Home to colorful Spanish colonial architecture, a variety of amenities, and three top beaches a 5- to 10-minute drive away, Pedasí—at the far south-eastern tip of Panama's Azuero Peninsula—is the perfect base for beach exploration.
On Sundays from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. a network of roads from the city's Paitilla sector to the Amador Causeway are closed to motor vehicles. That way you can bike, rollerblade, skateboard—whatever you want—all over the capital, and without worrying about traffic.
Pacific or Caribbean? That is the question…if you're looking to live on the beach, that is. And if you've been reading your way through your Panama Insider materials, you'll no doubt have noticed that we cover the Pacific coast more extensively.
Will there be another severe lockdown here in Panama? We all know by now it's difficult to predict when or whether there'll be a spike in cases. Panama has a great many holidays in November, so the government is urging people to stay vigilant.
My dad loved marching bands and parades. The slightest beat of a drum got his feet and hands moving to the rhythm of the music. He would have been thrilled that I accidentally became part of the Mil Polleras or "Thousand Polleras" parade in Las Tablas.
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.
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.
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.
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.