How to Have a Hassle-Free Move to Panama

Since 2010, Panama Relocation Tours has helped thousands of people have a smooth move to Panama. One way we help you to have a hassle-free move is to recommend reliable, honest, and ethical service providers.

Unfortunately, not all service providers in Panama are trustworthy. We try to protect you from people who charge too much (aka Gringo Bingo), people who have scammed people, and people who don’t provide the service they say they will.

Often people think if they are working with someone from their home country/state, they will be trustworthy. But sadly, that is not always the case in Panama. Just this week, a Canadian couple rented a house from a Canadian expat who lives in a beach community near Las Tablas. Canadians can trust Canadians, right? WRONG! They got to their rental, which was a dump, not fit for humans to live in. Hopefully, they will get their money back.

The Online Complete Panama Relocation Guide has information about how to move to Panama the right way. You’ll learn about visa options, getting a driver’s license, finding a rental, buying a car, getting pets to Panama, health insurance options, and so much more.

The Online Guide also contains the recommended list of providers for all the services you’ll need. It has eight immigration lawyers, honest real estate agents and property managers, car brokers, insurance agents, pet relocation companies, mail forwarding companies, charter flight companies, “fixers” who can help you get things done, private tour guides, and others we recommend who have consistently provided exceptional service without complaints.

If someone is not on our recommended list, THERE IS A REASON WHY!

It’s comforting for people moving to Panama to know they have a list of trusted people to contact for the services they will need.

How Does Someone Get On the Recommended List?

To get on our recommended list, a person must provide honest and ethical service at a fair price. They also need to be able to communicate well and promptly.

Often, these are people I have personally worked with. We also get recommendations from previous Panama Relocation Tour clients of people to add to the recommended list. So the list of honest people you can work with is always growing.

We interview the people we work with to verify that they know what they are doing and have experience working with foreigners and that their fees are reasonable. We ask for and verify referrals.

People we work with often ask if we want a commission, and my answer is always no, that we do not accept commissions or kickbacks. The only thing we want is for them to provide great service to our clients.

If our clients don’t get great service, I’ll be the first to know!

There have been a few times when people were on the recommended list and then later removed because of complaints about their services. If I get several complaints, they are removed. Here are a few examples:

An insurance agent that I had worked with for years was asked what it would cost for my son to get international health insurance. She quoted me $3200, which was more than I was paying at twice the age. She said, “their rates have really gone up!” I knew it did not sound right. So, I called the insurance company directly and was quoted $1200 for the exact same policy. Needless to say, she was removed from the recommended list. We won’t recommend people who do things like that.

A car broker/fixer that we had recommended was caught marking up the price by $2000 over the car dealer’s price, plus adding a $1500 fee on top of that. All car brokers charge a fee to help you find a car and get it titled in your name. But charging a fee and jacking up the price of the car is not acceptable.

An attorney we had worked with for several years suddenly stopped responding to emails or Whatsapp messages promptly. People would contact her several times over two weeks and still get no reply. Perhaps she was overwhelmed with too many clients. Perhaps other things were going on in her life. Regardless of the reason, she is not on the recommended list anymore.

A private tour guide got greedy. He started trying to get clients to buy real estate and was even jacking up the price by tens of thousands of dollars.

Things can happen in people’s lives that change the quality of service they provide. But we can’t let their personal problems affect the quality of service you receive.

Some People Never Make the Recommended List – Here’s Why

An immigration lawyer contacted me asking to be added to the recommended list. When I asked what his fees were, I discovered that his “special price for our clients” was more than twice (almost three times more) what our recommended lawyers charge. There is no need for a couple to pay $2800 (or more) for a Pensionado Visa when they can get it for $1400 from one of our recommended immigration lawyers.

A real estate agent in Boquete wrote up a lease for a Panama Relocation Tour client that certain repairs would be done to a property before moving in 30 days later. When our client returned, and none of the repairs were done, she asked for her money back. Our client agreed to rent the property based on the repairs before she moved in. It was clearly stated in the lease. The agent refused to return the security deposit, the first and last month’s rent, that was paid. So, the agent will never make the recommended list. Would you want to work with someone who would do that?

Another agent was caught in a scam. Tenants signed a lease and paid a deposit, first and last month’s rent. They moved into the house. Three months later, there was a knock on the door. It was the owner asking who they were and what they were doing in her house! Come to find out, the property manager failed to notify the owner that the house was rented. She’d been pocketing the rent for three months. We try to protect you from people who would do this.

Another real estate company rents out short-term rentals on AirBnb. We have several complaints that people arrived after an 8-16 hour flight to find the rental filthy, beds not changed, and the air conditioner not working. The agent could not even be reached to solve the problem. They called me for help, so I referred them to someone on our recommended list who quickly picked them up and got them moved. Their frustration could have been avoided if they had worked with someone on the recommended list.

I COULD GO ON AND ON! You would not believe the bad stories I have heard.

Because we work with so many people moving to Panama every month, we get to hear about the good, the bad, and the downright ugly experiences that people have.

