Boquete, Panama

Boquete, Panama

A True Central American Expat Haven: Boquete

Boquete is not a town but a district, the functional equivalent of a county. As you cross into Boquete you will find yourself on a sustained gentle grade up into the green mountains of western Panama and the eastern flanks of Volcán Barú, the highest point in Panama at 3,475 meters (11,400 feet).

Boquete District is divided into six sub-districts or townships (corregimientos): Bajo Boquete (the district capital), Caldera, Palmira, Alto Boquete, Jaramillo, and Los Naranjos. It is in the western most region of Panama bordering Costa Rica.

Boquete is one of the few places in Panama where you can live without knowing Spanish. Many locals speak at least some English, while others, especially those who work in the service industry, are nearly bilingual. Though many people speak English here, it’s always beneficial to learn at least basic Spanish, if for no reason other than to show respect to the locals.

Cost Of Living In Boquete

In Boquete, you’d be living abroad and enjoying many of the benefits (great weather, affordable cost of living, and tax savings), but the surroundings and the neighbors would feel familiar in many ways.

Every day consumables are slightly cheaper here than in the United States, and, surprisingly, that includes the cost of American imports. The quality of local, fresh produce is significantly better than that available in most of the United States.

Retirees usually come for the low cost of living and change of lifestyle. For what you get in terms of quality of life, amenities, and comforts, Boquete offers good value.

Living in Boquete costs much the same as it does elsewhere in Panama. If you own your own home, you can live in Boquete for around US$1,300 a month. The cost of real estate is slowly decreasing in this region after years of seeing some of the most rapid appreciation in the country. Boquete real estate is still the second most expensive in Panama, second in cost only to Panama City.

That said, it is possible to find real estate bargains if you know where to look and who to ask. As in any unregulated market, you’ll find better real estate purchase and rental deals if you have your feet on the ground in Boquete. Scouting real estate from afar is much more difficult than if you’re physically present in the area.

Monthly Budget For A Couple Living In Boquete, Panama

Click here for currency conversion at today’s exchange rate.

Rent US$475  
Gas US$5 Used for cooking.
Electricity US$45  
Water US$7  
Telephone US$49  
Internet N/A Included with telephone.
Cable TV N/A Included with telephone.
Groceries US$410  
Entertainment US$250  
Total US$1,241  

 

Boquete Monthly Cost of Living Budget

Apartment or House Rental

Item US dollars Remarks
Rent US$500 to US$1,000  
HOA Fees US$0  
Property Taxes  
Transportation US$50 Occasional taxi fares
Electricity US$100 Figure more if using A/C
Gas US$5 Used for cooking
Telephone US$30 Land line
Internet US$25  
Cable TV US$30  
Household Help, fulltime US$300  
Food US$300 Groceries
Entertainment US$400 Eating out, movies, bars, etc.
Homeowner’s Insurance US$0  
     
TOTAL $1,740  

Apartment or House Ownership

Item US dollars Remarks
Rent US$0  
HOA Fees US$50  
Property Taxes  
Transportation US$50 Occasional taxi fares
Gas US$5 Used for cooking
Electricity US$100 Figure more if using A/C
Telephone US$30 Land line
Internet US$25  
Cable TV US$30  
Household Help, fulltime US$300  
Food US$300 Groceries
Entertainment US$400 Eating out, movies, bars, etc.
     
TOTAL $1,290  

Infrastructure In Boquete

The government of Panama invested over US$110 million dollars widening and improving the highway from David to Boquete in anticipation of the impending growth in this region. They, and many private sector companies, are betting this region will grow further in the near future. There are many reasons for this optimism.

Another infrastructure project expected to benefit Boquete is a four-phase program to upgrade the international airport in David. The project is complete, and the newly expanded, US$27 million runway and sleek, new terminal look great.

Climate In Boquete

It’s rainier and windier in this part of the country than down on the coasts, and temperatures are often cool enough to warrant the fireplaces that have been built into many Boquete homes. It’s fresh and invigorating.

For many years, Boquete has been a cool-weather retreat for the elite of Panama, families with a home in Panama City, a home on the beach, and still another here in Boquete.

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