I love living in David, the capital of the Chiriquí province, so much so that I have never considered moving anywhere else. David has a population of 164,000, making it feel like a small city with nice friendly locals that’s easy to get around, but also with all the amenities of a larger city.
Here are some of the reasons why I love David so much.
1. Convenience of Services, Shopping, and Healthcare
I love the fact that no matter where I might choose to live in David, I can find anything I need within 15 minutes of my home. David offers services that the rest of Chiriquí does not. That means immigration, driver’s licenses, and other government obligations can be sorted out here.
David is where most of Chiriquí’s shops, car dealerships, grocery store chains, department stores, clothing stores, and furniture stores are. I never spend more than $30 a month on gas because everything is so close. I can drop my car off at a dealership for repairs and walk across the highway to the mall to shop while I wait.
I live in central David and can easily walk to great grocery stores and downtown. The hospitals are also minutes away, providing me peace of mind.
2. Low Cost of Living
Compared to other areas within Chiriquí, the cost of living in David is inexpensive, and housing options are endless. You can find an unfurnished rental in an established neighborhood for under $300, or $500 if you’re looking for something furnished.
In an average month, my internet runs to $25, electricity is never more than $20, cell phone $34, and propane $5. I buy all my produce from local stands in David, which are less expensive than the grocery store, so my average cost for food for a month is around $350.
Our nights are in the low 70s F and days in the 90s F. While some may think that is too hot, I disagree—as do many other expats who have settled here. We don’t experience the same intense rainfall as in the highlands, or the wind. And, since we are a bit warmer, David has fewer bugs. I really enjoy being outdoors on the crisp cool mornings and pleasant evenings. My air conditioner is rarely used and my windows are always open.
4. Close to Both the Beach and Mountains
One of the truly great things about David is the location. I am just 30 minutes to the beach and 30 minutes away from the mountains. On several occasions I have gone to both in one day. The new, scenic highway to Boquete makes driving “up the hill” relaxing. I love being centrally located. Since David is on the Pan American highway it is an easy drive to areas around the country like Boca Chica, Las Lajas, or Panama City…or even to Costa Rica.
5. Entertainment and Activities
David is all about celebrating holidays, festivals, and fairs. You can never be bored in David, there is always something going on throughout the year. During a hot afternoon I opt for the movie theaters, which play first run films in English for $2.10.
Restaurants reign in David. Chains we all recognize are here—TGI Friday’s, Dominos Pizza, Dairy Queen, McDonalds, and KFC…to name a few. Traditional Panamanian restaurants are inexpensive and serve big portions for a few dollars. There are also some wonderful upscale restaurants when you want that something special.
A perfect afternoon for me is a matinee movie at 3 p.m. followed by an early dinner at one of a dozen of my favorite restaurants.
6. Dependable Utilities and Community
For me, the dependability of internet, cable, and water are a priority. David ensures that its residents have access to all of these. The companies providing services to residents regularly upgrade their systems to give everyone better service.
As a single woman I feel safe here and at home. Davidians are friendly and helpful. I have made lots of Panama friends…as well as expat friends. We have a supportive community of expats here who get together often to socialize and have fun.
I feel lucky to have the best that Panama has to offer by living in David. I can’t imagine being anywhere else.