You Found The Best Resource For Living In Panama

You will find lots of

Advice – Detailed Information – Affordable Property

Including Info on Puerto Armuelles – A Charming & Unique Beach Town

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It can be scary to move to another country.
So many questions, so many things that are unknown.

You will find many of your Panama questions answered on our FAQ page.

Are you still deciding if Panama is right for you?

Take our Should I Move To Panama?” Quiz.

It will help you think about the wide-range of issues that will confront you if you move to Panama.

Are you moving to Panama, but don’t know where?

Explore the only true beach town in Panama, Puerto Armuelles.

Are you already in love with Puerto Armuelles & are ready to buy?

Check out these beautiful & affordable properties.
These properties have some of the lowest per meter prices you will find in Puerto Armuelles – or in Panama.

Ask us your questions anywhere:

– Contact us page

– Our Facebook page

– Comment area on any page of this site

We love to hear from you.

Best wishes,

Betsy & Reyn

Please Leave Your Comments Below

  1. Steve Fincher

    We are coming to Panama on December 27th to tour the country and find a place to retire. We will be Driving from David to Puerto Armulles and google maps shows the route going along the Costa Rica Border and says we will be crossing the line into Costa Rica, Is that a problem or a big deal.

    Thanks for your information We really enjoy reading your site and Newsletter.

    Steve and Tami

    • Hi Tami and Steve,

      I’m glad you enjoy both my site and the Newsletter. I always appreciate hearing that.

      And, no, do not go into Costa Rica in order to get to Puerto Armuelles, Panama.
      I describe how to drive from David to Puerto Armuelles on this link:

      You may also want to browse my driving in Panama info here:

      Please let me know when you plan on being in Puerto Armuelles, so I can carve out some time to show you around.

      Best wishes.

  2. Bruce MacKinnon

    Hi Betsy. We’ve been researching a possible move to Panama in the near future and really like your area. However, since we have a five year old daughter, I am concerned that the closest international school seems to be in David…too far to commute daily. I read with interest your daughters article about her experience with the area schools, and don’t think the local schools would work for us ! Is it possible to be in the area of the beaches and still be close to good schools, or for that do you need to be closer to the Coronado area ?

    • Hi Bruce,
      Yes, if you want your child to go to an international school and be near the beach you will have to stick to the Panama City/Coronado area. People do make schooling their children in other places work. Some do the local school and supplement it with online courses and some homeschool. But homeschooling isn’t for everyone, although more and more expats in Panama are doing it.
      Best wishes.

  3. Hi Betsy and Reyn,
    We will be in Puerto Armuelles April 21-23 and hope to visit with you about your area. Not sure at this time where, that’s why this trip to some reconnaisance to see if we even like Panama enough to relocate. Will be staying at the Heavenly hotel and will look you up if you will be there at that time.

    • Hi Pam,

      We look forward to meeting you then.
      Please send us an email before you come to confirm your dates and so we can schedule a time to meet.

      Have fun planning your trip.

  4. Joan Quilico

    Betsy and Reyn,
    Thank you so much for a wonderful day looking at properties in Puerto Armuelles. There are so many great choices. Your work on the water front house is going to make this a great property with the ocean out of your back door.
    As always I enjoyed our conversation s. I am looking forward to many more when I am in Puerto full time.

    • Hi Joan,

      Thank you Joan. We had a delightful time chatting, eating, and touring with you as well.
      Maybe we can have another meal together before you leave? I will email you about that.

  5. Elayne

    Hola Betsy & Reyn

    First of all, thank you for your wonderful & informative website. It’s by far the best we have found and have looked through much of it but there is so much information that I thought I’d just ask a few specific questions. If you have provided answers somewhere on your website, I apologize for not yet finding them…..

    My husband & I are wanting to visit Puerto Armuelles in early December in order to investigate for relocation.
    — We thought we would fly to David from Panama City, then either rent a car or take a taxi to Puerto. Which would you recommend?
    Regarding purchasing property:
    –Are there any English-speaking, trustworthy, competent lawyers to handle a safe sale?
    –What is the average length of time to accomplish this?
    –What is the price per square foot to build a house?
    –What is the approx. length of time needed to do so?
    –Is there mains water available or does it need to be trucked in?

    Answers to these questions, or referral to answers, would be most appreciated.
    Elayne & Tony

    • Hi Elayne and Tony,

      Thanks for your kind comments on my website.

      Whether to take a taxi or rent a car is a personal perference.
      You will get more personal freedom and privacey when you rent a car.
      When you use taxis, you will meet more people and be able to chat and find
      out things from your taxi driver. Of course, you may find out more than you want
      and may end up touring the land his uncle’s cousin’s mother may want to sell.
      Which could either be fun or annoying depending upon your mood and personality.

