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Moving to Panama > Bocas del Toro >

An Expat Talks about Moving to Bocas del Toro, Panama

Submitted by Panamagal

What is the name of the city or town that you are reporting on?

Bocas del Toro

Name three things that you wish you had brought and three you wish you had left at home.

I brought everything I wanted. Especially specialty items that are harder to get here since I am a cook. My husband brought his tools. I brought too many clothes. I am glad I did not bring my furniture. We live in shorts and flip flops and little dresses. We shipped everything down in a shared container for a very reasonable price.

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What advice would you give someone preparing to move to your area about the actual move, choosing a neighborhood and finding a home?

Rent first before you buy. Your paradise today may not be what you will think in 6 months. Brings essentials and sell everything else, you can get it cheaper here.

What type of housing do you live in? Is this typical for most expats in your area?

We live in a spacious one bedroom apartment across from the ocean for $400 a month. There are people who live in smaller cheaper places more inland and folks who live out on the water in larger homes for more money. Typical is what fits you.

How did you choose your neighborhood and find your home or apartment?

We wanted to live in a safe local neighborhood near the ocean. I listened to my friends who were already here and looked in those areas.

Expats living in Panama interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA. Get a Quote

Expats living in Panama interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get a quote from our trusted expat health insurance partner, CIGNA.

Are your housing costs higher or lower than they were in your home country? What is the average cost of housing there?

Our housing costs are about a third of what we spend in the US. You can get a nice simple apartment for 300 and up or a home for 500 and up. We live on an island so you are never far from the ocean,

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Panama from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
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If you're moving to Panama City with school-aged children, living near your children's school will make life easier. There are schools in central Panama, Clayton and elsewhere. Below you'll find information about the most popular schools for expats in Panama City.

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Comments about this Report

guest
Jan 1, 2013 10:22

I live on Bocas Del Toro too, and all the above is correct. I live in a small efficiency Apt. one block from the ocean. My rent is $275.00 per mo. I can walk to any point in Bocas Town in 15 Min. or less. The island is great, and trips to the other islands is very cheap. The closest costs only $1.00 each way.

guest
Jan 1, 2013 14:23

Very refreshing to hear positive comments re: moving and living near the Ocean in Panama. We have been researching Cent. Americas (mostly Belize, Panama and CR) for 2+ yrs and plan to visit/vacation and rent for maybe a week at a time in different locations. We are both almost fully retired and want to move somewhere slower and less expensive than here (Oklahoma). We don't have fancy wants or needs - just the desire to slow down and smell the roses. Love the ocean, however, have read several comments that humidity & bugs are unbearable. Is this true and any other comments/advice will be greatlylappreciated.

guest
Jan 1, 2013 21:43

There are some bugs, mostly sand fleas. We don't think they are unbearable. They can be bothersome on white, white skin at dawn and dusk.( just use bug spray and long pants) They spray for the mosquitos so there aren't many. the humidity is high but the ocean breezes make it comfortable and you get used to it. it has it's upside too, your wrinkles go away...

JohnAnthony
Aug 6, 2013 09:18

I'm looking for a small efficiency apt for about $275.00. In Bocas del Toro. Any info would be helpful Thx John john.anthony47@yahoo.com

SweetSadie69
Aug 9, 2013 22:16

I am looking to move there for 6 months very soon. However I have been having a bit of trouble via internet trying to find a reasonably priced living place for the 6 months...your set up sounds ideal.

marilynexpat
Feb 14, 2014 19:00

I've thought about moving to Bocas del Toro also but the thing is,it is a 10 hour drive from the airport and the only flights there are not at the international airport. So I want to ask you why did you choose to live there? Isnt it inconvenient being so far from an airport? I appreciate your comments. Marilyn

Floridagurl
Mar 2, 2014 02:20

There is an airport in Bocas Town. In Panama City you have to go from Tocuman Airport, about a 30-45 minute taxi drive, to Albrook Airport. Air Panama has about 5-6 flights to Bocas every day. It is less than $100 one way.

guest
May 25, 2014 12:38

Hi there. How do I find a reasonable place to rent in Panama. $300 monthly as I am unable to find that on the internet. Any info on this will be appreciated... loriettei@hotmail.com

SaddieB
May 28, 2014 14:13

Can you or anyone else suggest the best way to go about finding a rental in the area? Or an agent? We are coming in 2 weeks and would like to look at some properties that would be available to rent come October or November (looking to stay until March or April, so a long term rental and then go from there in terms of buying etc)!

Pris
Jun 30, 2014 10:51

These comments are very helpful to me. I am currently in Panama City cat sitting. I would like to travel to Bocas around the 23rd of July to explore. I would like to meet the people who wrote this report. Maybe have a cup of coffee. I am interested in living near the ocean.

Pris
Jul 2, 2014 14:59

If a y out read this, I would like to meet you when I get to Bocas. Pjkeating43@gmail.com

madisoninmaui
Sep 23, 2014 22:15

IM THINKING TO MOVE TO BOCAS DEL TORE, BUT IM IN A WHEEL CHAIR HOW HARD WOULD IT BE TO GET AROUND. THANKS MADISON

Beartrapmtsn
Oct 3, 2014 07:36

I'm looking for three bedroom house to rent for one year would prefer on beach and close to town. Been having a hard time via internet and emails to realtors. Can anyone assist and give advice as how to locate a rental.

