There are three ways (really 4 ways) you can discover if Panama is right for you.
You can sit in a stuffy conference room in Panama City to hear presentations by speakers who were hand-picked to tell sugar-coated stories about life in Panama. You can see a few slide shows to see what Panama looks like…of course; they will only show the best of the best parts. In addition to the hefty conference fee for 2 1/2 days, you’ll also pay for your own overpriced hotel room and all meals and beverages. You get to walk through the gauntlet of people trying to sell you stuff just to get to the conference room. If you’re lucky, you’ll get to see one square block of Panama City.
This is a great introduction to what your life could be like living in Panama City. But you really need to SEE many different parts of Panama before you make a decision to relocate. Panama is completely different once you get outside of Panama City!
That is NOT the real Panama!
WHAT’S THE 2ND WAY TO DISCOVER PANAMA?
You can discover Panama up close and personal during a full 6-day 7-night all-inclusive Panama Relocation Tour. You pay one flat fee for 6 days of seeing the real Panama, not slide shows. You’ll travel in a super comfortable bus throughout Panama. We keep the tour size small so everyone gets personal attention. While we are traveling from one location to another, I’ll be conducting a rolling seminar to teach you everything you need to know to relocate the EASY way. What’s included in a Panama Relocation Tour? VIP airport shuttle service when you arrive, all ground transportation, all hotels, all meals, and a Copa flight back to Panama City. Plus you’ll learn everything you need to know to successfully relocate to Panama.
You’ll get to actually see Gorgona, Coronado, Santa Clara, El Valle, Chitre, Las Tablas, Santiago, Las Lajas Beach, David, Boquete, Volcan, Bambito and Cerro Punta. Plus we will travel through a lot of other towns. No slide shows. No photoshop pictures. You get to really see Panama up close and personal.
It’s Not a Tour, It’s an Adventure! said Bob and Sally Lewis from my January 2015 tour.
They added … Besides all the great info you are going to get, you see so much of the country, will make some wonderful friends, that you will want to sell your house as soon as you get back home, like my wife Sally and I are going to do!! Jackie does incredible things to personalize the tour, like having a freshly baked Birthday Cake at dinner on my wife’s Birthday!! You don’t spend money on this tour, you INVEST it!!
You’ll meet expats in each area. They will discuss what their life is like in Panama. I don’t screen what guests will say except “no sales pitches please.” No sugar coating. You’ll hear the truth.. both the good, the bad, and the downright ugly. You’ll learn the pros and cons of living in each area. That’s not all…. you’ll also meet with Panamanians to hear what they think about expats living in their country and how you can make friends and “fit in” quickly.
You’ll learn about rental prices in each area of Panama. Some areas are more expensive than others. Some areas are incredible bargains. Each area has its pros and cons which we will discuss during the tour.
Jacqui is renting a one-bedroom house for $80 a month in Las Tablas. She is 10 minutes to the Pacific Ocean. Las Tablas has just about anything you’d need but Chitre is only 30 minutes away and it has even more shopping options. Chitre also has movie theaters and bowling alleys.
Doug is renting a 2 bedroom 2 bath with spectacular views in Boquete for $600. He has a 1/2 acre lot with coffee plants, bananas, avocados, and oranges.
Colin and Sue are renting a 2-bedroom 2-bath in Cerro Punta for $400. The views are incredible (see photo below). You will get to see many of these rental properties. No slideshows. You get to walk through the house and the yard and talk to the expat tenants. There are pros and cons to living in each area. You’ll learn exactly what they are so you can make an informed decision about where to relocate to in Panama (if you decide Panama is right for you).
You’ll get to see beaches communities, mountain communities, and small or large metro areas too. And, in each area, we visit you’ll get to see rental properties. During lunch and/or dinner, you will have the opportunity to meet expats who live in each area we visit.
You might see a rainbow or two while you’re in Panama. The colors are so vivid it looks like a box of Crayola.
You’ll see some amazing sunsets over the ocean or the mountains. And you’ll probably see more stars in Panama than you have ever seen before.
