If the pension you receive is not overly high and you are looking for economical communities in Panama City, you should consider living in El Carmen or San Francisco. These neighbourhoods offer reasonably priced properties, are safe and very nice to live in.
El Carmen is a well maintained residential area, that consists of both single-family houses and small condominium buildings.
In the center of El Carmen you find a beautiful park (Parque Benito Juárez) with mature trees, a fountain and a big playground for children.
El Carmen is centrally located (right next to El Cangrejo) and a walkable neighbourhood: Within walking distance you find supermarkets (e.g. Riba Smith), pharmacies, banks, cafes etc.
El Carmen is also home to several elite private schools, such as the Colegio Episcopal Panama.
Despite its central location within Panama City, traffic in El Carmen is limited, and it is a quiet area.
El Carmen can be accessed via the Transístmica or Vía España.
If you are looking for a reasonably priced condo in a central Panama City area, you should bear the San Francisco neighbourhood in mind. San Francisco is a central and very busy neighbourhood sprawled for several blocks east of the banking district. Three of Panama City’s major roadways run through the area: Vía Porras, Vía Israel and Calle 50 (Calle 50 kind of divides the neighbourhood into two parts). These roadways are also the busiest roads in Panama City, and traffic gets very annoying during rush hours. Once you get to know the area, however, you will find shortcuts and hidden side roads to get faster to your destination. The neighbourhood can be conveniently accessed via the Corredor Sur expressway or the major commercial roadway Vía España.
In San Francisco, that by the way does not look like San Francisco in California at all, you find all the amenities you need: many grocery stores (Super 99, Rey, Grand Deli Gourmet etc.), pharmacies, banks, a lot of excellent restaurants and bars, gyms, a high amount of car rental agencies, and a lot more. Moreover, the Multiplaza Mall is very close. You also find a lot of schools in San Francisco, including the Colegio de Panama, a European school, a French, an Italian, and a Montessori School. Furthermore, San Francisco is home to the Atlapa Convention Center, that regularly hosts international conventions and live entertainment.
In San Francisco you find a mix of old and new buildings. The older ones are located behind the Atlapa Convention Center and are about 8 to 12 years old. There are also a lot of new buildings in the area, that were inaugurated one or two years ago.
All in all, San Francisco is a great combination of modern conveniences, affordable homes, urban lifestyle, and green areas.
Other Economical Neighbourhoods
Other economical neighbourhoods in Panama City include Parque Lefevre, Bethania and El Dorado. These areas are cheap, however, I would not necessarily categorize them as top neighbourhoods for retirement. Parque Lefevre is not a walkable neighbourhood, and you do not find many amenities there. Moreover, during nighttime it is not recommendable to walk around by yourself. When I first came to Panama I lived in Parque Lefevre for three weeks. Only three weeks? Well, I just wanted to live in a walkable neighbourhood and closer to the city center. In Lefevre you cannot reach anything without a car, which can be really annoying- especially if you do not have one! The El Dorado district is the Chinese neighbourhood of the city with a mix of residential, commercial and even industrial areas. This mainly low-income area gets a lot of traffic.
Areas in Panama City you should stay out of, especially at night, are: El Chorillo, Curundu, San Miguelito, Santa Ana, and Río Abajo. Poverty and crime rates in these neighbourhoods are high.gg
If you have any questions on a specific neighbourhood or need more information, please leave a comment in the section below, and I will look into it for you.
This blog was written after an interview with Juan Severino (REMAX Central, S.A), a very nice real estate agent, who answered all the questions I had. If you are looking for property in Panama City, Juan will be delighted to help you find your dream apartment or house! To contact Juan, visit the REMAX website, write him an e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org) or call him at 507-300-0099. His office is located in Obarrio’s banking district in the Torre Advance (oficina 10-B). Juan Severino speaks English fluently (he lived in the U.S. for 30 years) and knows, since he grew up here, every corner of Panama City.
About The Author
Ines is the Pro-Blogger for Panama City, Panama. Her role is to connect people who are currently living in Panama City, and provide unbiased information for people who are considering Panama as a retirement destination. Learn how YOU can become the Pro-Blogger for YOUR community!