      If you only want to see Puerto Armuelles, I would recommend a taxi.
      They are plentiful and easily found. If you want to be able to quickly
      take a drive out to Punta Burica, or La Conception, or Volcan, I’d
      recommend renting a car.

      Yes, there are some good English speaking lawyers. I can recommend one to you.
      Depending upon the sellers, your lawyers, and your payment method, you can buy a property
      in 1 day up to 1 month, or more. If you are paying in cash, in one payment, and already have
      your lawyer, on average I would say it would take one week.

      The price per square feet to build a house is too big a question. It depends upon they construction
      type, contractors, and finishes. Once you have an idea what you want, contact a contractor for
      an estimate. I can recommend some.

      The city of Puerto Armuelles provides water, no need to truck it in.

      Hope that was helpful.

  6. Bobbi

    There’s a picture of a bright pink house in the different neighborhoods section. What would a house like that rent for approximately?

    • Hi Bobbi,

      You asked this question on that page as well. Here is the answer.
      If it were for rent, my guess is from $100 – $250 a month, depending upon amenities, etc.

  7. Sheryl

    Hi Betsy,

    I just ran across the earthquake website, and it shows that Puerto has had 10 earthquakes in the past 8 months.
    They range from 4. something to 6. something. What is it like to live where there are that many earthquakes? Do they do damage? I read your post about the damage an earthquake did to a school. I also wonder what effect the earthquakes would have on the development that is being considered for the area. Would you please provide some insight into this?

    • Hi Sheryl,

      I lived in California for many years. So for me the earthquakes in Puerto are not an issue.

      The school that was damaged was due to its poor construction.

      We were remodeling our house back in 2007 or 8. We had put in all new post, but had not attached them to the floor or ceiling.
      That night we had 6.something earthquake. We were not living in the house (it was a big remodel). Everything swayed in our rental, a vase fell off the shelf. My husband and daughter raced to see what happened to our house. Nothing.

      I have not heard of anyone modifying their development plans due to earthquakes.
      But we do get them, so you should build accordingly.

      I hope that is helpful

  8. george

    hi betsy its george i just wanted to say thanks again for showing us around and spending your time with us i tried to comment on your other address i would not let me

    thank you again


  9. george

    hi betsy is george i want to thank you for spending time showing us around peurto we are still in the looking / thinking processes but we liked your input i am sure we will meet again

    again thank you
    George and Sheri Lacey

    • Betsy

      Thanks George and Sheri,

      It was a pleasure meeting you. Take your time thinking and looking.

      I look forward to connecting in the future.

      Keep warm,

  10. Hi Betsy — Thanks for providing such a great website! Looks like lots of exciting things happening in Puerto Armuelles these days. We look forward to meeting you soon!

    Sincerely, The Lady Scientist (

    • Betsy

      Hi Lady Scientist,

      Thanks. I only had time to look at your site briefly, it looks very intriguing.

      Yes, Puerto is hopping these days, in its own laid back way.

      Look forward to meeting you as well.

  11. Michael J Washington

    what is the possibility of operating your own business in Panama? How difficult or easy is it to open and run a business.

  12. Marco


    Thanks for all the videos and info, I’m starting to fall in love with Puerto Armuelles.
    I need one big favor, if you could plz send me a name of a reputable local real estate lawyer.


  13. wayne meyers

    Am looking for rentals in Puerto Armulles for my wife and myself for the month of Feb 2015. The idea is to check the place out and maybe moving there. Thanks for any help you can give. Wayne

    • Betsy

      Hi C. Brock,

      Me, personally, the rainy season is my favorite time here. I love it.
      As I was telling a friend the other day, when it is pouring here it feels
      like all the cells in my body are dancing.

      Of course, sometimes it rains all day for days. That can can wearing.
      But the usual 30 – 60 minute rain storm
      in the afternoon I love.

      I don’t find it that humid here, at least in Puerto Armuelles.
      It is nothing compared to the humidity of New York or DC in the summer.

      But everyone is different. It depends upon what you are used to.

      I find the dry season too hot for me. I have my techniques to keep comfortable,
      but I would be very happy to have air conditioning for those months.

  14. victor

    betsy/reyn just wanted to say hi and i no longer using .I am now using I would like to be put back on your monthly news letter . I was happy to finally meet you, Reyn and family on the playa. You have the best website for Puerto Armuelles Panama . THANKS VICTOR

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Victor,
      I sent out our newsletter just before I got your updated email address. I will send you a copy later today.

