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El Valle, Panama

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The Cool, Mountain Village: El Valle de Anton

Nestled within the majestic confines of an extinct volcanic crater and overlooked by the Sleeping Indian mountain range and cloud-capped mountains, about 90 minutes from Panama City lies the bustling market town of El Valle de Anton. As you climb the hill from the Pan-American Highway, you pass through a number of landscape changes where the subtle hues and colors of nature transform as you pass through small, neat settlements and villages with sellers of artisan flower pots, garden furniture, or flourishing plant nurseries.

The community has grown over thousands of years from a small gathering of local villages centered on the local market. Many of Panama’s oldest families own second homes in the cool and healthy mountain air of the valley, weekending regularly to disengage and relax within easy reach of the city.

The Cost Of Living In El Valle De Anton, Panama

The cost of living in El Valle is considerably less compared to Panama City. A couple can enjoy the hillside lifestyle for less than US$1,529 per month.

*Panama uses the U.S. dollar.

Apartment Or House Ownership Budget (For A Couple)

 

Edit
Expense Monthly Costs Notes
Mortgage Not included here as too variable.
HOA Fees US$150 Average.
Property Taxes 0.06% On properties over US$120,000
Transportation US$10 Community bus and occasional taxi.
Gas US$8 Per tank.
Electricity US$55 Average without air conditioning.
Water US$15 Depends on the property zone.
Cell Phone US$35 Using Tigo prepaid minutes.
Internet US$36 Depending on the location, it could be more.
Cable TV US$36
Household Help US$45 Cleaning once every two weeks.
Entertainment US$186 Eating out twice a week at a local, mid-range restaurant (US$128), drinks twice a week (US$48), movie theatre trip twice a month (US$10).
Groceries US$300 Basic items for a couple. This includes beer, wine, and some imported organic foods.
Gym Membership
Medical Appointment US$15 Basic checkup in a public hospital.
TOTAL US$891

Apartment Or House Rental Budget (For A Couple)

Edit
Expense Monthly Costs Notes
Rent US$900 In a desirable part of town, furnished, two-bedroom, comfortable apartment.
Transportation US$10 Community bus and occasional taxi.
Gas US$8 Per tank.
Electricity US$55 Average without air conditioning.
Water Included in rent.
Cell Phone US$35 Using Tigo prepaid minutes.
Internet US$36 Depending on the location, it could be more.
Cable TV US$36
Household Help US$45 Cleaning once every two weeks.
Entertainment US$186 Eating out twice a week at a local, mid-range restaurant (US$128), drinks twice a week (US$48), movie theatre trip twice a month (US$10).
Groceries US$300 Basic items for a couple. This includes beer, wine, and some imported organic foods.
Gym Membership
Medical Appointment US$15 Basic checkup in a local hospital.
TOTAL US$1,626

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

Edit
Expense Monthly Costs Notes
Rent US$400 Cheapest part of town (still desirable), most basic one-bedroom rental.
Transportation US$5 Cheapest forms of public transport; assuming a bit less movement.
Gas US$8 Per tank.
Electricity US$40 Without air conditioning
Water US$15
Cell Phone US$20 Cheapest options available.
Internet US$20 Basic internet.
Cable TV US$14 Most basic cable.
Entertainment US$40 Eating out once a week at a local restaurant.
Groceries US$200 All local-brand items only, shopping markets, and local vendors along with grocery stores.
TOTAL US$762

Eating Out:

  • A beer: $2 to $5
  • Rum & Coke (or other local drink): $5 to $7
  • A coffee: $2
  • A sandwich (or equivalent): $5
  • Average cost of a meal out per person: $10

Cost of Car/Motor Bike Ownership:

  • Vehicle insurance: $316 per year.
  • Fuel: Depends on your car usage. It can be anywhere from $10 a month in town to $100 for greater distances.
  • Upkeep: $200 to $300 per year, depending on condition of vehicle.
  • Monthly payments: N/A
  • Parking: N/A

Infrastructure In El Valle

A growing number of shops and services have been built, including a new commercial center and El Rey supermarket; however, the real focus of El Valle’s community is on its market. The market is a focal point in the town for its unbeatable quality produce—much of it organic—at unheard of prices.

Every day, local farmers arrive before sunrise with their chosen fruits and vegetables, creating the unusual situation in Panama of a traditional farmers market available to residents every day.

El Valle town and surrounding area consists of a thriving community of around 6,000 people, located around 75 miles from Panama City. The town lies about 15 miles up the mountainside from the Pan-American Highway, a picturesque drive through small villages and changing countryside.

Climate In El Valle

El Valle is known for its flora, for its climate (which, thanks to the slight elevation, is noticeably more comfortable than that back down at sea level in Panama City), and for its hot springs.

El Valle has spring-like temperatures year-round. The year-round average high is 68 degrees Fahrenheit, and the average nighttime minimum is 61. There is little variation between summer and winter temperatures, the major difference being the amount of wind and rain from season to season. The dry season runs from mid-December to mid-April and the wet season from May to early December.

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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