Beachfront living doesn’t have to cost you a fortune. At least not if you’re living in Panama!
Several coastal towns in Panama offer oceanfront living with spectacular views at reasonable prices. And their relaxed way of life is great for health and well-being.
If that’s what you’re after, check out:
Nueva Gorgona (Panama Oeste Province)
Nueva Gorgona is just 5-10 minutes east of the town of Coronado. It’s about an hour and a half from Panama City and about 40 minutes from Rio Hato International Airport, which offers non-stop charter flights from Canada.
The beach towns in this region are popular among expats of all age groups. They are not just for expats retiring in Panama.
The lifestyle in Nueva Gorgona is very laid back. The best part is that you can find affordable, top-notch condos with magnificent ocean views.
Gorgona prices are about 20% less than Coronado on rentals and houses for sale.
The town has some stores and a medical clinic for your basic needs. For everything else, Coronado is just next door.
Population in Nueva Gorgona
The estimated population is over 5,000 .
Most residents here are Panamanians. But there is an expat community in the San Carlos-Nueva Gorgona-Coronado area.
You can get to know others fairly easily because the community is small.
Climate in Nueva Gorgona
The region has a tropical climate that’s ideal for beachgoers.
The average temperatures are around 79-82F all year long, with daytime maximums of 85-89F .
It rains from April to December, and October gets the most rainfall. But the region doesn’t often get heavy rains. So, you can be outdoors almost every day.
Cost of living in Nueva Gorgona
Nueva Gorgona offers great value for money, especially on rentals:
(Source: Info from our clients)
2-bedroom, 2-bath, furnished, with ocean views, rooftop pool, gym, and beach access – $1,400 per month.
Condos in the area with the above facilities rent for around $1,000-2,000 per month, including several utilities. They are usually well-furnished and decorated.
Snowbirds, mostly from Canada, come down between December – April, so it’s harder to find a rental then. For rentals of less than six months, AirBnB is usually your best source.
For rentals for six months or more, see the list of recommended real estate agents in the Online Complete Panama Relocation Guide.
Average monthly rates for two:
• Water and trash services – $10-20
• Electricity – around $40-$100 for a 2-bedroom condo (varies based on AC usage)
• Gas – $10
• Internet – $50
Nueva Gorgona has some restaurants with local and other food. Due to the town’s location, you’ll find plenty of seafood here.
Check out La Ruina for real Panamanian food at reasonable prices. For some pizza, visit Pizzeria Restaurante Torito’s.
Go to Coronado for more restaurants, bars, and nightlife.
You’ll likely spend about $400 a month on groceries for two.
Nueva Gorgona has some grocery stores, a bakery, and stalls selling fresh produce and other items at affordable prices.
You can also buy fresh seafood at great prices. For example, two adults can use $10 worth of fish for about five meals.
Coronado has more stores and larger supermarkets. Some expats also make bulk shopping trips to Price Smart in Costa Verde, about an hour away.
A car is very useful. But the area has public transport and taxis.
• Local bus to Panama City: Less than $5
• Taxi to Panama City: Around $30
Remember, you may have to call and book taxis in advance, like in most small towns.
A couple can expect to spend about $2,000 a month to live in Nueva Gorgona unless they rent on the higher end.
Healthcare in Nueva Gorgona
The town has a clinic for basic medical needs. Coronado has more comprehensive medical facilities and English-speaking doctors. You can also easily visit Panama City.
Many foreigners keen to retire in Panama ask us about the healthcare costs. The healthcare in Panama is very affordable compared to the same services in the U.S. Expat Alicia, who stayed in the Penonome hospital for 16 days, says her total bill was less than $1,300. She was very happy with the level of care.
Watch the video of Alicia and Jerry to hear about their healthcare experience and for insights into living in Nueva Gorgona.
Lifestyle and culture in Nueva Gorgona
Remember, Nueva Gorgona is an ideal destination only if you love a slow and relaxed lifestyle because life here is truly laidback.
The town’s residents are extremely friendly and helpful. But you’ll need to learn some Spanish to get to know them better. The expat community is also close and helpful. And they have get-togethers and activities that you can join.
Nueva Gorgona has beautiful and quiet beaches that are great for relaxing. Depending on the day, you might get a beach all to yourself. The region is also popular for surfing, fishing, and other water sports. Playa Malibú is a well-known surfing spot.
You can also hike, take long walks in nature, enjoy waterfalls, and visit nearby towns and communities. Check out Picacho Mountain by a beautiful lagoon, about 45 minutes away, that’s great for hiking.
Most expats feel safe in Nueva Gorgona and the surrounding areas. But there’s always a chance of petty crime. So, be aware.
If you live in a condo with security, you’ll have extra protection.
Plan your move to Panama (and Nueva Gorgona)
Does Nueva Gorgona sound like a great place to retire in Panama?
Many expats living here will agree with you!
But I urge you to visit different areas in Panama before packing your bags.
Here are 3 ways we can help you fast-track your move to Panama:
• Use the info in our Online Complete Panama Relocation Guide to plan a self-guided tour. This guide also covers everything must know about relocating to Panama and includes various service providers’ contacts. You’ll also get access to our private Facebook community, which is a great way to learn from others.
If organizing a scouting trip sound too complicated,
• Take one of our all-inclusive 6-day/7-night Panama Relocation Tours. You’ll visit Nueva Gorgona, San Carlos, Coronado, and many other places. You can see the lifestyle and the amenities in different areas and even meet some expats.
• Take a fully customized 2-3-day Private Tour of Nueva Gorgona, San Carlos, Coronado, and the surroundings. These tours will focus on answering all your questions. And your relocation guide will share all the must-know information about living in Panama.
Pat (Patrick) Fitzsimons says
We are looking for somewhere to spend Dec, Jan, Feb in Panama, as close to the sea as possible, somewhere I can go boating and snorkelling and Scuba diving. First Floor condo (not ground floor)
Can you help. I was planning to buy your online guide?
Jackie Lange says
Hello Pat. It sounds like Bocas del Toro would be a good fit. It has all the things you are looking for. The real estate agents we recommend in the Online Guide can certainly help. https://panamarelocationtours.com/guide
We live in Nuevo Gorgona part of the year and we are looking for a better solution than very costly health insurance for 4 months – please advise further
Jackie Lange says
check some of the travel insurance companies for better rates.
Taxi for $30 to Panama City? I don’t understand. If Nueva Gorgona is close to Coronado, why would a taxi from Panama City to Coronado be around $100? What am I missing?
Thank you for clarifying. You guys rock.
Jackie Lange says
Gorgona to Coronado a 5 minute drive for about $5. Gorgona to Panama City a 1.5-2 hour drive so it’s about $100.
Donna Felix says
Mosquitoes absolutely love me. How bad are they there?
Same question of Bouquete
Jackie Lange says
hi Donna Mosquitos are not a problem in Gorgona but the noseems are out especially at sunrise and sunset
Maria Sheehan says
Looking for a month long stay in Panama City Jan/Feb 2024 saw a luxury penthouse 3 bed with pool and fitness facilities. Looked great on airbnb. Can I trust the photos and description on that site?
Love what you are doing.♥️
Jackie Lange says
by law, a rental in Panama City cannot be for less than 45 days unless you are staying at a hotel apartment. Unless the rental is at a hotel, I would not trust it.