Chitre Costs of Living in 2024

Located in the Azuero Peninsula, Chitre is gaining more attention among foreigners and Panamanians. However, the town is not considered a popular tourist destination. Many guidebooks recommend a one-day, stopover visit en route to more popular spots in the peninsula, such as Pedasi or Las Tablas. However, the fact that Chitre isn’t necessarily “touristy” makes it the perfect place for those looking for a simple life in one of the most affordable towns in Panama.

But just how much does it cost to live in Chitre? We will look at the cost of living for an expat couple who have made this unassuming town their home. However, before we do that, let’s look at some of Chitre’s amenities.

Map of the Republic of Panama

Amenities in Chitre

Chitre has plenty of charm. This city could be a perfect fit for those looking to embrace the Panamanian culture. You’ll enjoy an affordable lifestyle (among the most affordable in Panama) and a unique cultural experience. And just because Chitre lends to a simple lifestyle doesn’t mean that it doesn’t have plenty to offer its residents.

Here are some of the most attractive and practical amenities that this city has to offer:

Location, Location, Location

Chitre is a 3.5-hour drive from Panama City. It is located 20 minutes from the Pan-American Highway and is quite an accessible location. For those who don’t have a car, a bus trip between Panama City and Chitre will cost around $10.

Alonso Valderrama Airport serves the town of Chitre. It is a small airport that only offers domestic flights. There are flights to Panama City every day. So, if you’re looking for a convenient way to get to the city, these 30-minute flights are readily available.

Chitre bus terminal

There are excellent restaurants, a small mall, many grocery stores and hardware stores in Chitre. Chitre truly has everything you need for a qualified lifestyle in Panama.

Affordable Golf and Fishing Nearby

Chitre has beautiful golf course that only costs $100 a month for unlimited golf. There are nice rentals near the golf course for about $800 a month.

Some of the best fishing in Panama is just 30 minutes away in Pedasi. It’s often referred to as the “tuna coast” because it’s the best place to catch yellow fin tuna in Panama.

It gets better…

Beaches Nearby

The Azuero Peninsula is home to plenty of great beaches, and there are some just outside of Chitre! The city is conveniently located just a couple of miles from the Gulf of Panama, making it one of the most affordable beach spots for those looking to live in Panama.

The closest beach is a birdwatcher’s paradise. Playa El Agallito is about ten minutes from town and hosts thousands of migratory birds. While it’s a perfect place to catch some rays, you can also enjoy the beautiful nature surrounding you–quite a treat when so close to the city!

Playa El Rompio is another great beach just 20 minutes from the city. This larger, more expansive beach is quite popular among locals. So, if you’re looking for fewer people, go during the week as it fills up on the weekends. Local restaurants line the beach so you can easily and comfortably spend the day there.

Several Panama Relocation Tour clients live at Playa El Rompio. A furnished two-bedroom, two-baths house with an ocean view is less than $700 a month there.

$600 furnished two bedroom two baths with an ocean view in El Rompio

Quality Hospitals and Healthcare

Many retirees looking to move to Panama for a more affordable and higher quality of life, and healthcare is a top priority. Chitre is the capital city of the Herrera province. So, the medical attention is the best in the area. There are excellent hospitals and quality doctors and dentists in Chitre. There is also a clinic for Veterans in Chitre.

The majority of people living in Chitre choose public hospitals which offer excellent care at affordable prices. It’s about $2 to see a doctor or $5 for a specialists.

A Panama Relocation Tour client had emergency surgery at the public hospital in Chitre. The total cost for her surgery and six days in the hospital was $160.

chitre panama pubic hospital
Public hospital in Chitre Panama

Weather in Chitre

Chitre enjoys warm temperatures year-round, with daytime temperatures typically ranging from 27°C to 32°C (80°F to 90°F). Nighttime temperatures are slightly cooler, generally falling between 21°C and 24°C (70°F to 75°F). These temperatures can vary slightly depending on the time of year, with the dry season tending to be warmer and the rainy season bringing cooler temperatures, especially during or after rainfall.

Chitre gets significantly less rain than other parts of Panama, another reason it’s a popular place to live. On average, Chitre gets 50-70 inches of rain a year. Whereas highland towns like Boquete or Volcan get about 150-180 inches of rain a year.

