If you make your money online, there are some great benefits to locating yourself in Panama. One of them is gaining residence on the basis of your economic activity. Panama welcomes expats…and if you register your business as a corporation, you can easily apply for a residence visa. Online workers may not have the same need to officially register their business—the way bricks-and-mortar entrepreneurs do—but becoming a legal resident is a good idea.
With a skyline that wouldn’t look out of place in Miami or Dubai, Panama City is the epitome of a modern metropolis. Impressive towers overlooking the Panama Bay are home to many well-heeled locals, as well as an ever-growing community of expats.
The sky is a piercing blue, with a few wisps of white that could hardly be called clouds. Small boats and yachts bob in the marina, and birds and bees swoop and buzz around the trees and flowered hedges that line the walkway.
A capuchin monkey is in a tree just a few steps from where I sit. I stay still for as long as I can—I am enjoying looking at him and don’t want to scare him away. Surrounded by lush rainforest, I could almost forget that I am in Panama City.
Those gleaming towers by the Panama Bay…how they sparkle at night. They are the reason visitors are often astonished to see such a modern looking city in Central America.
Just off of Panama’s Dry Forest Coast, Las Tablas is Panama at its best. It’s located on the Azuero Peninsula, a region renowned for everything from colorful Carnival celebrations to artisanal textiles, pottery, and leatherwork.
A country with surprisingly varied landscapes, Panama is so much more than its modern, cosmopolitan capital city. There are mountain towns boasting cool climates, pine-covered hills, and sweet, Swiss-style cottages framed with bright bursts of bougainvillea.
White sand beaches with bright green palms, ringed by turquoise waters… Glittering swirls of volcanic sand, slender white sea birds soaring above, and dramatic coastlines… Tiny islands that look like little pearls against a backdrop of deepest sapphire blue…
My first year in Panama City—known to locals by its airport call letters, PTY—I started my mornings with a 15 cents cup of strong, dark coffee. For breakfast I would buy a little bag of fried plantains or corn fritters (torrejas de maiz) for 25 cents.
When Toni Munoz, 53, visited Panama in 2014, she did what no one should. "I came just to look around, but I ended up buying a house!" she says. Conventional wisdom says it's best to visit a couple times and maybe even rent for a while before buying but Toni's spur-of-the-moment decision to buy in the beach resort of Coronado turned out to be a good thing. "I just fell in love with the community," she says.