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Chitre, Panama

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Chitre: Crossroads In Panama

Lonely Planet says that Chitre, on the Azuero Peninsula, “is hardly geared toward travelers, but it’s an agreeable stop on the way to the peninsula.” Herein lies its very charm. Chitre is an honest, unpretentious regional capital town. Its preoccupations are based on agriculture and local provincial commerce.

Amenities And Accessibility

Located only 20 minutes south of the Pan-American Highway, Chitre is accessible to everything. A short trip down or across the Azuero Peninsula finds you at some of the best surf and fishing spots in Panama (and, therefore, the west coast of the Americas). After a comprehensive upgrade, Panama City can now be reached in around three-and-a-half hours by car and four hours by bus. David and the cool Boquete Highlands are equally accessible to Chitre, just over three hours to the west.

There is a small airport at Chitre, and the town is only 90 minutes from the new international airport at Rio Hato, which opened to commercial flights in 2014.

Apartment Or House Ownership Budget (For A Couple)

ExpensesMonthly CostsNotes
HOA Fees US$250This can range from US$0 to US$100 depending on the unit size and value as well as property amenities.
Transportation US$60To own a vehicle; occasional bus trips instead of driving to Panama City ($13 to $18 roundtrip). (If you opt to not own a car, this cost would be around US$200 for two taxi rides per day, intercity bus trips, and one bus trip to the city.)
GasUS$10For cooking.
Electricity $125
Water $5
Cell PhoneUS$35Including 500 minutes, unlimited data, and flexible contract with Cable & Wireless.
InternetUS$85Includes telephone and cable.
Cable TV-Included in internet fee.
Household HelpUS$80One day-long visit per week; US$20 per visit.
Entertainment US$482Eating out twice a week at a mid-range, local restaurant: US$25 to US$65.

Local drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole: US$104 (US$18 for a bottle of wine; US$2 for a beer).

Movie theater trip twice a month: US$18 (US$4.50 per ticket.
GroceriesUS$425Basic items for a couple.
Gym MembershipUS$22US$275 for a year-long membership.
Medical AppointmentUS$35For a specialist or a clinic visit; a basic checkup in a public hospital is just a few dollars.
TOTALUS$1,614

Apartment Or House Rental Budget (For A Couple)

ExpensesMonthly CostsNotes
RentUS$800A furnished, two-bedroom, comfortable apartment in a desirable area.
TransportationUS$60To own a vehicle; occasional bus trips instead of driving to Panama City ($13 to $18 roundtrip). (If you opt to not own a car, this cost would be around US$200 for two taxi rides per day, intercity bus trips, and one bus trip to the city.)
GasUS$10For cooking.
Electricity US$125
WaterUS$5
Cell PhoneUS$35Including 500 minutes, unlimited data, and flexible contract with Cable & Wireless.
InternetUS$85Includes telephone and cable.
Cable TV-Included in internet fee.
Household HelpUS$80One day-long visit per week; US$20 per visit.
EntertainmentUS$482Eating out twice a week at a mid-range, local restaurant: US$25 to US$65.

Local drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole: US$104 (US$18 for a bottle of wine; US$2 for a beer).

Movie theater trip twice a month: US$18 (US$4.50 per ticket.
GroceriesUS$425Basic items for a couple.
Gym MembershipUS$22US$275 for a year-long membership.
Medical AppointmentUS$35For a specialist or a clinic visit; a basic checkup in a public hospital is just a few dollars.
TOTALUS$2,164

Penny-Pincher’s Budget (Bare Minimum Costs, For A Couple)

ExpensesCostNotes
RentUS$100Cheapest part of town; basic one-bedroom rental.
TransportationUS$75Minimal use of taxis and buses.
GasUS$5For cooking.
Electricity US$12No use of air conditioning, fans only.
WaterUS$5
Cell PhoneUS$35Including 500 minutes, unlimited data, and flexible contract with Cable & Wireless.
Internet-Cell phone data use only.
Cable TV US$30Basic plan with 194 channels.
Entertainment US$250Eating out at fondas and drinking local beer.
GroceriesUS$50Fresh fruits and veggies, local brands only; supplemented by eating out cheaply.
TOTALUS$562

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​Learn more about ​​​PANAMA and other countries in our free, daily Overseas Opportunity Letter​​, as well as our ​In Focus: ​Panama ​newsletter​​​​​​. Simply enter your email address below and we’ll send you our FREE REPORT – ​​​Panama 101: 101 Things You'll Wish Someone Had Told You About Panama