WHERE VACATIONS START!
But how many people (expats) came before you and how many people are now living in Boquete and why?
Are there any common denominators or major factors that are motivating more people to move in?
Also how many more people (expats) would you like to see move in and add to the limited public space and added strain on the overcrowded infrastructure?
Is Boquete reaching the breaking point or have enough expats move out witch then eases the pressure on things a bit? How many people have sold out and bugged out?
And why? Are there any common denominators or major factors that is driving expats away and if so what are they?
Perhaps Boquete could accommodate another 30,000 or so additional expats, just think of the added revenue they would contribute.
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A graduate student took a survey in Boquete re: the "why's" an expat moved here. Does anyone have those results ? It was taken about 5 yrs or so.
I was given this information ! If interested, go to
The book is on Amazon. I only read the excerpt but even that was interesting !!
I find the conclusion on page 19 very interesting:
Lots of expats came to Boquete where it was a hidden gem, before it became priced as high or higher than the US, with medium quality hotels at over $200 per night and meals at around $20 per plate. Lots of rich retirees built their mini mansions thinking they had hit the jackpot and will make huge profits on their investments. Some made crazy amounts of money on their spec homes, collected and left, having left behind an overpriced mess, unaffordable for the locals and attractive to those looking for an extension of home away from home where English was the main language spoken, there was virtually not heat and no need to absorb or become part of the local culture. That all changed quickly and Boquete lost the interest of those.
While advertised as the preferred retirement location, many retirees now on a fixed income, unable to afford the luxuries offered by Boquete back home moved here, only to find out they can barely afford to live here as well, so many returned home, many stayed renting and are now in some limbo, many just settled in and are content.
Then, the all too familiar lack of nursing homes and elder care. Many retirees became too old to be alone abroad and were taken back home by their families or just died and their next of kin found Boquete unattractive.
I would say that common denominators are simple: cooler temperatures, English largely spoken, secluded and quiet and still relatively less expensive than living in the US
Boquete has always had a fluctuating influx of expats and variation in ages. Now younger people are moving in and the older ones are living, I think it will change in the next 5 years and prices will continue to decline. I do not think it's reached its breaking point yet, but it will soon. Places like Medellin are being big competitors, more so, since Panama is tightening their border hopping rules.
Driving expats away are things such as: it is not Paradise as they portrayed in magazines such IL, it is not inexpensive to live, residency is expensive and as you get older, it gets harder and harder given the lack of elder care facilities and services. Also, prices have gone up so much, it's become really unaffordable for those on a fixed income
There is no infrastructure in Boquete to accommodate 30K expats
All of these options are PERSONAL and do not reflect the position of Ning. Just my 2 cents based on what I lived and learned while dealing with expats in Boquete
Es verdad, Olga.
Also, many people think their relatives will visit more than they do. Women miss their grandchildren, their favorite shopping centers and parking lots. I have seen a lot of couples where the husbands like it here, but the women want the conveniences of their home country.
Just another thought - medications, in some cases, can be very expensive here.
30K more expats in Boquete would lead to only one thing - an U.S. exclave of transient people in Panama, with constant "comings and goings".
As far as I know very few (if any) of the "permanent" foreign residents ever acquire Panamanian citizenship. I'm sure that lower cost of living or the mild climate are by far the main two motivators to pack up and move to Boquete.
The latter (plus the rainforests and exotic birds) are what drew us to Panama and to consider relocation there for our "golden years" (we even sold one of our apartments in France to buy property in Boquete). However, after 2x3 months we found that mild weather and nice forests with birds alone do not make for an exciting and culturally stimulating life - at least not for us. Ok for a couple of months (during the dry season!) but not permanently...
Family is another problem. If your kids are grown up, no problem. But once you have grandkids (5 in our case) it could be quite difficult to see them grow up via Skype and not in person.
I assume that many of the "repatriated expats" probably found out the same thing. That's why it's imperative to go for a couple of temporary stays, long enough to see whether one has "the right stuff" as some "expert" put it...
Surely the turnover rate of expats in PTY is lower than in Boquete (more culturally stimulating, higher standard of life), but (again, for us) it's just to bl()()dy hot there...
Amen. The only expats (almost) in Panama used to be ex military who had really assimilated into the local scene and of course Zonians. I was stationed here in 87-91 (Moatengators) if that rings a bell and loved the place.
Anytime a place makes it to International Living "Fame" or "Infamous", it's pretty much all over as far as being a good deal unless you're a fan of "gringolandia."