Panama Expat Forum

searching for possible retirement

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5/30/2015 14:50 EST

We are looking to visit several areas of Panama soon to consider a retirement move: Coronado, Boquette, David. Would like to hear from those in those areas and things you checked out while visiting. How long did you stay to check out areas?

5/30/2015 15:29 EST

I have been living in David for 2 years
From San Diego.
I an pleased

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5/30/2015 15:33 EST

We just bought a brand new home in Azura Development, 3 miles outside the beach area of Corando. We are very pleased with the home and development. It is close enough to shopping and all the things we need.

5/30/2015 18:20 EST

Hi, this is Sheila, in Santa Clara, Cocle about 40 min., outside of Coronado. This is a very quiet area, and super safe, here. I have a small resort and campground, and less than a mile from the best beach in Panama. Take a look at my web-site It may be a place for you to stay while you are looking around. Been here for 20 yrs., kinda know my way around. It could be a good base , while you are looking.

6/1/2015 12:02 EST

Rio Mar, 10 minutes from Coronado

What I like about it;

Having an amazing view to look at every day, being able to hear the ocean, having a beach to walk on at my doorstep as well as pools to do laps in and an air-conditioned gym to workout in is a huge plus. I also enjoy that the area is slightly secluded, quiet and green.

Having lived in a house in Panama city I now really appreciate the convenience and security of a gate community. The tropical climate creates a lot of work around the house and in the garden and there was always someone ringing the doorbell to sell or request something. Neighbors at Rio Mar are a diverse mix of foreigners from all over the world and Panamanians. After living in a neighborhood with only Panamanian neighbors I really appreciate this diversity.

Driving 10 minutes away from Rio Mar in the opposite direction to Coronado I can buy fresh fish and ceviche at the Rio Hato fish market and pick up fresh fruit and vegetables at the stands along the highway.

For groceries, a 10 minute drive to Coronado and I can get pretty much everything else I need in Super 99, Rey, Machetazo or Riba Smith.

There are golf courses and restaurants around the area, along the highway and within the little communities. Get a feel for the area by also checking out the very little towns of Gorgona, San Carlos, El Palmar, Punta Barco and El Valle de Anton.

6/1/2015 18:30 EST

We have been here for 3 years and built a house in La Acequia half way between David and Boquete, Not as hot as David and not as cold and windy as Boquete. Perfect. It is very peaceful, quiet and safe here. It is 15 minutes to shopping and health care in David and 15 minutes to restaurants and the expat community in Boquete. We are 20 minutes to the international airport in David. We lived in Boquete and in Potrerillos Arriba for a while and like it much better here and it is also much more convenient. Our Panamanian neighbors are great and very helpful and also let us know when there are bad elements in the area but then we return the favors and help them without question.

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6/1/2015 18:58 EST

Yes, I like La Acequia as well. It is the stretch of road where that Volcan to Boquete road ends just before Dolega. Had a nice little house there with a swimming pool in the back and banana trees everywhere. Definitely a heavenly spot, but it was too isolated for me. It is rural country acreages for the most part. It was a bit too warm for me as well. The only time I like to sweat is when I am on a tread mill at the gym. Boquete is slightly cooler with excellent breezes. Today there is no wind and it is way too hot here in Boquete. It was 83 here today and sunny with not a breeze anywhere. Currently at 6pm it is 72 which is what I used to set my thermostat to back in North America.
There is a temperature and a weather type to fit almost everyone here in Panama. You just have to find out what suits you and move there. If you like skiing and snowmobiling, wrong country..

6/1/2015 19:44 EST

Thanks for the update on this town. Sounds wonderful. Any rentals there? Ric

6/1/2015 20:48 EST

I appreciate the up close & personal! I was leaning towards Boquete anyway. All it needs is a Pickleball venue like Volcan has! Thanks-Ric

6/2/2015 00:28 EST

Well if Pickleball venues turn your crank, then you must start one here in Boquete................Cheers.

2/7/2018 08:13 EST

Ric~~ My husband and I are beginning to plan our early retirement in a pickleball community either in Panama or Mexico (yes, we are rather early in the planning stages). Have you found a pickleball 'home' and can you suggest any areas in Panama that would be best for an active, pickleball couple?
Any feedback would be helpful. There does not seem to be much information available on the web...
Thanks for your help!

4/3/2018 16:09 EST

Jill! We have similar interests! My husband and I have been looking at places to check out for early Retirement in Panama, too. We are pickleball players, too. Boquete and Volcan seem to have pickleball. Panama City seems to have pickleball. The Playa Bonita Village near Panama City seems to have pickleball. This listing mentions it:

But that is all I have found, from a distance, researching from the U.S. We want to plan a trip, scouting out places to possibly move to, that have pickeball. If you learn more, post it here, please. --Jan

4/3/2018 19:44 EST

We have lived in Penonome for 5 going on six years and find it relaxing only 3 hours to the city but now new malls are opening we will have all the big shops here. Not too humid and easy to reach the beaches or up into the mountains if we wish. Come see for yourselves.

