Since moving to Panama, my personal experience with healthcare here has been excellent. Without exception, all the doctors I’ve seen have been professional, thorough, and took a lot of time to talk to me and deal with the issues I was having.
On a quest to find the world-class Panamanian cocoa I'd heard so much about, I took a leisurely drive to the small mountain town of El Cacao in the Panama Oeste province. But the town was dry. An old man at a small market limped over to the counter and handed me the can of soda I bought. He smiled when I asked in remedial Spanish, where is the cocoa? Even with our language barrier, he understood the irony.
Come down for a visit and talk to some expats who've been here a while, and you'll hear a lot of anecdotes about Panamanian people. Great stories about how friendly, helpful, fun-loving, or welcoming they are. These are things you'll learn through your own interactions, too.
“When our beautiful view is the Pacific Ocean and the warm breeze blows through our condo, we hardly feel like we are confined. If we have to stay in for an extended period of time because of Coronavirus restrictions, we are okay with that. We love it here,” says Jo Anne Burrill of her adopted hometown of Coronado.
Swaying palm trees, soft white sands, and warm waters of clearest blue…Panama’s islands epitomize the best of the tropics. Panama has hundreds of islands, but the island destination I visit the most is Contadora—and with good reason.
All of Panama is eager to get back to "regular business" as soon as possible... Some economic areas, however, have not been slowed by the virus situation—thereby shoring up Panama's overall economy.
While we wait for the boat to pull away from the dock, we pose in our orange lifejackets. The breeze is whipping our hair into our faces, and the sun is shining brightly. The ocean varies from intense sapphire to a crystal clear aqua. There’s exuberant greenery along the shore, and the striking city skyline gleams in the background. We all smile wide for the inevitable photo. Soon we’ll be digging our toes into white sands and wading into warm waters.
Currently, this is more of a buyer's than a seller's market. If you're test-driving life in Panama, I recommend renting before you buy. Countless expats have moved to the beach, only to find that they prefer a mountain community in another part of the country—and vice-versa.
I’m not about to maroon myself in the wilderness and commune with my inner Walden any time soon. I never go to the movies…but I like knowing there’s a movie theater close at hand if the notion ever takes me to go…
Panama has a long history of welcoming immigrants to its shores. Not long after the first conquistadors arrived in 1501, it became apparent that Panama was the narrowest point between the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. The isthmus quickly became part of an infamous trade route that transported precious metals from Peru to Europe.