Reasons why people regret moving to Panama

The Top 8 Reasons why people regret moving to Panama | Panama Life Review

Reasons why people regret moving to Panama

Living in Panama offers a unique experience for those seeking adventure, culture and a laidback lifestyle. Known for its lush rainforests, pristine beaches and rich history, Panama is becoming an increasingly popular destination for expats looking to relocate to Central America. From the bustling capital city of Panama City to the small fishing villages scattered along both coasts, there are endless opportunities to explore and discover new adventures. Whether it’s hiking through national parks, surfing on world-class waves or indulging in delicious local cuisine, living in Panama provides a comfortable and affordable way of life that is hard to resist.

However, not everyone who moves to Panama ends up happy with their decision. In fact, there are quite a few reasons why people regret moving to Panama:


Many ex-pats have experienced frustration with the country’s bureaucracy. From obtaining residency visas to opening a bank account, getting a driver’s license, auto registration, internet installation, or even getting mail, navigating the paperwork and red tape in Panama can be a daunting task. It gets worse especially if one is a foreigner, the administration here has a problem with newcomers. It will get done, but your patience will be tested. In some instances, some ex-pats are still rejected for residency status due to bureaucratic errors or oversights.

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Frequent heavy rains

It often rains a couple of hours early in the evening or late in the day. While it does not rain all day and every day when it does it is always a heavy downpour. It rains the most in the months of October and November, and a little during the dry season (January to April). These downpours disrupt daily life when they last for hours at a time, or cause flash floods, landslides, and other hazards more so when become slippery and dangerous, making it difficult to get around by car or on foot.

Power outages are also common during these storms, which can be frustrating when trying to work or go about your daily routine. Another issue with frequent heavy rains in Panama is the potential damage they can cause. Homes and buildings may not be equipped to handle this much precipitation, leading to leaks and flooding inside.

Reasons why people regret moving to Panama

Panama Administration is rude and unfriendly!

With the bureaucracy and red tape in this country, you can imagine what to expect of the administration. Long wait times and inefficient processes can make even simple tasks feel like an insurmountable challenge. Follow-ups are a nightmare! when you visit a government office seeking information or assistance, you will most likely encounter staff members who are indifferent and unresponsive. Most public offices, and private businesses alike, lack a customer service culture and you will often leave the office feeling ignored or even mistreated by staff.

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Frequent Tremors

Panama is located in a seismically active area known as the Ring of Fire. This means that earthquakes are common in the region. However, what many people don’t realize is that small tremors occur almost daily in Panama. While these tremors are usually not strong enough to cause damage, they can be felt by residents and can be quite unsettling. For those who have never experienced earthquakes or tremors before, it can be a scary experience. The ground shaking beneath your feet can feel like a threat to your safety and security.

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High poverty levels

Panama has considerable poverty levels though not as bad as some Central American and South American countries. Indian tribes are the most affected racial group because many are not skilled and only earn $ 20-$30 a day because most jobs that o not require specialized skills are low-wage jobs.


Water is a problem

Despite being surrounded by oceans and rivers, clean and safe water is not always readily available in Panama. The issue with water in Panama stems from inadequate infrastructure and pollution. Water connections in most cities and suburbs are done with cheap pipes which bust often which means you will have inconsistent or low water pressure or frequent water shortages. Due to this, some areas rely on wells or rainwater collection systems, which are not always reliable sources of clean drinking water. Additionally, industrial pollution and agricultural runoff have contaminated some of the country’s rivers and streams, making them unsafe to swim in or use for household purposes.

Reasons why people regret moving to Panama

High Humidity

Most people who move to Panama do so in search of a more relaxed or laid-back lifestyle. They’re drawn to the gorgeous natural surroundings and the friendly community of like-minded individuals. But when the humidity levels rise during certain times of the year (particularly during the rainy season), many newcomers find themselves struggling with health issues such as respiratory problems and skin irritation. The constant dampness also makes it difficult to keep homes clean and free of mould, leading to additional health concerns.

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Older generation; not ideal for raising kids and young adults

This may vary from city/suburb to city/suburb. I live in Boquete and the place has a considerably very low population of young kids or young families. This means fewer opportunities for children to socialize and make friends. The majority of the population comprises retirees, which makes it challenging for young families to find playmates for their kids. Additionally, schools in Boquete do not offer the same level of education as those in bigger cities like Panama City as they struggle with a shortage of teachers and resources. This raises concerns about children’s future prospects. Learn more about life in Panama.

On the positive side; check out these reviews

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The Bottom Line

In conclusion, while Panama may seem like an idyllic destination for retirement or a fresh start, moving to another country is a significant life decision that requires careful consideration and planning. Regrets about the move can arise due to unexpected challenges such as language barriers, cultural differences, and lack of community support. It’s important for anyone considering a move abroad to do their research and realistically assess their expectations before taking the leap. While some people may find happiness and fulfilment in Panama, others may experience regret and disappointment. Ultimately, it’s up to each individual to determine if the benefits of moving outweigh the potential pitfalls.

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