Retire in Casco Viejo, Panama

Retire in Casco Viejo, Panama

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If you are a city dweller and would like to retire in a more metropolitan area, you might want to retire in Casco Viejo, Panama.  Panama City’s old town, Casa Viejo is an pocket of the old world just south of the new.   The town has dozens of beautifully preserved historic buildings and homes.   It is now ‘the cool part of town’ to live while undergoing a major facelift.  The old Spanish Colonial buildings are being upgraded with modern amenities while restoring their historic appeal.   There are still areas under construction, but you can see the promise of the renovation in the buildings that have already been restored.  

A great walking town with charming alleyways, flowers, colorful buildings and port that will charm the socks off you.   The 3 story old buildings with iron-work balconies reminded me of the French Quarter in New Orleans.  A lot of tourists visit this area and it is considered one of the safest communities in Panama.  There are several parks in the area with jogging and bike trails, basketball courts and an outdoor gym.

By day, the center of the town has a relaxing square with cafes, fine dining, museums, shops and galleries.  At night, the place comes alive with music and walkers who are out enjoying the evening. 

Casco Viejo has good drinking water,  dependable power, high-speed internet, cable TV and most anything else you want.  Local fishermen bring fresh seafood right to the docks at the entrance of the city.     They serve the very best coffee in Panama! 

All this comes at a price, but far less than you would expect to pay in other cities.   You can find one bedroom apartments for between $1300 and $1500  U.S. a month, and the monthly food bill for two people is $400. Utilities including internet packages are $300.  Everything else (medications, transportation, etc.) is really inexpensive.   A local expat told us he and his wife live in Casco Viejo on $2,700 a month and still put money in savings. 

When you make your first trip to Panama, you will probably land in Panama City.  Before you leave, make sure you at least visit Casco Viejo.   See why so many expats have picked this as their home!    Did I tell you about the fabulous coffee?

Photo By Ana Freitas via

Zoom in and out on the map below to see roads and attractions.





Michael is a retired, single, world traveler who enjoys being outdoors, a good pint of beer or glass of wine, and museums.