      I am really touched by your compliments about my website. Thanks.
      It was great to meet you too. I hope you are feeling better so you can surf even more.

      See you on the beach. I’m heading over there in about an hour.

      Best wishes.

      P.S. For anyone else whose email changes, the fastest way to make sure you will continue to get our Newsletter is to re-sign-up for the Newsletter right on this site.

  15. Rafael Ramos

    Iam already retired at Puerto Rico and will like to live at Panamafor a certain time because it is very similar to Puerto Rico and has a lot of nature and beaches available for retired persons.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Rafael,
      I like that you sent me a comment in both English and Spanish. I didn’t publish your comment in Spanish because it included your phone number.

      If you are looking to rent a place, my advice is to ask on relevant Panama forums. A good place to find those is on Yahoo Groups.
      I have a few rental options on my site. Go to this page.
      You should also look on-line:
      – Panama Craigslist and

      The best option is to come and look for a place in person. Most rentals are never listed on the internet.
      That is why I recommend asking on the forums. You can get some leads there, however, best is too look around once you are on the ground.

      Thanks for commenting.

  16. I was wondering if you knew about the new (and improved?) visa option recently signed into law in Panama? From what I understand, folks from certain countries (the U.S. is one! Yeah!) are afforded a quick path to residency. But other than that, I don’t know much. I’m 62, and my wife is 52, and we’re raising our 13 year old grandson. (How are the schools there?) Thanks! :)

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Steve,

      You are referring to the friendly nation’s visa. I talk about it on this post:

      Schools in Panama are not great. Of course there are exceptions. Those are mostly in and around Panama City. There are a few good schools in David as well. But if you don’t want to live in a city (or nearby), the schools are not good. Also those good ones are not cheap. Luckily on-line schools are plentiful, good, and affordable these days.

  17. Derik Howard

    To answer your question. To get the hell out of Dodge!
    The US is being flushed down the loo by the scum running the banks and the Fed.

  18. Beverley McAleese

    Hi Betsy, are there any veterinarians in Puerto or is the closest in David? When we come down there to stay we will be coming with a dog, 2 cats and a small parrot.
    Thanks Beverley

  19. Terry p.

    I love panama though it does have its problems ,I want to learn more about it and what to expect and in the future I hope to retire there and start my own business’s and enjoy my golden years .

  20. Beverley

    Hi Betsy and family
    There has been a lot of talk on the yahoo group about an oil refinery coming to Puerto. I’d like to think that people wouldn’t be as stupid as they are here in North America and selling all the farm land to greedy corporations. Is there any truth in this ‘rumour’?
    Thanks Beverley

    • Betsy & Reyn

      No. That rumor has been circulating for many many years. It usually gets revived every election since it promises to produce jobs. I highly doubt if a refinery will ever be built, but the rumor will keep growing strong.

  21. carol johnson

    I’ve taken a few of these quizs and what would make then more valuable would be comments regarding the answers. I’m a single woman, not interested in meeting a partner, that wasn’t an option, I have no family, that wasn’t a real option. does the income play a part as long as it’s above the minimum. More questions re: retirement, age ox expats would be helpful also!
    Thanks and I’ll definitely continue to follow you! CArol

  22. Joe & Ra Vae

    Great site, appreciate all the detailed information. My lady and I currently live in Minneapolis, MN. We are retiring at 55, 7 years from now, but we are actively researching where we want to live. Looking hard at both Loeto and Todas Santos on the Baja side of Mexico, but hearing some great things about Panama. We want to live in a small safe town right on the beach. I also love bass fishing, not sure if this is an option in Panama???? How is the crime rate in Panama VS Mexico??? Any help or suggestions would be great, thank you.

    Joe & Ra Vae

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Joe and Ra Vae. I’m glad you enjoy our site.
      I’m not sure if there is fresh water bass fishing in Panama. You’ll have to Google it.

      I have no data to support this, but I would say that Panama is definitely safer than Mexico.
      When we made our move south we didn’t even consider Mexico, even though in the past we had spent many wonderful vacations there.
      Even then the news of kidnapping, etc scared us off. The situation has not improved from everything that I have heard.

      Visit both places and see. There are many more small towns on the beach in Mexico than there are in Panama.
      Visit this page for information on small beach towns in Panama.

      • Terry p.

        Hello joe I am new to the site but try bocas del toro we own land there they say the fishing is great going myself when we get time good luck Terry.

