Life in Panama

The combination of incredible natural beauty, pleasant moderate climates as well as access to international markets and the quality and low cost of the labor force, make Panama an ideal place to live. You can drive from a modern, bustling urban environment to a rain forest teeming with animal and plant life in as little as an hour.Panama is known as the Crossroads of the Americas due to its privileged position between North and South America. The indigenous meaning of the country’s name, abundance of fish, reflects Panama’s reputation as a paradise for water sports enthusiasts and eco-tourists alike. Panama is also known for its highly developed international banking sector, with more than 150 banks from 35 countries establishing local branches, including HSBC, Dresdner Bank and Citibank.

Panama is a developing nation, but living here doesn’t mean you’ll be living in the Third World. Panama is full of the comforts and luxuries that many search for overseas but can rarely find in combination with an affordable cost of living. In fact, most people can significantly improve their quality of life by living in Panama, and they do so without having to live in an unsafe country with poor infrastructure.

Panama is a safe country, where you may actually live safer than you might in large U.S. cities. Of course, there are the “bad” areas that should be avoided, but these are few and far between. Generally, Panamanians are very welcoming to foreigners living in their country, so expats usually experience an easy transition when they move to Panama.

The infrastructure in Panama is well developed: The telephone service is quite advanced, so international calls are always easy to make; high-speed Internet is widespread; and Panama City’s international airport is completely modern, offering daily flights to many international destinations.

The nation’s art, in general, is a direct reflection of the diverse ethnic groups living in Panama. Traditional handicrafts include wood carvings, weavings and textiles, masks, and ceramics. Similarly, the music is also quite varied. Living in Panama, you will hear all styles of music, such as salsa, merengue, folk (known as típico), jazz, rock, and reggae.

The music often plays a large part in the many festivals that are celebrated in Panama. There is no lack of partying by those who live here, and the biggest celebration of all is unquestionably Carnaval. The Carnaval festivities are famous in Panama, and often considered the second best in the world, behind only Brazil. Aside from Carnaval, there are many other national and local holidays that help illustrate the pride and the lust for life held by the people who live in Panama. Nearly every village in Panama celebrates its own unique patron saint days, which provide fascinating glimpses of Panama’s rich heritage and culture.