Panama City requires time and patience to fully appreciate, especially when you’re armed with the invaluable insights of 10 Tips For Living in Panama. Its size means there is something for everyone here; from shopping malls with multiple floors of stores to international dining options and activities galore.
Whether you’re a newcomer or a long-time resident, exploring Panama City with 10 Tips For Living in Panama will always unveil something new and exciting.
Volunteering is a fantastic way for expats to give back, without incurring additional costs.
1. Learn Spanish
Panama is an unforgettable nation where past and present meet, where modern cities coexist alongside untamed rainforests.
Learning Spanish is a crucial skill for expats living in Panama. Learning this ancient tongue allows them to fully immerse themselves into its culture while making local connections.
Watching movies and TV in Spanish is an effective way to acquire vocabulary, pronunciation, and nuances of Spanish. Expat Facebook groups allow you to practice speaking with Panamanians as you develop your Spanish. Furthermore, tutors may help guide your studies further.
2. Stay Up to Date with Local News
Panama City and its suburbs can experience heavy traffic at peak times; also, certain streets may develop rapidly and be unsafe to walk on during certain parts of the day. Remember the “manana principle”, when something can’t be accomplished today it will get done eventually.
Most expats find they can enjoy an affordable lifestyle in Panama on much less than they could back home, such as health care costs, car insurance premiums and dental visits.
3. Carry Cash
Though many places in Panama accept credit cards, it’s wise to carry some cash just in case your destination requires it. This is particularly important in less accessible areas or when dealing with smaller hotels and vendors.
Panama may be small in area but boasts an immense diversity in geography and topography. There are mountain hamlets, beautiful beaches and hundreds of islands dotting its turquoise waters – it truly boasts something for everyone in this tiny nation!
4. Be Active Social in the Community
Panama stands out as an excellent country in Latin America to live. It provides a quality lifestyle at an affordable cost.
Panama provides an idyllic Caribbean lifestyle, which many expats find appealing. But this relaxed lifestyle can become stressful if you fail to understand how things operate here; be patient and keep a positive outlook; it will help build indelible roots and friendships! Moreover, volunteering is a fantastic way to give back – give back!
5. Try Local Food and Drinks
Panamanian cuisine features a delicious array of mouthwatering dishes. Traditional favorites include rice and beans, fried plantains and yuca; while beef consumption tends to be less prevalent compared with other parts of Latin America and North America.
Panama operates at a slower pace, so it’s important to adapt. Don’t rush food, activities, or social events; enjoy them at their own leisurely pace.
Panamanians enjoy sipping a cup of Chicheme as part of their everyday breakfast, an intoxicating milky beverage made with corn, sugar, and spices such as nutmeg or cinnamon. Double fried plantain chips are another typical treat in Panamanian households.
6. Don’t Bring Your “Baggage” With You
Panama attracts many retirees and digital nomads seeking lower costs of living, although there can be crime concerns like in any location in the world.
Things might not operate the way you’re accustomed to back home, but as long as you keep an open mind and take each inconvenience in stride, Panama can be an amazing place to call home.
Some expats find that medical, dental and car insurance are much less costly in Panama; it is important to research all available options prior to making a definitive decision.
7. Make Backup Plans
Many reasons prevent individuals from selling everything and moving immediately to Panama, such as having an occupation that cannot be performed remotely, mortgage payments and schooling for their children as well as elderly parents that require care.
In these circumstances, having a back up plan is critical and it’s also essential to remember Panama moves at its own pace – if an important repairman doesn’t show, an office closes for lunch, or there’s a holiday on its way – “manana” means not today and your problem will get taken care of when possible.
8. Incorporate Local Food and Drinks into Your Diet
Panamanian culture offers delectable treats. Rum-laced cocktails enjoyed from a hammock on a tropical beach, freshly caught seafood like lobster, prawns and pargo rojo as well as roadside vendors selling fresh coconut juice known as pipa are all part of daily life in Panama.
Eat local foods whenever possible to both support the economy and reap health benefits from eating more locally produced dishes, like rice and beans, plantains, yuca or tropical fruits that may be available in your area.
Panama provides an enjoyable lifestyle that attracts many who choose to settle there, particularly upscale areas such as Boquete where locals appreciate living a slower paced life.
Couples can live comfortably here on around $1,200 monthly including rent. In addition, this area features a microclimate that creates cooler climes than in tropical zones; pre-Columbian petroglyphs and lively craft markets add charm.
Volunteering here helps support this traditional culture while offering unique experiences for those living abroad.
10. Be Actively Social in the Community
Panama boasts an amazingly low poverty rate and devotes significant funds to social programs, but there remains a widening divide between rich and poor, particularly between indigenous populations and rural areas. Poverty can often be found concentrated there.
Living in Panama is generally safe, though theft and crime can happen. Learn to recognize these risks and exercise due diligence like you would anywhere else – this will make your experience far more pleasurable!