  23. John D'Arcy

    This is one of the best web sites I’ve seen offering information on Panama. Congratulations. My wife and I will be moving to Panama full time in March 2014. We currently own a home near the City that is rented. We plan to sell and move west. You’re description of Puerto is captivating. We are looking for a place to move when we arrive. We are presently thinking of Pedasi, but I now think Puerto might be a better alternative. We will definitely check it out when we arrive. I look forward to receiving the news letter.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi John,
      After traveling pretty extensively in Panama, we also came down to a decision between Pedasi and Puerto Armuelles.

      We chose Puerto (obviously) and are happy we did. Pedasi is also a good option. We liked that Puerto was a bigger town with more amenities and that it is right on the water.

      Pedasi is abit of a hike from the ocean. The beach there also seems to collect alot of garbage. They say it comes on the tide from Panama City.

      We have a soft spot for all of the Azeuro Pennisula in general though. Very beautiful and the people are have an old world politeness, greeting everyone…

      Best wishes in choosing the ideal place in Panama for you.

      • John D'Arcy

        Hi Betsy ,

        Glad you are back up. We have sold the house and will be moving to Panama the end of March. We have rented a small place in Pedasi for three month, with the intention of locating , during that time , a place we will try long term…. Number one on our list is Puerto. We want to rent for at least 6months to a year before making a final commitment. We will be looking for a two or three bedroom place fairly close to town. Also, it would have to be furnished. I’ve not been able to locate anything on the web so we’re hoping once we re there we’ll be able to locate something. Is there such a thing? We look forward to meeting you and getting some local direction.


  24. Victoria Leitch

    My husband and I are retired and considering a move to Panama. We love the mountains. In that I once lived in Quito, Ecuador for five years, I am relatively sure that Panama will be a good fit for us. We have just a few concerns. First, we’d like to build a small home and we’re concerned about building codes. We like the idea of building a strawbale home. Our second concern is moving our household belongings and hopefully our car in an affordable and safe manner. We currently live in Virginia. We would appreciate any advice you can offer.
    Thank you, Sandi and Steve

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Sandi and Steve,
      I am in Herdon, VA right now visiting my sister-in-law and her family.
      About building. There are very few building codes for residential houses in Panama.
      You do need to get a building permit, but those are fairly easy to get and affordable.

      I don’t think strawbale would be a good choice though. Too damp and too many microbes. But I am not an expert on that building technology.
      Personally, I recommend not coming down with many belongings or with your car. These days you can get pretty much whatever you want in Panama.
      It is best to get a car that is popular here so that you can find parts and mechanics that understand how to fix it.

      You asked for advice. I hope my 2 cents was helpful.

  25. Beverley McAleese

    Hi there, My husband and I have been to Panama City, loved it but it is way too noisy and busy. We are planning on a trip in the new year to Armuelles. I am retiring from my career as an Executive Director in the humanitarian sector but do not want to retire from life. Do you happen to know if there would be any need for a TESOL (teaching English as a 2nd language) in the area or at the local school?
    I would appreciate any help/suggestions.
    Thank you Beverley

    • Reyn

      Hi Beverly,

      I have been trying what I can do to “give back” for all the good fortune that I have experienced in my life. Here in Panama, it seems that there are many avenues open to the ex-pat who wants to “participate” or to volunteer.

      I think that an English language program/ESL would be a great way to contribute here. I am considering that myself. Some people in Panama City are catching the “wave” of learning English to help advance their eduaction, and professional possibilities. However, here in Puerto, English generally lags far behind Panama City.

      I was thinking of starting an informal English conversation group. Any sort of program would be useful here. It would be great to have your energy here in Puerto Armuelles.

      Best Wishes,


  26. Beverley MAleese

    Hi Betsy, My husband and I plan on coming in the new year to check out Armuelles. We have been to Panama City, too noisy and busy, want something quieter. I am retiring from my career but do not want to retire from life. Do you know if there would be any need for a TESOL(teaching English as a 2nd language) teacher in the area or at the school? Thanks Beverley

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Beverley,

      There is a huge need for people with your skill. I am just not sure how much you would make doing it.
      What visa are you thinking of coming in on? You would need a work permit.
      Check out this link for information on the Professional Residence Permit.

      Overall, you might find it more profitable to offer you skill on-line. Or maybe private lessons.
      In general, wages are not high in Panama.

  27. Sharon Romero

    We’re headed to Panama in January we’re seceduled to do a relocation tour first then start looking for a place to live. Sister in law interested in Boquete.
    What do you think about the “relocation tours” are they helpful or a gimic to gather expats together hold there attention and show real estate to them. All while giving a little information
    I enjoy your site. Have learned a lot from watching and reading your stuff.
    What to expect in Panama.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Sharon,

      I’m glad you have found my site helpful.