We’ll visit grocery stores. You get to walk the aisles to see if your favorite products are available. You can compare prices of imported vs. local products. Yes we have Butterball Turkey in Panama. You won’t hear this at the international conferences but the truth is that some grocery stores are terrible. Luckily there is almost always a great grocery store close by through. You’ll learn the secret place to buy fresh fruits, vegetables and fish for 50% less!
We’ll visit department stores so you can see the great bargains which are available in Panama. You’ll also see electronic stores and furniture stores so you can compare prices and help you decide what to bring to Panama and what to just buy here. We’ll drive by several hospitals too!
Get the real scoop on health insurance options. Or why you may want to self-insure because medical care is so affordable. Discover why you could pay 50% more if you use an insurance agent/broker instead of going direct.
Learn how to bring your pet in to Panama. There’s a process but it is well worth it to bring your furry family members. My cat moved to Panama with me. She traveled In-Cabin. She loves living in Panama as much as I do!
We’ll eat at upscale restaurants but also have lunch at a $5 a meal Panamanian restaurants with excellent food. This is the real Panama which you won’t find in an expensive hotel room in Panama City. Well also visit farmer’s markets during the tour. Sometimes, we stop for fresh coconut juice when we see a vendor selling it alongside the road.
You’ll learn the easiest way to buy a car in Panama and why it is better if you do not ship a car to Panama.
Experience the real Panama! You never know what you might see when you are traveling through Panama. During one tour there was a truck with an elephant in the back. It was headed to a circus. Sometimes a parade breaks out. You will certainly see trucks full of bananas or plantains. Or sacks of 100 oranges for $4
You will meet with a Panama attorney to learn about your visa options, buying real estate, and setting up a business in Panama. Our attorney will make sure you get your visa quickly and at the best price in Panama and that you don’t make any mistakes when renting or buying a property in Panama.
Discover the real Panama! You’ll see beautiful flowers and lush green trees everywhere we go. But to be honest, you’ll also see some areas that have trash alongside the road. You may smell some septic tanks that need to be cleaned out. You’ll see people riding horses next to the highway and probably see some roosters too. And there will be dogs walking around like the own the town. This is the real Panama!
You’ll get to touch, feel, smell, hear, and experience the real Panama up close and personal. During the 6-day all-inclusive tour, you’ll travel 1200 kilometers (745 miles) to discover which part of Panama could be your new home. Leave the driving to our professional driver who knows every square inch of Panama.
We’ll look at some real estate in each area but, unlike the conferences, we stress that you should NOT buy anything until you’ve been living in Panama at least 6 months… 12 months is better. We don’t try to sell you anything. But we know you want to see what houses and condos look like in various price points so we visit some rental properties.
You’ll learn the 4 most important questions you need to ask before you rent any property.
Keep in mind that I have absolutely NO financial ties to any property. I don’t get or want a commission when you rent a property. I tell the landlord or property manager to pass those savings on to YOU instead. I think it is a conflict of interest to do real estate tours pushing certain areas where a tour guide will get a big commission. It’s just not right!
Whew! It sounds like a lot already but I actually cover even more. You’ll learn some creative ways to make money with an online business too!
LEARN MORE ABOUT PANAMA RELOCATION TOURS HERE
The 6-day all-inclusive Panama Relocation Tour is the best way to get a “feel” for Panama, learn how to relocate, explore a variety of areas, and discover if Panama is right for you. You’ll be safe with my professional bi-lingual driver and being with a group of people who are also considering relocating to Panama.
WHAT’S THE 3RD WAY TO DISCOVER PANAMA?
The 3rd way to discover Panama is to go on a Private Tour of only the areas you are most interested in. We offer 2-3 day Private Tours of all the most popular places to live in Panama. Private Tours only have your family and one tour guide. They are $250 – $350 per day for 1-2 tour guests.
If you are a city slicker, you will probably only want to get a tour of Panama City, maybe David.
If you’re a beach lover, you can only see beach communities that fit your budget. We offer tours of beach communities in the Coronado area, the Azuero, and Bocas del Toro.
