Volcán has a lot to offer expats looking for a place to live in the Chiriquí highlands. The cooler days and nights, beautiful scenery, and laidback lifestyle are a great attraction.
Located an hour from the main city of David and the Pacific Ocean, Volcán is only a 45-minute drive to Boquete. The town itself is a farming hub for Cerro Punta and neighboring areas but it also attracts nature lovers who visit to experience some of the best natural beauty in Panama. Small mom and pop hotels and restaurants, along with necessities like hardware stores and grocery stores line the 10 block long main street. Homes are scattered throughout the valley on mostly larger than normal lots, giving every home views of Volcán Barú, which shadows the town at 11,400 feet.
Today Volcán’s charm has been rediscovered. Still a sleepy farming town, Volcán is now on the radar, because its low cost of living has become a big draw over other parts of the province for expats looking to relocate to Panama. The expat community is growing and so are the amenities as expats are opening new businesses and seeing the opportunities. In the last year several families from North America have made Volcán their home, wanting a better place to raise their children. In addition, retirees wanting a quieter lifestyle where you get to know your neighbors, are finding Volcán has given them the sense of community they were looking for.
Expats and investors alike are now looking beyond Boquete for more underdeveloped places where prices are still affordable for both land and homes. Volcán is what Boquete was years ago, still a quiet unassuming town where everyone knows everyone.
If you’re doing research online you won’t come across real estate offices in Volcán. The real estate market in Volcán is currently small—as is the population of just over 13,000. Most listings on real estate sites are with companies in other towns and cities nearby.
Don’t be put off by the high-end listings you find online on those real estate sites. To find the best deals and get a sense of what is really available you have to look beyond the sites targeting expats. Take a look at Encuentra24, OLX, and Craigslist, where the locals post homes for sale.
Even better, visit and drive through neighborhoods you like, looking for sale signs. In Panama, many locals still prefer to sell their homes and properties themselves without a real estate agent, saving them the fees. Often you can find undervalued property for sale this way, but make sure that you have the help of your own attorney and do your own due diligence before buying. Also, strike up conversations with other expats you come in contact with, as they might know properties that are for sale. Word of mouth will introduce you to some great deals.
In Volcán the proportionate amount of older homes exceeds newer ones. This is good news for those who are handy and want a quality fixer-upper home at a really good price. Just listed is a home for $92,000—negotiable. At has three bedrooms and two bathrooms. This is a large lot, fenced with fruit trees and includes a rental apartment in the back. The property is older with a front porch and a great view of the mountains surrounding the valley.
Another home in town is listing at $125,000, with five bedrooms and two bathrooms. This home has a fully enclosed front porch and carport. Beautifully tiled throughout, again it needs some TLC, but for the right owner this would be a gem.
For $180,000 you can have a newer home with two bedrooms, two bathrooms, and even a fireplace. The home has 1,722 square feet of space, with a large lot, in a very nice neighborhood. Move in ready.
There is also a new gated community called Serenity Hills just outside of the town, where 78 building lots with planned recreational areas have been carefully plotted out to take advantage of the breathtaking views of the surrounding hillsides and Volcán Barú.
There are many things planned in Chiriquí in the next few years that will attract visitors and residents. If you are a visionary seeking a potential location for a business opportunity or if you are still looking for that perfect laidback, safe-haven to call home when you retire, now is the perfect time to take a look at Volcán.
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