Podcast: Panama’s Wild West—Expat Living from the Mountains to the Sea

This week, the Bigger, Better World podcast takes a trip to Panama, talking to International Living Overseas Editor Jessica Ramesch about her recent scouting trip to the westernmost edge of Panama—the province of Chiriquí.

Although it’s a small country, Panama is a big destination in the world of overseas retirement and relocation. Just three hours’ flying time from the U.S., with a dollar economy, year-round warmth, a busy metropolitan city, and two glorious tropical coastlines, the Central American nation is one of the most popular settling points for in-the-know expats.

While many of those adventurers concentrate themselves in Panama City, or in the beach towns and resorts close by, there’s a growing number of retirees, digital nomads, and work-from-anywhere professionals who explore a little farther, and find exactly what they were looking for in the Chiriquí region.

That shouldn’t be a surprise. Snuggling right up to the border with Costa Rica, Chiriquí is a mountains-meets-sea region, with enough altitude in the highlands to create its own cool microclimate, sweeping right down to the Pacific Ocean with its wild waves, tropical beaches, and secluded bays. Diversity is the key to the landscape here, with productive farmland up in the high spots giving way to deep jungle and green grasslands at lower levels.

It all means that the prospective expat can pick and choose from a range of microclimates, finding the exact match for their personal preference.

In her article for International Living magazine, and in her discussion with podcast host, Jim Santos, Jessica explores the many options for expats in the Chiriquí region, from the beaches of Boca Chica and Las Lajas to the city in David, all the way up to Boquete—one of the world’s premier expat destinations. She paints a glorious picture of small farms, fishing villages, lush coffee plantations, deserted beaches, and horseback ranchers living a life that looks like something from centuries ago.

Join host, Jim Santos, as he meets Jessica Ramesch in the latest episode of Bigger, Better World.

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