Caribbean vs. Pacific coasts

Hello all, first post here.

Just dabbling with some pre-retirement thoughts of living outside US when the time comes.  It seems that most of the coast towns I see referenced are on the Pacific side.  I do see Bocas del Toro occasionally but that's about it. 

Am I missing other Caribbean mentions because I'm not yet familiar with the town names or am I right that most coastal expats are on the Pacific side? We love the water of the Caribbean and most places we've visited on the Pacific are not as "tropical" (water color, diving, coral reefs, etc.) as the Caribbean we know. We think of the Pacific as colder water, less "reefy" and less colorful.

Please share your thoughts on the above. If you can, please characterize your thoughts about the two sides and why people gravitate one way or another.

Many Thanks!

I know very well both sides of Panama, I used to work on maritime operation in pacific and Atlantic also... Atlantic side of Panama is almost pure jungle... there are not civilizations, Bocas del Toro is the most developed of panamenian Caribbean ilands... on top of that, I don’t recommend you to live in Panama, the country is getting more and more insecure and aggressive with foreigners... and very expensive cost of living comparing with what you get for all the taxes you pay;.... nothing!

Instead of Panama (I lived there) O can recommend you the south of Europe; “La Costa del Sol” in Spain (Malaga, Sevilla or Valencia) or Canari Ilands... very nice, safe, clean, and foreigners are very welcome!

I love the Caribbean side. In Panama you can visit San Blas, and Portobelo you experience beautiful beaches and sights.

There is Panama City (expensive) and the rest of the country (less expensive to very affordable depending on how/where you live). Most of the Caribbean side is comarca, or lands belonging to the indigenous people. I’ve heard Portobelo is very nice but I haven’t seen it myself. I have been to Bocas del Toro. There are happy expats there but for me, I’d rather not drive over the mountains to David for things not available there, or in a medical emergency. But check it out for yourself and see how you feel.

Definitely the Pacific side, IMO, if these are your two choices.  Despite my own expectation years ago that the new highway to Colon from Panama City (think interstate quality) would open up the Caribbean due to proximity and beauty, it has not done so.  The beaches are not white in either location and while the Caribbean has gorgeous flora to the beach, beautiful hills, it is far too undeveloped to satisfy the needs of most full-timers.  Coronado and adjacent areas have the housing choices and amenities you want, despite the additional travel time from PC. Good luck.

Hi, which beach towns would you advise  where the accommidation is sought after as holiday rentals?

Hi Kris99 and samwa

I which towns do you live?

David. That and more info are in my profile

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