- Panama: Perfect Weather, Low Taxes, Friendly People
Posted on February 22, 2012 by Terry Coles
Six months ago we moved to Panama. We knew that we didn’t want to live in a gated community. For us, it just made more sense to live among the locals where we could immerse ourselves in the culture and get to know everyone.
I’m sad to report that most visitors to Panama never leave the capital city. But if you’re willing to look beyond the city skyline, a world of choice awaits. This is a country roughly the size of South Carolina, so you needn’t go far to find idyllic mountain, beach, and valley hideaways with a “so close, yet so far away” feel.
Panama City is color, light, noise, and action—a thrumming, modern city that surprises first-timers with its stellar roads and steamy nightlife. But the beauty is more than skin-deep. Panama is also the region’s most convenient capital.
If your dreams of life in a new country mean securing an overseas income, then Panama must be high on your list. Here’s five reasons why Panama fits the bill for today’s move abroad adventurer. Reason #1—Economics: Panama is fast becoming an economic giant on the world stage. Why? Simple—geography.
A man with his own private zoo…a Dutch transplant with a penchant for black and white movies…and a former builder who just wanted to make the region’s best burger. They all have one thing in common: The tiny mountain hideaway in Panama they now call home. Veraguas is a massive tract of land—the only province in Panama to touch both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
Located in the Panamanian beach town of Coronado, the always happening Picasso is owned and run by British transplant Claire Ross. Claire didn’t come to Panama intending to start a restaurant here, but while doing some consulting work in Panama City she found a town an hour’s drive away that has it all.
In this video, International Living Panama editor Jessica Ramesch talks about her cost of living in Panama City, Panama. Though it’s possible to live (and spend) like a millionaire here, Jessica says it’s easy to live the good life, even if you’re on a budget, like her. Your cost of living can be low in Panama but you can still buy the same groceries as back home.
If you decide to live anywhere in or near the Veraguas province of Panama, chances are you’ll visit the provincial capital of Santiago often. Most “capitalinos” (Panamanians from the capital) will tell you there’s nothing much in Santiago, but on a recent visit I found the opposite.
Campana National Park may well be Panama’s best-kept secret. That’s amazing considering its location—just an hour west of Panama City, a big sign marks the entrance. It’s on the Pan-American Highway, also known as Highway One, which spans the isthmus (in fact, it runs from Canada all the way down to Argentina, with just one “gap” between Panama and Colombia).
“Lazy” isn’t quite the right word to describe the village of Santa Fe de Veraguas, located in Panama’s Veraguas province. Other words come to mind: “bohemian,” “quirky,” and “effortless.” A town of about 3,000 people, Santa Fe has no traffic. Even on the main road cars pass infrequently. And everyone—every single person—says hello or buenas as they pass.
- Panama: Where Michael Douglas, Catherine Zeta Jones and Other A-List Celebrities Like to Vacation
Posted on January 13, 2012 by Jessica Ramesch
Go for the Canal…Stay for Everything Else. That’s what the New York Times is saying about Panama. The publishing giant’s travel section listed Panama as number one out of 45 Places to Go in 2012. Michael Douglas and Catherine Zeta Jones don’t disagree. They are on vacation in Panama this week with their family.
There’s a highland village in Panama you probably haven’t heard of yet—a handful of North Americans are only beginning to establish a bohemian community. Pines and flowering shrubs, beautifully paved roads and neatly painted houses, where no-one locks their doors and everyone has reliable Internet.
In this video, International Living Panama editor Jessica Ramesch visits the mountain village of Santa Fe in the Veraguas province of Panama. The tiny town is rich in mountain charm, from its small, friendly community of locals (and just a few expats) to its lush vegetation and rural mountain feel.
- A Little Surf Town in Panama That Was Once a Well-Guarded Secret
Posted on December 29, 2011 by Jessica Ramesch
“It’s my favorite wave on earth,” says Jon Hanna, a championship surfer who’s seen more than a few waves in his travels around the world. He’s talking about Santa Catalina, a little surf town in Panama that was once a well-guarded secret.
In Boquete, Panama, you want a really good camera. That’s because the mountain views are lavish and rainbows appear nearly every day. Karl and Liz Parker fell for this landscape when they first arrived. Now they live in Panama part of the year, spending the rest of their time traveling or back in the U.S. with family.
U.S. President Barack Obama recently put the final signature on what some are calling the last major trade agreements of his administration. With a simple signing ceremony, Obama made Panama—along with South Korea and Colombia—one of only 20 countries in the world to have a Free Trade Agreement (FTA) with the U.S.
- Panama: Most Business-Friendly Country in the Americas
Posted on November 10, 2011 by Carol Barron
Panama is the most business-friendly country for expatriates anywhere in the Americas, a major new study in the International Living November issue reveals. When compiling our Business Index 2011, IL’s researchers examined factors such as visa requirements, ﬁnancing, how easy it is to set up a bank account, local taxes, business expenses, infrastructure and the local business culture in seven business-friendly countries.
Marvin and Joanne Riddle don’t just enjoy “the best of both worlds”…they enjoy the best the whole world has to offer them. The couple spend part of every year in Florida, part of the year living on La Barqueta beach, in Panama’s Chiriquí province, and—when the mood takes them—they travel the world, too.
When not behind the counter of his Panama City bagel shop, Jon Hurst makes the most of his adopted home. The Maine native has lived in Panama City for six years, and with easy access to both the Pacific and Caribbean coasts, as well as the country’s magnificent highlands, he’s spoiled for choice.
International Living has been covering this beat for more than 30 years, and each Global Retirement Index we put together just gets more interesting. I’ll give you a little example… what do you think are the top five best places to retire on this year’s Index?
- Enjoying the Slower, “Old World” Pace in Belize, Ecuador and Panama
Posted on August 22, 2011 by International Living
Times were good until the economy began its downturn, crashing the real estate market. We were concerned that our retirement savings wouldn’t see us through, so we began looking overseas for a place where our ever-shrinking nest egg might last longer.
- Adventure Travel in The Darien: A Must-See When You Visit Panama
Posted on August 12, 2011 by Jessica Ramesch
Imagine yourself surrounded by colossal prehistoric trees. Butterflies the size of your hand flutter by. Ferns threaten to envelop you. All that’s missing is a bloodthirsty Tyrannosaurus Rex. This scene is just the start when you decide on an adventure travel vacation in the Darien, Panama’s “forgotten province.”