Discover Cerro Azul: Mountain Paradise Close to Panama City

Boquete highland weather but less than one hour to Panama City – that’s Cerro Azul!

This picturesque mountain community is popular among those seeking a calm and close-knit community. However, with its convenient location, you’re not far from everything you need in the capital city.

If you’re a nature lover looking for a place to live in Panama, Cerro Azul should top your list of places to experience. While many decide to use this serene community as a weekend getaway from the hustle and bustle of Panama City, many choose to move to Cerro Azul full-time.

Cerro Azul is home to Panamanians and foreigners from many different countries.

Cerro Azul’s prices are significantly lower than in other highland towns like Boquete or El Valle de Anton.

Watch this video about Cerro Azul

YouTube video

Are you intrigued by the idea of waking up to rolling hills, chirping birds, and perfect weather? Well then, let’s take a closer look at this one-of-a-kind mountain community.

Nature in Cerro Azul

When considering what to do when you move to Cerro Azul, remember that it’s a fairly remote mountain community. It’s about 15-20 minutes from amenities like shopping, restaurants or doctors. So, your activities, when living in Cerro Azul will center around the great outdoors within the community or in its vicinity.

The Hacienda Country Club, inside of Alto del Cerro Azul, has golf, tennis, swimming, and horseback riding.

Cerro Azul is located within the Chagres National Park region, which was established in 1985. It covers about 129,000 hectares and is just 40 kilometers (about 25 miles) from Panama City. This area contains tropical rainforests, mountainous terrain, lakes, and rivers. It also has a few notable mountain peaks, one of which is Cerro Azul. However, the highest peak in the park is Cerro Jefe, which reaches 3,300 feet (1,000 meters).

Surrounded by Natural Beauty

While the mountains are spectacular, the area is also well known for the Chagres River and Lake Alajuela which are fed by countless waterfalls and streams throughout the park. And, there are over 900 plant species.

Cerro Azul is a birdwatcher’s paradise as there are nearly 400 bird species in the area. There’s plenty of other wildlife to enjoy as well with over 100 mammal species and over 50 species of freshwater fish among the lakes and rivers.

Avid hikers will fall in love with the area. There are plenty of trails to choose from. If you’re in good shape ( or want to get in good shape) and looking for an adventure, consider taking on the highest peak: Cerro Jefe. When reaching the summit, you’ll have an incredible view from up in the clouds.

Camino Real is probably one of Latin America’s most well-known and adventurous hikes. About 30 miles of Camino Real runs through Chagres National Park. You could opt for a bike tour or plan a hike! You won’t want to miss it, as National Geographic has deemed Camino Real one of the “best experiences in South America.”

Costs of Living in Cerro Azul

If you’re interested in making this majestic, mountain community you’re home, then you’re probably wondering what it actually costs to live there. As with all places in Panama, your cost of living will depend greatly on your lifestyle and budget. There are options to make every budget work as Panama certainly provides a lower cost of living as compared to the U.S., Canada, and many parts of Europe.

That being said, Cerro Azul is extremely affordable. It’s not the most popular area for expats, which has kept the prices relatively low for rentals and houses. You can still buy and rent at an affordable price–and when you see the surroundings, it will feel like a steal!

There are many different styles and prices of homes in Cerro Azul. See these samples:

Furnished $800 a month

These furnished three and four-bedroom homes rent for $1200 to $1500 near the Hacienda Country Club:

Rental and sales prices in Cerro Azul are much lower than in Boquete, Panama, a popular town with expats.

The most popular area, is Altos de Cerro Azul. This is a gated community at a higher elevation so it has cooler weather. No air conditioner is needed! You are living in the cloud forest. The community also offers certain benefits such as 24-hour security, a country club with a pool, tennis courts, and restaurants. You can access hiking trails from within the community.

House rentals in Altos de Cerro Azul are usually between $700-$1800 a month.

Furnished $900 a month

In addition to rentals, there are homes for sale and lots for building your ideal home. Inside the Online Panama Relocation Guide, we have recommendations for real estate agents who live in Cerro Azul and can assist you in finding the perfect home. As always, we recommend renting for at least a year before making a buying or building decision.

Panama City view from Cerro Azul

What’s Close By?

Healthcare is at the forefront of many people’s minds when relocating to another country, especially retirees. However, affordable and quality healthcare availability are among the top motivating factors for many expats who are making the bold decision to relocate to Panama.

Of course, deciding to live in a small mountain community will limit your nearby options. There is a medical clinic within the Cerro Azul community. You’re 20 minutes away from a large public hospital or a 45-minute drive to Panama City, where you’ll have your pick of the best hospitals. Ambulance service is available in Cerro Azul.

There are a few restaurants or stores in Cerro Azul and a new microbrewery!

Plaza Las Américas is a short 15-20 minute drive away. It has large modern grocery stores, pharmacies, and anything you’d need. And the MEGAMall is nearby too.

If you have school-aged children, it’s good to know the Thomas Jefferson International School is in Cerro Azul.

Public transportation is scarce in this small community, so having a car is necessary. Getting there is easy, as it’s just off a major highway. The Tocumen International Airport is also just a 30-minute drive from Cerro Azul.

