Photo Credit: TN
So You Want To Move To Panama? Here Are The Top Black Expat Destinations
If we know anything, it is that Black expats are ready to move to Panama in a heartbeat. The country has a vibe that is hard to ignore and extremely hard to beat. Whether you’re looking to relocate to a busy, international city or enjoy the plentiful wildlife or even experience the Caribbean, your options are vast. In this Travel Noire article we will break down the best Black Expat locations for your move to Panama.
What to know before you move to Panama:
Language: In Panama, you’ll typically hear Spanish as this is the official language of the country, however, depending on where you live you’ll also find English spoken as well as Creole – Guary Guary – and indigenous languages in various parts of this huge country.
Currency: US dollars are used in Panama but the official currency is the Panamanian Balboa.
Capital: Panama City is the capital city and where most of the international activity can be found.
Airports: Panama has several airports (officially over 100 in total), the biggest and principal ones are: Tocumen Airport (PTY) and Albrook “Marcos A. Gelabert” Airport (PAC) in Panama City and Bocas del Toro International Airport on Isla Colón (BOC).
Panama City is a favorite location for expats looking to enjoy the excitement of a flourishing Central American international city. The huge appeal is by far the ever-increasing amount of Black expats in the city. An additional bonus is surely that Casco Viejo is right there on your doorstep, shimmering with promise of Latin American nights out.
The traveler: Expect to enjoy Panama City if you’re relocating from a big city and would like an easeful transition to Latin America that feels slightly close to home. Panama City offers a cosmopolitan vibe complete an irresistible Central American charm.
Bocas del Toro
We’ll start by saying that Bocas del Toro isn’t referred to as paradise for no reason. Bocas del Toro offers Black expats craving that Caribbean island life exactly what they need. Bocas is made up of a few islands, each glorious in their own right, including Isla Colón and Isla Bastimentos. This is a much slower pace of life compared to the mainland so don’t expect to sense urgency in any aspect of life in Bocas. Enjoy the luxury of stillness and fresh fish dishes every day.
The traveler: You’re looking for pure, undisturbed chill vibes, obviously that’s why you chose the Caribbean side. You’re also looking to connect with the Caribbean diaspora and learn some Caribbean recipes. If you’re into small town island vibes and gorgeous (starfish) beaches then this will be a perfect new home.
Boasting cooler, fresher climates and a whole lot of hanging bridge hikes, Boquete is the favorite choice for lovers of Flora and Fauna. Boquete is one of the top destinations for the outdoorsy traveler and is a top expat location in Panama. Don’t get us wrong, the beaches in Panama are top tier and bucket-list worthy, but nobody talks about the sheer wildness that exists in Panama, cue Boquete.
The traveler: Hiking, climbing, rafting, arriving at hot springs Aside from this, Boquete is known for its cute culturally enriching town, its artisanal products, world-class coffee and impressive cuisine for all types of diets including vegans, vegetarians and gluten-free travelers.
Boquete is also known for being a great option for families and traveler looking to retreat into nature and wake up to the sounds of nature. It is also a well-known US expat location meaning, if this high-density expat vibe would bother you then maybe look elsewhere…
Nueva Gorgona / Coronado area
Nueva Gorgona/ Coronado is a popular area for beach-loving Black expats looking for a shameless life of coastal joy. Overlooking the Pacific ocean, it has become a beach-haven for sun-seeking expats who still like the amenities of their Western home countries. Guaranteed sun, surf spots, beach volleyball days and plentiful oceanfront restaurants is what to expect from this region.
The Traveler: Coronado is a popular gated beach area and is just an hour’s drive from Panama City. Coronado is often referred to as giving heavy Florida vibes. Nueva Gorgona is slightly less expensive with more affordable rental costs. Ultimately, this is a slightly higher-end experience in Panama with promise of gorgeous beach views and the capital city a short drive away for your big-city feels.
David is located in the Chiriquí province and is a top location for Black expats because of the easeful lifestyle. Abundant in residential areas, David is Panama’s third largest city so offers lots of variety on that front too. A pretty well-rounded city, David is where Black expats can enjoy local Panamanian food, international cuisine, nature and the quiet town. Consider it the laidback city spot in all of Panama.
The traveler: Travelers hoping to explore Panama are in luck, Boquete is a quick 30 minute ride from David and the coast is easy to get to (and offers some very impressive sunsets too).
David is also considered to be a top location for retiring expats. A combination of the affordability, diverse housing market and great weather makes it a go-to expat location.