Thinking about Moving to Panama?
How do you know what part of the country you want to live in? Ideally, you’d be able to live there for a few weeks or months before you decide to make it permanent.
If you don’t have the time or the financial resources to do that, you can do what my husband and I did — narrow down your choices based on research, and plan a trip where you visit each of them.
You can make the arrangements yourself, or you can join an organized country tour.
If you decide to take an organized tour. . .
- Choose a reputable company that’s been around for a while.
- Make sure there’s no real estate sales component.
- Read the fine print carefully to make sure you understand what’s included, what you’re responsible for in addition, and what your options are if you have to cancel for any reason.
Items #1 and #3 are pretty self explanatory, but what about #2?
If the tour company is showing you real estate for sale, you can be sure they’re receiving commissions. With a financial incentive, you can’t be sure that they’re really giving you an objective look at where to live.
And besides, you should be renting for a while before you even think about buying. . .
There is one company offering country tours of Panama that I’m happy to recommend. It’s called Panama Relocation Tours, and I’ve known Jackie, the owner, since 2013. (Yes, that’s an affiliate link, but I was recommending these tours to people before Jackie ever offered a commission.)
She reached out to me when I was living in Las Tablas to ask if I’d be willing to meet her tour group and join them for lunch when they came through town. After that, it became a regular part of my schedule.
Once a month, I got to catch up with Jackie, and meet her group. It was fun for me, and they met a real live expat living in the community. (She does this all across the country – it wasn’t just me!)
At some point, she hired me to redesign her website, and I’ve done some website work for her occasionally since then.
I’m also going to feature her on an upcoming podcast episode, so you’ll hear from her directly.
Jackie is determined to provide tour members with an unfiltered view of what it’s like to live in Panama. That’s why she arranges for expats to meet with them in a variety of places, and there aren’t any sales pitches or rose-colored glasses. Just a solid overview of what the country and its regions have to offer.
In fact, she’s so passionate about sharing a realistic vision of the country that she’s just written a guide called Living in Panama as an Expat.