Move over Palm Springs, Panama is the next hot destination for retirees and vacationers! Vacationers looking for an exorbitant, budget vacation or rental home overseas are flocking to Panama City in Central America. Nestled just above the equator and hosting a lush, tropical environment, Panama has everything from white sandy beaches to springs and lakes in the mountains and rainforests.
Beside its bursting natural beauty, Panama has a vibrant culture, low crime rate, and endless entertainment. Ecotourism provides a number of outdoor activities, like rafting and diving, for adventure seekers. Vast historical districts, museums, markets, shopping districts, parks and restaurants ensure while you’re in Panama City, there’s always fun waiting to be had. And if you’re prepared for a short drive, the Colón Free Zone is the Americas’ largest free port for buying imported goods on the cheap.
For retirees, the low cost of living and pensionado program offers further incentives for settling in Panama City. The program provides foreign pensioners visas and exemptions which make an international move simple. Your money will go a lot further in Panama, too; not only is real estate much cheaper, but your daily expenses will also be drastically reduced. And you won’t be sacrificing any amenities. If you had any misconceptions, Panama has progressive health care with low medicinal costs, a modern infrastructure, and international cable service.
Advantages of Panama City
With its booming tourism and business sectors, Panama’s economy is steadily growing. Their populations of American expatriates have served as the basis for expat communities in and around Panama City, too. So while Learning Spanish will make communication easier, it is not a necessity since many Panamanians have some level of fluency in English.
Many multinational corporations and banks are headquartered in and around Panama City, meaning banking will be a breeze; you are likely to find a branch or partner for most major banking institutions which will streamline all financial transactions.
Best Neighborhoods for Expats
With one-bedroom apartments in swanky areas running for $800 per month and steadily climbing the further into the city you go, Panama City has accommodations for every budget. If you’re looking for find ocean views from high rises, Costa del Este is a posh district home to many elite Panamanians and expats.
Costa del Este is the first planned neighborhood with wide boulevards, commercial plazas, and luxury homes reminiscent of upscale neighborhoods in the United States. If you are looking for similar views without high costs, the district of Bella Vista offers some of the most stunning views in the city. If you are seeking a premier view overlooking the ocean or forest, you can find affordable housing in the Paitilla and Punta Pacifica neighborhoods of this district.
One of the most unique neighborhoods for retiring in Panama City is Casco Viejo, or the “old city,” which is home to stunning architecture and historic buildings. Although a largely tourist area, Casco Viejo has many quiet neighborhoods that attract more artistic crowds. Continual renovation projects throughout the neighborhood mean new properties are always emerging.
If these districts are a bit out of your price range, the neighborhood of San Francisco has everything you’ll need including supermarkets, banks, malls, cafes, and even car dealerships. It is conveniently located and has affordable housing. It used to be an area only affordable to the wealthiest, but has since become home to many middle-class families. The best feature is its proximity to Parque Omar which contains a 5-mile track, event areas, and a library.
The area formerly known as the “Canal Zone” has become expat central, particularly the sector of Ancon. This area was reverted back to the Panamanian administration in 1999, but still retains the feel of “small town USA.” There are also many gated communities around the area of Horoco. These are reminiscent of the friendly suburbs of America you may be familiar.
Whether you’re looking for a summer vacation house or somewhere to settle in, Panama City provides you access to every level of home and amenities you may want. Its tropical climate means you will never be stuck indoors, while its friendly communities will invite you to explore the city year-round.
License: Royalty Free or iStock
Aaron Rite is a freelance writer who writes on a wide variety of topics for businesses. He is an avid writer and runner. He works with companies to boost their online prescence through learned blogs on industry-related topics.
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