Living in Panama
Panama, which is often overlooked and overshadowed as a destination by Costa Rica to the north and Colombia to the south, is an ideal place for digital nomads to travel and work. Panama is one of the most digital nomad-friendly countries in Central America. Follow along as we discuss life as a digital nomad in Panama.
Navigating Life As a Digital Nomad in Panama
Generally a fairly safe country, as with anywhere else in the world, it is always a good idea to pay attention to your surroundings and don’t make yourself an easy target. As expected, petty crimes like theft and pickpocketing are more common in large cities but you will likely not have any problems if you pay attention and stay aware of your surroundings. Avoid walking alone at night and only use licensed taxis.
U.S. and Canadian citizens will only need their passports to travel to Panama. Upon arrival, travelers from the U.S. and Canada receive a 180-day tourist visa. With the U.S. Dollar being an official currency of Panama, and the exchange rate for the Dollar to the Panamanian Balboa is 1 to 1, it is certainly an easy country to visit in this regard and to live life as a digital nomad in Panama.
Credit cards can be used in most places in and near the city, but as you get farther away from the cities, cash becomes king. ATMs should not be hard to find but it is common for muggings and card skimming to happen near ATMs so as always, just pay attention. Taxis will not accept credit cards so expect to do most of your smaller transactions in cash while staying in Panama.
Connecting to The Outside World
WiFi is generally reliable and not hard to come by. As expected, in the cities it will be easier to find free WiFi. Every mall in Panama City has free internet, the WiFi cafe culture is present and many restaurants will have internet access available.
SIM cards are readily available in Panama. If you want, you can buy a prepaid SIM card before you even leave the airport, if not, then there are plenty of phone stores that are not hard to find. +Movil is the largest and most reliable cellular company in Panama. Claro is not far behind them. Offerings from Digicel and Tigo are cheaper and may suit your needs. As always, it is a good idea to research which provider will have the best signal in the places that you plan on staying.
Daily Life As a Digital Nomad In Panama
Panama City often referred to as the “Dubai of Latin America” is the most modern city in all of Central America. As a relatively cheap city, travelers can have a great experience here enjoying the shopping, nightlife, and restaurants. If you want to experience life in a large, modern city, then Panama City is a perfect option for life as a digital nomad in Panama.
The remote Santa Catalina offers phenomenal surfing in a laid-back beach town caressed by the jungle. San Francisco and Santa Fe deliver an authentic experience in the mountains of Panama. Isla Taboga gives an island experience with modern conveniences and comforts. Bocas Del Toro has an excellent reef for those wanting to spend some time underwater and a laid-back island life that attracts many travelers for extended stays.
With beaches, mountains, jungles, cities, solid internet infrastructure, good cellular coverage, general safety, and an easy process when traveling from the U.S. and Canada, Panama is a fantastic destination for living life as a Digital Nomad and who wants to do their work in Central America.