Common misconceptions and clichés about life in Panama

Hello everyone,

Old clichés die hard, as the saying goes... and living in Panama can generate lots of misconceptions in the eyes of the people.

What are the most common misconceptions about the expat lifestyle in Panama?

What are the most common clichés about life in Panama in general?

Did you have a biased view of the country before moving there? What is you view now?

Thanks in advance,


English is widely spoken.... ahh, no, not true outside of Coronado, Boquete, etc where there are tons of expats.

It's dangerous! Criminals, third world country, jungle, snakes, savages... blah blah, LOL. no, not true, probably safer than many places in the US. There are third world aspects along with the most modern and upscale elements that you could find anywhere.

Live cheap in paradise!  ahh no, not paradise, just life though it can be a good life in a beautiful place. You still have to do the laundry, and learn how to do a lot of things differently in a new culture and new language. Not necessarily cheap either if you want some nice high rise in Panama City. It can be a lot cheaper though, depending on the choices you make. -

Don't believe half of what you hear. Come see for yourself.

I knew very little about what to expect before I arrived. That's probably good though, no unmet expectations.

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