In the fall of 2017, my husband I travelled from Northern Ontario, Canada to Boquete, Panama for almost a month stay. We were exploring the opportunity of living abroad in Boquete, Panama for an extended period of time.
Boquete, Panama, a beautiful quaint town of 20,000 people is located in the province of Chiriqui, Panama is located 3900 feet above sea level. It is a 35-minute drive up the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range from David (pronounced Daveed), Panama’s second-largest city and 37 miles from the Costa Rico border. David is the capital of the Province of Chiriqui, with 150,000 people and a major airport.
Post Office in Boquet, Panama
Boquete is in the lush green rain forest mountain highlands on the Caldera River and surrounded by agriculture. Most of it is coffee plantations but there are vegetables, fruit, dairy, and meat farms too. Chickens and roosters run around everywhere in this third world country that is predominately a Spanish speaking Catholic country.
This situation has been solved somewhat with a few company’s setting up delivery services using a US address and bulk shipping to Boquete but it still takes a long time.
Food, for the most part, is fairly plain. Corn, rice fish, and chicken are the staples. BUT you will find many, many different coffee brands and they are all very good. Baked goods are not good because the flour is different.
8. Coffee, coffee, and more coffee
Coffee fincas, which is defined as farm, ranch or plantation, are very prevalent in Panama, especially in the western mountainous areas. The worlds number one coffee at all the big worldwide coffee competitions comes from this area. It is called “Geisha”.
There are numerous very good speciality coffee here and each has its own nuances and flavours.
9. Get your “calm” on
The one thing that is very evident in Panama is the laid back, in no rush lifestyle. Nothing moves fast. You will often hear people asking when they can expect an answer or a service to be completed or even when a project will be done and the response is “manana”. This means tomorrow but tomorrow could be the next day, or three days or longer. It is not definitive at all and makes you get your “calm” on because that is the lifestyle. That certainly helped us relax and enjoy life more.
We are now back to Canada
When I started this blog we were in the middle of returning to Canada. As I mentioned above the cost of the exchange on our money was getting to be prohibitive. We decided to not waste more money.
Would I ever go back to Panama? Most definitely. It is a beautiful third world country with fabulous people and traditions, beautiful beaches and countrysides, hiking trails and interesting creations of nature to visit and don’t forget the fresh fruit, vegetables, meat and poultry.
We left with 4 large suitcases, a personal bag each and carry-on each and returned with the same.
We were given a bed, linens, some basic dishes and table with chairs. We have purchased a few things like a television and a comfy chair.
I am not in a rush to acquire “stuff” just to have it nor am I willing to spend a lot of furniture and such.
Watch for how I decorate and acquire the basics over the next couple of months to a year. Would love to hear your ideas and suggestions.
Let me know in comments if you think you could go live in another country for a time and experience everyday life there.