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Visiting Panama and have questions (Panama City)

Hello Fellow InterNationers,

My wife, Julie, and I are coming to Panama on November 6 – 16 to investigate places that we might want to retire. We are planning to retire in Jan. Protected content Panama is at the top of our list for places to live. It’s now time for us to take a trip and start investigating in person. Our Nov. plans include visiting the Azure Peninsula along the coast near Tonosi, Puerto Armuelles and Bocas Del Toro. Another trip may include San Blas but I don’t think we can fit in on this trip.

I have a few questions about the trip that I hope somebody will be willing to help me with:
1) Looking on Google Maps for directions in getting to Puerto Armuelles it says that we have to cross the border into the Costa Rica to get there. Is this true or is there a good road to get us there without crossing the border?
2) Driving in Panama, we plan to rent a car and drive around the country. As I understand it, our US license is good for driving around Panama for the duration of our trip. Are we required to get rental car insurance from the rental company or will our US insurance cover us?
3) Also, Nov. is in the rainy season. Are roads between and in or areas of interest going to be passable or are washed out roads likely?
4) I would like to spend some time talking with a real estate agent at each location. Can anybody recommend agents for me? I have been to the websites and seen the listings but I would like to talk with a person to get a better feel for the areas.

Thanks for your help.


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