Retire in Las Tablas, Panama, a Humble, Frugal, and Interesting Lifestyle

Tucked away near the Pacific coastline is the little unassuming town of Las Tablas. The town is located in an area that is predominantly involved in farming activities. It’s also an interesting and inviting tourist destination where visitors and locals engage in various activities such as swimming and sports fishing. Though it looks like a sleeping town, Las Tablas is popular for pompous street carnival celebrations and a local arts and crafts industry.

Why should Las Tablas be your retirement destination?

If you prefer a more laid back and quiet retirement life, then Las Tablas may be your best option. Apart from living affordably and quietly, Las Tablas grants you easy access to basic facilities such as shopping malls, and medical facilities. For instance, if you need to shop or see a doctor, then the nearby town complex at Chitré has a number of large supermarkets and hospitals, which are only 20 minutes away.

Las Tablas is a less known town for many foreigners, and it’s a low-key area whose authentic culture is still alive and unadulterated. This is evidenced by the small number of expats who live in the town and nearby areas. Most of Panama and its populace speak Spanish, and you’re likely to encounter challenges when communicating with locals outside the city of Panama. Therefore, if you’re planning to visit or staying in Las Tablas, you should consider learning some basic Spanish.

What’s life like in Las Tablas?

The people of Las Tablas are lovable, sociable, and above all, they are welcoming. The local people always value friends and family, and they tend to respect the elderly. They also hold their folklore, customs, and traditions with high regard.
If you love dining out, then Las Tablas is a perfect town for you as it provides a wide variety of restaurants with a mix of local and foreign cuisines. You may dine at the Restaurant Mama Pina, La Maestra, or Dolce & Saladito for local cuisine. But if you’re in need of a typical American fast food meal or snacks, then you can walk to the McDonald’s franchise opened recently.

When you’re not shopping or enjoying your time at home or a local restaurant or bar, you can venture far and wide for excursions to the national wildlife refuge at Isla Iguana. You’ll get to view and even photograph the black and green Iguanas, hermit crabs, sea turtles, and frigate birds. Alternatively, you can visit any of the nearby white sand and blue water beaches such as the Cambutal beaches for swimming or any other beach activities such as beach football and volleyball.

Do you want a piece of Las Tablas?

The price of properties in the area is slightly low due to minimal property market competition. Lots situated closer to the town can go at $10 to $15 per square meter, and a home in the same area with 2 bathrooms, 3 bedrooms, and a parking lot can go for between $50,000 and $70,000. Most properties in Las Tablas are about 1,100 square feet in size. If you ever get to the point of contemplating a purchase, always use a licensed property agent and ensure that the property you buy has a proper title to avoid being conned.

What is the cost of Living in Las Tablas?

On a comparative basis, the cost of living and most basic needs in Las Tablas are significantly low when compared to the rest of Panama.

Here is a simple break down of a one-month budget estimate for a couple living in Las Tablas:
• Power $30 – $150 USD (depending on how much air conditioning you use)
• Rent for a 2-3 bedroom house $350 – $600
• Water $5
• Gas $5 – $10
• Internet $25 – $35
• Transportation $25
• Telephone/cable TV $70
• Dining out weekly cost for a couple $100
• Household items and groceries $400

Total cost = $975 – $1,360 USD


You can live a frugal and interesting life in the tropical paradise of Las Tablas simply on your retirement benefits without the need for another source of income. The climate and community are warm and welcoming, thus making the town a perfect retirement destination near the Pacific.

It’s more than a tour . . it’s an experience.