Expat Guide to Living in Panama
Whether you're already living in Panama or preparing to move to Panama, our Expat Guide to Living in Panama offers articles and reports submitted by expats about expat life in Panama. For answers to specific questions, visit our Panama Forum to talk with expats in Panama.
Expats in Panama share some of the pros and cons of living in Panama. Topics covered include where to live, the bureaucracy, the people and more. Expats in Panama seem to all agree that you'll have to come down and explore the country to find the perfect place for you!
If you're thinking about retiring in Panama, here are 13 things you must know before you make the move.
Expats in Panama offer 8 important tips about healthcare and health insurance in Panama. While the quality of healthcare varies, there are world class doctors and facilities throughout Panama. Health insurance is much less expensive in Panama. Doctors visits (with and without insurance) are very affordable. The one negative seems to be that medications can be more expensive that in the U.S. Despite these pros and cons, many expats mentioned that people have healthier lifestyles in Panama - cleaner air, cleaner water, fresh produce and less stress.
Do you have to buy a round trip ticket when moving to Panama? How difficult is it to bring my dog? Should I buy a home in Panama? Can I find health insurance that covers me in Panama and my home country when I travel back to visit relatives?
An expat who has been living in Panama has written a long culture shock report about life in Nueva Gorgona. She has a great perspective on what it means to be an expat in Panama, which is probably why she's enjoying life there!
An American woman and her husband visited Panama yearly for 10 years before making the move from Texas. She describes the challenges they faced dealing with a dishonest gringo contractor who was building their house. The Panamanians' love of family and their friendliness are two things she appreciates most about the local culture. She confesses that it took her a year to unwind from her fast-paced life in the medical field.
A retiree in Boquete, Panama talks about life in Boquete. She explains that it's easy to meet people in Boquete through the newcomers' club, Tuesday Market at BCP and through numerous volunteer activities. She cautions anyone coming to Panama with intention of working to make sure that you can legally work in Panama before making the move.
A resident of Panama city for 60 years provides a brief glimpse of life in Panama for expats. Job opportunities and the modern amenities are a few of the features described.
An expat in Alta Boquete, Panama talks about choosing Alta Boquete and making the move there. She talks about what to bring and what to leave behind, one moving company to avoid and other recommendations.
We visited here many times before moving and stayed in different areas each time. There are 13 micro-climates here and they vary greatly. Some roads are not good so that may play into housing decisions too.
An expat in El Valle, Panama suggested that anyone moving to Central America read up on what to expect so that you are prepared for the good and bad. He's been most bothered by the fact that many Panamanians litter. To help with the issue, he and other expats are doing litter pickup in order to keep Panama beautiful.
An expat retired in Nueva Gorgona, Panama wrote an extensive report about her experiences there. Everything from cost of living, housing, safety, how it feels to retire abroad, transportation and more are covered. A definite must read for anyone considering retiring in Panama!
More Culture Shock Reports for Panama
Culture shock is part of the settling in process. Knowing the different phases of culture shock and how other expats in Panama handle it can be very comforting. Below are some of the responses from expats in Panama:
Submit a Culture Shock Report
Submit a Living Overseas Report
More Living in Panama Reports
What are people's priorities in Panama - work? family? What are the best ways to meet other expats? Are people accepting of racial, cultural and religious differences? Below are some of the responses from expats in Panama:
Submit a Moving Overseas Report
More Moving to Panama Reports
What should you take with you when you move to Panama? What should you leave behind? What type of housing and neighborhoods are typical for expats in Panama? Below are some of the responses from expats in Panama:
Submit an International School Review
Reviews of Schools in Panama
Reviews and school profiles from expat parents and even a few school administrators in Panama. Great place to find insight into school facilities, teachers and curriculum. Below are some of the reviews from expats in Panama:
Submit a Dream vs. Reality Report
Dream vs. Reality of Living in Panama Reports
Most expats have have "dreams" (and fears) about the expatriate experience before they moved to Panama. If you are already living in Panama, share how those "dreams" have been fulfilled, and how they have not. Below are some of the reports from expats in Panama:
Submit a Retire Abroad Report
Retiring in Panama Reports
Retiring abroad can be a great option for retirees seeking their dream lifestyle at an affordable price. Help other retirees, who are thinking about retiring in Panama, by filling out our Overseas Retirement report. Below are some of the reports from expats in Panama:
Submit a Having a Baby Abroad Report
Having a Baby in Panama Reports
How did expats choose their doctors, midwives, hospitals? What is childbirth like in Panama? Below are some of the reports from expats in Panama:
Working Abroad Report
What's it like to find a job in Panama? How difficult was it to obtain a work permit? What types are jobs are typical for expats in Panama? Help others following in your footsteps by filling out our Working Abroad Report.
Submit a Working Abroad Report
5 Tips for Living in Bocas del Toro, Panama
Bocas del Toro, Panama is a popular tourist destination and filled with laid-back expats and locals enjoying the island life. With its low cost of living, thriving nightlife and welcoming expat community, Bocas del Toro is a great place to live.
Thanksgiving in Panama
American expats in Panama can enjoy a traditional Thanksgiving meal at these restaurants.
Panama Retirement, The Other Option
Miguel Sirus retired in Panama 10 years ago. Instead of choosing a popular expat destination such as Boquette, Volcan or El Valle, he bought an overgrown piece of property near a village in Panama. In this article, he offers a glimpse at how his new life unfolded.
7 Best Places to Live in Panama
Panama is a great place to live or retire with easy residency laws, warm people and lots of expats. Whether you want to live by the beach in Bocas del Toro or need to live in Panama City for work and schools, there are many places to explore. We highlight 5 great places to live in Panama.
5 Great Places to Retire in Central America
Central America is an increasingly popular retirement destination. Retirees love it's proximity to the United States, lower cost of living, beautiful cities, amazing beaches, healthy lifestyle and friendly people.
10 Tips for Living in Panama
Did you know it's hot in Panama City all year round? Did you know that it's hard to get a work visa in Panama? Did you know that Panama has great incentives for foreign retirees?