Facts About Panama

Facts About Panama: What You Need To Know

Last Updated on March 30, 2023 by Retire in Panama

Facts About Panama

Panama is a country in Central America with 29,120 square miles, a bit smaller than South Carolina. It consists of around 4,000,00 population, which mostly can be found near the Capital of Panama City. Panama is best known as one of the most important trading ports and passageways between North and South America. This article will talk about the many facts about Panama.

Panama has been named one of Latin America’s top ten countries with the best quality of life by The Economist’s Global Liveability Ranking 2018. Panama offers its residents good medical care, high-level education opportunities at affordable prices, and low crime rates.

Panama is home to around 50,000 expats who live here. Many expats from North America, Europe, and Asia have settled in Panama due to Panama’s great opportunities for investments, retirement, or just as a place to live.

Panama is one of the largest seaports in the world. Panama offers many tax incentives for companies interested in trading, importing, and exporting goods to Panama and other countries from Panama. Panama’s banking system is very well-developed and secure.

Panama also has an extensive public transportation network comprising a diverse fleet of over 4,400 buses and Panama City’s metro rail, the only metro system in Central America. Panama has an excellent road network of more than 5,447 miles of highways connecting all the major Panama cities on both coasts.

Top Areas for Expats in Panama

Top Areas for Expats in Panama
Boquete, Panama

Panama is a country full of natural beauty, and Panama City has an exciting vibe. Panama’s coastlines are dotted with small fishing villages, like Pedasí and Las Tablas, that offer a more laid-back way of life. And Panama’s interior mountains have the Chiriquí Highlands that welcome expats seeking adventure and living in a cooler climate.

But it can be hard to know where to go if you want to live in Panama! Here are some facts about Panama:

Top Areas for Expats in Panama – Panama City; Chiriquí Highlands (Boquete & Volcan), Coronado; Bocas del Toro, Pedasí, Las Tablas, Santa Fe; El Valle de Anton.

The 3 top expat locations by expat population are Panama City, Boquete, and Coronado. Panama City is Panama’s fastest-growing urban area, with a population of 880,000 and, on average, many new residents arriving daily. Boquete is Panama’s most well-known expat destination offering everything from real estate to international schools. Coronado is also popular with expats from Panama City who want to escape the fast-paced lifestyle and traffic jams.

Buying Property 

Foreigners enjoy the same property rights as Panamanians. Buying property in Panama is safe and easy – similar to the U.S. process, so that it will familiarize you.

Another optimism about buying property in Panama is that there are no restrictions on foreign land ownership. Plus, it’s easy to purchase real estate in Panama because the Panamanian government is friendly to foreign investors.

Make sure you use a reputable real estate agent in Panama and beware of for sale by owner or ROP (right of possession) properties. For those, you will need an outstanding lawyer.

Panama has a good MLS service, and if your real estate agent is not a member of the MLS in Panama, find out why; something could be wrong.


Are you looking to move to Panama and rent a home in Panama? Here are some interesting facts about renting a house in Panama.

Rental regulations in Panama are pretty simple. The rental agreement for any residential property can be negotiated between the tenant and the landlord. The tenant should expect to pay a security deposit the same amount as one month’s rent. This deposit is given to the Ministry of Housing. It is returned when the agreement ends unless the landlord claims any damage.

The average cost of renting an apartment or home in Panama will depend on your location. In Panama City, you start at about $800 a month; in the country, it can be 1/2 of that.

We recommend you use a rental agent to help search for your perfect rental in Panama. An agent knows of many properties and can help guide you thru that process and warn you about things like roosters crowing in the morning, dogs barking, traffic noise, and more.

Facts About Panamas Healthcare Facts About Panama’s Healthcare

Health care in Panama is something you should know about. Panama has both a public healthcare system and a private one. The healthcare system in Panama is considered one of the best in Latin America, with modern facilities and medical professionals who have access to some of the newest treatments available.

At Johns Hopkins-affiliated Punta Pacifica Hospital – a first-rate modern hospital with the highest quality health care and state-of-the-art facility in Latin America.

Physicians can use cutting-edge technology like robot surgery or minimally invasive procedures that don’t require large incisions. They also offer diagnosis, prevention, treatment, and rehabilitation for chronic diseases such as diabetes and heart disease, complete cancer care, and stem cell transplantation.

Health insurance in Panama is not mandatory, but health care is accessible to all in Panama, insured and uninsured. Panama health insurance can be purchased from several local health insurance companies or through international health insurance. Many expats choose international health insurance because they often travel back to their home country and are still exploring other parts of the world with vacations.

You can use the Panama public hospital system for the uninsured, which is inexpensive but could be better. It needs more financing for equipment, staff, and medicines.

The Climate of Panama

The Climate of Panama
San Blas Islands, Panama

Panama does not have four seasons like in North America, but relatively dry and rainy seasons. The dry season is from December to April, and rains begin in May with recurrent afternoon showers.

People living in Boquete and Volcan, coffee-growing regions, experience a much cooler and wetter climate than the city and beaches. On the other hand, the weather in Panama City, near the Canal Zone, is similar to La Habana city in Cuba due to its tropical location. Meanwhile, the climate on both coasts has humidity ranging between 50-85%, depending on the time of year.

