Menu

Free Tropical Toolkit

Free 44 Page Report: Where to Live Abroad - Your First Steps

Quickly find out which country is right for you.
No-hype updates & resource guides. No Spam. Ever.
Limited offer. Instant Download.

Join More than 34,163 people who are breaking free


we value your privacy

The Top 5 Panama Mountain Towns for Expats

By in Boquete, David, El Valle, Lifestyle, Panama, Santa Fe, Volcan on June 1, 2013

A tourist friendly country with pristine beaches, majestic mountain views, and an affordable cost of living, Panama has so much to offer expats, including the mountain towns of Volcan, Cerro Punto, Boquete, El Valle, and Santa Fe.

While each of these towns has spectacular views, year round spring-like weather, and expat friendly communities, they each have something special that makes them unique.

First Stop, Volcan

Rich Young

Rich Young

Famous for its “eternal spring” climate, Volcan sits atop a plateau at 4,200 feet.  And it’s not surprising that Volcan means volcano, since the large green mountain that provides the amazing backdrop for Volcan is in fact the dormant peak of Volcan Baru (the highest peak in Panama).

This quaint mountain village was first settled by indigenous people thousands of years ago and artifacts are still found in farmer’s fields to this day. While some Ngobe Bugle people still reside in Volcan, expats can mainly expect to find the same relaxed and laid-back way of life that you can find across the country.

There is an established expat community in Volcan and over the years many have opened hotels and restaurants, further expanding Volcan as a prime retirement spot.

Only twenty minutes from David, the third largest city in Panama, Volcan is perfect for those who are seeking the quiet, mountain town way of life, with urban amenities close by.

On to Cerro Punta

Celen Aper

Celen Aper

Located in the highlands above Volcan, 2000 meters above sea level, Cerro Punta is the agricultural center of Panama. The hypothetical bread basket of Panama, Cerro Punta produces nearly 80% of the fresh produce for the entire country, and due to the high altitude, Cerro Punta has a slightly cooler, some might even say cold, temperature.

The friendly people and the relaxed farming atmosphere provide Cerro Punta with that small village feel that is sought after by many expats and as you stroll through Cerro Punta you will see many local farms, gorgeous mountain ranges and Ngobe families dressed in colorful traditional garb.

Next, Boquete

Boquete- roaming the planet - doors

Boquete- roaming the planet – doors

Arguably the most popular expat spot in the province of Chiriquí, Boquete was rated by the AARP as one of the world’s top retirement spots. This popularity began in 2001 and as a result, you will find a well-developed expat community in Boquete today.

Only a 45 minute drive from David, Boquete is known for its misty rain (bajareque), coffee, and flowers, especially orchids.

Boquete is actually considered the flower capital of Panama and upon entry, you will be greeted by buildings simply covered with magenta and coral bougainvillea.

With fresh produce and seafood in abundance, Boquete promotes a healthy lifestyle for all who live there, and because of the low cost of living, a delicious dinner for four can be purchased for around $10.

Boquete also has a strong arts community with a yearly jazz festival and even an English language theater group.

Consider El Valle

Orban Lopez Cruz

Orban Lopez Cruz

The world’s only inhabited volcano, this mountain village remains close to the urban metropolis of Panama City while keeping its coveted small town atmosphere.

Known for its wind, water, rich volcanic soil, and perfect spring climate, El Valle attracts many people interested in eco-tourism and wellness vacations.

And even though the volcano has been dormant for 5 million years, many volcanic hot springs have surfaced, providing proof that there is definite volcanic activity happening underground.

Relaxed during the week, El Valle is alive with activity on the weekends as people come out of the woodwork to visit El Valle’s famous arts and crafts market. There is much to be seen at this massive market as the locals and the Kuna Yala Indians come out to sell their colorful wares.

Last Stop Santa Fe

Jerry W. Lewis

Jerry W. Lewis

Expats come to Santa Fe to experience a truly authentic taste of Panamanian living.

Because Santa Fe is smaller and not as developed, you can really experience the serenity of Panama mountain life. Sitting at an altitude of 1350 feet, you will find the same year round spring weather and sweeping mountain views in Santa Fe, but with fewer expat additions.

The expats here don’t tend to participate in as many group activities as they do in the other mountain towns, and while there are still many outdoor activities to experience, there are not as many tour groups.

