If you should decide to come to Panama to explore options for a re-location, a second home, or just a vacation, I always recommend at least a ten-day stay so that you can get a reasonable look at the country.
Most of the country is very accessible, and you can drive easily to the locations you would like to see. Even the areas furthest out from Panama City can be seen and enjoyed over a three-day trip.
When I first came to Panama in 2007 to decide where my wife Martha and I might consider living, I traveled all over the country. I spent two years doing it. I was not in a hurry, and I took quality time to explore the different areas of Panama and what they had to offer. Many were so beautiful, I often found myself thinking, “This is it”.
It was then that I realized how important it is to create a checklist of what you want in a new home. This helps to bring you back to reality, and might help prevent rash decision-making when considering some amazingly beautiful location in the middle of nowhere.
Here are some of the items I put on my checklist. I encourage you to read them, and use them as a basis for creating your own list:
– Nearby medical services with necessary equipment and English-speaking staff.
– A passable road to get in and out of the property that will hold up during the rainy season.
– Services such as banks, grocery stores, hardware stores, and restaurants.
– Other like-minded ex-pats that ensure some social life.
– A reasonable drive to an international airport.
– A reasonable drive to Panama City. During my travels through the country, I realized how often I had to return to the capital for some essential item or paperwork.
Take my list and make it your own as you look around for the next chapter in your life. You will be less likely to make a spontaneous decision in the heat of the moment, and more likely to make rational, smart decisions. While enjoying the stunning views Panama has to offer, it is incredibly valuable to make the distinction between “my new home” and “a great place to visit!”
But don’t worry about walking into the process blind: we have already done much of the work for you. We have created community profile videos for each of the areas in Panama that will help you understand what each region has to offer. Some of my favorite areas from my travels are Coronado, The Pacific Coast Highlands, Boquete, Casco Viejo and the Azuero Peninsula. Each of the links will lead you to the appropriate video.
I am always available to answer your questions, and will help you organize travel and lodging when exploring this beautiful country. Contact me today with your thoughts and questions.