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Punta Paitilla Neighborhood in Panama City

Pros and Cons of Living in Panama

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Apr 26, 2024

Summary: The pros of living in Panama include its tropical climate, its diverse culture, its low cost of living, and its excellent infrastructure. Panama also offers a wide range of outdoor activities, from surfing to hiking, and its location makes it a great place to explore Central America. On the other hand, the cons of living in Panama include its high crime rate, its lack of reliable public transportation, and its limited job opportunities. Additionally, Panama's healthcare system is not as advanced as other countries, and its political system is often unstable.

Panama Legal Business (PANLEB)
Panama Legal Business (PANLEB)
Panama Legal Business (PANLEB)
Panama Legal Business (PANLEB)

What are the pros and cons of living in Panama?

Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Panama responded:

"People like the beauty of nature, the quiet, relaxed atmosphere, the small town feel, the relatively close proximity to Panama City (2-3 hours drive) and the weather (not as hot or humid as Coronado). Dislikes include the frequent power outages, lack of health care facilities, overpopulation of dogs that bark all night, and lack of stores (if want want to buy anything beyond basic necessities you have to drive the curvy, pot-holed mountain road to Coronado (35-45 minutes drive). I hope this is helpful," explained one expat living in El Valle de Anton.

"Expats and digital nomads in Panama enjoy the country's low cost of living, its tropical climate, and its friendly people. They also appreciate the country's excellent infrastructure, which makes it easy to get around and stay connected. On the downside, expats and digital nomads may find the language barrier challenging, as Spanish is the official language. Additionally, Panama's healthcare system is not as advanced as some other countries, so expats may need to seek medical care abroad," said one expat in living in Panama.

"Traffic is bumper to bumper during rush hours, stop signs are useless since they don't stop and just slow down.....if you're lucky! If you drive on the highway from Panama City to Costa del Este, you feel like you are going thru a gigantic dumpster with so many garbage on the beaches. (refrigerators, tires, furnitures, etc, etc). Rivers connected to the Pacific ocean in Panana City on Balboa Street and in Coste del Este smell terrible (pee) and you can see garbage floating from these rivers to the Pacific ocean in low tide then back on the beaches (if you can call beaches) on high tide. I asked many questions about this situation as if it was a complete lack of education or lack of interest from the Panamians. Panama is carbon negative for the air so air is pure but the garbage and smell when you cross these rivers are terrible. Walking on the boardwalk of Balboa street crossing a river, you need to pinch or cover your nose, same by crossing a river in Costa del Este and any rivers," wrote one expat in Panama City.

"I love he town I live in. It's small but in close proximity to neighboring towns with many dining and shopping options. We are very happy with where we live. There is a good doctor in our neighboring town that speaks English and has specialists come into his office for easy access to people in our area. For more specialized medical procedures, Panama City has many private hospitals with excellent reputations and specialists in every field. We are about an hour from Panama City so access is not very difficult. I do have minor concerns about what would happen if I had a major medical emergency (heart attack, stroke) but I don't worry about it. Our philosophy is to deal with things as they arise. Maybe not the best approach, but our approach," explained one expat living in Nueva Gorgona.

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Explore Panama Legal Business for a full suite of legal services tailored to your needs. From obtaining residency and visas to opening bank accounts, obtaining apostilles, conducting background checks, setting up businesses, and navigating real estate transactions, trust our experience and dedication to guide you through every step of the process in Panama.
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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.

Punta Paitilla Neighborhood in Panama City

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