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Philip McGuigan of Chiriqui United, an Association of the leading humanitarian organizations in the Chiriqui Province of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Ambassador Farrar at Town Hall Meeting with American Citizens in Boquete, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingOn December 18, 2014 I posted a response on Best Places In The World To Retire regarding crime in Boquete.
At that time I noted that there was very little violent crime.
That changed in 2015.
In 2015 there was a significant uptick in violent crime, much of which involved underage young men who were under the direction and control of senior gang members in David.
The response by the Boquete community, individuals, and the Police has been very impressive.
The first response was a dramatic increase in the rise of community policing in a wide range of different neighborhoods through the deployment of walkie-talkie networks, community camera systems, and ad hoc WhatsApp texting networks (which include the Police).
Now suspicious cars and people are regularly photographed, reported, and even followed in vehicles.
There has also been a significantly improved Police presence throughout Boquete that provides an effective complement to the community anti-crime initiatives.
The arrival of Captain Juan Arauz in Boquete has marked a sea change in our relationship with the Police.
Captain Arauz is a consummate professional who frequently investigates crimes himself, even minor ones, leading by example and providing a commanding presence throughout the entire District of Boquete.
We have three new police trucks patrolling Boquete and patrols in the canyon communities of Alto Boquete are frequent, as is the interaction and cooperation between Boquete residents and the Police to combat crime.
The worst thing about living in Boquete in 2015 was the advent of violent gang related crime.
The best thing about living in Boquete in 2015 was the extraordinary cooperation among all members of the Boquete community and the Boquete Police in taking up the challenge in such an effective manner.
I am proud to be a Boquetanian.
 
(Ambassador Farrar at townhall meeting with American citizens in Boquete, Panama, pictured.)
Georgina Chanapi  of Lucero Homes, Golf & Country Club – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Lucero master plan in Boquete – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingIn Boquete, there are many good things. There is good food, good vegetables, and good people. People here in Boquete are more polite. You will find really good workers and have good communication with people since they do speak English. You rarely experience communication problems here in Boquete compared to what you would experience in Panama City or in other places where expats say they do not understand the people. 
 
The bad thing about living in Boquete could be the wind. Many expats do not like when it is too windy. They have to find a good location where they want to live. The rainy season is good for the plants and vegetables. The weather also depends on your location. In Alto Boquete, it could be very windy. They have almost hurricane force winds. In the Jamarillo area, you will not have the winds. So Boquete has a lot of micro-climates where some areas are windy and some are not. Some are rainier than others and some are not, so you have to be careful to choose the proper area. As an example, where Lucero is, it’s not very windy but in other places, it can be. 
 
If you want a good area, you should follow a golfer. A golfer doesn’t like winds, especially hurricane force winds. A golfer doesn’t like rain. That’s why they come here to Lucero (which has a golf course), because they don’t want to experience those things. Here in Lucero, even in the winter, you will see the sun shine. In the rainy season it may start to rain at around 1 PM to 2 PM. Wintertime here in Lucero is from November to October. In October, it starts to rain every morning and every afternoon, which is why many of our residents move for a couple of months. They go to other countries and come back because many of them do not like rain, since in the rain, they cannot play golf. 
 
Overall, if you want to live in a place with the best weather with the least amount of wind and the least amount of rain, buy near a golf course because that is where they put the golf courses. I learned that here in Boquete. Golfers do not like the wind because, if it’s windy, how are they going to control the ball? 
 
(Pictured: Lucero master plan in Boquete, Panama.)
Vannessa Solano of Activentas, S.A. – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

If you love nature, you can do a lot of ecotourism in Boquete. You can go rappelling, horseback riding, or you can go to the river. Boquete is very rural in that sense although it is not like living in the jungle because there are also restaurants, bars, and supermarkets.
 
There are some disadvantages to living in Boquete. One is the mode of transportation for places that are a little far from downtown. Valle Escondido is one good example. Most expats live there and they need bikes, cars, or any kind of transportation so they can come to town. Another disadvantage is that because Boquete is small town, you do not have many choices of hotels, restaurants, or bars like you would if you lived  in Panama city. Also, the closest hospital to Boquete is in David, which is around 45 minutes away. 

Frank Stegmeier of Rio Encantado – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Boquete tree house interior view – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
My comments about the best things and the worst things about living and retiring in Boquete come from 20 years living in the Boquete area, plus running a tourist business and living with Panamanians.
 
Boquete tree house arial view – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingbThe worst thing about living in Boquete is that the service is bad.  Many times the attitude is that the customers are a interruption for the employees, so don’t expect to find what most of the First World offers in service.  Also, I should mention that the products we receive here in Boquete are often rejects sent to Third World markets.  These issues can cause a lot of frustration.
 
As for the best things about living in Boquete, well, that’s actually a hard choice.  To name just two, there are no property taxes, and you do experience much more freedom, like building my tree house right over the river.  Imagine what it would be like getting a permit for this in the States, Canada or Europe.
 
My advice to newcomers is to enjoy the good things about Boquete, don’t put your expectations too high for service and products.
Penny Barrett of Fundacion Bid 4 Bouquete – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
For me, the very best part of retiring to Panama is meeting the wide, divergent group of expats who have also chosen this adventure.
 
