Snap Up Your Dream Home in Panama’s Highlands

Spring-like climate with highs reaching the upper 70s F and lows in the lower 60s F, the town of Volcan lies in a beautiful valley with rolling hills and lush vegetation. It’s shadowed by Volcan Baru, the tallest mountain in Panama, which sits at an elevation of 11,400 feet.

This area has been termed the “Bread Basket of Panama” due to its fertile volcanic soil. Vegetable and fruit crops are grown here and provide over 75% of Panama’s supply of fresh produce.

Hikers and nature lovers converge here to enter the Volcan Baru National Park and take advantage of the famous Los Quetzales Trail which climbs up the side of the volcano and back down to nearby Boquete.

Volcan itself is a small town with a population of only about 14,000, but it has all the basics you need. Hardware stores and grocery stores, banks, retail, and restaurants are located throughout the town. Most businesses are situated on the main street which is about 10 blocks long. Everyone here knows their neighbors and the town is friendly and supportive to newcomers. If you need something more than everything Volcan offers, David—the capital of Chiriquí Province— is only 50 minutes away.

The expat population in Volcan is increasing but on a much smaller scale than its sister town of Boquete which lies on the other side of Volcan Baru. Expats here prefer a simple, slower lifestyle away from the hustle and bustle of big-city life. Most expats in Volcan like to mix with the locals and make friends with newcomers.

Because Volcan does not draw the same interest in real estate as other areas in Chiriquí, you’ll find prices are substantially lower. Most homes sit on the market longer and sellers are eager to reduce the sale prices in order to sell.

If you want land, privacy, and gorgeous views, Volcan might be just for you. Most properties here are located on large lots with plenty of trees and spectacular views. There are not a lot of formal subdivisions or track housing here. Most homes have been built to take advantage of the large lots they have and have situated their homes to get the most out of the scenery around them.

An example of a typical home on the market is a renovated Panamanian home in Cuesta de Piedra. This home is 1,350 square feet and has two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and a nice size living room/dining room. You get a large covered back patio that looks out at the views surrounding the valley. Add in the manicured lawn and lush landscaping, and this house a great find at $169,000.

Another local home for sale in Volcan has 180 degree views of the area. This magnificent home has three bedrooms and three-and-a-half bathrooms. This home even has its own sauna and a great outdoor living space at the back of the home. This property also has a casita (guesthouse) which can be rented out or used for visiting guests. The home itself is 2,650 square feet and lists for $279,000.

Close to downtown Volcan, you’ll find a typical three-bedroom Panama home for sale. This home was built in 1990 and is 1,200 square feet in size. With an airy and open floor plan, this home is priced right at $185,000. This home, as most in Volcan, has spectacular views of the hillsides surrounding town.

If you’re looking to rent, you’ll pay less than areas like Boquete. Choices will be less than in Boquete, but you can find them. A furnished rental in Volcan can start at $500. Unfurnished rentals are always far cheaper and you can find one for under $300, depending on what you are looking for.

Although Volcan has a smaller real estate market, it can be worth the effort to keep an eye open for bargains. The future of Volcan real estate and construction is on the rise as expats are looking away from the higher prices in larger expat communities.

If you love light airy breezes, great views, and a small town feel with charming locals, then you should put Volcan on your radar.

Image: ©iStock.com/AlexanderXXI

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