Awesome days and cool nights!
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.
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:
That would be an interesting report, also about 5+ years ago there was a census conducted in this area and perhaps those findings could provide some useful data.
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...
Many years ago the majority of expats who took up permanent residency largely in and around PC were retired military personnel who got hitched with local women (as was my case) including many retired American civilian employees from the PCC now known as APC. Sure there were others but most were either military or had ties to the Canal.
Much has changed in that there are fewer former GI’s or North American Canal employees rather what seems to be the new norm is folks from all walks of life who had no association with the American military bases or the former PCC. Even fewer seem to come here who have Panamanian spouses.
I think it was never a good idea for anyone to come here looking for any type of resolution to their problems, usually economic. Those individuals used to be call economic refugees but even they appear to be going back to where they came from, however I know of at least two individual situations where Americans moved here based on the hype and misinformation and now want to get out but have no financial means to do so. One couple I know of sold everything they had in order to come here and built a modest NA style home but now can’t flip it and have no funds nor a place to return to in the states as they sold everything and divested.
I’m sure there are many situations where well intended individuals came here perhaps for the wrong reason and now find themselves stuck or unsure if the grass is greener back home considering current state of affairs and random violence up north including the electoral results.
I am a firm believer that in order to be comfortable and stable and happy in a place like Panama over the long term one should have the right reasons (the right stuff) for wanting to be here. Also detailed in-depth research is not just a redundant catch fraise rather preparing and arming yourself with as much knowledge about the location wherer you plan on relocating should be a priority.
In our case we decided we would eventually move back to Panama and retire when the time was right however we were able to advance our retirement plans and indulge in our Panama dream much sooner than we anticipated. We did however starts planning more than 20 years prior and slowly yet meticulously constructed our great escape. It was also helpful to have well a connected local family.
I don’t mind suggesting that if one is thinking about moving here in hopes of finding resolution to their problems then I recommend against the idea. Relocating to a place like Panama and perhaps most anywhere in Latin America can create more problems that one can tolerate if they are ill prepared which seems to be common among those who come here with faulty motives and find themselves caught off guard with the realities of living here.
One can never do enough research plus giving Panama an honest test drive before making a commitment might be the best approach.
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."