In addition, housing in Santa Fe tends to cost less, and although it will be equipped with cable and internet, the facilities will definitely feel more traditional.

Which Panama Mountain Town is right for you?

Rich with all the wonders that drew you to Panama in the first place, but with little differences that make each town a unique experience, any of these five towns could be the perfect place to set up shop.

A land covered in volcanoes, rivers, and lush forests, with a laid-back way of life and a low cost of living, Panama and its mountain towns are definitely an expat friendly treasure to behold.

So plan a trip and hop around to each town as you search for that ideal place to call home.

Up Next

Best Place to Live in the World: Power Rankings

The best place to live in the world? Our Power Rankings report will shed some light on how the Latin Tropics stack up against the competition. (Read It)

Central America's Best Real Estate Buy

Don't miss this up and commer. It has the tropical lifestyle, stunning beauty, and smokin appreciation potential. (Read It)

Start Using Your IRA to Invest Overseas

Disappointed in your IRAs past performance? Find out how you can invest in real estate to improve your returns and better your retirement prospects. (Read It)
keeping-safe-latin-america-02

Theft Is Part of Life for Expats

Traveling to, or living in, a foreign country can be an exciting and life-changing experience. However, theft can, and sometimes does, happen and that can turn that idyllic scenario into a nightmare. Learning some easy …

(Read It)
explora ya

Expat Interview: Boquete's Explora Ya Weighs In on Panama's Bursting Eco-Tourism

Panama is becoming increasingly well-known as a top eco-tourism destination. Viva Tropical sat down with Oscar Peña Sanchez, Manager of Explora Ya, Boquete's top eco-tour and adventure travel company to find out why Panama consistently ranks above the …

(Read It)
global-debt-02

The Rising Global Debt and the Expat Advantage

A recent article in The Guardian noted: “Global debt has grown by $57 trillion to reach $199 trillion in the seven years following the financial crisis - a 40.1% rise, according to a new report.” What …

(Read It)
Where is panama

Where Is Panama? An Expat’s Guide

With all the attention being focused on this area being a prime location for retirees and expats, many people are asking: Where is Panama? Discovering the special qualities of this country and learning about the …

(Read It)
Banana

Podcast – Massacres, Rigged Elections, and Bananas: Listen to the Sordid Tale of the United Fruit Company

Peter Chapman, Financial Times reporter and author of Bananas: How the United Fruit Company Changed the World, joins the show to discuss a fascinating history of Central America known by few. This is an intriguing story …

(Read It)
expat-books-02

8 Books Every Expat Must Read to Succeed

Congratulations! You've made up your mind to go expat. Your expat status is imminent. But there’s still a looming question repeating itself in the back of your mind. “What do I need to know that …

(Read It)

3 thoughts on “The Top 5 Panama Mountain Towns for Expats

  1. 1

    Hi, I’m interested in a hobby farm in the cool mountains May 1-Oct 31

  2. David Matthews
    2

    A peaceful mountain community for myself (Jubilado) my 35 yr old daughter and a large Mastin Espanol (Spanish Mastiff)

  3. Peripatetic Soul
    3

    Which areas of Panama have cooler, less humid temperatures and considered comfortable and safe places to retire (prefer areas with nature and beauty, not the hustle and bustle of urban life)? Thank you.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Hot Real Estate Offer

Real Estate In The Area

Boquete
Panama
This amazing offer affords the smart investor or retiree to own an incredible house in Boquete, Panama, ranked as the world’s #1 retirement destination. This ho...
For Sale
3 beds
2.5 bath
Land Size:0 acres
Building Size:3,300 sq.ft.
$295,000
Boquete
Panama
Just imagine! You can own your very own luxury villa in Valle Escondido Boquete, in the very heart of Chiriqui, Panama! Valle Escondido – a place nestled away i...
For Sale
4 beds
5 bath
Land Size:0 acres
Building Size:4,305 sq.ft.
$1,250,000
Boquete
Panama
What the property includes: This 4 bedroom, 3 bath home is in the middle class neighborhood of Las Brisas near a grade school and supermarket.  The lot is full...
For Sale
4 beds
3 bath
$225,000
See All Listings In The Area
Free Tropical Toolkit
Free 44 Page Report: Where to Live Abroad - Your First Steps
  • Quickly find out which country is right for you.
  • No-hype updates & resource guides. No Spam. Ever.
  • Limited Offer. Instant Download.
*We value your privacy. No spam. Period.