Unfortunately, there are some unethical people in Panama ready to take advantage of new expats who move to town. We want to protect you from them.

The Solution

Our recommended list of providers in the Online Complete Panama Relocation Guide is one way to have a better chance of having a good experience in Panama. Our objective at Panama Relocation Tours is that you won’t have any problems and you’ll have a smooth, hassle-free experience when moving to Panama when you work with the people on the recommended list.

We want to protect you from having a bad experience in Panama or spending more than you should for getting a visa or any other service in Panama.

The Proof!

We get glowing reviews about the service providers we recommend. Here are just a few.

VJ wrote:

Kudos to the real estate agent you recommend in Panama City for helping us find our beautiful apartment. She met with us on Monday and Tuesday and showed us numerous apartments, provided us detailed information, and guided us through the process. We signed the lease agreement this afternoon and even got to meet the owner. It’s been a very long time since we have worked with such a super efficient and genuinely nice realtor.

Luis and Nancy wrote:

I normally don’t get too involved with stuff like this and start writing about someone’s services, but this is a well worthy exception. My wife Nancy and I, used the services of immigration attorney you recommend.

First of all, her discounted rates offered to veterans is simply hard to believe. And if you think you’re getting second-rate service for such low rates, think again. We arrived right in the middle of the road closures and all the craziness and even in the middle of all that, the attorney expertly maneuvered through all the pertinent government offices to get us our temporary Visas in a timely manner. I have never seen anyone working SO hard to help out a veteran. Your recommended immigration lawyer and her husband went far above and beyond even my best expectations. I now consider them personal friends. Whether you are a veteran taking advantage of their discounted rate or a regular retiree paying her full fee, you will be hard pressed to find a more professional, knowledgeable and “committed-to-your-success” attorney in Panama.

Lauren wrote:

Your attorney recommendation has been phenomenal for us and I’d just at least like for you to know that.

As a PRT recommendation, he has gone above and beyond the call as an Attorney. His service is second to none, and his staff is not only friendly but highly efficient.

During the initial stage of obtaining our FNV, the bank required additional funds to be deposited. It was during the time of influx of ex-pats flocking to Panamà prior to the updated FNV, which also meant his office was extremely busy. This was a surprise to the lawyer and to us as we had presented the normal nominal funds. He notified us of this change and as we were in a remote area of Panamà exploring, he offered to add the additional funds from his own pocket with us then reimbursing once we were back in David.

Did the lawyer have to do this? Absolutely not. However, in an effort to keep the process moving along, he went above and beyond.

Your immigration lawyer recommendation has proven to be the absolute best lawyer that I’ve ever worked with and we would hands down continue to recommend him to others.

Michael wrote:

Dear Jackie,

I am pleased to report that you, Panama Relocations Tour (PRT), its online guide, the PRT Facebook Community, and the PRT recommended service providers have helped me to make the right decision for me to choose Panama to retire to and made that transition in the most expeditious, cost saving, and stress-free way possible.

To be specific I have saved a minimum of $18,000 by following the recommendations & using the recommended service providers (over 7 times the cost of the PRT & online guide).

In regard to time saving, I am on schedule to acquire my temporary visa, permanent visa, cedula (National ID Card), and Panamanian driver’s license in the bare minimum amount of time (9 months) since deciding to retire in Panama, something I could not have done while living in the United States without PRT.

Finally, the easy and stress-free way in which PTR has enabled me to make this life-changing transition can not be measured in time or money, but it is priceless. For example, I know a couple whose attorney cheated them out of $20,000. I am also aware of several couples who lost hundreds on rental properties and even tens of thousands of dollars on real estate purchases. I don’t have these worries. I won’t be subject to such fraudulent transactions because of the guidance you provide and the service providers you recommend.

I have heard many people say, “You can retire & move to Panama without any assistance.” That statement may be true, but from my experience trying to it on your own will cost your several thousands of dollars, take several more months, and increase your stress level immeasurably. No thanks, I want to make such a life altering transition with the assistance of professionals. There is no one more professional than PRT in terms of considering, deciding, and actually retiring in Panama.

Again, thank you for your expertise, advice, and commitment to your PRT community.

All the best,

Your client, grateful community member, and now I consider you as my trusted advisor & friend

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. Vanny says

    Hi Jackie I would like to know how much is the cast of the tour

  2. Richard Powell DC says

    Hi, Jackie, I’ve purchased your online book. I’ve also put myself on the waitlist for the bus tour. I can come down 3/14/23-4/1/23. Where does the tour start and end? If there are no openings, can I rent a car from Panama City airport and would you give me a list of hotels, Airbnb’s in different locations that I can drive to over the 2 weeks.? I really enjoy your content and I’ve been watching daily.

    • Jackie Lange says

      HI Richard. Thanks for buying the Online Guide. See the self-guided tour section in the Online Guide for info about doing your own tour. Hopefully, we get an opening so you can join us for an all-inclusive 6-day 7-ngiht Panama Relocation Tour. We also have Private Tour Guides in all the popular places to live their contact info is also in the Online Guide.

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