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The Panama City Beaches Area

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Find Comfort and Convenience in the Panama City Beaches Area

You can drive out from Panama City after work on Friday, enjoy a weekend at the beach, then return to the city Sunday evening in time for the work week, and that’s precisely what every Panamanian living in Panama City who can afford it does.

To Panama City residents, the City Beaches are close enough for quick weekend trips but far enough away to forget the stress and commotion of the city. To residents of the City Beaches, the capital offers a level of nightlife, a variety of dining options, and cultural events not available at the beaches.

The Cost Of Living In The Panama City Beaches Area, Panama

The cost of living is higher than many destinations in Panama due mostly to the location and accessibility of Panama City. A couple can live and retire well on US$2,440 per month here.

Panama uses the U.S. dollar.

Apartment Or House Ownership Budget (For A Couple)

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Expense Monthly Costs Notes
Mortgage Not included here as too variable.
HOA Fees US$150 Average.
Property Taxes Not included here as too variable.
Transportation US$15 Occasional taxi or Uber.
Gas US$8 Per tank.
Electricity US$150 Average with air conditioning.
Water US$20
Cell phone US$35 Tigo prepaid minutes.
Internet US$40 Depending on the location, it could be more.
Cable TV US$36
Household Help US$45 Cleaning once every two weeks.
Entertainment US$152 Eating out twice a week at a mid-range, local restaurant (US$120), local drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole (US$6), movie theatre trip twice a month (US$10).
Groceries US$400 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$1,066

Apartment Or House Rental Budget (For A Couple)

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Expense Monthly Costs Notes
Rent US$900 In a desirable part of town (city center, if applicable), furnished, two-bedroom, comfortable apartment.
Transportation US$15 Occasional taxi or Uber.
Gas US$8 Per tank.
Electricity US$150 Average with air conditioning.
Water Included in rent.
Cell phone US$35 Using Tigo prepaid minutes.
Internet US$40 Depending on the location, it could be more.
Cable TV US$36 Included in internet price.
Household Help US$45 Cleaning once every two weeks.
Entertainment US$152 Eating out twice a week at a mid-range, local restaurant (US$120), local drinks twice a week at a nearby watering hole (US$6), movie theatre trip twice a month (US$10).
Groceries US$400 Basic items for a couple. This includes wine, beer, and some imported organic foods.
Gym Membership
Medical Appointment US$15 Basic checkup in a public hospital.
TOTAL US$1,796

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$10 Occasional taxi.
Gas US$8 Per tank.
Electricity US$40 Without air conditioning.
Water US$15
Cell Phone US$20 No plan. Just buying pre-paid cards when needed.
Internet US$22 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$769

Eating Out:

  • A beer: Can range from $2 to $5
  • Rum & Coke (or other local drink): Can range from $5 to $7
  • A coffee: $1.50
  • A sandwich (or equivalent): $4
  • Average cost of a meal out per person: $15

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 the condition of vehicle.
  • Monthly payments: N/A
  • Parking: N/A

Infrastructure In The Panama City Beaches Area

While the spots on this coast developed two or three or more decades ago can sometimes be described as “basic” when it comes to amenities and infrastructure, the newer developments are increasingly high-end. JW Marriott, for example, recently put its name to what is without a doubt the nicest resort property not only in this part of Panama but anywhere in the country. In other words, the City Beaches are coming of age, and, as they mature, the options they include are of a markedly higher standard.

Nowhere else in Panama would the living be as easy or as convenient. You’re an hour-and-a-half (give or take) from Panama City, meaning you can return to the big city for supplies, shopping, and nightlife whenever you want. However, you can also find almost everything and anything you might need or want locally now, as well. The shopping and dining options, specifically in Coronado, are expanding all the time.

Climate In City Beaches Area

The City Beaches are hot and humid. But residents also enjoy the convenience of the cool, rejuvenating air of Panama’s highlands nearby. For example, lovely El Valle (another former weekend getaway turned full-time community) is only 30 minutes away, making spontaneous day trips possible whenever the need for a break from the heat of the beaches arises.

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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