contributing to its vibrant and welcoming atmosphere. The town’s scenic beauty and moderate climate make it an appealing destination for those seeking a tranquil mountain retreat with the added benefit of a diverse and lively expatriate presence.
A prominent city in Panama, David is celebrated for its affordability, family-friendly atmosphere, and is home to the country’s second international airport. Positioned in the highlands, David enjoys a milder climate compared to Panama City and beach towns, making it an attractive choice for those seeking a comfortable and budget-friendly urban lifestyle. The city’s strategic location, coupled with its welcoming environment, adds to its appeal as a practical and livable destination within the diverse landscape of Panama.
Similar to Boquete, Volcan stands out as a smaller, lesser-known counterpart on the opposite side of the same mountain range. This undiscovered gem, being less explored, presents a more affordable alternative to Boquete. Despite its smaller size, Volcan doesn’t compromise on amenities, providing an array of restaurants, bars, and supermarkets.
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The Caribbean Coast
Bocas del Toro
Spanning both mainland and archipelago, Bocas del Toro is renowned for its hundreds of islands, with the largest being Isla Colon. Positioned on the Caribbean side of Northwest Panama, Bocas del Toro is a remote paradise accessible by a one-hour flight from Panama City. This tropical haven boasts stunning beaches, turquoise waters, and rainforests, making it an idyllic destination for those seeking a serene escape surrounded by the natural beauty of the Caribbean landscape.
Central Panama and the Azuero Peninsula
Nestled on the Azuero Peninsula, Las Tablas is a beach town celebrated as a cultural hotspot, particularly known for its annual Carnival celebrations. With a modest population of 9,000, Las Tablas offers a safe and welcoming environment.
Three and a half hours away from Panama City on the Azuero Peninsula, Chitré is the capital of Herrera Province. While hosting fewer expats, the city doesn’t compromise on essential amenities, featuring supermarkets, banks, and restaurants. Chitré boasts a low cost of living, and has a relaxed charm.
Valle de Antón (El Valle)
Two hours from Panama City in the central highlands, El Valle is a small town with a distinctive character. While boasting fewer amenities than other expat hotspots, it stands out with a sizable indigenous community, contributing to a rich cultural blend. Known for its affordability, El Valle enjoys a cool climate thanks to its high elevation and serves as a gateway to eco-tourism activities.
Nestled in the highlands of Veraguas, Santa Fe is an authentic Panamanian town celebrated for its rich coffee culture, favorable climate, and abundant outdoor activities. Santa Fe boasts a low cost of living compared to other expat hotspots in Panama, making it an attractive destination for those seeking an unspoiled and affordable lifestyle in the highlands.
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Zach and his StartAbroad team have been incredibly helpful in supporting me through an overwhelming process! They’re quick to answer questions in detail, and are thorough in finding the answers they don’t know right off hand. And it’s obvious they put in so much work to make the moving experience streamlined and stress-free! Plus, prices of service are reasonable for all that they offer.
We greatly appreciated the personable…concierge service that StartAbroad offered. [They] listened to what we said and what we did not say and helped us plan a very fun, but strategic exploratory trip. We were able to see multiple cities during our very brief visit and have a lot of fun along the way.
Exploratory Trip Client
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