If you prefer the cooler weather of mountain towns, then a Private Tour of El Valle de Anton, Boquete or Volcan would be ideal for you.
A Private Tour is customized to see and do the things you are most interested in while learning the maximum amount of information about the area in the least amount of time.
LEARN MORE ABOUT PRIVATE TOURS HERE
THERE IS A 4TH WAY TO TO DISCOVER PANAMA TOO
If you’re a DIY kind of person, you will love this way to discover Panama.
The Complete Panama Relocation Guide has information about how to do a SELF-GUIDED tour of Panama. It includes information about where to stay, the best places to shop, how to get to the town, who to contact to see rentals, expat hangouts, and more.
The Complete Panama Relocation Guide has all the information you need to know to have a smooth move to Panama PLUS you’ll get access to our Private Community Forum where we offer ongoing support.
There you have it… 4 ways to discover beautiful Panama.
Moving to Panama is a big decision. It is important for you to have all the information you need before you decide to relocate. It’s also important to learn the good, as well as the not-so-good, before you pull the trigger and decide to move. I honestly think the only way you can discover Panama is to travel around the country. You can’t sit in a conference room in Panama City to learn what life is like living in Panama. You need to see the various areas for yourself. You need to talk to people who live there. And you need to explore the housing options and prices.
We’d love to show you how you can live better for less in Panama! Join us for a Panama Relocation Tour to learn how!
This review was posted on TripAdvisor in February 2022:
A wonderful, all-inclusive, educational adventure in a visually beautiful country.
“This was a fact-finding trip for myself and spouse. They have this tour down to a science, meaning it is well organized and every person is well taken care of from the time you land in Panama City til the last day and beyond as they provide support to all tour goers that have questions and need guidance in the moving process. Ok, we will start with the bus- very clean, comfortable ride with a very nice, capable, safe driver Jorge. He did great. The tour guides Ellen and Steve are a wealth of knowledge and useful information, everyday they do talks as we ride across country touching on every subject one would want to know about if we were to make the move: Rent prices, everything cars, medical, phones, internet, food, insurance, bus system, driving, being pulled over by a cop, bringing your animal and so much more I can’t list it all, but trust me it is all covered and questions are encouraged. Ellen and Steve are GREAT and are honest. Not everything is perfect in any country and they don’t hide the facts. They were very organized, very clear, personable and interacted well with all of us. They played off each other naturally and we never got bored, there was a point in a Volcan tour where Ellen was worried about how quiet the bus was, it honestly was because we were all in awe of the beauty that was being bestowed upon us as we snapped pictures and enjoyed the amazing mountains and the crops planted on the sides of the mountains, the little towns were out of a storybook. We got to walk through an assortment of rentals and housing options which was appreciated. along our travels, during our mealtimes we had the privilege to meet and hear speakers(expat) tell us of their personal experiences. We got to visit a coffee farm and i really enjoyed that and the coffee and the cakes were delicious Those guides were wonderful as well. We bonded with several of the other tour guests and have made lifelong connections. I want to touch on how safe we felt the whole time we were in Panama, Steve and Ellen were very protective of us and our things on the bus, they were great caretakers, as was Jorge our driver. Ok, so the review says i have to say something to improve, i don’t have any serious complaints other than I really wanted to stop at one of those road-side stands and get 1 of those watermelons and eat it, maybe in the future that bus can pull over and have a watermelon picnic in the name of” Vicki” lol. The mattresses were a bit rough at the beginning and end of the tour, but tolerable. And my biggest disappointment was that I didn’t get to see a single monkey, darn. I highly recommend this well put-together tour, that has been well thought out if you are considering moving to Panama. You get to sit back and look out the big windows of a nice bus all while hearing Ellen and Steve speak about all possible subjects and they feed you every meal. It’s a no-brainer.”
See this TripAdvisor review of a Private Tour in February 2022
Great way to gain experience fast!
