Our first stop in our current travels has been Coronado. This is a well known beach front community with many expats, located about an hour southwest of Panama City.
I can see why expats would want to live here. It feels more like Florida than Panama to me. The homes are quite upscale, and there are large, modern condos right on the beach. Many of the locals speak at least some English so it would be much easier to manage if you don’t speak Spanish. The town itself is “private” and you have to pass the scrutiny of the guard at the gate to even enter the town. Once inside it’s fairly quiet with little traffic. We saw people using golf carts and small ATV’s to get around town. The roads are good and we haven’t heard complaints about infrastructure (reliable water, power, etc)
Nearby, on the Pan-American Highway, is a large shopping area with supermarkets, home improvements stores, banks, and probably everything you would need within a short drive. (We will be heading out to catch a bus soon so I’ll try and take a few photos of this area)
We spent quite a bit of time walking around town yesterday, and here are a few of the photos.
I’m very glad we could spend some time in Coronado because I’ve been curious about it for a long time. It’s not for me though, even if we could afford it. I really enjoy the typical, low key Panamanian life and you won’t find that in Coronado very much.
I spoke with one expat who has lived here with her family for 6 months and hasn’t learned any Spanish. She thought she would but found she rarely talks with anyone but other English speaking expats. She did tell me though that the expat community seems fairly peaceful and everyone seems to get along well. That isn’t always the case in expat communities so that was nice to hear.
So, this is just my impressions. As with anything, if it sounds interesting you have to come check it out for yourself and see how it feels to you before making any decisions!