I think it is self-evident that the type of person who chooses to leave the comfort of their home country will tend to be more adventurous than average.
 
The population of expats around Boquete is a totally diverse group but they all share this exploratory factor. They are curious and adventurous and most come with intriguing back stories.
Sonia Jones of The Haven Hotel and Health Spa, Boquete, Chiriqui, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The best thing for me here in Boquete is the temperature; not cold, not hot, and the clean fresh mountain air. The worst thing ..... umm. The effort it takes to get to Europe.  However, things are changing as the International airport in David is now finished and will open soon. This means we will not have to travel to Panama City, making traveling quicker and easier for everyone whether going from Boquete to Canada, the USA or Europe.
Paul McBride – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
For me, the best thing about living in Boquete is the climate and the beautiful environment.  Having lived in the tropics for many years, I much prefer the cooler mountain temperatures over the hot and humid coastal areas.  If I have the need for warmer weather, I can jump in my car and drive just over an hour to the beach where the temperatures are always hotter.
 
The lush forests surrounding Boquete are some of the most spectacular in Panama.  Waking up every morning to the sound of a multitude of birds singing while the sun is streaming through the trees is an incredible way to start the day.
 
Boquete is a small town so it has enough grocery and other stores to cover our basic needs, making it very convenient.  There are enough activities to keep us busy (everything from small theater productions to golfing to enjoying a "spa day") and a variety of restaurants to enjoy.  All in all, the lifestyle we enjoy is one of the finest in Latin America.
 
However, even though the climate and beauty of the area is spectacular, one of the best reasons to live in Boquete is the community of people who live here.  From the warmth of the local Panamanians to the diversity of expats living here, it's the people who make Boquete such a special place to live.
 
The biggest downside to living in Boquete is the proximity of quality health care.  There are resident doctors in town but no real medical facilities.  For that you need to travel to David, the provincial capital city and a 40-minute drive from Boquete.  So, getting health care requires a trip to town.
 
The lifestyle we enjoy in Boquete is remarkable and there are few places in Panama that can match the natural beauty, climate and social activities that we enjoy as part of our every day lives.
Linda Jensen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Here's a video I just took walking around Boquete, Panama:
 
 
The worst problem for me living in Boquete is mail. Yep, mail. They do have a post office from which I sent my son a check and it arrived within 2.5 weeks. Another time it took 2 weeks to get a letter to him. It is not expensive, but then again it is not fast, either. They also tell you it can take from four to six weeks for mail to reach the USA address. Just information that might be important to have.
 
You can subscribe with Mail Boxes Etc. and pay a monthly fee plus whatever charges for the item you receive or ship. One lady I met recently said it is her highest bill every month. I think basic service is about $28 a month.
 
Airbox has a plan that is free ;you pay for the shipping when the item arrives.  We get letters from home (usually you can count on two weeks unless it is Fed Ex shipped and that is still  a week). So far we have had a couple of items lost for a while.  One showed up a month later. The other is totally lost. It would be nice to be compensated for lost things but not here. They are nice and both places accept DHL and Fed Ex.
 
The Tuesday Market is where people who are leaving for the states meet others needing something sent to the states. They work out a deal and it seems like most are happy with the arrangement. I sent my driver's license renewal back with friends that mailed it for me in the states. I got it back in less than a month.
 
I find that while most people here have had some kind of issues with the mail system, it is not bad enough to make anyone leave Boquete! You don't have street numbers and your address is likely to be something like, "the small brown house three doors down from the light post on what's its name street"! There are some peculiar addresses here for certain.
 
We have learned to tell cab drivers we need to go to La Lacha, which is the Hostel across the street but they all know where it is!
 
For anyone who has needs of sophisticated shopping venues; movie theaters, upscale dining and ambience, it is available Panama City; just not in Boquete.
 
This small town of up to 20,000 people has a large expat community, it has several nice restaurants and hotels but they are pricey. For most of us we enjoy being with the local people, enjoying their food and their adaptations of various American favorites.  There are bad sidewalks, many places are small and seem full of trip hazards but we are cautious and enjoy our visits to downtown. If you have a bad hip it might be a big adjustment walking in such difficult terrain. There are rocks, pot holes, uneven curbs, grates a cow could fall through and steps everywhere. That is the downside to this place, well and of course the prices are higher here from the influx of tourists and expats; simply put that is all that seems bad to us in Boquete.
 
Bill Hamilton of Bill Hamilton – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The best and worst things about living and retiring in Boquete depends on what you are looking for. The climate is much cooler and there is often more rain there too. Many gated communities and a lot of ex pats, mainly American. Many restaurants in the area and nice walks in the forests surrounding. There are also rivers for swimming and rafting. Some good bakeries, too. For shopping you really need to go to David (about 40 minutes away) for a big shop where there are larger supermarkets and many facilities.
 
Beaches are approximately a 40 minute drive away. There are new roads almost completed which makes access much easier from David and Volcan. If you like a tropical and warm climate then stay nearer the coast as, depending on the individual it can be a little chilly and rainy in Boquete. A good variety of birds but not a huge variety of animals.

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