Boquete : Panama


What It Is Like to Retire in Boquete

Beautiful Boquete in the Central American country of Panama is a hotspot for retirement for good reason. At an elevation of 3,200 feet it has a year round spring-like perfect climate, lush green hills and coffee beans to spare. A nicely developed downtown remains the center of Boquete, offering several grocery stores, restaurants, and shops.

The town is easily walkable, and several trails take walkers up into the hills to breathtaking waterfalls, and even to hikes with glimpses of the famed elusive quetzal. Twenty-one kilometers away from the town is Volcan Barú, the highest point in Panama (11,400 feet). Within a two hour drive is the Parque Internacional La Amistad (The International Friendship Park), a park connecting 407,000 hectares shared between Costa Rica and Panama. Here you can see pumas, ocelots, tapirs and jaguars in one of the most successful efforts at cooperative conservation in the world. Both parks offer world class birdwatching opportunities. The raging rivers also provide opportunities for rafting and kayaking. Several outfitters are set up to help you take to the water. Pacific beaches are approximately a 1 to 1 1/2 hrs drive and Carribean beaches are 1 1/2 hrs. Finally, there is currently a nine hole golf course in the area, with a new 18 holer in development.

Boquete is also famous for its coffee beans, fruit and flowers. At Café Ruiz, java enthusiasts can sip their cappuccino while looking out one window at coffee trees, and out the other to see the roasting facilities. Flowers flourish in the climate, and gardeners will enjoy experimenting with new species. Aerial photos and one of the volcano courtesy of Wikipedia and FranHogan under Licensed under CC BY-SA 4.0/

Where to Retire in Boquete and Home Prices

While the cost of a home in the area has increased due to its high popularity, the daily cost of living remains quite low. Commerce is made easier because there is no need to convert currency; Panamanians use the dollar. Panama also offers a more secure place to invest compared with other Central America countries. Boquete is a very safe town, and property rights are secure.

What Is Special about Boquete

Fortune Magazine selected Boquete as one of the top places in the world to retire. It has a stable government, low cost of living, great weather, and fabulous scenery.

What Is Not Special about Boquete

Boquete has had very damaging heavy rains in the past. If you don't  like living in the 3rd world, Boquete won't be for you. There is no hospital in Boquete.

Who Will Like Retirement in Boquete

While most Boquete residents are Panamanians, the community of international retirees is strong and growing. There are over 3,000 foreigners permanently living in Boquete from over 30 different countries. Groups can often be found meeting over smoothies from the nicest breakfast owner you will ever meet, muffins from the muffin lady, or a glass of red wine at the Parisian cafe. The wonderful climate, friendly Panamians, security and beautiful surroundings make it a great retirement choice.

Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and expatriates, many of them retirees, drive the local economy. Agriculture is also contributes, with coffee being an important crop.

Climate and Physical Environment

Boquete is in Chiriqui Province in Western Panama one hour north of one of Panama's transportation hubs. During the rainy season from September through January, days are typically clear in the mornings and drizzly after lunch. The temperature is stable year round with averages between the 60s through 70s.

Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are a multitude of restaurants to choose from in Boquete of all price ranges and tastes. RetroGusto gets many favorable reviews on TripAdvisor, as does Morton's Bakehouse. Most culture relates to the great out of doors.


Crime is low to moderate in Boquete, with most of it being of a petty nature. Violent crime is rare.

Medical Facilities

A big disadvantage of the town is that has no overnight medical facilities, only clinics. The nearest hospitals are in David, which has two.


There are plentiful and inexpensive taxis, plus some local bus service. The nearest airport to Boquete is David (DAV) Airport which is 43.3 km away. David is an hour flight from Panama City. Miami to Panama City flights take about three hours.

Valuable Links

While many Panamanians do speak English, a few key phrases are appreciated by locals and make daily life easier. The town houses an excellent Spanish language school with inexpensive rates. The school can also help to set up volunteer projects with local youth.

What people are saying about Boquete

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