Who is Moving to Panama?

People from all over the world are coming to visit Panama.  Many come for a vacation, some decide to move to Panama after they see all the opportunities available, how friendly the Panamanian people are,  and how beautiful and diverse Panama is.

This chart shows how the volume of visitors to Panama has consistently increased every year.

Annual traffic
Year Passengers  % Change Cargo  % Change Movements  % Change
2003 2,145,489 11.5% 85,508 43,980
2004[14] 2,398,443 11.8% 96,215 12.5% 45,703 3.9%
2005 2,756,948 15% 103,132 19.6% 47,873 4.6%
2006[15] 3,215,423 16.6% 82,186 -20.3% 53,853 12.7%
2007[16] 3,805,312 18.3% 82,463 0.3% 61,400 14.0%
2008[17] 4,549,170 19.5% 86,588.8 4.8% 73,621 19.9%
2009[18] 4,748,621 4.4% 83,513 -3.8% 80,330 9.1%
2010[19] 5,042,410 6.2% 98,565 18.0% 84,113 4.7%
2011[20] 5,844,561 15.9% 110,946 12.6% 93,710 11.4%
2012[21] 6,962,608 19.1% 116,332 4.9% 110,206 17.6%
2013[22] 7,784,328 11.8% 110,186 -5.3% 121,356 10.1%
2014[23] 8,536,342 9.7% 110,789 0.5% 135,406 11.5%

This chart shows where people are coming from.

Busiest international routes out of Tocumen International Airport (2014)[24]
Rank City Passengers Airlines
1 Colombia Bogotá, Colombia 583,689 Copa, Copa Colombia
2 United States Miami, Florida 536,111 American, Copa
3 Costa Rica San José de Costa Rica 424,329 Copa, Copa Colombia
4 Venezuela Caracas, Venezuela 306,885 Copa, SBA
5 Mexico Mexico City, Mexico 260,868 Copa, Aeroméxico
6 Cuba Havana, Cuba 273,488 Copa
7 United States Houston, Texas 202,313 United
8 Peru Lima, Peru 244,647 Copa
9 Dominican Republic Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic 192,974 Condor, Copa
10 Colombia Medellín, Colombia 228,532 Copa, Copa Colombia
11 Argentina Buenos Aires, Argentina 135,344 Copa
12 Guatemala Guatemala City, Guatemala 127,490 Copa, Copa Colombia
13 Brazil São Paulo, Brazil 126,568 Copa
14 United States Orlando, Florida 870,390 Copa
15 United States Newark, New Jersey 111,731 United
16 Ecuador Guayaquil, Ecuador 107,841 Copa, TAME
17 El Salvador San Salvador, El Salvador 106,104 Avianca, Copa
18 Chile Santiago de Chile 103,014 Copa
19 Ecuador Quito, Ecuador 98,651 Copa, TAME
20 Netherlands Amsterdam, Netherlands 176,113 KLM

As a tourist, you can legally stay in Panama for 6 months.  If you want to stay longer, you have two choices:  you can either get a Residency Visa or you need to leave Panama for at least 3 days to restart your 6 month tourist Visa.  If you are driving, you need to leave the country for at least 3 day every 90 days.  During the Panama Relocation Tours, we discuss the most popular Visa programs, the process, and their costs.  It’s easier than you might think!

This chart shows which countries people come from who are getting a Residency Visa.  There are many different Visa’s available.

As you can see, Panama is a real melting pot of people from a lot of different countries!

When you make a decision to move to Panama, it is better to come with an open mind.  I’ve noticed that many people who come on the Panama Relocation Tours have already decided  where they want to live.  But after seeing more of the country most people change their mind.  Some find an area they like better.  Others discover that the things they really “need” in their life are more readily available in a different location.

It is important to consider what you really NEED in your life first, then find the place that has what you need.  Some good examples are, if you have health problems, you need to be close to a hospital.

If you like social activities, you need to select a city that has plenty of activities.

If you are on a very limited budget there are plenty of places in Panama where you can live comfortably.  But there are some areas in Panama that would be too expensive.

If you want to start a business, you need to make sure that the area where you live has clients readily available to buy your product or service.  Remember, you will need to get a work permit too.

There really is something for everyone in Panama!

Watch this video by Bob Adams at www.RetirementWave.com to understand how Panama compares to other Latin American countries.

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. KEITH says


Submit a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *