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Bocas del Toro, Panama

Living in Panama

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Oct 11, 2023

Summary: People describe life in Panama as vibrant, diverse, and full of opportunity. Expats love the warm climate, the friendly people, the low cost of living, and the abundance of outdoor activities. The average cost of living for an expat is around $1,500 to $2,000 per month, depending on lifestyle. The population of Panama is estimated to be around 4.3 million people, and the largest cities are Panama City, San Miguelito, David, and Colón. The cons of living in Panama include the high cost of imported goods, the lack of public transportation, and the high crime rate in some areas. Additionally, the infrastructure is not as developed as in other countries, and the healthcare system is not as advanced.

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What do I need to know about living in Panama?

When we asked people what advice they would give someone preparing to move to Panama, they said:

"Be prepared to change your life. Leave behind all your pre concieved notions of how it should be, what you need, want, and must have to get by. EVERYTHING is different, embrace it, learn from it, apply what you can to your life but don't come here with demands, strict ideals, uptight lifestyle, and the idea that you are going to save a third world culture from itself. I find the opposite is what happens, it saves you from yourself and what ever madness you left behind," wrote one member in Boquete.

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William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.

William RussellWilliam Russell

William Russell's private medical insurance will cover you and your family wherever you may be. Whether you need primary care or complex surgery, you'll have access to the best hospitals & doctors available. Unlike some insurers, we also include medical evacuation and mental health cover in our plans (except SilverLite). Get a quote from our partner, William Russell.
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About the Author

Joshua Wood Joshua Wood, LPC joined Expat Exchange in 2000 and serves as one of its Co-Presidents. He is also one of the Founders of Digital Nomad Exchange. Prior to Expat Exchange, Joshua worked for NBC Cable (MSNBC and CNBC Primetime). Joshua has a BA from Syracuse and a Master's in Clinical and Counseling Psychology from Fairleigh Dickinson University. Mr. Wood is also a licensed counselor and psychotherapist.

Some of Joshua's articles include Pros and Cons of Living in Portugal, 10 Best Places to Live in Ireland and Pros and Cons of Living in Uruguay. Connect with Joshua on LinkedIn.

Bocas del Toro, Panama

William Russell
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Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
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William RussellWilliam Russell

Get a quote for international health insurance from our partner, William Russell.
Get Quote

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Help others in Panama by answering questions about the challenges and adventures of living in Panama.

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