Panama City is not only the capital of Panama, but it is also where about half of the population lives. Panama City is full of Western-style amenities. It has international hotels, modern boulevards, high rise condos and office buildings, and restaurants to satisfy every food craving imaginable. Visitors can easily find bakeries, dry cleaners, paint stores, beauty salons, medical spas, pet grooming, and every other service one would expect to find in an international city. There are many Western-style hospitals, and healthcare is easy to get. There are a variety of international schools in and around Panama City. Houses in Panama City are rare, though, and the average foreigner who invests in residential real estate typically chooses to invest in condos.
Pacific Coast Beach Region
The Pacific Coast beach region of Panama encompasses the beach area on the Pacific Ocean side of the country. It is more developed than the Caribbean side and gets about half the rainfall, making it more desirable to most foreigners who want to live in Panama. The Pacific Coast Beach Region is an easy drive from Panama City, and most people can go from Panama City to the Punta Chame in about an hour. The region extends to the new Rio Hato International Airport and includes mountain areas, such as Altos del Maria. Western-style retail stores and grocery stores can be found throughout the region, but most are located in Coronado, which is in the center of the Pacific Coast Beach Region. A thriving international expat community means that English is spoken almost everywhere. Plus, new international schools are being formed to meet the growing need for families with school-aged children.
The beaches along the Caribbean coast are magnificent and sparsely populated. The white sand beaches and aqua blue water can make you feel like you're living a dream. Day-to-day life in this area can be more problematic though. Things like major highways, International schools, and reliable high-speed Internet are not always available. If you truly want to get away from it all, the Caribbean Coast is the place to do it.
David / Boquete
David (pronounced Da veed) is the third largest city in Panama and the capital of the Chiriqui Province. Services and goods are readily available, just on a smaller scale than Panama City. Within close proximity to David are Pacific Coast beaches, Costa Rica, and the mountain town of Boquete. Boquete’s year-round spring-like temperatures and lush flora and fauna attract people from around the world. Expats make up about half of the population of Boquete, and more English is spoken per capita than anyplace else in Panama. Boquete has the oldest expat population, which is mainly comprised of retirees. Unlike other parts of the country that have seen rising real estate prices, Boquete's real estate prices have fallen recently, making many properties more affordable than ever.
If you would like more information on Panama's regions, please contact us. We would be glad to help you determine which area might be best for you.