PFR Written Location Reports

You’ve found the Panama For Real Location Reports

Well, I’ve been where you are, I’ve worn those shoes and I’ve fretted over whether or not moving to what many people still call a third-world country was right for not only me, but for my family. I can tell you that not all of it will be easy, and this drastic change in lifestyle isn’t for everyone, but if it works out for you, it can end up being one of the most rewarding actions you’ve ever taken.

The Cinta Costera in Panama City

Here in the PFR Location Reports, my team and I (my wife and kids, ha!) will take you on journeys, through the written word, and raw amateur videos (hopefully they’ll become a lot more professional as we gain experience) into the heart of every province, town, and neighborhood this country has to offer. I’ve been to over 15 towns in the interior of this country and every place in Panama City. Using what I’ve already learned, I’m going to re-visit each of the places I’ve already been to, and keep going, with plans to set my sneakers down on the dirt and asphalt of every vacation hotspot, potential retirement haven, and hidden gem Panama has to offer.

Greetings from El Valle de Anton

I want to do this for free. I want to give this information to you, my potential expat friends and adventure-bound buddies, with no strings attached.

All I ask of you is the following:

  • Be patient as I do my best to knock out a new report every month.
  • Help us spread the word. Traveling isn’t cheap and popularity brings advertisers to the site.
  • Participate. Leave comments, check the site often, contact us with questions, tips, advice, and requests.
  • Let us know what areas you’re interested in.
  • Remember, these are my opinions on what it’s like to live and play in the different places around Panama. Do your own due diligence.
  • Also, remember this is free info. If you don’t agree with me, I respect your opinion, but what you’ll read here is how I see it. I’m doing my best here.

All that said, please enjoy all that we have to offer. Play around with the menu at the top of the screen, check out the blogs, and let’s make this PFR project all it can be. If you want to contact us you can either use the contact form in the top menu or just shoot us an email. You can reach me at and my wife, Marlene, at

Thanks for checking us out.   

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28 Responsesso far.

  1. Marilynne Pryor says:


    I am planning an exploratory trip to Panama and if all checks out, I will relocate in early 2017. While I am of retirement age, I am not inclined to retire and will be looking for opportunities. Have been getting the IL info but don’t want to spend $$$$ on tours with large numbers of people. However, do see the wisdom of having some guidance. Can you give e some recommendations? FYI: I have travelled and lived in many places over the years, so I am always open to new adventures.

    You can check me out on LinkedIn.


    Marilynne Pryor

  2. Robert Echevarria says:

    Info on boquete ty.

  3. Narciso Bassanellii says:

    Estimado Chris: supongo que el leer las fechas de mis mensajes me eximirá de otro comentario. Quiero creer que estás enfermo o fuera del país. Caso contrario me cabe sospechar que no atiendes tu blog como corresponde.
    Finalmente, si no te agrada mi comentario, paciencia hermano, es a lo que te arriesgas.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Narciso,

      I apologize that I don’t speak Spanish. I’m sorry it has taken me so long to reply to your messages. I’ve been very busy with my day job here in Panama and I plan to get back into Panama for Real very soon. Unfortunately, I don’t have any additional info on Cerro Azul at this time. I just wanted to reply so that you know I do appreciate your comment and all the messages you sent. Thank you.


  4. Deb G. says:

    Loved the bits about paying bills!! Somehow charming and very funny stories – All the information has been very specific and helpful so far. My husband and I will be visiting Panama in August for a look-see as possible retirement location.

  5. Narciso Bassanellii says:

    Estimado Chris: te he dejado un par de comentarios y algunas preguntas y sólo encuentro la famosa leyenda ” esperando moderación”
    Sigo guardando y leyendo tu interesante blog

  6. Narciso Bassanellii says:

    Estimado Chris: todo mi agradecimiento por tu tarea, la que me parece de imprescindible lectura para quienes hemos decidido radicarnos en Panamá, en mi caso,apenas concrete la venta de mi casa en Uruguay.
    Como pregunta personal, que opinas de la idea de vivir en Cerro Azul, lo más alto posible, y viajar todos los días de lunes a viernes a trabajar a Panamá. Hay aluna estación de metro a la salida de Cerro Azul?
    Seguiré leyendo tu interesante blog.
    Abrazos y mis respetos a tu esposa.

  7. Douglas Ramirez says:

    Hi Cris, nice web page.
    im moving to Panama soon. What place do you recomend for a Family with 02 kids. My kids like play baseball !!!

  8. Leny Prabhu says:

    Thank you for all the well documented material.
    Which is closer to panama city please> El Valley or cerro Azul?

  9. Chuck Biggins says:

    Hi Chris,
    I just booked my flight & hotel in Panama City for April 8th – 16th.
    Attending the International Living event regarding moving to Panama for retirement. I hope I.L. is legit, I have been receiving their literature for several years, so not completely spur of the moment. lol
    I just found your nice blog by Google, Metro from PTY to Doubletree Hilton. Thank you for the very fine work, I assume it is not complete to PTY.
    I will be looking for things to do after the 11th in P.C. & day trips.
    Thank you,

  10. Brian says:

    Hi Chris, I stumbled upon your website while doing my due diligence with my staff. We are looking at Panama for temporary stays and business development. Great points made. Looks like Coranado has everything for a family as well. The fact we speak spanish fluently it will help us get settled in soon.