      I have never been on a relocation tour.
      Based on speaking with others who have been on them, I think they can be useful.
      You learn alot in a short period of time and you don’t have to worry so much about

      However, I think it is critical that you stay in Panama after the tour is over.
      Go to the place(s) that interested you the most and hang out.
      See what you think without the tour director framing the picture and events.
      The longer you can stay the better.


  28. Terry Johnson

    Will be down next month to check out Puerto Armuelles, Las Tablas & Coronado areas. Staying at the Tsunami Inn for 2 days.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Terry,

      Thanks for letting me know. Please say hi to Bob and Scott at the Tsunami Inn for us.

      If you want to look at any properties, please send me a message via our contact form
      Please give us a few days heads up so we can arrange a time. Thank you.


  29. Solomon

    hello iam an African American and I am 64 years old married to a Colombian woman
    I would like to retire and live in panama but my wife is 54 and don’t reach retirement age
    iam going to visit panama next year for two weeks to check out the country and try to find a lawyer for consultation about the visa I will need to live in panama I will be earning 900 00 us dollars per month from government social security
    when I retire in two years will that enough ? I need a visa that go with that income

    your advise is needed

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Solomon,

      Yes, I’d get advice of a lawyer.
      To qualify for Pensionado visa you need $1000 a month. But if the two of you together get $1000/mo that works too.
      You can qualify with only $750 a month, but you must own property in Panama worth $100K or more.

      There is another visa for which they don’t look at income, but you need $5K in a Panama bank.

      For more details, check out this link below and the links on that page

      Hope that is helpful.

  30. Bruce Campbell

    I have looked at a website regarding the weather in Panama. It seems that there are many days with cloud cover most of the day. My wife needs lots of sun or she gets depressed. Is this the wrong place for us?

    • Betsy & Reyn

      I’m not sure what site you are looking at. In general Panama is a very sunny place. Obviously less so in the rainy season (~April-Nov).
      Places up in the hills, like Boquete tend to be cloudy, especially in the afternoon.
      Overall, Panama is sunny. Maybe you were checking it when it was unusually cloudy.

  31. Selwyn Carter

    Betsy & Reyn
    We enjoy your site. I am semi-retired, in my 70’s, and need to re-locate due to my wife’s serious Rheumatoid Arthritis condition. The damp and cold in the Pacific Northwest, is our motivation to move. We have read that Medical care is excellent, and also reasonable. Neither of us has experienced Panama. Your suggestions about “visiting Panama, staying there for a while-during the dry as well as the wet months”, makes good sense. A cooler, but drier clime, is what we seek.A reasonably priced home, in a neighborhood with basic grocery store, open-air market, and just a simple way of life, is on out list.Your comments and suggestions please.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi, I lived in the Pacific Northwest (Seattle) for about 20 years. I know the weather you are talking about.

      Keep in mind that most cooler temperture locations in Panama are also rainier, but the amount of rain varies.
      For instance, both Volcan and Boquete are cooler, but Boquete gets more rain on an almost daily basis. Panama has many microclimates.
      With some exploration you can find the perfect combination for both the weather and lifestyle you seek.
      You may want to start your explorations in the areas near, but lower than, Boquete as well as Volcan and the surrounding area.

      Best wishes in your search

  32. Roland Green

    Thinking about retirement, 58, and seeking to retire soon. May want to buy a home to rent out, then when we are ready for the move take the house over.
    Thank you,

  33. Hello just stumbled across you website, I’m looking to move to panama with my wife. We are young and are going to try to qualify for the friendly country residency. Can you recommend a good residency lawyer? Thanks

  34. senormike

    hi, i’m looking seriously into living in panama and just want to get as much info as possible about different towns close to or around the shores. main interest is the caribbean but does not look developed enough yet. so any info will be appreciated

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Michael,

      Your best bet for information about the towns is guide books.
      The moon guidebook is a good one for Panama.

      Also, I would get people’s opinions on the various Panama-related forums.
      Then, of course, when you have a short list of places, visit them.

      Really there are not that many places on the water in Panama. You could visit them
      all in a few weeks time and make your own initial assessment.

      If you do that, I’d love to hear your impressions. I’m sure my readers would as well.

      Best wishes in your search.

  35. Cat

    Hi Betsy,
    Anglo-franco couple without children, 40’s+, we have been living in different parts of the world for 20 years due to work. Although we have families in both of our native countries we have no personal/emotional roots to return there. We are presently working and living in Japan. We prioritize our safety above all, then the living conditions (accommodation, facilities, sport and cultural activities, social groups). We discussed ‘Panama’ 2 years ago with friends who purchase a land and plan to build their house when they are ready to retire. To tell you the truth, we know little of Panama except the readings we made and comments from our friends. We are planning to visit Panama at Christmas time and if the feel factor is good, then possibly staying for a short term of 2-3 months after our assignment next year before deciding to invest. Where would you recommend to stay in Panama for first time visitors who are looking to know a lot in little time and during festive season.
    Thanking you in advance

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Cat,

      That is a hard question, because it depends upon personal preference.