Chey
Oct 6, 2014 10:54

I would like to move to Bocas del Toro in one year from now. I would prefer to rent but I have two older neutered cats and would like an apartment or house with a bit of garden, preferably private garden. I am not adverse to renting on a nearby island and buying a boat for my own use. If anyone can help me with information that may connect me to a possible owner with a care-taking need that would be good too. I'm a quick study if being off the grid or some other minor inconveniences are part of daily life. Thanks. Chey

guest
Nov 1, 2014 14:37

I keep trying to find a site where I can get a long term rental at a reasonable rate but I just get sent to sites where the rooms or apartments are rented by the day/night. If anyone can give me an email contact for an individual who wishes to rent a condo or house, or for an agent who deals with year round rentals, please advise. rayner6847@gmail.com I am looking to move to Bocas at the end of April or the end of Sept 2015. Either would suit if I have lead time.

Jchase1028
Dec 14, 2014 16:24

What part of town are you located? I would be very interested in living in the area which you describe. Single retired medical professional. Early 60s, very active, interested in life and the pursuit thereof.

Tomabroad
Dec 16, 2014 09:25

Dear people in Bocas del Toro, I'm planning to move to Bocas del Toro next year in June and I was wondering what the experiences are on foreigners trying to get a job there or setting something up themselves. And a friend and myself want to start a small business in the tourism industry and provide trips for tourists. Also I'm having the same problem as some others, I only end up on websites that offer daily or weekly rates for housing. I'd love to get in contact with someone currently there and already talk about the (work) life there. Kind regards, Tom

Meeny007
Jan 23, 2015 23:07

Hi is anybody can help me to find a $300/$400 apartment/studio in Bocas Del Toro for next winter. All I could ever find on Internet is $200/night and up or hostels. I would really appreciate your help. I'm semi retired 52 years old woman from Canada and would like to spend from dec 1st 2015 to march 31st 2016 in Bocas. Thanks for your help! here's my email l.chouinard007@live.ca

takyla123
Feb 22, 2015 20:55

Hi does any one know why there are so many people selling their properties in Bocas Del Toro in a very low price? Is there some hiding info that I need to know before I decide to buy? If you generate rental B&B or any other income what is the tax systems? Please let me know if any one have info Thanks

takyla123
Feb 22, 2015 21:00

Hi does any one know why there are so many people selling their properties in Bocas Del Toro in a very low price? Is there some hiding info that I need to know before I decide to buy? If you generate rental B&B or any other income what is the tax systems? Please let me know if any one have info Thanks

guest
Apr 27, 2015 11:45

My husband are planning on bringing our 3 children to Bocas Del Torro in Feb of 2016 for just a month. We are planning on reserving for the trip this summer but are having a hard time finding a monthly rental that is in the price range you all speak of. The internet just sends us to hotels and homes that are priced nightly. Can anyone tell me where to look? Also, any "must do's" with the kids would be helpful as well! Thanks! nicolettewallace@yahoo.com

Adwir
Jul 9, 2015 22:14

Hi there, it seam that most of the people are asking same thing I want to ask. Where do you find out about long term rentals in Bocas? I am moving there for job and I do not have an accommodation yet. All you see on line are vacation hotels/hostels. Any advice? Thank you soooo much. Gabriela

wenzplace
Jul 10, 2015 21:51

Hi all. We are moving to Bocas this fall. I'm having difficulty finding any storage unit rentals. We have a few household items that will need to be stored until we get our house done. Does anyone have any suggestions? Prefer Bocas town or nearby, but if that is not an option, I just need to know where to turn. Any help is greatly appreciated!

Mizza
Jul 21, 2015 22:42

This is great info everyone! I'm currently looking to bring my wife, 9 year old daughter, and newborn down in September for 6-12 months - and I would appreciate any specific feedback on the following: 1) All the apartment listings I find online show substantially larger rental fees. How specifically should I go about finding rentals in the $450-$600/mo range? I need a furnished 2 bedroom. 2) What's the nearest good hospital if (God forbid) I have any emergency medical needs with my family? 3) Does anyone have any experience with Tangerine, the local international school for grade-schoolers? 4) Is it possible to get solid, high speed Internet access in the area - my business depends on it? Please post here and/or e-mail me at j_mizza@yahoo.com. Much appreciated! Jonathan

Morts
Sep 23, 2015 10:27

We are planning a move to Panama within the year. Are there any good schools in the Bocas area or are we better to settle in Coronado? If we didn't have kids it would be Bocas del Toro

Expatriate Health Insurance

Get a quote for expat health insurance in Panama from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
Get a Quote

Cost of Living in Panama

Expats in Panama enjoy a relatively low cost of living. However, it's important to do your research to make sure you'll actually enjoy those saving while creating a high quality of life as an expat in Panama.

Expats in Panama enjoy a relatively low cost of living. However, it's important to do your research to make sure you'll actually enjoy those saving while creating a high quality of life as an expat i...

Moving to Panama: 7 Things to Know Before You Move to Panama

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?

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 cou...

International Schools in Panama City

If you're moving to Panama City with school-aged children, living near your children's school will make life easier. There are schools in central Panama, Clayton and elsewhere. Below you'll find information about the most popular schools for expats in Panama City.

If you're moving to Panama City with school-aged children, living near your children's school will make life easier. There are schools in central Panama, Clayton and elsewhere. Below you'll find inf...

Moving-To-PanamaExpats Talk about What it's Like Moving to Panama

Already living abroad? Write a report about moving overseas to help people preparing to move abroad.

Best Places to Live in Panama City, Panama

Learn which neighborhoods rank as the best places to live in Panama City according to expats. Plus, learn which two neighborhoods may not fit the bill despite one of them being one of the most popular tourist destinations in Panama City.

Learn which neighborhoods rank as the best places to live in Panama City according to expats. Plus, learn which two neighborhoods may not fit the bill despite one of them being one of the most popula...

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.

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...

Panama Guide
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