    Thanks again for your videos!!


  11. Michael Allamon says:

    thanks for all the info. the wife & I are looking hard at Panama for retirement

  12. Richard says:

    It would be more helpful if you said how hot and cold (yea right cold) it gets in the areas you visited. There are many people who can’t stand the heat. Like David it can get very hot or Boquete it’s like spring all year round. So that would give them a heads up about the weather.
    I love your Blog and keep up the good work.
    Great info.
    I plan on retiring in the Chiriquí area.
    I was in Panama last April and plan on going again I hope in May.
    Hey where do you live maybe we could meet and have a beer
    Take care my friend

    • Chris says:

      Hey Richard,

      You’re absolutely right. That’s great info to have handy. I try to mention the weather, but to be honest, in most places I visit, the weather is just plain hot and humid. That’s Panama. It is the tropics haha. When I visit a place like Volcan or Cerro Punta or Cerro Azul, I definitely mention how cool the weather is. I’d like to retire in Chiriqui someday myself. Right now I live in Panama City, but I’m itchin’ to get out of here and into the interior. I’d love a slower pace. I’m always up for a beer (when I’m able to escape work, lol).

      Thanks again, Richard.


  13. Renee says:

    Where is the driest climate in Panama? We have lived on the Nicoya Peninsula in CR and loved it. It was warmer and drier than the southeast US where we’re from. We can deal with the rainy season as long as it doesn’t last too long.

    • Chris says:

      Hi Renee,

      They say the southeastern part of the Azuero Peninsula is the driest, around Chitre, Las Tablas, and Pedasi. I’ve heard that’s just a fairy tale, but I visited there a few times during rainy season and it has never rained while I was in the area, so I think there may be some truth to it. You definitely want to stay away from Panama City as it rains almost every day during the rainy season. Thanks for checking out the site and for commenting.


  14. Mary says:

    Great site Chris, glad to find it. Rob Brown from PanamaHelpline/Neighbors Helping Neighbors sent the Coronado video link out today and I’m so glad he did. I love how you are doing things, thanks.

  15. Phil W says:

    Like Cris I’ve been spending too much time here but it’s great info.
    We are looking to come down for 3 months to get a feel for life in Panama
    When are you going to do a report from El Valle de Anton it looks like a good place to explore Panama from and I have been looking at rentals there.
    Thanks, Phil

    • Chris says:

      Thanks Phil, for checking out the site and for commenting. I’ll definitely be doing El Valle soon, and yes, if you can find a place to rent there (which is sometimes hard to do) it can be a great place to explore Panama from. I can’t wait to go back to El Valle and report on it, so we’ll definitely be headed there as soon as possible.

      Thanks again,


      • Allen Bishop says:

        Chris, if you can convince your family to depart the city, you couldn’t find a better location than El Valle! There’s some urgency in this case, as I’m afraid that a whole lot of people, native and gringo would agree with me, and real estate prices are going to reflect this trend. Rentals are limited in number, and the monthly dues reflect this. Where else in all of Panama can you find a street named “Avenida des Millionares”? Third World no more! I really look forward to your report on El Valle. Allen

        • Chris says:

          You’re scaring me, Allen, lol. I want to get out of the city, but I don’t imagine Marlene will be ready to move the family to El Valle anytime soon. I wish though! I think El Valle will be my next location report. I can’t wait to get back there again. I’m ready for a cool evening.


  16. Cris Poulson says:

    OK, burned up way too much time on your site. Want to retire early and doing so in a less expensive place like Panama will allow the $ to last longer. Enjoyed your writeup on the mountain towns. Beach sounds fun, but I’d prefer the altitude and an occasional drive to the coast.
    I’ll be back soon.

    PS – how do I go about convincing my wife?

    • Chris says:

      Hey Cris,

      Thanks so much for commenting, haha, and for burning so much time on the site. I love that! I wish I could tell you how to convince your wife. I live here and I’m still trying to convince mine to leave the city. If you like the altitude, but want to be near the beach, you should probably look into the community of Altos del Maria (not really a town, more like a gated mountain community…kind of like Cerro Azul). One couple I met living there loves it because the wife likes the mountain living and the husband is a surfer so he needs to be near the beach. El Valle de Anton is another great place that’s not too far from the city. I’ll cover both of these awesome locations soon. I can’t wait for 2014 so I can get started on new journeys, write new reports, and record some new videos. Thanks again, Cris, for checking out the site and for getting involved with your comment.

      • Mike, S. Oregon USA says:

        After 24+ years of dealing with all the BS here in the states, I and the wife are getting soooooooo ready for what Panama can offer us in a retirement;and what perhaps we can do for Panama. Getting OUT in 6 years or so.

        To Cris Poulson,

        Got the wife on board with reading several expat and books regarding making the escape abroad to Panama. Brouse Amazon for many potential inspirational readings to aquire (I could suggest a few practical ones myself)and get to know the material….then say “you know honey, i’ve been thinking for a while now….”. Get her into the idea and possibilities as well, read up and get inspired! Don’t just brush the idea aside, and give the discussion some time to open up and inspire both of you.

        Move slowly & inspire!

  17. Mike Carlson says:


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