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Your Expat Community in Panama

  • Connect with fellow expats in Panama

  • Join exciting events and groups for expats

  • Get information in our expat guides

  • Exchange tips about expat life in Panama

  • William Shirming

    Thanks to the City Guide, I found the right place to go for a business lunch in Panama City.

Our Expat Community in Panama Welcomes You!

¡Hola! and a big welcome to our expat community in Panama! As part of InterNations Panama, you have complete access to an international network of expats that have the knowledge and experience to help you in making that big step of moving abroad. Relocating to another country can be daunting, and you may have a lot of questions about where to live and what the country is like, such as: “what's the safest neighborhood in Panama City to live with kids?”, “what's the healthcare system like in Panama?”, or “where is the best international school in Colón?”. Don't wait until you arrive to figure these things out, ask your new family for the answers. They will be happy to help you, and use their own experiences and knowledge to answer your pressing and even trivial questions about life in Panama. The expat community in Panama can provide information and advice on how to make the most of Panama's exciting traditions, such as the Dia de los Martires, or trying the best local food in the country, such as Panama's traditional sancocho.

With InterNations, you never stand alone. Whether you are moving to another country or going on a business trip somewhere — our communities around the world are there to make you feel at home wherever you are. Feel free to check out our vibrant InterNations Communities in countries like China or Bahrain.

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Living in Panama: Your Questions, Answered

If you're considering a move to Panama or have recently arrived, you might have a few questions about what life will be like in this Central American gem. We've compiled the answers to seven common questions to help you get a better understanding of your new home. For more specific questions or to share your own experiences, consider joining InterNations, a community of expats who love helping each other navigate their new lives abroad.

1. Is it necessary to speak the local language?
While Spanish is the official language of Panama, English is widely spoken, especially in areas popular among expats. However, learning some basic Spanish can be beneficial for your day-to-day interactions and help you connect with local culture more easily.

2. What are the average rent prices in popular expat locations?

Panama City:

  • Single-room flat: 800–1,200 USD per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 1,800–3,000 USD per month

Boquete:

  • Single-room flat: 500–800 USD per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 1,200–2,000 USD per month

Coronado:

  • Single-room flat: 700–1,000 USD per month
  • Three-bedroom flat: 1,500–2,500 USD per month

3. How safe is Panama for expats?
Panama is generally considered safe for expats, though it's important to exercise common-sense precautions like being aware of your surroundings, securing your belongings, and staying informed about local safety updates.

4. How does the healthcare system work in Panama?
Panama has both public and private healthcare systems. While public healthcare is available and affordable, many expats choose private healthcare for faster access to treatment and higher-quality facilities. It's a good idea to obtain private health insurance to cover your medical needs.

5. How can I open a bank account in Panama?
To open a bank account in Panama, you'll typically need a valid passport, proof of address, a reference letter from your home bank, and proof of income or employment. Each bank may have additional requirements, so it's best to check with your chosen bank for specific details.

6. What is the cost of living in Panama?
The cost of living in Panama varies depending on your location and lifestyle. Panama City tends to be more expensive than other areas, particularly for housing. However, with careful planning and budgeting, you can enjoy a comfortable life in most parts of the country.

7. Can I drive with my foreign driver's license in Panama?
Foreigners can drive in Panama using their valid foreign driver's license for up to 90 days. After that, you'll need to obtain a Panamanian driver's license. To do so, you'll have to provide a valid passport, your foreign driver's license, and a health certificate from a local doctor, and pass a written test.

Join Our Online and In-Person Events in Panama

Attend our many events to get to know like-minded expats, both in Panama and around the world! Our new online events even let you find connection and inspiration without leaving your home.

