Moved from Hong Kong to Retire in Panama

People from all over the world are retiring in Panama! They are discovering the affordable and comfortable lifestyle available in Panama.

Laurie and Tony moved from Hong Kong to Panama just before Panama shut down the borders because of the Covid pandemic. They lived in El Valle for a few months until they could get to the Pearl Islands where they had a house-sitting gig lined up. A few months of living at the beach made them realize that they would prefer to live in the highlands where the weather is mild all year.

Now, they live in Volcan Panama in a furnished two-bedroom house on a 5-acre potato farm where they pay $625 rent. Tony said you can’t even get a parking place for that much in Hong Kong!

Volcán is a town and corregimiento in Tierras Altas District, Chiriquí Province, Panama. It’s the place that many say reminds them of Boquete 15-20 years ago. Volcan is at a similar altitude to Boquete with pleasant Spring-like weather and an abundance of natural beauty. Volcan has rolling vistas with the mountain views in the distance.

Volcan is still a more rural mountain town; though it is growing in popularity quickly as many retirees feel they’ve been priced out of Boquete. You’ll find a tranquil lifestyle only about an hour drive from David. The population is about 15,000 people with estimates that there are 500 expats.

Prices in Volcan are much more affordable than Boquete. Plus there is a new 24 hour hospital with an emergency room in Volcan. Volcan has several very nice grocery stores, doctors, dentists, and many excellent restaurants.

In Volcan you won’t find any gated communities, golf or tennis courts. Volcan has a much slower pace of life with less social activity than Boquete.

A popular restaurant and ex-pat hang-out is the Wondering Sloth in Paso Ancho which is about halfway between Volcan and Cerro Punta. Many ex-pats live in the Paso Ancho area too. The Wondering Sloth has live music once in a while.

Just North of Paso Ancho is Bambito which offers a completely different microclimate and feel than Volcan. Bambito is lush and green all year. The Bambito Hotel, pictured to the right, offers cultural events throughout the year.

Most of the produce in Panama is grown in the region around Cerro Punta which is about 20 minutes north of Volcan. You will never have a shortage of affordable fresh veggies if you live in the Volcan area.

Volcan offers a peaceful, country lifestyle that is only a short drive away from the conveniences of David, the second-largest city in Panama.

There are several bi-lingual private schools in Volcan ranging in price from $75 – $150 a month.


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. Michelle says

    I really enjoyed this video and this couple. All the videos are great, but this couple’s perspective is so enriching, it was great to hear about their experiences thus far!

    • Jackie Lange says

      We’re glad you enjoyed Laurie and Tony’s video!

  2. Daniel says

    Would have been really interesting to hear this couples view on the difference between living in El Valle and Volcan.
    Fun to hear people coming to Panama from other places then NA.

    • Jackie Lange says

      They only stayed in El Valle because they were stuck there. When the pandemic first began in Panama, we could not leave the province where we lived. Obviously, they decided not to move back to El Valle so that speaks volumes. El Valle is much warmer than other mountain towns.

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