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Living in Panama > El Valle de Anton > Pros and Cons of Living in El Valle, Panama

Pros and Cons of Living in El Valle, Panama

By Jon Owens

Last updated on: Mar 27, 2020

Cigna International Health Insurance

We are grateful that Jon, an Expat Exchange member living in Panama, took the time during the pandemic to submit an article about the the pros and cons of living in El Valle. Thanks, Jon!

Living in Panama - Pros and Cons of Living in El Valle, Panama

I have noticed that frequently, expats will write only the positives of their adopted towns, but I think that does a great disservice to readers who are considering the major investment in terms of money and effort. People need accurate information in order to choose their best area to relocate to. I will cover both pluses minuses of living in El Valle.

I moved to here in 2012 to establish a tourism business. I was drawn by favorable reviews in tour books which depicted it as an attractive and friendly place.

It is situated at roughly 2000 feet above sea level, which makes it only one of three temperate towns in Panama that has real amenities. Temperatures never vary from 70-90f. It can be quite humid on occasion. and while some people use AC, usually a fan suffices.

Pros of Living in El Valle

Pro: El Valle is One of the Most Beautiful Places in Panama

El Valle is famous for being situated in an inhabited volcanic crater. It is quite beautiful, as the small town is surrounded completely by mountains. The volcanic soil and abundant rain over half the year provides lush conditions. In my opinion, it is the overall most beautiful location in Panama. This draws many visitors from Panama City and from throughout the world.

Pro: Great Hiking and Lots of Local Attractions

El Valle is also known for its great hikes with waterfalls and fabulous vistas. There are also numerous attractions such as a butterfly house, zoo, snake house, orchid center, and frog house, plus 2 museums and a decent farmers and artists market.

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Pro: Good Place for Biking

One of the advantages of El Valle is that it is very easy to bicycle due to the fact that it is flat and has a ciclovia that as recently built.

Pro: Small Town Feel

It is estimated that there are around 150-200 expats living here. Most are North American. The total town and surrounds contains around 5,000 people.

Pro: El Valle has Numerous Grocery Stores, Banks, Restaurants and Hotels

El Valle contains 2 banks, numerous grocery stores (including Rey, a national chain). There are many restaurants and hotels. There are some large, beautiful estates as well.

It is situated 2 to 2 1/2 hours west of Panama City which allows decent access to the hub of the country and the largest airport. Direct buses run every half hour. There are also frequent buses to San Carlos, the closest beach town which is around 40 minutes away.

Cons of Living in El Valle

Con: Limited Social Activities for Expats

There are not many social activities for expats in El Valle other than a happy hour at the beautiful Golden Frog Hotel every 2 weeks, plus some occasional live music at Okey Okey bar. Of course, there are casual movie nights, hikes, parties, etc.

Con: Poor Medical Services and Facilities

Anyone with real medical issues would not want to live here because while El Valle has a health clinic, there are no private hospitals until Panama City, There are some Social Security hospitals, but their service is considered spotty.

Con: No Private Schools in the Area

There are also no private schools here. The closest is in Coronado, 45 minutes away.

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Expats living in Panama interested in expat health insurance should take a minute to get quotes our partner, International Insurance.com, a trusted expat health insurance broker. They will provide you with comparison quotes from some of the biggest expat health insurers: Cigna, Aetna and GeoBlue.

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Get a quote for expat health insurance in Panama from our partner, Cigna Global Health.
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Visit our Panama Forum and talk with other expats who can offer you insight and tips about living in El Valle de Anton, Panama.

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Updated On: Mar 27, 2020

First Published: Mar 27, 2020

El Valle, Panama
Cigna Expat Health InsuranceExpatriate Health Insurance

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

Guide to Living in El Valle de AntonGuide to Living in El Valle de Anton

We are grateful that Jon, an Expat Exchange member living in Panama, took the time during the pandemic to submit an article about the the pros and cons of living in El Valle. Thanks, Jon!

Healthcare in PanamaHealthcare in Panama

Expats have differing opinions about healthcare in Panama. Many advice against public hospitals and healthcare, but some recount good experiences. This article covers public vs private healthcare, cost of healthcare, obtaining prescription medications and much more.

Restaurants in El Valle de AntonRestaurants in El Valle de Anton

Support your favorite restaurants in El Valle de Anton as they recover from the pandemic. Submit a free listing for them on Expat Exchange to help spread the word about them to the expat community.

Dream vs. Reality of Living in El Valle de Anton

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.

10-Tips-for-Living-in-Panama10 Tips for Living in Panama

Expats, global nomads and retirees are drawn to Panama's ease of residency, low taxes (Panama does not tax on worldwide income), friendly Panamanians who always put family first, inexpensive healthcare and laid back lifestyle. Like any country, life in Panama does come with a few challenges. This articles covers all of these topics and more.

Panama-Visas--ResidencyPanama Visas & Residency

This article covers the ins and outs of the most common tourist and residency visas that expats and global nomads obtain when moving to and living in Panama. How long you can stay in Panama without a visa (or on a tourist visa depending upon your citizenship)? What are the advantages of becoming a legal resident of Panama? Would I qualify for the Friendly Nations Visa? How old do I have to be to qualify for the Pensionado Visa? How do I apply for a work permit in Panama? It also addresses how and why some expats choose to become citizens of Panama.

Panamas-Pensionado-VisaPanama's Pensionado Visa

Panama's Pensionado Visa offers retirees with a retirement income of at least $1,000 an easy way to become legal residents of Panama and includes many perks.

Panamas-Pensionado-DiscountsPanama's Pensionado Discounts

Panama's pensionado discounts are available to legal residents (55+ for women, 60+ for men). These generous discounts include 25% off airline tickets, 25% at restaurants, 50% off at hotels during the week, exemption on import tax for up to $10,000 household goods and much more.

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