Feb 21, 2024, 1:00 AM
29 attendees
This time you have to be fast!! This event already takes place on coming Tuesday! This brandnew restaurant is offering asian cuban fusion cuisine. That's their discription: "A tribute to Cuba and it
Feb 24, 2024, 12:00 AM
122 attendees
Aloha! Escape to a tropical paradise for a night during our Hawaiian Celebration at The Embassy in Panama City. Dig out your most colorful floral or tropical print shirt and prepare for a lively eveni
Feb 24, 2024, 9:00 PM
12 attendees
Hello coffee friends! Time to toast with coffee to our friendship and to our love for coffee while enjoying summer time, games and sharing snacks. We hope you can make it! Note: there will be a cha
Feb 25, 2024, 3:00 PM
28 attendees
🌟 Sunday Soul Festival - Carnavales Edition 🌟 A day of wellness, joy, and animal love at the 2nd edition of the Sunday Soul Festival in Panama City to support Club Amigos de Los 4 Patas! 🎉✨ 📅 Da

Want to see all the upcoming events in Panama?

Connect with Like-Minded Expatriates in Panama

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    From Netherlands, living in Panama City
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    From Sweden, living in Panama City
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    From Argentina, living in Panama City
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    From Mexico, living in Panama City
  • Community Member
    From Colombia, living in Panama City
  • Community Member
    From Argentina, living in Panama City
  • Community Member
    From Poland, living in Panama City
  • Community Member
    From Mexico, living in Panama City
  • Community Member
    From Switzerland, living in Panama City

Meet other expats like you in Panama

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Embark on Your Life as an Expat in Panama

The country is famous for its enormous man-made ship canal, the Panama Canal. The canal is integral to the US and China's shipping and is a huge part of Panama's economy. Panama also installed a brand new metro system that cost around 1.2 billion dollars into Panama City in 2014, in a bid to improve the city's infrastructure. The cosmopolitan Panama City is extremely culturally diverse and full of English speakers as well as expats from around the world. Lined with modern skyscrapers and a beautiful coastline, the sophisticated city is undergoing further canal expansion, has a historic old town and an exciting Spanish culture that expats living in Panama City can tap into. Aside from the capital and other large cities, Panama is filled with indigenous territories and a gorgeous Caribbean coast that makes it perfect for outdoor activities such as hiking and cycling. With the expansion of the Panama Canal, there are a number of construction jobs in Panama, as well as higher level jobs in engineering and communications. Ranked among the best places to work abroad for expats, Panama has a growing economy, which makes the country a financially viable place to live. With cheap local produce, easy access to banking, and the tendency to celebrate every occasion with fireworks, Panama offers a great lifestyle for expats.

InterNations is the largest global network for expatriates, with communities in 420 cities around the world. Meet fellow global minds in your city of residence or get to know local expatriates before you're moving or traveling abroad and never feel like a stranger. InterNations makes it easy for you to stay in touch with your expat friends, both online and offline, so you can grow your network of friends and contacts from all over the world. Whether they live in Peru or Qatar, InterNations allows you to be close to them even if they are miles away.

Find New Friends Even before You Start Your Life in Panama

Every member of InterNations is approved to ensure the site is safe and secure for all users. Members are astute in “netiquette” and understand the guiding principles of InterNations; this means you are safe to communicate with other members online and offline. With this in mind, you may want to join up with some of your fellow expats at one of the many groups and events organized by expats in Panama. From the Latin Dancers Group to the Coffee Friends in Panama City, there is a group for every interest. And by meeting up with new like-minded people, you can forge friendships and start your social life in your new home. Establishing friends in a new country is vital to making your expat life a success. It's also a fantastic way to learn more about the culture of Panama, pick up a new skill or just discuss life as an expat with other expatriates — there are a number of ways you can get involved in life in Panama with InterNations.

  • William Shirming

    Thanks to the City Guide, I found the right place to go for a business lunch in Panama City.

  • Carla Echevarria

    As a Spanish expat in Latin America, moving to Panama was probably easier for me than for others. But I am still glad that I found this site!

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Communities in Panama

Like-Minded Expatriates in Panama

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