Pros and Cons of Living in Panama City
Last updated on Sep 25, 2023
Summary: The pros of living in Panama City, Panama include its tropical climate, its vibrant culture, its low cost of living, and its proximity to the Caribbean Sea. On the other hand, the cons of living in Panama City include its high levels of air pollution, its high crime rate, and its lack of public transportation infrastructure.
What are the pros and cons of living in Panama City?
Expats, digital nomads and retirees living in Panama City responded:
"Nothing works right in Panama. It's very difficult to get quality workmanship. Also, it's too humid here for most people. The Covid lockdowns have been terrible and Panama is going through a near-depression right now. We plan on leaving this year for Portugal," explained one expat living in Panama City.
"The city itself is congested and more expensive that the outskirts, however, everything is right there, public transport is good. Prices drop quite a bit outside the city but the infrastructure is not the best although they are working on it. There are several train lines installed and in the process of same. Busing could use some work and bridges are planned but at this point it can be a nightmare entering or leaving the city at rush hours. The drivers are the worst....few rules and those that there are, are not followed, no signals, and constant horns blowing senselessly. The peoplle are the best. They live for the moment. What is important is who you are with and what you have to share right now: food, drink, music, etc. THEREFORE, time has no value and so being late is not offensive to a Panamenian whereas to gringos, time is mine and so if you insult someones times, you insult them personally. Locals don't get that. There is a trash problem but it is gradually improving Homes are functional and crowded so many are not painted. don't have windows, just open block, yards are not maintained. Now, this is not everywhere but it is quite common. There are many places with gorgeous landscaping, maintenance, etc. Street dogs are common but the rescue and spay efforts are growing The culture is my draw. Once you are introduced, you are family and welcome to drop by any time and stay....and stay, and stay. Panama is a beautiful country with varied views and temperatures. There are gorgeous pristine beaches, beautiful mountains, hot in the city but chilly in the mountain regions. I, for one, have never been happier or more at peace. In 9 years I have yet to lose my "awe" of this magnificent pace: the jungle, the canal, the people, the beauty," said one in Panama City.
What do expats in Panama City appreciate most about the local culture?
About the Author
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.
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