    • Urban vs. rural,
    • beach vs. mountain,
    • lots of ex-pats vs zero or a few
    • However, given the little you have written, you may want to check out the Azurero.
      We spent a delightful Christmas season there in both Chitre and Pedisi.

      It is not too far from the big city or the beach.

      Best wishes.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi William,
      Well the only way to find out is to visit.
      We recommend visiting each place your are interested in until you can get a feel of what it would be like to live there.

  36. Brian

    Hi, my family is looking for a long term rental from September onward. Enough beds for six children and close to the beach. . Brian

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Brain,

      You provided a phone number, but no area code. It is hard to find a place as large as you are looking for.
      I grew up one of 7 children so I know your challenges.

      I am putting the information I usually give folks looking for long-term rentals below.
      However, you should know that one of them, the Tsunami Inn, does not accept children. Your best
      bet is to ask on the forums and look on craigslist and encuentra24.

      I don’t have many rentals listed. Although Jim and Kim’s place may work for you if you like to be cozy.
      Unfortunately, most people I talk with are reluctant to list their rental online.

      The best way to find rentals in Puerto Armuelles is to

      1) Visit the rental page on my site.
      It has hotels, a B and B, and a few rentals.
      Mostly they are place to stay while you look for a long-term place to rent.
      Although many people have stayed long term at the B&B while building their house as well as visiting. She offers long term rates.
      See those listings at:

      2) Ask on the yahoo groups, particularly on the Puerto Armuelles and the Gringos-Near-David yahoo group

      3) Look on Craigslist in Panama

      4) Come to Puerto and start inquiring.
      Rentals are always popping up. However, as I said most aren’t listed anywhere.

      Hope that helps.

      • Brian

        Hi Betsy, thanks for the reply.

        I didn’t realize there was more than one area code in Panama. So I believe mine is (506) XXX-XXXX
        I checked your listings, but none of them would be suitable for us. I will check back periodically. If you come across anything drop me an email or call. I would greatly appreciate it. I am also curious as to what the surf is like around the area. I am attracted to its proximity to the border and Pavones. I also have heard about burica.

        • Betsy & Reyn

          Hi Brian,

          There is only one code in Panama, it is 507. 506 is Costa Rica.
          However, in your first comment you didn’t mention you were in Panama.

          The surf varies, but it is never “big”. My husband calls it a good old guy surfing spot.
          Pavones in Costa Rica and Santa Catalina in Panama has much bigger surf.

          It is because of Punta Burica that we don’t have the waves of Pavones. We are in its shadow, wave-wise.
          Keep checking back for rentals. I cannot guarantee I’ll remember to email you if and when I get a new listing.


  37. laurie allen

    Greetings! I’m starting to think abut retirement at 52 and would love to move back to Panama. Would there be an advantage to becoming a citizen of Panama? I was born there in 1960, my dad was in the Army there.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Laurie,
      I imagine that it would work both ways. Advantages and disadvantages. However, I don’t know of any compelling advantage for becoming a Panamanian citizen. But then again, you would have to review it based on your own situation.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      We are American. Of course, that doesn’t preclude us from being Dutch or of Dutch-descent.
      But we aren’t. We are a mix of English, Irish, Hungarian, Polish and one of us is 100% Chinese.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hello Dean,

      You must apply for a residency visa. You need a lawyer to do so.
      I have a post on 4 possible types of Panama residence visa you can apply for.

      You can live in Panama for years on a tourist visa. It is much easier to do if you live near the Costa Rica border, like we do.
      I recommend renewing your tourist visa every 3 months, especially if you drive a car in Panama.

  38. Jim Helminger

    Hi Betsy,

    We will be in Panama the first week of July and would love to meet you, will you be there then?
    If not who can show the Properties you have listed?

    Thank you,

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Jim,

      I am uncertain if we will be in town or not. July is the month traditionally we go to the States.
      However, our plans look like they may change this year.

      If we are not in town though, we have a wonderful and knowledgable person to give you a tour.

  39. victor

    I’m going to leave from Texas to Panama on July 25 and be in Panama august 5 . We can meet any time after that. You got my email so that’s a good way to contact me. I am interested in or near the ocean. Thank you so much keep in touch. Vic

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Sounds good. When you know when you will be in Puerto Armuelles, let us know. We may not be in town, but if not we have someone who can show you the properties. She is very knowledgable.