“After spending well over a month in town over two trips, and acquiring an apartment, we reached out to Miguel for local expertise. We told him we didn’t need the tourist stuff, but wanted to speed up our expat learning with all the essentials, and we gave him a list. It was time and money well spent!
Miguel is very friendly, speaks excellent english, and was amazingly efficient with the list we gave him. I thought it would take at least a day, but it took Miguel only four hours to cover our entire list and ask, what else?
We visited the fish market (Mercado de Mariscosas), and learned the names of our favorite fish en Español. We visited the neighboring meat and vegetable markets (Mercado San Felipe Neri). Though not on our list, Miguel showed us the neighboring Central Ave area which was the big shopping area decades ago, before malls came to Panama City. Later Miguel showed us the main outdoor fruit and vegetable market (Merca Panama).
We enjoyed driving the loop around Cinta Costera 3, and then out to Veracruz beach, while discussing various beaches near Coronado, the Caribbean, and the Pearl Islands. After learning that Miguel is also a car broker, we enjoyed hearing the finer points of various vehicles in Panama.
Miguel also showed us various places we’d need in the process of getting our cedulas and driver’s licenses. We visited Albrook station to understand how the busses around the country work, and learned to use the machines to buy metro cards recharge them.
Along the way we learned the five major arteries running east-west through Panama city, and major landmarks. Miguel showed us the metro stops closest to our apartment and each of the other places we visited, as well as the bus stops when they were closer. We located the nearest PriceSmart and Miguel showed us many things near our apartment that will be useful to us.
We appreciated Miguel’s willingness to step away from the standard tours and do exactly what we needed. We highly recommend him”
Here’s what Ellen Bailey had to say about the Panama Relocation Tour
I cannot say enough positive things about the tour!! Although my husband, 11 yr old son and I had already pretty much made up our mind about relocating to Panama, I decided a tour would be a great way to help affirm our decision. Thank goodness I found Jackie’s tour. It was everything I hoped and more. We toured breathtaking locations and stayed in several different types of hotels/resorts. Each was different in its own way yet all were perfect for the area where we were. We met many expats, saw several different kinds of properties and went on many exciting outings. It was a perfect way to discover Panama. All the information Jackie gives you is priceless from meeting with the attorney to exploring what grocery shopping is like. How many tours can you do that on??
So are we still moving there? Absolutely!! I feel so confident now knowing that I have someone like Jackie in my corner who is just a phone call or email away not to mention the many friends we met on the tour. In fact we went on the tour in September and have just returned from another visit this month!! All of it was possible because of Jackie!! If you are even remotely considering a move to Panama, Jackie’s tour is a must. Even my 11 yr old who is somewhat hard to please is in love with Panama and can’t wait to make it our new home!! So just do it!!! You will not be sorry!!
Ellen, Steve and Pryce
September 2014 panamaniacs
Here’s what Joe Fairchild had to say about the January 2015 Tour
To all of you skeptics out there like I was: Have no fear. Jackie and her tour are the real deal. This was my first trip to Panama and when I arrived I had to ask myself: “What the hell was I thinking?” The next morning was the first day of the tour, and after meeting Jackie and my fellow tour mates, then boarding our spacious bus, my whole attitude changed and I felt more and more positive each and every day.
I never thought I would see so much of the country, nor receive so much valuable information. Jackie’s narratives which are complimented with our prepared manual, were so informative that all we had to do was relax and take it all in, all the while knowing we weren’t getting any sugar coated tripe. This was Panama as is really is.
Our accommodations and meals far exceeded my expectations. I slept like a baby and ate like I hadn’t eaten in a month. Also, we had enough free time to explore and see for ourselves how friendly and welcoming the Panamanian people are.
Jackie arranged for us to meet many expats who gave us their impressions thus far of relocating to Panama. They were more than happy to answer the many questions we all had.
From Jackie’s warmth and professionalism, to Melissa’s support and individual attention, to our tour bus driver Jorge’s masterful navigating, I could not have asked for a better experience. I’m making the move to Panama – others may not. I was lucky enough
to find Jackie and her tour to help cement my decision.
January 2015 tour member,