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Moving to Boquete, Panama | Expat Exchange
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Boquete, Panama

Moving to Boquete, Panama

By Joshua Wood, LPC

Last updated on Jun 18, 2023

Summary: Expats move to Boquete, Panama for its stunning natural beauty, temperate climate, and low cost of living. The area is known for its lush green mountains, coffee plantations, and stunning waterfalls. Boquete also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking, rafting, and bird watching. Additionally, the town is home to a vibrant expat community, making it easy to make friends and find support. With its low cost of living, Boquete is an attractive option for retirees and digital nomads looking to stretch their budget.

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

What do I need to know before moving to Boquete?

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

"HIRE a local attorney before getting or signing anything. We did so and VERY happy that we did . Do not believe or trust anyone. There are many "reject" Gringos there trying to make a buck and Panamanian law works SLOWLY," explained one expat living in Boquete, Panama.

"Come and visit several areas before making the move. We have snakes, though I haven't seen one yet. We do not have mosquitos. If you select an International Mover, avoid Move Management. They are very efficient on the US side, but they use PIR on the Panama side. PIR can't create a ACH to withdraw funds from your checking account, nor can they swipe a debit or credit card. As Manny Rojas in Miami,says, you can always pay in cash. (his relatives in Panama City run PIR) If you do not have two thousand in cash it may take you nine days to get the cash from an ATM, meanwhile, port charges, at $50 per day, keep mounting. I was withdrawing from 2 different banks in the US banks on a daily basis. BTW, every ATM here spits out $20.00 bills. You may have to fight with your US bank to make them understand that there is no Foreign Exchange issue in Panama. Mastercard charged as much as $12 foreign transaction. They have since reduced those fees to $5 or $6. Visa charges $4. If you don't have a place for your goods to be delivered, PIR charges $500 per month or any portion thereof, even one extra day will cost you $500.00. One more thing, if you send them a wire transfer, their bank charges PIR $90, which they will gleefully pass on to you. Bring buckets of cash or avoid Move Management. Your local US contact will drop you like a hot potato as soon as your goods are on the water. There is a storage place on the way to Boquete called Chiriqui Storage run by Hellmut and Linda Pederson. One good sized locker is $100/mo. A 20 ft. container would take two lockers," said one expat in Alto Boquete.

"Boquete is a small mountain town in the Chiriquí province of Panama. It is known for its temperate climate, lush vegetation, and stunning views of the surrounding mountains. Expats should be aware that Boquete is a small town with limited amenities, so it is important to plan ahead and bring any necessary items with you. Additionally, Boquete is a popular tourist destination, so it is important to be aware of the local customs and laws. Expats should also be aware that the cost of living in Boquete is higher than in other parts of Panama, so it is important to budget accordingly. Finally, Boquete is a great place to learn Spanish, as there are many language schools and classes available," said one expat who made the move to Boquete.

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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.

Boquete, Panama

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