Cost of Living in Chitre

A large part of the appeal of Chitre for many retirees is the low cost of living. Chitre is by far one of the most affordable places to live in Panama. And, with close access to the beautiful nature on the Azuero Peninsula, many expats have found it to be a great place to settle.

I talked with a couple living in Chitre who gave us their monthly cost of living. Keep in mind that they can walk in most places. However, they love the bus system as it affordably takes them where they need or want to go. They will “splurge” on a taxi ride when they do larger shopping trips. The cost depends on the distance, but usually it isn’t more than a few dollars!

Here are their monthly costs:

Rent: $600 (includes water and access to the community pool in their sub-division)

Groceries: $600 Groceries (they love to cook at home!)

Dining out: $100 (once a week and/or coffee shops)

Phone: $145 (2 cell phones with unlimited calls and data with the AT&T Latin America Plan)

Electric: $50 Electric (this was their highest bill for the dry season; it has been as low as $32 during the wet season)

Transportation: $50 (taxi and bus rides)

Internet/Netflix/PBS/misc. apps: $100

Gardener: $80 ($20 per week)

Monthly Budget Total: $1,725

$600 a month furnished rental in Chitre
Neighborhood community pool in Chitre

The couple’s monthly cost of living in Chitre is less than $1800. With this low budget, they can use their extra funds to travel. They can also add to their emergency fund and pay for their medical insurance in Panama. Luckily, they are both healthy and don’t need prescription medication. Remember that before moving to Panama, always double-check the cost and availability of your prescription medicine!

Like many expats who settle in Chitre, this couple enjoy a high quality of life. This is in large part due to its affordability. Chitre is an excellent choice for those looking for a simple life at a low cost.

Another 85-year-old expat lives in a $350 rental and enjoys walking to grocery stores and restaurants.

YouTube video

Chitre is a beautiful town that is rich in culture. While it is extremely affordable, it has much more to offer its residents than just practicality. When you live in Chitre you’ll be able to experience the culture, enhance your Spanish, and enjoy the nature in the area–with all the conveniences of a large city. So, if you’re looking for an affordable place in Panama, check out Chitre! It just might make the top of your list.

Make Chitre Home

Deciding to make the move to Panama can feel like a daunting decision. However, Panama Relocation Tours has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama since 2010.

Check out our all-inclusive 6-day, 7-night Panama Relocation Tours. Chitre is one of the most popular stops during the tour. We always see a rental or two in the Chitre area. We invite local expats to join us for lunch in Chitre to share their experiences living in the Chitre area.

This is the review that Paula posted on TripAdvisor:

I highly recommend this tour to anyone who is considering moving to Panama or living here for any extended period of time. My husband and I are looking at moving to Panama at least for the winter. The tour guides John and Jerry were exceptionally knowledgeable and helpful. We visited a variety of locations, from the high end high rises of Panama City, shopping,dining. To the sandy beaches in Coronado & Playa Blanca. Also variety of scenery in Boquete and Volcán. We made great friends, fun food and restaurants. I feel so much better prepared and confident in our plan to move to this beautiful and welcoming country. Many thanks to sharing your experience and making the long travel a fun and enjoyable experience!! Hope you’re lucky enough to have them as your guides, they went above and beyond to make sure everyone was taken care of, and thank you for making my birthday do special!! 😊😊 looking forward to moving here!

Make new friends during a Panama Relocation Tour

Related Articles about Chitre:

Retire in Panama: Chitre Guide

Retire in Panama: Living in Chitre (video)

5 Tips for Choosing Where to Live in Panama

Jackie Lange

Jackie Lange is the founder of Panama Relocation Tours and lives in the highlands of Boquete Panama. She has helped thousands of people relocate to Panama.

Reader Interactions


  1. Burgundy Johnson says

    Hi Jackie
    Still waiting on my Passport, fingers cross for May Tour. I have seen may apartments great prices, I was wondering are landlords the same as in US with raising rent to very high prices? Also, I seen the new houses being built in Boquette, If I want to buy with half down do I get loan there or US?

    • Jackie Lange says

      If landlords have a tenant who pays on time and does not complain a lot, they rarely raise rents. You cannot get a US loan to buy houses in Panama, you’d have to get a loan from a Panama bank.

  2. Bob Arias says

    Awesome Jackie, thank you for sharing the beauty and pleasant surroundings of Chitre. I have been here since 2009, love Chitre!

Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *