Panama for retirees - Pedasi

Panama for Retirees: 7 Reasons Pedasí Is The Ideal Destination

For several years in a row, the Republic of Panama has ranked No. 1 in Gallup’s Global Well-Being Index and named as one of the top-rated destinations to retire.

The capital city of Panama for retirees remains a good destination. The City has a modern infrastructure and plenty of restaurants and entertainment. With that, we have seen the cost of living in Panama City increase over the past few years. For those who still want to enjoy the benefits of retiring in Panama, there may be a good alternative: Pedasi.

Up until a few years ago, Pedasi was another sleepy little town in the Isthmus of Panama. Pedasi is a four and half hour drive from Panama City. Here you will find locals sitting outside their houses, chatting, and watching the world go by. You will also find surfers from all over the world who practice their craft in one of the best surf spots in the region. 

What type of people will you find here? Couples and families from the United States, Europe, and Canada! All who enjoy a simple, yet comfortable life in a thriving community surrounded by nature.

So what makes Pedasi so interesting? And what makes this small town in the Azuero Peninsula a great destination for retirees? Here are our top 7 reasons why Pedasi is the ideal destination for retirees. Panama for retirees

1. Atmosphere in Pedasi 

Though Pedasi has been growing in the past few years, this fishing town hasn’t lost its charm. The serenity of this little town is very different from the hustle and bustle of Panama City. The atmosphere is laid-back and people are warm and friendly.

Pedasi is one of Panama’s most traditional towns. Here you will be able to many folkloric celebrations throughout the year. The area is popular amongst both locals and foreigners. 150 expats permanently reside in Pedasi and another 150 spend part of the year here.

2. Amenities and Facilities

Pedasi has seen a rise in foreign investment as well as in young people, families, and retirees calling Pedasi their new home. As a result, new hotels, restaurants, bars, bakeries, and other amenities have been emerging and facilities are improving.

 More services and amenities are becoming available in Pedasi. However, the town has luckily kept its original character and charm. Since Pedasi is a small town and amenities such as supermarkets, restaurants, and bars are located within a few mile radius.

You will also find that biking is an easy way to get around. Many retirees living in Pedasi leave their car behind. Unless they need to go to bigger cities such as Las Tablas or Chitre. Panama for retirees

3. Safety in Pedasi

Panama is known for being one of the safest countries in Latin America. Pedasi happens to be one of the safest places to live, with crime levels that are lower than in the rest of the country.

For this reason, it doesn’t take long to notice the strong sense of community in this small town. Or to see that Pedasi is the kind of place where people still look after each other. This is what makes Pedasi a pleasant and safe place for families and retirees to live.

4. Climate

Panama City is characterized by a hot and humid climate. Foreigners often have a hard time adjusting to the city’s high temperatures and humidity. Luckily, the Azuero Peninsula, in which Pedasi is located, enjoys a drier, more favorable climate much of the year.

While rainy season runs from May to December, this season is often seen as a refreshing and welcome change in the region that is known as the “Arco Seco” or Dry Arc. Showers usually only last for a few hours at a time and you will still be able to enjoy temperatures between 24° and 34° Celsius (75° to 93° F).

5. Activities in Pedasi

While Pedasi is a small town, the area offers a plethora of activities. The Azuero region is known for its spectacular Pacific beaches. You can even go whale watching and turtle watching.

 The idyllic and protected island Isla Iguana, for example, is only a short boat trip from Pedasi. It is also one of Panama’s most popular surf beaches.

Playa Venao is only a 30-minute drive. Playa Venao is also perfect for those who enjoy hiking or fishing. You won’t be disappointed with the ‘tuna coast’ of Panama. Panama for retirees

 For those who wish to connect with other retirees, expats, and locals, there are many community activities and community groups. There are book groups, animal advocacy groups, a tourism chamber, golf lessons, a proper gym, Zumba, Pilates, fishing clubs, and more. This means you can be as busy or as “not busy” as you’d like in Pedasi!

6. Real Estate in Pedasi/Property prices

Pedasi has gained popularity in the last five years. However, property prices remain attractive and are lower than in other popular cities and beach towns in Panama.

Simple, charming, comfortable 2-bedrooms houses in or close to the city center can easily be in the low $100,000s. Rental prices for a 2-bedroom range anywhere between $500 and $1200.

7. Cost of Living in Pedasi

One of the main reasons Pedasi is popular among retirees is the cost of living. Retiring in Pedasi will allow you to enjoy a comfortable lifestyle for a cost of living that is vastly lower than the United States or Europe.

Giving an accurate estimation of the required budget for a (retired) couple is difficult, as this very much depends on the kind of lifestyle you have. The good thing about Pedasi is that there are many places where you can find local food and meals that can be as cheap as $4. But, you also find a variety of American and European restaurants where you can have dinner for $10 – $25 dollar p.p.

Utilities are low, as well as transportation in Pedasi. Overall, prices in Pedasi are fairly low especially in comparison to other cities in Panama. It is safe to say that a couple can live comfortably in Pedasi for about $1,500 to $2,000 per month.

8. Additional Benefits

The information below applies to all foreigners who are considering retiring in Panama. Yet it is not limited to those that are only interested in moving to Pedasi. Panama for retirees

In the Republic of Panama, it is relatively easy to obtain residency as a foreign retiree. Any foreigner can apply for the Programa de Pensionados in order to obtain a residence permit.

The Panamanian law states that any foreigner with retirement or pension income from either a foreign government, private company, or international institution can obtain a visa.

Alternatively, having enough income to take care of your expenses and your dependents, will make you eligible to obtain a visa under the Programa de Pensionado. The minimum monthly pension is $1,000 and it must be a lifetime pension. However, the minimum income accepted could be $750 per month, if the applicant proves that they have made property investment in Panama of at least $100,000

9. Panama For Retirees: Benefits List

Once you have joined the Pensionado Program and have obtained your residency, you will have access to a number of benefits. All discounts are available to both national and foreign retirees as shown below.
Retiree Benefit Discount
(incl. movies, concerts, sport events, theater)
Bus, boat, train fares 30%
International and domestic airlines 25%
Hotel stays 30% – 50%
Restaurants 15% – 25%
Doctor visits and surgery 10% – 20%
Closing costs for home loans 50%

In addition, foreign retirees are entitled to two major benefits :

  • A single tax exemption on the importation of household goods (up $ 10,000).
  • A tax exemption every two years on the importation or purchase of a car.

The benefits of the Program are significant and the process of applying is fairly easy, so it is certainly recommended for any foreign retiree who decides to come down to Panama to join the Pensionado Program.

Living in Pedasi

Overall, it can be said that there is plenty to like about this little treasure in the Azuero Peninsula.
The authentic, charming town of Pedasi boasts a diverse community and offers a warm and welcoming atmosphere.
Though small, Pedasi has a strong community and the region provides a plethora of outdoor activities from hiking to turtle watching and from surfing to whale watching.
You will find a nice range of restaurants that will increase as newcomers continue to drive demand for services and amenities.
Though Pedasi has gained popularity in the past couple of years, it is still relatively undiscovered, making it a great location for investment and an ideal retirement destination.
Few would argue that Pedasi is a beautiful, friendly, and fairly inexpensive place to retire and that now is a good time to find out what the buzz is all about.



  1. joseph sandor

    on said  

    Retirees, like me, are interested in medical facilities – are these not mentioned here for a reason?

    • Jonathan Clay

      on said  

      Hi Joseph,

      Check out this article:

      Unfortunately, the new Pedasi hospital has been understaffed and under-resourced since it was inaugurated several years ago. The best options in the area for medical care are in Las Tablas (30min drive) and Chitre (1hr drive) where there are private practice specialists and public hospitals equipped to handle up to about the tertiary level of care. Quaternary care will be found in Panama City.

      • Thomas Morgan

        on said  

        I am a young 64 y o active adventurer currently living near Gatlinburg, Tn. Have spent a good deal of my vacation time bare boat sailing in the Caribbean with my family or visiting several of the Caribbean Islands. I am 2-3 years away from full retirement. My S. O. & I are Planning to attend the International Living Conference in Panama City February 6-8 and stay in Panama until the 15th of February. We have started our research on Panama. Having difficulty finding a local travel agent to help us develop an itinerary, hotel plans, car rental, etc So far we are very interested in the Cerro Azul area and very , very interested in the Pedasi area.

        We might consider purchasing a home in one or both areas if they were very desirable rental properties.

        We have just begun to interview a few real estate agents. We welcome any honest firms known for their integrity to contact us.

        Thank you

        • Kent Davis

          on said  

          Happy New Year! I just reviewed your comment on our post “7 Reasons Pedasí Is the Ideal Destination for Retirees”. Thanks for reaching out to us and I’m glad to hear that you’ll be coming for a visit to Panama soon. I’m happy to connect you with a professional travel agent to help with the nuts and bolts of your trip in general.

          And as far as the Pedasi leg of your trip is concerned I’ve lived here in Pedasi for 6 years now and am happy to offer tips and suggestions as you need them. Sound good?

          All the best,
          Jonathan Clay

          • Hi, can you tell me if fast-ish and reliable internet service is available in Pedasi? Pedasi is one of the locations I’m looking into but I translate online so good internet is must. Thanks for any information you can provide!

  2. Jonathan Clay (PJ-0752-09)

    on said  

    Hi Dianne,

    500MB fiber optic internet service is available in many parts of town in Pedasi and Playa Venao, and that service is continually expanding. Where fiber optic is not available in town I believe the fastest package is 50MB. In general, the internet service in Pedasi is certainly more than fast enough for routine browsing, streaming, downloading, skyping, zooming, tik toking, whatever you need to do.

    • Hello Dianne, may I ask what type of translation do you do? My wife is an online stenographer providing closed captioning and we are relocationg to Panama withing the next 2 years. We will be traveling to Pedasi in March 2021 to test connectiveity.

      Team Panama Equity, how difficutly would it be to rent a house in town for 3 to 4 days with the fasted internet package? Is this something Panama Equity could help us locate or are we better off using traditional short term vacation rental sights. Thanks for the info.


  3. Hi, Kent,
    I recently found your Youtube channel so have been enjoying that. I live in Georgia and am preparing my life to move to Panama. I have spend hours studying the country and I’m pretty sure I want to settle in the Azuero Peninsula. I was leaning toward Las Tablos and Chitre, then the last few days I’m hearing about Pedasi. Then, this evening I heard you and your guest talking about it and found out that is where your company is located. I was so hoping I could get there before the end of Nov but that is pretty much not going to happen. My biggest hurdle is that I have two medium sized dogs and one cat so I have to find a house where they are welcome. They are well behaved pups and I am very strict about my house. They never run outside. I want a one or two bedroom house. I am not interested in an apt building. It seems like a lot of houses are located on a piece of land where someone has gone in and build a small cluster of homes. That is really interesting. I have said the only things I absolutely have to have is hot water, good reliable WIFI and a bus to get to the store, or stores close enough that I can walk. Anyway, it doesn’t look like your agency handles rentals but I am wondering if you can recommend a company
    that does. I would love to find something around $400 but can go a little higher if I have to. I also read that prices will go up in Dec but I’m wondering just how much difference that is going to make. I’m also wondering if it is really going to be difficult to even find a house after Nov.
    Any help or advise you can give me will be much appreciated.
    Barbara Shock


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