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About half the people who come on a Panama Relocation Tour want to live near a beach. The other half prefer the cooler mountain weather which we visit also. During a Panama Relocation Tour, we visit several beach communities which offer a variety of different prices.
We focus on the beach communities which offer the most amenities without driving more than 10-20 minutes to buy groceries, see a doctor, banks, hospitals with emergency rooms, restaurants and shopping opportunities like clothes or hardware stores. Of course, reliable electricity, water and internet are top priorities too. A good road to get to the communities and houses is important too.
There are plenty of other beach communities in Panama, but unfortunately, they do not have very many amenities close by, so we don’t usually visit those areas. Most people, especially retirees, do not want to drive an 30-60 minutes to go to a nice grocery store, restaurant, doctor or a hospital.
When selecting a place to live in Panama, it’s important to think 5 or 15 years ahead and whether you will still be comfortable making a one-hour drive to see a doctor or buy groceries. If you have pre-existing medical conditions it is especially important to select an area that is close to doctors and a hospital.
Most people who come on a Panama Relocation Tours are also looking for ways they can reduce their living expenses. What’s affordable for one person may be cost prohibitive for others. Driving an hour to buy groceries adds to your living expenses not to mention the hassles involved.
The three most affordable beach communities on the Pacific side of Panama, which also have plenty of amenities, are (1) near the Coronado area, (2) the Azuero Peninsula near Chitre and Las Tablas and (3) in far western Panama in Puerto Armuelles.
Coronado has every amenity you could possibly want or need but it is also one of the most expensive areas to live outside of Panama City. However, if you drive just a few miles east or west of Coronado there are more affordable options like:
Gorgona is more affordable than Coronado yet you are only a few miles away from all the amenities in Coronado. In Gorgona, there are a few small grocery stores, some restaurants and bars plus a nice beach where you can swim and buy fresh fish every day. In addition to houses to rent, there are several ocean front condo complexes in Gorgona.
Chame is a little further east of Gorgona (closer to Panama City) and is an up and coming area for expats to move to. Interestingly, Chame is the only area in Panama where I have seen really white sand. Surfing is great in Chame. There is even a surf school there. We sometimes visit Chame and see some $700 per month two-bedroom ocean view rental houses and condos when they are available.
San Carlos, west of Coronado, is a funky little beach community which has a 24-hour hospital, restaurants, bars, grocery stores and more. You’re only 10 miles away from Coronado but you won’t need to go to Coronado often because everything you need is available in San Carlos. We sometimes visit some rentals in San Carlos when they are available.
Playa Blanco is a little further west of San Carlos. There is a new shopping center near Playa Blanco which has a 24-hour grocery store, hardware store and a pharmacy but not much else. If you lived in these communities, you’d need to drive in to Coronado on a regular basis (which could get old after awhile). Playa Blanco is much more affordable than Coronado but it is a bit isolated. Playa Blanco is about 10 minutes from the San Carlos hospital.
In the Azuero Peninsula between Chitre and Las Tablas, there are 10 beaches. Some beaches are better than others. The towns are not on the beach, they are about 10-15km (6 miles) away from the beach. There are excellent roads connecting the towns and to get from either town to the beach areas.
Chitre is the larger town with a population of about 80,000 in the metro area. It has four 24-hour North American style grocery stores, a movie theater, some excellent restaurants, banks, hardware stores and clothes shops. Chitre has a small mall and an airport with flights to Panama City. There is a hospital in Chitre with a much larger and more modern hospital under construction.
Las Tablas is about 30 minutes South of Chitre. It is home to many Panamanian traditional festivals like Carnaval. The population of the town is about 8,000 and the entire metro area of Las Tablas is about 24,000. Las Tablas has restaurants, grocery stores, banks, clothes & shoe stores, hardware stores and a hospital. They just got a McDonalds too (not sure that is a good thing).
Playa Overito is a funky beach community about 6 miles from Las Tablas. Playa Overito has good paved roads all the way to Las Tablas. There are rentals for as little as $600 per month for a 1 bedroom right on the beach. Playa Overito is a nice safe beach for swimming. There are several restaurants and bars at the beach. There are about 200 expats in the Las Tablas and Playa Overito area. They have weekly get-togethers and they are very involved in the community too.
Further South down the Azuero Peninsula is Pedasi and Playa Venao. Unfortunately, they do not fall in to our amenities requirements yet but things are getting better every year. Hopefully, we can add Pedasi to our itinerary in 2020.
