Mountain Locations

Breathtaking views abound in Panama’s mountain towns

One of the most amazing things about this country is the ability to get from the city high rises to the sandy beaches and even high up into one of the mountain towns in an hour’s time or less. In Panama, you’ve got the best of all worlds right at  your backdoor. 

Panama, for the most part is hot, plain and simple. It’s the tropics, so that’s to be expected. However, don’t think for a moment that warm weather is all this country has to offer. This is a place where you can live out your retirement at a higher elevation, where average temperatures stay around 70 degrees Fahrenheit, and quite often it’s downright cold.

The mountains near El Valle de Anton

A friend of mine, from Finland, once told me about his attempt to climb Volcan Baru, a dormant volcano in the country’s interior. He and his buddy threw on some shorts, a T-shirt, brought their climbing gear, and set out for the top of the mountain. They weren’t worried about their sporty summer attire. As my friend puts it, they both kind of laughed and thought, “Hey, I’m from Finland. How cold could it possibly be?” As they climbed higher and higher the temperature got cooler and cooler. It wasn’t until they reached the top of the mountain, where they planned to camp out for the night, that they realized the mistake they’d made. It was freezing. “It was one of the most uncomfortable nights of my life,” explained my Finnish pal.

On the back roads of Volcan 

I’ve been all over this country, and to me, it doesn’t get any better than the mountain areas. The views are fantastic and I’m a fan of cool weather. And the best part is, you get somewhat frigid temperatures, but nothing a jacket won’t take care of. You don’t have to deal with the snow like in so many other countries. It’s not a concern here. In a home in Boquete, friends of mine said they sleep with the windows open some nights just to enjoy the cool weather, but oftentimes they have to close the windows, and sometimes even go as far as lighting the fireplace.

In El Valle de Anton, a valley town surrounded by mountains, locals spend most evenings dining at outdoor restaurants. When I visited there with my wife, we hadn’t thought to bring a jacket. So there we sat, me loving life and my wife shivering through the entire dinner. 

In Cerro Azul, a gated mountain community right outside of Panama City, you’d swear there was a major storm coming every night. The wind blows through the trees creating a powerful, yet soothing howl, that gave me goosebumps. Standing out on the porch of the Ginger House Bed & Breakfast, I could truly feel nature all around me.

On the road to Nancito

To me, life in the mountains is where it’s at. I love it. And what I appreciate most about the higher elevation towns here is the close proximity to everything else. So an escape to the beach can be only thirty minutes away. With so many mountain towns available, some super secluded hideaways and some more popular hangouts, it’s important to find what feels right to you (and to me). Come with me as I search for the best mountain retirement and tourist havens in Panama.

Check the links under the PFR location reports, and under mountain locations, or just click on the name of the town you’d like to read about below. And don’t forget to check back often as we’ll be adding new reports, either in the city, beach, mountain, or other locations monthly.

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Below, you’ll find links to all of our “mountain location” reports. Click on the links below to be taken directly to the corresponding report or video:

Volcan – Written Report 

Volcan – Video

Cerro Azul – Written Report

Cerro Azul – Video

Cerro Punta – Written Report

Cerro Punta – Video


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8 Responsesso far.

  1. Allen Bishop says:

    Hey Chris – Still waiting to read/view your El Valle report! You have some additional requests above from fans. Seems like you’ve been busy with other matters lately – home, family; I can believe it! Allen

  2. Ian says:

    Just forgot to add that Volcan has at at lest one church that has english/spanish that is called casa de luz and the batist church has a english translator that will sit with you if you do not understand spanish and translate to you. Hope this helps anyone looking for sunday worship. The pastor also speaks english.

  3. Ross Blankert says:

    I live in Los Naranjos near Boquete in Chiriquí Province in the mountains. This used to be a sleepy little town but now is a tourist trap. I say I live in paradise and I did not even have to die to get here. The city of Boquete is in the Land of the Eternal Spring. It just means the weather here is amazing. The people could not be more friendly and it is a great place to retire. But learn Spanish if you plan to retire here. It will be fun for you.

    • Chris says:

      Hey Ross,

      Thanks so much for checking out the site. And I’m glad you mentioned Boquete. I’ll definitely be headed that way soon. I can’t wait to report on that area!


  4. Hi Chris!
    Only because your website’s information on how to get a Panamanian license for the first time is going to save my bacon, will I share with you the little-spoken-of mountain town that may be the best of all…Santa Fe, Veraguas. We moved in here in January and love it. Alto de Piedra is right up the road, too.
    BTW, I’ve started a blog ( that is just a fun narration of our adventures here.
    Thanks for putting together such a nice and FREE website. I’m getting tired of the nickel-and-diming so many other sites attempt when offering vital information.

    • Chris says:

      Hey Michael,

      Thanks so much for checking out the site. I hope the process for getting your license goes smoothly. I’ve heard of Santa Fe, but have never had the chance to visit. I’m really looking forward to it. I love mountain towns and I’ve heard Santa Fe is beautiful. I’m gonna check out your blog right now. Thanks again for checking out the site and sharing your info!


  5. Janine Sullivan says:

    You should add a review of Altos del Maria, in the mountains over Coronado/Bejuco!

    • Chris says:

      Hey Janine,

      I definitely will. I’ve been to many of the mountain towns and communities, but I’m dying to check out Altos del Maria. That one’s definitely on the 2014 list.

      Thanks for your comment,


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