Live the serene mountain life in Cerro Azul

Altos de Cerro Azul is a great place to settle down. You’ll find a close-knit expat community as well as friendly locals. Most people can bond over their love of nature and a slower pace of life.

If you’re interested in exploring Cerro Azul or moving to this beautiful location but would like some help, check out the Online Panama Relocation Guide. Here you’ll find more information about Cerro Azul. The Online Guide also has real estate contacts to help you find the perfect home and give you a tour of the community. The agents live in the Cerro Azul community and know it very well.

The Online Panama Relocation Guide also has information about visa options, immigration lawyer recommendations, getting a driver’s license, health insurance options, buying a car, bringing pets to Panama, and so much more.

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. Bank Akinmola says

    I just want to give a shout out to Jackie and the crew at Panama Relocation for an outstanding job educating us about everything Panama. I feel like I’ve learned so much following you this last couple of months. Your in depth analysis is so good that it literally answers all the questions and then helps to manage one’s expectations. As my wife and I contemplate our relocation, I just want to say a big “thank you” for the avanlanche of information you’ve made available.

    • Jackie Lange says

      Bank! Thanks for the kind words. I’m glad our information is helping you learn about Panama. There are so many great places to live, it’s hard to pick just one.

  2. neil bryington says

    hi there . live in cayman and want to explore possibility of buying a small property somewhere in panama ( not in any major city) cerro azul has been mentioned as well as places like boqueta. couple questions the 6 day does that have to be done as a group or can that tour be booked for my wife and myself? also have 2 to three weeks off in october thinking of renting a house for that period, plus a car using it as our base and driving to different areas. your thoughts. how do u find a property to rent etc

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hello Neil. If you know specific areas you would like to explore, a Private Tour may be better. There will just be your family and the tour guide and the tour is customized to see and do what interests you the most. Tours start at just $250 a day for up to two people. See details at

      • Roderick V Sellers says

        Hello Jackie,
        I am looking for the view in photo on this page “Panama City view from Cerro Azul”!! Is this still possible? I am selling my house on 7/26. I already have my Permanent Residency Visa and I am looking to schedule a private tour for July and want to include Cerra Azul, Panama City, Coronado and San Carlos. Are there any nearby mountain communities over looking these areas that I might want to take a look at?

        • Jackie Lange says

          Hello Roderick. The only mountain community near Panama City is Cerro Azul. Altos Del Maria, a mountain coummunity, is about an hour north of Coronado. No mountain communities near San Carlos. We offer Private Tours of all of these areas.

  3. Steve Wise says

    Jackie, I’m enjoying checking out your web site here. My father and I have been talking about relocating our families down to Panama for some time now and while looking around came across your site. My father is fairly schooled in Panama, as he’s been there many times and had an apartment in PC for a few years. He has his Pencinadio to live there and is still in great shape, but will be 90 years old in a few months, so we’re looking for places that will suite him, as well as us who are younger in the family. Cerro Azul looks pretty nice, so when we come down in a few weeks we’re surely going to visit there. For now I will be looking into your self guided tours to see what they provide. Thank you, I’m pretty sure I’l be in touch again.

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Steve.. You cannot do a self-guided tour in Cerro Azul. It’s a private gated community.

      You can only get inside if you have a reservation at an airbnb or hotel. Or you need to make an appointment with a real estate agent who lives inside of Cerro Azul. We have recommendations of two agents in the

  4. Darrell Pluff says

    Cerro Azul has really peaked our interest. We have been retired for several years and are looking for a “Plan B” overseas move to obtain residency. Since we travel internationally often, proximity to an international airport is important. Cerro Azul appears to have other high priority features for us. Have been following your Panama Relocation information for a few years. I must say you have by far the best information on relocating to Panama. Guess it is time to buy the Online Panama Relocation Guide.

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Darrell. Cerro Azul would be ideal since it’s near Tocumen International Airport AND Panama City. Panama is the perfect “Plan B”
      Yes, it’s time to get the Online Guide where you will find even MORE information about relocating to Panama.

  5. Martin says

    If we want to buy a property in Cerro Azul can we hire you to find a property manager for us? Are they even available in the area?

    • Jackie Lange says

      Hello Martin

      Inside the Online Panama Relocation Guide, we have a recommendation of two real estate agents who are also property managers in the Cerro Azul area. They can help you find the perfect place to buy, then manage it for you when you are not in Panama.

  6. Clemya says

    Do you need a car in Cerro Azul?

    • Jackie Lange says

      Clemya, yes, you definitely need a car in Cerro Azul

  7. Eric Cumming says

    Hi Jackie, my wife and I are very interested in your tours as we are looking for a Plan B, like others here. We are trying to narrow down the areas we might look at. “Upper” Cerro Azul looks very interesting to us, due to the cool climate and proximity to Panama City, but we haven’t been able to find any specific climate information on the upper region. Is there a resource you can point us to that shows monthly high and low temps and other relevant information? Thanks much.

    • Jackie Lange says

      ERic, I’m not aware of any source online that has the weather for Altos de Cerro Azul (upper). Perhaps some of the residents have a private weather station but they don’t publish the information.

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