Pedasi is a really cute little town about 35 minutes North of Playa Vanao which is at the southern tip of the Azuero Peninsula. Playa Vanao has great beaches. As you can see on a map, Pedasi is not close to the coast but you are less than 15 minutes to a beach if you live in Pedasi.
Pedasi does have a nice town square with a few restaurants and four small grocery stores. They also have a new, modern hospital, Minsa-Capsi which is a public hosptial so you may or may not have a doctors available who speaks English. For any major shopping, you’ll need to drive 45 minutes to Las Tablas, or you’d need to drive to Chitre which is 1 hour and 17 minutes away (per Google Maps).
Playa Vanao is I hour and 52 minute drive to Chitre which is the town with the most amenities. This area is popular with surfers because the surf is great at Playa Vanao
The people who live in Pedasi or Playa Vanao love it, but most of the people who come on our tours would not want to make that long of a drive to get to amenities. Poco a poco (little by little) both of these communities are getting more amenities.
Out of all the beach communities we visit, Puerto Armuelles is the most affordable. That’s why it is attracting retirees and expats from all over the world. Puerto Armuelles has 25,000 residents in the town and 60,000 in the metro area. It has several grocery stores, banks, hardware stores, restaurants and a small hospital now with a new large state-of the art hospital under construction. Unlike other beach communities, the town of Puerto is right next to the beach.
The down side of Puerto Armuelles is that is it not that easy to get to. You will need to fly in to David then take a bus or rent a car to get to Puerto. It’s a 1 ½ hour drive to Puerto from David. The other down side to Puerto is that it has been economically depressed for the last 20 years since Chiquita Banana pulled out of the community and left most of the town unemployed. The depression definitely shows in some parts of Puerto Armuelles. But now that Del Monte has come in growing bananas in the area again, and thousands of people are employed again, things are slowly starting to change for the better. I think Puerto Armuelles has a huge upside potential.
OTHER BEACH COMMUNITIES
There are plenty of other beach communities on the Pacific side of Panama, but they do not have our amenities requirements, so we do not visit them during a Panama Relocation Tour. In another article I will write about beach communities on the Caribbean side of Panama.
The only exception is Las Lajas, in Chiriqui province, which we usually go to for lunch. It is a short 15-minute drive from the PanAmerican Highway to Las Lajas beach. The town of Las Lajas is about 5 miles away from the beach. There are two grocery stores in town and a small clinic. At the beach, you’ll find several restaurants, hotels and B&Bs. It’s a rustic but relaxing beach community. People who live in Boquete like to go to Las Lajas for a day trip because it is a short 1 hour 30-minute drive.
Someone from a previous tour is renting a small 1 bedroom ocean front house in Las Lajas for $200 per month there. There is a small housing development and some new condos in Las Lajas but the road to get to those properties is a dirt road filled with pot holes. You can still buy a ocean front land for under $50,000 in Las Lajas.
If you live in the Las Lajas area, you’d need to make frequent trips to David to buy groceries, go shopping for clothes or shoes, pick up Amazon orders, see a doctor, go to the airport, go to a hospital etc. It is 1 hour 15 minute drive from Las Lajas to David.
Another thing to check out at any beach community are the rip tides. Some areas have very bad rip tides and some areas do not have rip tides. If you do not plan to get in the Ocean, the rip tides are not a problem but you also need to warn any guests who come to visit to stay out of the Ocean because of the possibility of rip tides.
There are trade-offs everywhere in Panama.
Only you can determine which area is best for you. Some people are willing to put up with a 1-hour drive to amenities and some are not. Some people are ok with rough dirt roads to their property and some are not. Sometimes the area you like best is out of your comfortable price range so you will need to look elsewhere. It is certainly something that you need to take in to consideration when you select your place to rent or buy in Panama. There is something for everyone in Panama!
The other thing to investigate, especially if you are a social butterfly, is how many expats are in the area and are there a variety of social activities you would enjoy getting involved in. The last thing you want to do when you move to Panama is just sit at home because there is nothing to do.
Of course, you want to get involved with Panamanian festivals and activities too. Your transition to relocating to Panama will be much easier if there are plenty of other expats around and there are plenty of social activities you would enjoy.
At each stop during a Panama Relocation Tour, we invite expats who live in the area to join us so they can talk about their first hand experiences about living in that area. This is a good time to ask them how many expats live in the area and what social activities are available.
(NOTE: A lot of the information in this article applies to couples too!)
What do you do when you’re single and you realize that if you stay where you are living now, you may never be able to afford to retire? Or, what do you do when just want more excitement and adventure in your life? For an increasing number of 50+ year old singles, the answer is to move to Panama which was recently named as the #1 place to retire in the whole world by International Living.
About half of the people who come on a Panama Relocation Tours are singles. And about half of the people who come on the tour then later relocate to Panama are singles. There’s a growing number of singles who are planning to relocate to or retire in Panama because it is much more affordable and offers a better quality lifestyle.
In a survey conducted by the website Best Places in the World to Retire, these were the top reasons people, including singles, retire overseas:
PANAMA IS THE SOLUTION!
Singles who move to Panama will not be disappointed. The cost of living is less and there are so many things to do you will never get bored. You can live a less stressful life with better weather all year. Panama health care and health insurance are much more affordable. Panama is the perfect place for a fresh start. Panama ticks all the boxes!
Each area of Panama offers different things for single expats to do. First, you need to determine if you prefer living in a warm coastal climate or spring like weather in the mountains. Your next step is finding the place in Panama that fits your budget and that has the amenities and social life you prefer. Here are three examples:
♥ Panama City offers activities every day for singles to get involved in. Internations.org organizes expat get-togethers to help expats meet each other. There is also live music at multiple venues every night. You can catch a 40-minute ferry ride to the Pearl Islands to relax on white sandy beaches next to the Pacific Ocean. There are salsa lessons, cooking lessons, ballet, photography classes, and much more. Anything you could possibly need is available in Panama City but it is also more expensive than other towns.
♥ The Coronado area, a beach community about 1 hour west of Panama City, is famous for all kind of water activities for singles to enjoy. There is kayaking, surfing, beach volley ball and more. On Friday and Saturday nights you’ll find live music and dancing at multiple venues. These are great ways to meet people too. Coronado has many shops and restaurants.
♥ Boquete, a mountain town about 7 hours west of Panama City, has the largest expat community outside of Panama City. There are daily activities including hiking, card games, trivia, painting classes, karaoke, cooking classes, photography classes, yoga, tai chi, and many charities to get involved in (like the spay and neuter clinic). There is also live music at multiple venues almost every night. There is a single women’s group called the Chicas which gets together for lunch once a month and occasionally does trips together. Men can join the ROMEO (Retired Old Men Eating Out) group.
♥ Of course, there are many other towns to explore in Panama. We visit some of them during a Panama Relocation Tour. Every town in Panama that has expats will have expat get-togethers and other activities which give you an opportunity to meet other expats, including singles, who live in the area. Enjoy the local culture by going to a lot of Panamanian events to meet single Panamanians too. Panamanian’s love to party!
Panama is a small country which makes it quick and easy to explore areas other than where you live in Panama. Singles who live in the mountains sometimes get together for a trip to the beach. Singles who live in Panama City sometimes travel together to the mountain towns to get away from the heat and noise in the City. There is so much to see and explore in Panama.. and it’s usually a short drive away.
WHAT DO SINGLES HAVE TO SAY ABOUT LIFE IN PANAMA?
Some of the singles I have met are happy staying single. Others have developed romantic relationships with other expats or Panamanians. There is something for everyone in Panama. Read what Chris and David have to say about their life in Panama.
Chris Duffy, a single woman living in Boquete says every day is like “adult day camp” with so many fun things to do. Here is how she describes her reasons for moving to Panama and what her life is like now:
“I moved to Panama to enjoy a healthy lifestyle in beautiful, affordable surroundings in a country that has a democracy and good health care so I could retire early and travel the world.
I don’t have a typical week because I have chosen to be involved in many organizations and activities. I may take yoga on Monday, volunteer at the recycling center or BCP Membership team on Tuesday, hike on Wednesday and Friday or Saturday, attend a discussion group meeting on Sunday or Thursday, a Chicas luncheon (for single women) on Friday, a breakfast group on Saturday and dinner with friends later that evening.
If it’s the third week of the month I’ll be coordinating and attending a Newcomers’ group event. In between, I’m chilling with friends, reading and enjoying the live music offered at the bars and restaurants.
It has been very easy to make friends. I live in Boquete which is a small mountain village. There are many English speaking expats here who are friendly and helpful.
In Panama, I have an excellent support system. I moved here without knowing anyone and have met many helpful friendly Panamanians and expats who provide guidance and information when needed.
