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What Does It Cost to Move to Panama?

No matter where you move to, there will always be upfront moving expenses. Even if you just move across town or move within the same state/province there will be moving expenses.

Though you can reduce your cost of living when you move to Panama, there will be significant upfront costs when you move to a different country. Luckily, there are things you can do to reduce these costs which we’ll talk about later in the article.

One of the biggest upfront costs when moving to Panama is getting a residency Visa and renting a place to live. See the chart below with estimated moving expenses for a couple to move to Panama. The costs would be less for a single person.

Airfare to Move to Panama (est $700 each)$1400
Pet Relocation$600
Pensionado Visa$2000
Panama Driver’s License$140
First Month’s Rent & Security Deposit$1800
Stock Up on groceries$300
Eating Out Expenses$200


If you buy a car, that could be an additional $5,000 to $20,000 depending on the car you select. For full coverage insurance for a $20,000 car, it will cost about $600 a year but you can opt to pay monthly.

If you ship household goods or a car to Panama, that can add an additional $5,000 to $15,000 depending on the size of the container and which moving company you use.

If you get a Friendly Nations Visa instead of a Pensionado Visa, you can add $2500 to the costs of getting a Visa because you’ll need a corporation and the government fees are $1050. Government fees are waived for a Pensionado Visa.

If you pick the wrong immigration attorney or the wrong real estate company, it would increase your costs substantially. Some lawyers and real estate companies pad the price. We have reliable recommendations in our Complete Panama Relocation Guide.

If you don’t have pets, you can remove that expense from the chart above. But if you have more than one pet or a large pet that needs to go in cargo, the expense could be substantially more than $600. The $600 is the estimate for vet visits to get shots, an international health certificate, authentications, pet airfare for in-cabin, and help to get your pet into Panama.

Use Umbrella in Panama

The first month that you move to Panama, you’ll be more likely to eat out more often to try out different restaurants so I added in $200 for eating out expenses.


To reduce your costs to move to Panama, you should wait to get your Visa until after you move to Panama. If you get the Visa before you move to Panama, you’ll have the extra expense of airfare to Panama two times ($2800) plus hotel and meal expenses for about 10 days ( $100/day x 10 – $1000) SAVE $3800 if you get your Visa after you move to Panama

If you rent for less than $900 per month, that can reduce your upfront moving expenses but if you rent for more than $900 a month, it will increase your upfront moving expenses. Ideally, you should find a furnished rental that includes all utilities so you don’t have any other upfront rental expenses like electricity or internet. It is not customary to pay a first and last months’ rent in Panama so avoid agents who ask for that. Never push your budget to the limit.

We advise that you only rent a furnished rental otherwise you’ll also have the expense of buying furniture which could double your upfront expenses. See what a $695 per month furnished rental looks like. Save $5000-$6000

695 rental boquete panama

An affordable place to buy furniture, bedspreads, curtains, kitchen appliances and more in Panama, is Conway. It’s similar to a Target store. SEE FURNITURE PRICES ON THEIR WEBSITE HERE.

If you buy Panama health insurance, it will add another $105 per person if you are 60-69. International Health insurance could be an additional $250 per month per person. You can also just self-insure with no fixed monthly expenses. Self-insure means that you’ll just pay for a doctor visit as you need them. It’s $2-$20 to see a doctor in Panama depending on where you go.

Doctor Visit in Panama

We really recommend that you come TO visit Panama before you decide to move to Panama. As much as we love living in Panama, we know it’s not right for everyone.

Use our recommended immigration lawyers in the Online Guide to avoid paying way too much to get a Visa. Our most affordable attorney charges $3700 for a couple to get a Friendly Nations Visa. Another attorney, who we don’t recommend, charges $7500 for the same visa! You can SAVE money and avoid costly mistakes with the Complete Panama Relocation Guide.

To reduce your costs to come to check out Panama, you could buy the Complete Panama Relocation Guide for only $595 to learn all the things you need to know to have a hassle-free move to Panama. Then you could do a 3-day Private Tour in the area you are most interested in for $300 per day. The Complete Panama Relocation Guide has recommendations for reliable immigration lawyers, property managers, where to buy affordable health insurance, how to find a rental, and so much more.

Save $2800 at least with the Complete Panama Relocation Guide vs. an all-inclusive 6-day tour.

Panama Relocation Guide

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. Chris Pursley says

    Thanks for the good info. Is it common or reasonable to consider driving down to Panama from the US?

    • Jackie Lange says

      pre-covid driving from the USA to Panama was possible but not advised. Now, with Covid, it would be impossible because many land borders are still closed and each country has different rules for Covid tests before you can enter the country.

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