  40. Jim

    Hi Betsy,

    I resently read that an oil refinery was going to be built in Puerto Armuelles.
    Have you heard of this?

    Thank you,

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Jim,

      Sorry for the delay in my response.
      I just learned that my system for taking care of my site while I was (and am) in the States has not been working (argh!).

      The oil refinery rumor has been around for along time. It resurfaces every election season. It is now the election season,
      which is why you are hearing it as something new.

      I don’t have a crystal ball, but I find it highly unlikely that an oil refinery will ever be built in the area.

      Also, as the rumor goes, the refinery is to be built out by the PTT. The PTT is where the oil pipes/tanks are located, which is on not in Puerto Armuelles, but on your way to Punta Burica. You can see the tanks from parts of Puerto.

  41. hello there and thank you for your information – I have definitely picked up anything new from right here.

    Well I am adding this RSS to my email and can look out for much more of your respective interesting
    content. Make sure you update this again soon.

  42. I’m truly enjoying the design and layout of your blog. It’s a very easy on
    the eyes which makes it much more enjoyable for me to
    come here and visit more often. Did you hire out a designer
    to create your theme? Exceptional work!

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Thank you so very much for your kind words.
      I built it myself.

      I used the Genesis Agentpress theme as my starting point.
      In my other life I am an Internet Marketer.

      Thanks again.

      If you have any questions about Living In Panama or Panama property for sale, I’d be happy to help.


  43. Jan

    Hey! I could have sworn I’ve been to this website before but after reading through some of the post I realized it’s new to me.
    Anyways, I’m definitely glad I found it and I’ll be
    bookmarking and checking back frequently!

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Jan,
      Glad you like it. Maybe you have been here before and it has just changed alot.

      I am in the process of revamping the site. I have a whole slew of new stuff to put on too.

      Let me know if you want to learn about anything in particular.

      Keep in mind, that if you subscribe you will get notified about new items to the site.
      That way you don’t have to keep checking back.

      To subscribe click “subscribe” in the upper right of this page.
      – betsy

  44. Marge Epley

    Hello Reyn and Betsy,
    You live in Washington State? We currently live in Deer Park, near Spokane Washington. We are coming to panama November 26 for two weeks. Thinking seriously of retiring there. I just retired a month ago. After a trip in February and June, have decided that Pedasi is not for us. I have had my eye on Puerto for some time and am excited to see it at last. Hopefully our move will happen soon. will keep in touch.
    Fred and Marge

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Well, we live in Puerto Armuelles. But we have roots in Seattle and go back once a year to visit friends and family.

      I will be putting some more properties on the site in the next 2 to 3 weeks.

      Let me know if you have any questions about them.

  45. Alex

    We are planning a trip to look at Puerta Armuelles and need to find a place to stay for a few days while we are there. we live in Bocas del Toro and am thinking about moving to the area and need to know about rental homes there.
    We have been in Panama for about 2yrs. and am retired,love to fish,meet other expats and perhaps make a new home there.
    Can you help and answer any question we might need to know.
    Alex and Judy

    • Betsy & Reyn

      There will be a hotel in Puerto very soon – if it isn’t open already.
      It is call the Tsuanmi and is located in the San Vicente neighborhood.

      I am actually not in Puerto right now. We are in the states and have been on the road for the last 2 weeks.

      I will find out if it is open and get back to you.

      There are people who rent houses in Puerto are as well. I am unsure of the rules regarding renting out houses and parts of houses, so I have not made a list of those.

      I don’t want to get anyone in trouble. Until I am clear on the rules, you should inquire on the Gringos Near David and the Puerto Armuelles Panama Yahoo groups for more information about rentals.

      There is also a Bed and Breakfast in Puerto Armuelles called Finca De Oso.
      Here is some info on that from Travel Advisor

      Good luck

  46. Hi,
    Tried to get on the waiting list for the info. but went to a Real Estate site ??? We’re looking for a place for a working retirement . We’d like a lot to build our own house (small A frame) on, nothing fancy and a place to open a small bar and grill, maybe a fixer-upper building somewhere. Depending on prices of material and business start up, we should have enough to pay cash for most everything.
    Taking an early retirement and getting the heck outta the states. Also have a motorcycle repair business that I’ve been running for the past 9 years that I’m thinking of re-locating down there if there might be a demand ???? Any advice would be greatly welcomed ! Thanks

    • Betsy & Reyn

      I will check on the waiting list issue. I had thought I had fixed the issue. I will look into it.
      We have been on the road so I am behind on my communication. I apologize about that.