Since moving to Boquete a year ago, I’ve watched people come and go. The people who leave do so because of health issues, grandchildren back home or because they become disillusioned with how things are done in Panama. Without exception, people who took Jackie’s Panama Relocation Tour and moved here made well informed decisions and roll with the culture. As a group we adjust well and assimilate because we know exactly what to expect.”
David Van Harn, a single man living in Boquete, explains why he moved to Panama and what his life is like living in Panama.
“I moved to Panama because I couldn’t afford to live in Sonoma County in my beloved Northern California coast region any more. It was either subsidized senior housing or find another place. After eight plus hours of intense Google research on my 70th birthday in December, 2011, Boquete rose to the top of my possible choices. Less than two months later, I was here for a four month stay to check it out. I quickly fell in love with the cool tropical mountain location and the wonderful people here. I am a legal permanent Panama resident, and Boquete has been my home for nearly seven years so far.
The highlights of my week are my showing of matinee movies on Sundays at the local expat-run theater/event center. and participating at the Tuesday morning international market at the same location. Two to three days per week, I do wood turning at my shop. Beaches and great hiking trails are nearby, but I don’t take advantage of them as often as I should. I occasionally have breakfast, lunch or dinner at one of our many low-to-medium priced restaurants. On weekends there might be jazz, oldies, and even chamber music at local venues.
The people here are wonderful. I have many friends here – not only Panamanians, but from the U.S., Australia, Ukraine, Italy, Turkey, and elsewhere in the world.
I am a widower, and although I don’t have a girlfriend – and don’t feel compelled to find one – I have several close women friends who are either expats or regular seasonal visitors to Boquete, as well as a number of male friends. I can’t think of a time when I have gone to downtown Boquete and not exchanged greetings with someone I know whose path I crossed randomly.
My support system in Panama is better than it was in the U.S. With so many friends here, help is a phone call away if I need it.”
ALONE BUT NEVER LONELY
Krstl Culp, another single woman who came on a Panama Relocation Tour then moved to Panama, says that although she is in Panama alone, she has never once felt lonely because there are so many friendly people and so many things to do. You’ll make a lot of friends fast when you move to Panama.
Chery Yeager, another single woman, came on a Panama Relocation Tour. About half of the people on her tour moved to the same area and now they are all best of friends and do many things together. Watch the video below to learn about her life in Panama as a single woman
THE SECRET TO SUCCESS AS A SINGLE IN PANAMA
When you move to Panama, you need to find many things that you can get involved in so you can meet others. You may want to volunteer at one of the local charity organizations or go to live music events. The more you get out of your house, the more people you will meet, and the more rewarding your life will be in Panama.
Panama is a good place to reinvent yourself. You can start a fresh new life in Panama. If you’ve been a home body all your life, it can all change when you move to Panama.
In Panama, you’ll finally have an opportunity to pursue the passions that you left on the back-burner for most of your life. You could write that book, learn how to create artwork, surf, salsa dancing, go hiking in a rain forest, learn to make bread, start a vegetable and/or flower garden, learn a new language… the list goes on and on. Once you retire in Panama, you’ll finally have the TIME to do what you want to do whenever you want to do it!
When selecting a place to live in Panama, you need to consider what things you really NEED in your life to make you happy. A more affordable lifestyle is high on most people’s priority list. Some areas of Panama are more affordable than others. There is a place in Panama to fit every budget.
You also need to consider the climate. Panama’s coastal areas will have warm and humid weather every day. The mountain areas will have Spring like weather every day. There is a perfect climate for everyone in Panama. And, another plus, Panama has no hurricanes.
If you have existing health problems, you will probably want to live in a town with English speaking doctors and a town has a hospital near by. These are both readily available in most areas of Panama.
When you move to Panama, one of the first things you should do is get a Panama cell phone. When you meet new friends, add their phone number to your contact list and give your phone number out too. You can have business cards made at local print shops which you can hand out to new friends. If you do this, you will always have someone to call to come over for a visit or to invite to lunch or dinner.
Don’t move to Panama without visiting first. A Panama Relocation Tour is a great way to see a lot of different areas in Panama all while learning all the things you need to do to make a smooth transition to relocating to Panama.
COME SEE WHAT YOUR LIFE COULD BE LIKE LIVING IN PANAMA
Moving to, or even visiting, a foreign country alone can be a daunting task. Panama Relocation Tours makes it easy!
When you come on a Panama Relocation Tour, you’ll be with a group of others, including singles, who are also planning to move to Panama. You’ll make some life-long friends during the tour! Click on the TOURS link above for more details.