The average daytime high in Panama City and the beaches are in the low 90s, while overnight lows are usually in the mid-70s. In contrast, the Chiriqui Mountains have highs in the upper 70s and lows in the mid-60s.


Facts About Panamas Currency 1
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Facts About Panama’s Currency

The official currency of Panama is the Balboa, named after the Spanish explorer Vasco Núñez de Balboa, who discovered the Pacific Ocean in 1513. The Balboa has been pegged to the U.S. Dollar for over 100 years. Each Balboa is divided into 100 cents (centavos).

Panama mints its coins, penny, nickel, dime quarter, 50 cent pieces, and $1. These coins are the same size and weight as U.S. coins, and both U.S. and Panama coins are legal tender in Panama. For paper money, only U.S. Treasury Bills are used (there are no Panamanian bills). One Balboa equals one USD. The official symbol of the Balboa will look like this, B/.1.00 instead of USD, which looks like $1.00.

Financial Information of Panama

Most major credit cards are accepted in hotels and restaurants. However, you will need cash if you eat at smaller restaurants and for taxis. Debit cards are also widely accepted here, and you can use most ATMs in the country to withdraw up to $250 at a time for a charge of $5.25. Be prepared, as Traveler’s Checks are not accepted, and banks here will not cash your certified checks from other countries. Currency exchange places take a lot of work to come by, especially in the interior, so bring some U.S. dollars with you. Euros and Canadian Dollars will not get you far.

The Language in Panama The Language in Panama

Spanish is the primary and official language in Panama, but some people in the country are bilingual. The indigenous languages spoken in the country include Ngabere (or Guaymi), Kuna, Embera, Buglere, Wounaan, Naso (or Teribe), and Bri. Creole languages can also be found here, along with Chinese and Arabic.

The Spanish spoken in Panama is known as Panamanian Spanish. The dialect is similar to that of Colombia and the Andean regions of Peru, Ecuador, and Bolivia. The Colombian influence comes from the fact that many people came to Panama from Colombia during the canal’s construction and stayed there afterward. Your language may impact your job prospects, or where you live, so it’s important to know what kind of Spanish is spoken there before moving.

The Andean influence occurs because many workers who migrated during construction were from different parts of Colombia and nearby areas where the Andean dialects are spoken. The main differences between Panamanian and other Latin American Spanish are that Nahuatl influences vocabulary, pronunciation, and grammar.

System of Government in Panama
National Assembly of Panama

System of Government in Panama

Panama is a constitutional democracy and a presidential representative republic. The government is comprised of three branches:

The Executive Branch is composed of the president and their appointed cabinet.

The Legislative Branch holds 72 members.

The Judicial Branch consists of different courts of various power and expertise.

The government has been stable and democratic since 1989.

The System of Government in Panama is divided into five central branches: the Executive, Legislative, Judicial, Electoral Tribunal, and Transparency Commission. Collectively these five branches are governed by laws passed by the National Assembly. The System of Government in Panama balances power between all five branches to prevent any branch from having too much power or control.

In 1989, the System of Government in Panama underwent a significant transformation with the election of President Guillermo Endara. This event marked the first time since Panama’s independence from Colombia that an entire administration transferred power via the ballot box for a democratic transition of power.

The System of Government in Panama has features familiar to the Westminster System, such as using a parliamentary cabinet and implementing majority voting for significant decisions. The system of Government in Panama also uses non-ministerial government agencies called autonomous entities.

This means that these agency heads are appointed by the president rather than elected members of the National Assembly. The system of Government in Panama features a unique constitutional arrangement that calls for the establishment of independent legislatures in its two largest cities, Panama City and Colon.

Head of State and Government

If you’re looking to move to Panama, you’ll want to know a little about the country’s current head of state. Laurentino “Nito” Cortizo Cohen is Panama’s president since July 2019. The president and vice president are directly elected for a five-year term on the same ballot by a simple majority popular vote. The president is eligible for a second term; however, this should not be consecutive.

Facts About Panama’s Religions Facts About Panamas Religions

One of the first things you should know about Religions in Panama is that many religions exist here. You can find Christians, Jews, Muslims, and many other religions living peacefully together.

Christianity is the main religion here, with 80% of people identifying as Catholic or Protestant. There are also small Buddhists (0.4%) and Jewish communities (0.1%). Religions in Panama are generally peaceful, and people here live together very well.

The Panama constitution provides freedom of religion, and other laws and policies contribute to the generally free practice of religion. The law at all levels protects this right in full against abuse by governmental or private actors. The government generally respected religious freedom in practice.


We hope you enjoyed these facts about Panama. Let us know if you’re interested in finding out how to move here or want help with your relocation process! If you decide to move to Panama, you will enjoy a stable democracy, religious freedom, safe living conditions, and more.

Our team of relocation experts knows the facts about Panama. They are ready to answer any questions about Panama’s beautiful climate, friendly people, government, housing, health care, or the extensive list of Religions found in Panama.


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