An Emerging Pacific Coast Retirement Spot

This low-cost stretch of Panama coastline is beautiful and remote.


Until just a few years ago, the western-facing coast of Panama’s Azuero Peninsula, which boasts some of the most beautiful and pristine beaches you’ll find anywhere in the world, was difficult to access by car and, therefore, virtually unexplored. But this is changing.

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This Azuero frontier, in the province of Veraguas, is still sparsely settled. There's not a single city along this coast, only small towns, and services are few. What you do find here in abundance, however, are long stretches of stunning coastline backed by undulating green hills. Offshore is some of the best fishing in the world. All this beauty and all this privacy can be enjoyed on even an extremely modest budget. Forward-thinking and adventuresome retirees are beginning to pay attention.

Americans Gary and Karen Moseley discovered this Pacific coastal wonderland about 18 months ago. The Mosleys know that they want to be living on this western Azuero coast full-time. Their plan is to settle near the town of Torio. But, since they’re not quite ready for retirement, this 60-something couple is making their move to Azuero in stages.

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A year ago, Gary and Karen relocated from the East Coast of the U.S. to Panama City. From there they have made regular visits to Torio and the surrounding areas, making friends and connections. Through one of these contacts, the couple was alerted, three months ago, to a house in a small development available for rent. The fully furnished three-bedroom house, built to North American standards, sits on two oceanfront acres. The Pacific is just outside the back door. The rent is $200 a month. Now the couple divides their time between an apartment in Panama City and their beach house rental in Torio and continues to search for a place to be able to base themselves more fully on the coast.

Right now, because of the limited availability of some services, the western Azuero coast is a region for pioneers. Living here, you would have to do all your shopping in Santiago, about an hour away. Santiago is also the closest option for entertainment beyond fishing, hiking, and beach-combing. However, this region is blissfully removed from the worries of our age. With the sea breezes and comfortable year-round temperatures, the weather is certainly more pleasant than Panama City. This remote area has a magic about it that makes people want to return.

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While only the most adventuresome retiree might want to think about relocating here full-time today, this is the time to be looking at the area if you’d like to plan for a Pacific coast retirement within the next few years. There are great bargains to be found along this coast for rentals, the purchase of land, and the construction of a house. If you shop today, the Pacific coast retirement you’ve dreamed of about, but thought you’d never be able to afford, could be waiting for you.

Kathleen Peddicord is the founder of the Live and Invest Overseas publishing group. With more than 25 years experience covering this beat, Kathleen reports daily on current opportunities for living, retiring, and investing overseas in her free e-letter. Her book, How To Retire Overseas—Everything You Need To Know To Live Well Abroad For Less, was recently released by Penguin Books.