During the tour, you’ll be introduced to people in each area so you’ll already know someone in the area you decide to move to. You’ll have an instant network of friends in Panama.
When you take a Panama Relocation Tour, you’ll be riding in a super comfortable bus throughout Panama. It even has reclining seats, a place for luggage storage under the bus and HUGE panoramic windows so you can take in the amazing views in Panama. The bus has a built in refrigerator which we keep stocked with water and snacks.
Our bus is big enough that you can walk around in the bus if you want to. Or you can recline the seats. Each seat has it’s own controls for air conditioning so you can adjust the temperature to your own comfort level. There is even overhead storage for our backpack or purse. The bus has a really smooth suspension to give you a very comfortable ride.
We typically start the day at 9am. There are bathroom stops about every 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Just before, or right after lunch (or both), you’ll meet with expats and experts each day. During dinner, you’ll meet with expats who live in the area where we spend the night. Speaking of “where we spend the night”, we are usually at the hotel by 4pm so you have some pool time before dinner. Each hotel is carefully selected to give you the best possible experience and a good’s nights sleep.
While the bus is rolling, I’m on a microphone at the front of the bus teaching you all the things you need to know to make a smooth transition to relocating to Panama. Every day there is a new topic. There is plenty of time for questions. The bus is a rolling seminar about relocating to and living in Panama. You won’t need to take notes because all the information is already in a book which you will receive the first day of the Tour.
We do not sell real estate so you will not be subjected to a real estate sales pitch! Promise! But, we know that you want to see what real estate looks like in various price points in each area so we will show rentals when they are available to give you an idea of what you get for your money in each area we visit.
We own our tour bus and it is carefully maintained by our driver, who is the best most careful driver in Panama!
Check out the comfortable interior
The bus has seats for 40 people but we typically limit the size of the tour to about 20 people so you’ll have plenty of room to spread out. This also gives me more time to get to know each tour guests and answer their personal questions.
Tour clients say one of the highlights of the tour is meeting the other tour clients who come from all over the world. Everyone on the bus has something in common… they are all thinking about moving to Panama….so there is an instant bond between everyone on the tour.
It’s important to travel throughout Panama in a big comfortable bus like ours. Otherwise, you’d be cramped in a tiny van and be exhausted and very sore by the end of the day. You would be miserable in a van all day. If you drive yourself, you’ll be exhausted and frustrated by the end of the day because you really don’t know what you need to go.
Your Panama Relocation Tour will be comfortable and informative.
Why go on a Panama Relocation Tour? We have more than 8 years experience doing relocation tours. We don’t do hiking tours . We don’t do rum factory or cigar making tours. We ONLY do relocation tours so we have more experience doing relocation tours than anyone in Panama.
Panama Relocation Tours has hundreds of 5-Star reviews from satisfied clients.
We are your Panama Relocation Expert and have the reviews to back it up! We know what information you need to know and we’ll teach you everything you need to know about relocating to Panama. We know how important it is to get accurate information for a life-changing decision.
During the tour, we’ll even help you set up a Panama bank account if you are interested.
We’ve helped many hundreds of people relocate to Panama the EASY WAY — usually within 6 months of taking a Panama Relocation Tour. We’d love to help you relocate to Panama too!
We’d love to have you join us for a Panama Relocation Tour so we can show you how you can live BETTER for LESS in Panama. These are our tour dates for 2019.
January 5-10th – SOLD OUT
January 26th-31st – SOLD OUT
February 2-7th – SOLD OUT
February 9th-14th — SOLD OUT
(get on back up list email firstname.lastname@example.org)
March 16th-21st — SOLD OUT
NEW! March 23-28th – 7 rooms available
April 6th-11th — SOLD OUT
May 18th-23rd –2 rooms available
June 15th- 20th — 7 rooms available
July 20th-25th — 8 rooms available
August 17th-22nd — 8 rooms available
September 14th-19th — 9 rooms available
October 19th-24th — 10 rooms available
November – no tour
December 14th-19th — 10 rooms available
Why do we sell our months in advance? Because we’re the BEST!
We only require a $500 deposit per person to reserve your spot. BOOK ONLINE HERE
RIDE IN STYLE during a Panama Relocation Tour is much better than renting a car then not know where to go.
RIDE IN STYLE during a Panama Relocation Tour is much better than being cramped in a small uncomfortable van. YIKES, can you imagine riding in that little van all day long!
A BETTER WAY Let us take care of the driving for you. And enjoy your exploratory trip to Panama in our BIG comfortable bus.