So...what's it like to live in Panama???


I am thinking about re-locating to Panama, and I’d really like to talk to some people who have had this experience. I am 60 and an almost-retiree.   Would anyone be open to sharing their experiences, insights and perspectives, either via email, or over coffee… 

I am going to be in Panama and Boquete in February, and I’d love to get together with anyone who might be interested.

And, possibly my most important questions:  Are the coffee and the Jazz Festival as good as people say???


I have only been to the coffee festival. Boquete is lovely but the festival is just a bunch of flowers, not much to do with coffee. Plenty of people having a good time though.

Thanks Steve.

How long have you lived in Panama? What do you like most about it? What do you like least?



I do not live there yet. I am considering Colombia as I find the cost of accommodations in Panama is increasing to a level that exceeds the costs in my own country (Canada).

We have lived in David over 5 years now and are very happy. Our band, Monkey Nerve, plays in Boquete quite a bit. Look us up. Panama City and eastern Panama  Panama City  Panama City  David  David  David  Chiriqui (Boquerón) Boquete  Boquete  Boquete  Gorgona  Pedasi  Pedasi Pedasi Panama City  Panama City, and general info for expats.  Chame and Coronado area  travels all over Panama  A peace corp volunteer in the Cormaca

Many thanks for these links--I'm sure they will be very helpful!

What do you like most about living in David?  What do you like least?

People here are super nice. The Panamanian culture is quite different, very friendly. Everyone greets you everywhere you go, and thinks nothing of stopping to help if they see a need. I like being close to everything, shopping, hospitals, etc. It’s too cold for me in the mountains, so I’m happier in “hot” David. It’s much better if you learn Spanish here, not many English speakers.

Thanks so much for sharing  these thoughts. Would it be possible to get together and continue the conversation  when  I am in Panama  next month?

Yes absolutely. We will be here next month

I am planning to go to Boquete for the Jazz and Blues Festival (is it good?), so I will be near David the third week in February.   I'm not sure what the deal is with exchanging personal emails in this forum, but I expect it's I just attempted to message you through your band web site--could you let me know if that works?

Yes, the festival is good, lots of excellent musicians. They have changed the venue to the fairgrounds in town so hopefully it can accommodate more people comfortably.
I think exchanging emails addresses by private message is fine. I’ve exchanged emails with quite a few people here, some of whom have gone on to become in person friends if our paths crossed down here. Pretty resourceful of you to track me down at the band’s page though!

I have lived in 5 different areas in my 20 years in Panama.  Too many experiences to share here but if you plan to be in Panama City I could meet with you.

That would be terrific--I would love to get together for a conversation! 

I am planning to be there Feb 18 to Feb 21.  I don't have a place to stay yet--do you have any suggestions regarding parts of the city, nice-yet-inexpensive places to stay, etc?

Looking forward to meeting you!


I would have to do the same thing as you would do, which is go hunting hotel info on the internet.  If you find a good price somewhere I could tell you about the location/area only.

Panama City - coral suites
Boquete - isla  verde

make sure you arrange for a place to stay before you go or plan on staying in david ,, there are many small hotels in david but i understand few accommodations open in boquette during the festival ,, we have been ,, yes is worth the visit , seems someplace in panama is a festival etc. all the time . very sociable folks here . i am married to a Panamanian but she works like 14 hours a day so i have plenty on time on my hands to visit .. i am in chorrerra living here 16 years easy bus stop 10  minutes from my house you get a chance drop me a line be happy to have a cup of coffee or cold beer share my experiences with any new expat . be safe and enjoy panama many great places to see and enjoy .

Hi, Mike.

I'd love to get together for coffee or a beer.  Where is Chorrerra?  I will be in Panama City and then in Boquete.  BTW--I do have a place booked in Boquete, though I don't yet have one in Panama City...

Hope to meet you soon!

chorrerra is on the main hwy on the way to boquette  ,, many places to stay in panama city from 39 to 159 bucks best area is around el congrejo 10 hotels with a ten minute walk of each other acording to what your needs are and how much you wants to spend , how many night you going to stay in panama before you head out to the interior

Thanks so much! 

I am planning on taking the bus from Panama City to Boquete on Feb 21.  Sounds like it would work well to stop in Chorrerra on the way!

I'll be in Panama City for 4 nights.    Obviously, I'd like to find an inexpensive but decent place but I could go to $50/night.  Decent would include a private room, preferably a private bathroom, clean (no bugs, etc), ideally, an on-site manager who can help with suggestions about activities, restaurants, and ideally in an interesting part of the city.   

Do any suggestions occur to you?

Maybe switch to email?  ****

Moderated by Bhavna 9 months ago
Reason : Please do not post your contact details on the forum. You should exchange them through the private messaging system.Thank you
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I just remembered a hotel that I have heard all good things about.  Hotel DeVille in the center of Panama City.  Comfy, clean, restaurant downstairs, and close to everything.

boquete sucks,i live in David for a year and it not the place.There communities1- 2 hours north that would be nice.


I rather like Boquete.  There was no work for me there but it would be on my list of places to live.  It gets a bit cold for me sometimes but I can always wear a jacket when it gets below 70.

I think the area 1 to 2 hours north of panama city is nice

More than an hour north of Panama City is in the Caribbean ocean just to clarify that.....I assume you mean west.....Most people make that mistake.......remember Panama runs west to east........

well west to north yes,nice area

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