A few months ago I wrote an article called The Best 6 Things About Living in Panama that was really popular but after I published it I realized that I forgot  a few things that should have been on that list.  So here’s my new list that includes 6 more things that are awesome about living in Panama:

1. Safety: One of the benefits Panama has over it’s neighboring countries is safety. There are plenty of dangerous areas of Panama like in every city but I have never had any safety issues living here. When I visited Medellin, Colombia last year I felt very safe overall but something I noticed was that not a single person had their cell phone out on the Metro. In Panama at least half the people have their giant screen smart phone out on the bus and the Metro so people don’t feel like they need to be on alert for muggers at all times.

Cinta Costera park system in Panama City, Panama


2. Local Gourmet Coffee: I think I have tried just about every brand of coffee in Panama and I’m a complete coffee snob now.

Unido Coffee Panama


3. Carnavales: These are the most insane 3 days of partying I have ever done. It’s drinking all day, urinating on yourself, taking a nap, and then drinking all night. There’s 1000’s of people, earsplitting music, beautiful parades, and elaborately dressed “Carnaval Queens”.



4. International Friends: Whether it be for work, opportunity, lifestyle, or safety – there’s people moving to Panama from all over the place. I’ve made friends with people from Panama (obviously), Colombia, Venezuela, Nicaragua, a few countries in Europe, and lots of people from the states that I never would have met.



5. Learning Spanish: It’s been difficult for me to learn Spanish here because all of the friends I’ve made speak English and my job is in English. But I’ve learned a decent amount of Spanish being in Panama almost three years and the classes I am taking every Saturday are really helping.



6. Mañana: Sometimes I get really frustrated with the mañana attitude in Panama because it feels like nothing ever gets done, but it’s really grown on me in the three years I’ve been living here and I kind of love it now. We don’t need to always to accomplish the world in one day, it’s ok to leave a few things for mañana and let things happen as they happen.



From the original article…

7. Mini Vacations: Every weekend I have the opportunity to take a “mini vacation” by relaxing at the pool or going to one of Panama’s beaches.  Most people only get to dream of doing this for 1 week out of the year.

8. Cheap Public Transportation: I used to have a car in states and I have to say I do not miss it at all.  I use the metro bus to get to work everyday for .25 cents and when I use a taxi it is only $2 ”“ $3 anywhere in Panama City.  Although the public transportation is cheap, it comes with a price.  Sometimes I wait an hour for the bus and sometimes I wait a minute.  It’s also up to the taxi driver if he wants to take me to my destination so I sometimes have to stop 5 cabs before one of them will take me.

9. Cheap Fruits and Vegetables: I don’t enjoy cooking so I recently discovered juicing as my new lazy way to make meals and I’m happy that I started my obsession in a location with cheap fruits and vegetables.  Most of the fruits and vegetables are locally grown so they have a much lower price tag than ones that are imported. However, most other foods here are a little bit more expensive than in the states.

10. Always Something New: I love always having something new to see in Panama.   Panama just keeps on growing so there is constantly a new restaurant, bar, nightclub, or store opening. It’s been impossible to be bored.

11. Warm Weather: When I lived in Kentucky it was freezing cold for about 4 months out of the year and this is absolutely miserable.  It’s not enjoyable to be outside, I had to wear 10 layers of clothes and put them on and off when going into buildings, my skin becomes dry and flakes off everywhere, walking through wet snow makes me want to cry, driving through snow is even worse, and I have around 100 other reasons why I am anti-winter.  Not dealing with winter has been a life changing decision and provides a much better quality of life.  There’s no reason to be miserable for 4 months 😉

12. No Catastrophic Storms: I feel like weekly there is some state or country that is destroyed by a tornado, earthquake, tsunami, etc. Why in the world would you choose to live somewhere where that happens? In Panama there have been no catastrophic natural disasters; the only weather that we have is dry season where it doesn’t rain and is beautiful everyday for four months and wet season where it rains for an hour a few days a week.

Leave a comment below with your favorite reasons for living in Panama!

Experience Panama


I'm Joey, a guy from Louisville, Kentucky that packed up and studied abroad in Panamá at the age of 20 and haven't moved back since. What started as a semester trip to Panamá has turned into 7+ years of living in Latin America and becoming a full-time travel blogger. Follow me on Instagram @joeybonura for more updates on my life abroad!


  1. Eddie Sham Reply

    safety, ehm, well if you compare it to colombia yes.

    but pty is not really safe anymore..

  2. Love your article man, thank you for choosing our contry as your new home!

  3. Pablo Guerra Reply

    Panama is a special place. This is where my roots are. I live many years in the states and left my heart in South Carolina. Wish I could divide my self in two places but Panama its one of a kind place. Generally feel safe and there is always something new to discover.

  4. Susan Spice Rogers Reply

    Hi, Blanca – You were my "adopted big sister" at Andrews in 1963.

  5. I lived in Panama 1965 to 1969. My dad was stationed to Ft. Amador. We lived in the housing area Corazal and the canal was across the street from our quarters. Don't know how many times I had stood by the fence and yelled "Ahoy!" to the ships and waved like a fool to the people who were on board. I went to Diablo Heights Elementary school. Third grade thru 6th grade. Mrs White (3rd grade), Mrs. Anderson (4th), Mrs. Snyder (5th) and Mr. Garavanta for 6th grade. I was a girl scout and my mom was a troop leader as well. We went to church in Balboa. Our Sunday afternoons were usually spent climbing on the ruins of old Panama. We went to Santa Clara and Rio Mar beaches for our vacations and our yearly 2nd degree sunburns! I loved going to the Chinese fruit stands, going to the matinees at the post movie theater at Fort Clayton and Albrook AFB. We went to Kobe Beach to swim. Life in Panama was like no other place I have lived. From the guys who came around selling cases of bottled pop, to the maids who cleaned our houses and became our best friends, to the other Americans we met made Panama the number 1 place to live.

  6. Free crab hunting, free fishing-no license needed-no limit, free fruits if you knew where to get them including coconuts if you knew how to climb. The oceans, lakes & rivers, fun for the family. There's lots to love about my homeland/paradise.

  7. I'm back to Panama after more years than I can count living in Minnesota , I miss the good courteous drivers, the greetins when You show but Panam¡ is awesome! Every day is New and every week end is mor

  8. Iris Caridad Hurtado B. Reply

    thanks for this awesome article… I hope you keep enjoying the simple things in life as we do it here! Cheers!!

  9. Alfredo Chavarr­a Reply

    Are there a lot of young people moving from the US to Panama?

  10. Caira Martinez Reply

    Thank you for this article! I am so posting this on my FB wall to make my foreign friends jealous teehee!

  11. Javier I. Posso Dur¡n Reply

    Nice Article! I am from Panama and live here. Very glad to read the good comments from all of you that love this country as much as I do.

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