Where to Retire in Panama?
Bocas del Torro
When people think of Bocas Del Toro, they usually mean the island called Isla Colon. Bocas is actually the town on the southeastern tip of Isla Colon. The best way to get there from Panama City is by scheduled air service. There are several flights daily. Taxi service by boat is available throughout the day from the mainland at the town of Almirante.
Many of the town locals speak English in Bocas del Toro and as with the rest of Panama, the dollar is used as currency making it very convenient as there is no need to do a mental conversion.
Tourism has been steadily growing in the Bocas del Toro area. Real estate & cost of living is so low in Panama, your retirement dollar will go much further.
And remember, NO Hurricanes!
The area of Bocas Del Toro continues to grow rapidly as people realize that this the prices are a great bargain right now. They aren’t making any more beachfront property and now is the time to buy your little piece of heaven on earth.
Red Frog Beach
The beaches along the north side of Bastimentos are beautiful and are great for surfers. Be careful of the waves. One of the most spectacular sites is Red Frog Beach whose namesake is a tiny frog known as the strawberry poison-dart frog (Dendrobates pumilio). Obviously they are very common at Red Frog Beach. But don’t worry, the toxins in its skin are only dangerous to animals who try to eat it. These red frogs are very small, and very cute.
There is a new development being built on Bastimentos with luxury condos and villas. The beaches at Red Frog Beach are beautiful, but expensive. They have appropriately named themselves after this cute little frog. Whether you are planning on retiring in Red Frog Beach or Isla Bastimentos or investing your hard earned money, a visit for several days or weeks is surely advised.
Isla Bastimentos and Zapatilla Cay
Isla Bastimentos is a relatively large island and is part of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. The island is very long, the closest part of the island near Isla Colon has a small town with a lively nightlife. On Bastimentos you will find Panama’s first Marine National Park which was established in 1988. That’s important because it means that this lush, tropical island will always be mostly inhabited by its rain forest and over 300 species of tropical birds. Of course savoring the view isn’t bad either.
As you travel along Bastimentos to the east on the south side, you will see it lined with mangroves and there are not many beaches until you get to the eastern most portion where there are some gorgeous beaches at a development called Paradisio.
As you pass the end of Bastimentos you begin to see other islands in the chain such as Popas, Caya Aqua and the Zapatilla Cay where there have been several Survivor episodes filmed. The beach at Zapatilla is probably one of the most beautiful beaches in the world; it is surrounded by clear aqua-marine water, white sand and a coconut tree backdrop.
Isla Taboga is an illustrious and history packed island that lies 12 miles south of Panama City. It has an impressive beach, a rain forest reserve, and is a wildlife refuge holding one of the largest populations of brown pelicans in the region. Also dubbed as the “Island of Flowers”, it achieved this nickname with its dazzling array of flowers during different times of the year.
Overall, it is a nice place to relax away from the hustle and bustle of Panama City. Taboga itself has a long and rich history and was established long before Panama City. It is old enough to have the second oldest church in the Western Hemisphere (although debatable) and known for Pizarro’s trek from the region to Peru in 1524. Isla Taboga holds a yearly festival every July 16th with plenty of carnivals and hoopla. From Balboa, it takes one hour to get to Taboga by boat.
Although when you think retiring in Panama, you may only be dreaming of Panamanian beaches, something you may want to consider is the mountain region of Panama. Many people find that living in Panama Mountain Region is the most relaxing way of life possible. Read about the beautiful mountain region of Panama on our Mountain Region page.