Trying to figure out where the best places to live in Panama are? Then you’re in the right place!
With clear turquoise water to perfect hiking trails, Panama is a diverse country with something for everyone. From Caribbean beach vibes to bustling cities, Panama is a top choice if you’re considering living in Central America.
Like many other parts of Central America, life in Panama is much cheaper than in the United States, or several parts of Europe.
Thus, many remote workers head here to enjoy a greater quality of life and spend their free time exploring the many nature spots, beaches, and some of the best biodiversity in the world.
Panama has also launched a digital nomad visa with great benefits for remote workers, which makes it even more appealing to relocate there.
Although Panama has a buzzing capital city, there are also several other options for expats to locate themselves across the many beach towns or mountain villages the country has to offer.
So read on to discover the five best places to live in Panama for foreigners looking to settle down in this tropical paradise.
Nestled in the mountains and surrounded by lush green forests, Boquete is an extremely popular place for expats to live in Panama.
It is chosen by expats for lots of reasons including its pleasant climate, mid-range cost of living, it’s low crime rates and it’s stunning views surrounding the town.
This town is especially popular amongst expats who enjoy an active outdoor lifestyle as it is surrounded by numerous hiking trails and has some world-renowned bird watching.
Boquete is situated in the mountains and is surrounded by the Chiriquí Highlands where you will find some of the most stunning views in the country, along with coffee plantations and hikes.
Close by is the Barú Volcano National Park and you can even catch a glimpse of this dormant volcano from the town itself.
It is widely regarded are one of the best places in the world to retire.
The cost of living is relatively inexpensive in comparison to the US with rent being around $500 per month for a one-bedroom house. You can also enjoy a meal in a restaurant for around $5, so it’s the perfect place for living on a budget.
Panama City has long drawn expats to the country, mainly due to the high availability of jobs in the city and the numerous international schools around the city.
There is a massive expat community in Panama City, with huge numbers of people from the US moving here each year. Accommodation can tend to be expensive in Panama City and a lot of your options will be in high-rise buildings.
For a one-bedroom apartment in the city, you can expect to pay around $1,000 a month. Outside of rent, life in Panama City is quite affordable.
Panama City is bursting with things to do and has a beautiful Old Quarter in the city which has so much culture to offer.
This is also the easiest city to get around in Central America and it has the only metro system in this region.
Another reason expats are often drawn to Panama City is the year-round sunny climate. In the coastal city, you will see blue skies for the majority of the year.
If enjoying nightlife is your thing, then Panama City should be at the top of your list. There is a thriving nightlife scene in Panama with a huge variety of bars and clubs to choose from.
El Valle De Anton
Since El Valle de Anton, has a slightly cooler climate than Panama City, it is starting to become a favorite amongst the expat community looking for weather that is a bit cooler.
This is a calm and peaceful area surrounded by nature which is what is getting it noticed by expats. Although you don’t have the amenities of Panama City and some other more densely populated areas, you can get some good wifi for working and all the basics you need.
El Valle de Anton, like Boquete, would be the perfect location for an outdoorsy expat as there are lots of hiking trails in this region. There is a growing expat community here that hikes and enjoys the surrounding nature together.
It feels like complete rural living in El Valle de Anton, but Panama City is only a 2-hour drive away and you are less than an hour to the closest beach.
Along with some of the best nature spots in the country, you will also get an affordable cost of living in El Valle de Anton. It is perfect for expats that want to be within driving distance to Panama City, but have a lower cost of living.
Coronado is a brilliant option for anyone looking for beach living. It is just a short drive away from Panama City, but the pace of life is completely different here.
This is an area of holiday homes for locals, but more and more expats have set up shop here over recent years. Coronado is filled with amenities you will find in cities or at home, so perhaps that would explain why.
You will find everything you need here to feel like you are on a permanent vacation while living there. There are sea-view condos and golf courses dotted around the area, as well as a huge variety of restaurants to choose from.
This beach town is located along the Pacific coast and is home to stunning white sandy beaches and very little rain across the year. It has a laid-back vibe and is perfect for expats trying to escape the hustle & bustle of city life.
The Coronado will be slightly higher than other places on the list since it is such a popular vacation spot. If you’re traveling as a family and are interested in a 3-bedroom house, you can expect your rent to be around $2,000 per month.
Pedasi is a pretty new area for expats in Panama. However, this beach village has a lower cost of living than some other beach towns in the country, making it a popular option.
This area is home to around 3,000 people and it’s the ideal location if you are looking for a laidback and slow pace of life. There is little development here and it has some gorgeous beaches.
Pedasi is a popular spot for fishing as the waters around the coastal town are teaming with fish. It’s also a great surfing destination, with the world surfing championships being held here in the past.
Water activities such as snorkeling, diving, and swimming are part of daily life here in Pedasi, so it’s the perfect destination for any watersports fanatics.
It’s quite a distance (5 hours) from Panama City, so if you are looking for plenty of amenities close by, it might not be the place for you.
Pedasi is the perfect destination for expats on a budget. A couple can live here for less than $1,500 a month including rent. Prices increase the closer you get to the beach, but if you don’t mind a short walk to the water, you can save yourself some cash.
Final Thoughts On Best Places To Live In Panama
Whether you dream of working surrounded by nature in Boquete or fancy an exciting, fast-paced lifestyle in Panama city, you’ll find your perfect fit on this list.
Moreover, as all of these five best places to live in Panama are no strangers to tourists, they are relatively safe options. Still, petty crimes like pickpocketing are common across Panama, so always be cautious.
Are you heading to Panama soon? Read our guide to learn how to buy a SIM card in Panama.
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