4/3/2018 19:44 EST

We have lived in Penonome for 5 going on six years and find it relaxing only 3 hours to the city but now new malls are opening we will have all the big shops here. Not too humid and easy to reach the beaches or up into the mountains if we wish. Come see for yourselves.

4/3/2018 20:15 EST

Don't forget Santa Fe north of Santiago.

4/4/2018 07:56 EST

Check out Villa Davina.
Excellent quality and there is no better deal to be found.

4/4/2018 21:04 EST

The have pickleball in Boquete, at the gyn behind the terpel gas station as you come in to town.

Right now the roads are a mess in Boquete but soon they will be finished. At least there is progress.

4/5/2018 13:57 EST

Does anyone know if there is pickleball in the coronado area?

4/7/2018 10:19 EST

Hi Jill
My parents are selling their beautiful house in Boquete. Very private with stunning views and a magnificient pool. I've heard of a pickerball club in the gymnasium in Boquete, they meet on a regular basis. Please let me know if this could be of interest to you and I;ll gladly send you some pictures of the house.
Thanks, Pia

4/7/2018 11:27 EST

We came to Boquete from Southern California three years ago. Here's our blog - some of the earlier entries about our decision and subsequent move might be especially helpful. Let us know if we can answer any questions.

4/7/2018 12:41 EST

If you are looking for property in Boquete or Chiriqui & want realitor services try Casa Solutions one owner is from Pennsylvania.

4/7/2018 16:33 EST

Hi new folks. When thinking of retirement in Panama it is well served to show up with an open mind and a closed wallet.
The so called experts who post most often here have an agenda.
I have always found it strange that a so called retired person selling Panama for easy money has a need to do so.

4/7/2018 19:49 EST

Good Post!

4/9/2018 18:56 EST

I am currently in the process of purchasing a townhouse in a gated community. It involves purchasing 50% of a corporation from an aquaintance and owning with a good friend. I have received conflicting information regarding the purchase and capital gains tax. One outfit states capital gains must be paid...the second states there are no capital gains as I am not purchasing real estate...but share in a corporation. I am hoping to get a definitive answer. Also...has anyone heard of. or recommend Panama Legal Services? One of the 2 sources of information regarding capital gains tax on the seller. Any help/advice would be greatly appreciated!

4/11/2018 08:09 EST

Coronado is one of the oldest retirement and expat communities outside of Panama City. The city of playa Coronado itself is celebrating its 76 year of existence and it boasts of having one the largest expat communities. A few negatives about Coronado and how they are being addressed----"Roads are terrible"--Indeed, with all the heavy equipment for construction the black top roads have taken a huge toll, to resolve this issue a year ago the owners association instituted a fee for all commercial vehicles per entry and it ranges from 6 to 18 dollars and these funds are helping defray the repair of the roads. I've just returned to Coronado after 3 months and have noticed a significant improvement on the conditions of the roads. Its "expensive to live in Coronado"--yes, overall I've noticed that Panama has become much more expensive as a place to live compared to other places like Ecuador, Mexico and many locations in the USA. The real estate market currently is at a "buyers market" status, there is an abundant supply of properties for sale and prices continue to dwindle both in Panama City and Coronado.
Beach properties, there are many and it depends on distance, type of beach and community. Your search for a place for retirement and preparation for the senior years of life should include an analysis of the quality of health care, availability of the same, proximity to the USA for medical evacuation if necessary, and the cost of it all.
Best of luck in your search

4/11/2018 09:06 EST

Road & street are terrible in Coronado, take a look at Santa Clara.

4/12/2018 09:38 EST

Having been offshore since the 80s...and after 16 years in CR, felt it was time for a change.

Now living the past 7 years in a development close to David.
Nice people, low key, great cost of living, fabulous food and restaurants....
Yes it can get need ac at times.

4/12/2018 13:27 EST

How's the cost of living in Santa Clara?

4/12/2018 13:27 EST

How's the cost of living in Santa Clara?

4/12/2018 13:28 EST

How's the cost of living in Santa Clara?

4/12/2018 16:33 EST

XS can best answer that.

4/12/2018 16:43 EST

Who XS?

4/12/2018 17:55 EST

XS, Sheila, is in this forum, she should answer soon. She & her husband, Marine, own a ranchita, motel/B&B camp ground, etc. where it would be a good idea to spend at least one night. The husbands has passed away but Sheil keep the place open. It is reported to have the best hamburgers. XS is north on the Pan Am hwy across from the old casino & before the Rio Hato runway. Look for a sign, I have photos but as you know can posted them here. Santa Clara was a favorite of the ole Canal Zone “Zonies”. Más tardes amigos de Chagres.

4/12/2018 18:03 EST

Thanks for your help!

4/12/2018 23:04 EST

For XS Memories in Santa Clara location see the following map:,+Panama/@8.3887034,-80.1154642,16.64z/data=!4m5!3m4!1s0x8fac54bf522979d1:0x28e0ec02ce633478!8m2!3d8.4140603!4d-80.109357 Sheila Parick is the owner operator now, website is 113 km marker on the Pan Am Hwy FYI Phone # 993-9306

4/13/2018 08:37 EST

Thanks for the info!
That Web site doesn't work.

4/13/2018 09:25 EST

Salty70, maybe Sheila will pop onto this thread & chat. All I can say is it opened for me & I copied & pasted it to this topic. Google search XS Santa Clara, fun place & definitely worth at least a one night RON.
Saludos amigos de Chagres.

4/13/2018 09:29 EST

Santa Clara really looks good to me.
I was thinking Coronado but I hear conflicting stories. I've got a $2k budget per month.

4/13/2018 10:28 EST

salty70, copy & paste: it worked for me.
Saludos amigo/s de Chagres
P.S. Boquete 70* at 9:29 am

4/13/2018 10:32 EST

salty70, it's 36 km/28 minutes from Santa Clara to Coronado,,-80.1105265/8.5463208,-79.9115902/@8.4534368,-80.0607521,12.2z/data=!4m2!4m1!3e0
No hay problema amigo

4/13/2018 10:44 EST

P.S. salty70, I forgot, you don't even have to copy & paste, the friendly blog makes it a link. Oh, by the way, an RON at DeCameron on the west side of the Rio Hato runway on Playa Blanco or is it Farallón is definitely a must, all inclusive resort, one of the original in beaches area:
Saludos amigos

4/13/2018 10:47 EST

Does your 2k budget include rent?

4/13/2018 10:54 EST

BTW ya' all $2K a month isn't realistic any more no matter what line of #### IL sell you & I do mean sell. LOL Areas you can live in for $2k a month would be serious security & other risks considerations, if you are ground level or up to 4th floor, do have bars on the windows (doesn't allow help as my Panama sister found out in La Chorerra). Panama has become like south FLA now, tooooo expensive, traffic, etc., etc., etc. P.S. since the completion of the 3rd locks there are a lot of workers out of work, fill in the blanks.

4/13/2018 11:22 EST

if you own your place and have no mortgage 2k should be more than enough! that is 65 a day for utilities and food

4/13/2018 11:23 EST

Correction: "doesn't allow help as my Panama" ---doesn't always help as my Panama----
Let's go to the playa amigos or if you are in Chiriqui, Rio Caldera LoL

4/13/2018 11:24 EST

I plan to rent for the first year!

4/13/2018 11:25 EST

Claro tmamato2001 but bring a lot of money, houses in an area I'd live in (that doesn't mean a gringo ghetto) are very pricey now. Do bring BBBBs to PTY.
OK, I'm out of here, going to the playa, mas tardes amigos

4/13/2018 11:31 EST

Excellent idea salty70 & don't sell & take all your belongings with you, some find out PTY isn't for them & can't afford to move back; it took my brother 3.5 years to get back to the states.

4/13/2018 15:08 EST

I'm moving with 2 suitcases!

4/13/2018 15:45 EST

Where are you living now?

4/14/2018 06:58 EST

Hi--check out Villa Davina.
Quiet, safe inexpensive. North American standards, 10 minutes to Costa Rica and rentals start at $450 per month.

4/15/2018 20:00 EST

I'm new to this site!
I'm amazed that from the reality side if you don't want to buy you don't a response!
If there is anyone out there that will a impartial option it would be great.
I plan to visit Panama in June. I'm going to start in Padasi and work my way back to Panama City. I'll find a place to live and I don't care if the roads are bad. I lived in CR for 3 years and it was bad!
Any ideas would be appreciated!
Gracious Salty!

4/16/2018 18:38 EST

Hi Salty,

Another old salt here...25 years as a professional mariner.

Although I have been in Coronado-Panama City for vacations, haven't spent enough time there to comment, except to say...not for me.

I do not like the vibe about PC, and Coronado is getting overpopulated with expats.

...16 years in CR. ... arrived in 91, and it was nice for many years ...had been my favorite ...

I can tell you a about mentioned in a prior post....low key, few regs, friendly people, great col...I've been living offshore for decades, ...not much bothers me.

I'm sure it's not for everyone, but I'm comfortable here...great private tennis club with covered courts....

Since getting out of the US in the 80s,'s all with your feet

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