      Dennis, opening a business is the way to go if you want to make money in Panama. There are many successful ex-pat run businesses in Panama.

      I am not sure there is enough motorcycles to support your business. Although there are about 20 or so motorcycles from a mostly expat motorcycle club from David that rumble through our town on a pretty frequent basis.

      There is definitely affordable real estate options in Puerto. As always, my advice is to visit any area you are interested in before doing a very extensive real estate search. It is hard to get a true feel of a place via the internet. VIsit and you will immediately start to narrow your choices.

      Please feel free to ask any questions. We will be available. Our major travel mode is at an end, so I will be checking my email regularly once more.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      hum. thanks. I will look into that.

      Sorry you were inconvenienced. I will send you a link when i figure it out.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Tim, I cannnot really say one way or the other. I can say about my experiences in Bocas.
      We love Bocas. We always have a good time in Bocas.

      We love going on all the boat rides, snorkeling, visiting red frog beach and more.

      However, while we love to vacation there; we are not interested in living there.

      Overall, it is too touristy for us.

      Yes, there is garbage. But I have never experienced garbage to the extent the article mentions.

      It is definitely more expensive than many other areas of Panama.
      Bocas tends to have more variety of food than many other places in Panama. However, most is just the usual fare.

      In many ways it is a paradise. However, the bugs can be bothersome – but not all the time.

      I know people who own property in Bocas. I haven’t heard any complaints.

      One thing the article doesn’t mention is that you cannot drink the water in Bocas.
      It is the only place in Panama where we do not drink the water.

      So in sum, Bocas is more expensive and buggy than other places in Panama.
      However, it is beautiful. It is one of our favorite places to visit.

      Sorry – I am late in responding. We lost Internet for a few days and I missed some of my incoming messages.

  47. Jamie

    We will be in Panama the end of this month and would like to see some ocean view/front property. Thanks,

    • Betsy & Reyn

      We would love to show you some – as well as Puerto Armuelles.

      Give us a call about when you will be in town.

      look forward to meeting you.

  48. Bob & Sheran

    We would love to visit you and the area. What is the best way to get to this part of Panama from the U.S.?

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hello Bob and Sheran,

      You can fly into San Jose, Costa Rica or Panama City, Panama.
      Puerto Armuelles is equidistant from both.

      From either of those cities, you can then take a flight into David, Panama.
      David is about 1 hour or so from Puerto Armuelles..

  49. Pamela

    My husband and I are interested in the banana plantation home that you have listed for your friends:
    We would be very interested in any additional information you might be able to provide, i.e. taxes, actual location in Puerto Armuelles, furnished, unfurnished, financing, if any, air-conditioning, the actual distance to the frontera. (We have been led to believe that foreigners are unable to purchase land with 10 km from the frontera). How many years of real estate tax exoneration remain on this home?
    Look forward to hearing from you.

    • Betsy & Reyn

      hello Pamela,

      I have passed your email on to my friends. They should be getting back to you.
      The bottom bedroom has airconditioning.

      Yes, you can buy property within the 10K.
      We own a house just down the street from the house you are asking about.

      To ensure you have no potential of problems in the future,
      most people form a corporation and then have the corporation buy the property.

      As usual I suggest that you visit Panama and decide if you like it and what
      areas appeal to you the most before you start hunting for specific properties.

      Best wishes,
      Betsy and Reyn

  50. Hi Betsy

    This is a great site. Thank you for joining the community forum. Now that I see the pictures we have indeed met. We were looking at the property across the street from your home in las Palmas last year. I remember your daughter and the pet hen. How is the neighbor next to the house we looked at she was such a lovely person. We look forward to seeing you as we get settled in.

    Hasta Luego
    Kim and Jim

    • Betsy & Reyn

      Hi Kim,
      Yes, now that you remind me, I remember you guys. I was wondering where you decided to buy.

      I’m glad you decided to join our community in Puerto Armuelles.
      We go out to the beach in your neighborhood regularly so am sure we will be seeing you.
      When you are in the Las Palmas neighborhood, please feel free to stop by.

      For those reading this comment, Kim and her husband Jim have just started a new Yahoo group for people living in and interested in Puerto Armuelles, Panama. Here is the link:

  51. Erick

    Hi Reyn and Betsy, nice site you guys have. We need more people like you guys that believe in Puerto Armuelles. Puerto Armuelles is a great place, although it got a bad – and undeserved – reputation in the past just after Chiquita banana left.

    I wish you the best.


    • admin

      Hi Erick,
      Glad you like the site. I agree Puerto Armuelles is a great place. We love it here!
      Hope all goes well with you and yours.

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