Agree with Jaime Daniel and disagree with the realtors. Crime in Boquete has increased significantly over the last 5 years, Compared to large urban areas the crime rate may be minor, however when considering the fact Boquete used to be an idyllic mountain retreat and is now becoming an armed fortress, some consideration should be taken to what is being said. The mayor has installed numerous security cameras around the municipal buildings and in strategic other locations. A police roadblock has been set up at the entrance to the district and soon a permanent guard gate will be erected in the same spot, in hopes of cutting down on criminals coming into the area from surrounding towns. Unfortunately, it seems to just be bothering law abiding residents and doing nothing to curb criminal activity. Just today another expat was shot following a mid-day armed home invasion by 3 youths. These incidences seem to be occurring monthly according to the local grapevine. The perpetrators are doing bodily harm and even murder without cause in most instances. Despite a lack of resistance on the part of the victims, the juveniles are stabbing and shooting elderly foreigners just for the notoriety of it. What is maddening about this, besides the obvious, is the secrecy being maintained by local business and government officials who want to avoid any blights to tourism efforts. There is actually more criminal activity occurring than what is being published.
Also, within the past year, a local businessman out of Los Molinos has been granted a license to take investors and tourists on helicopter rides over the mountains. These helicopter rides are occurring multiple times a day, and due to the surrounding mountains, the noise from the choppers is magnified down into the valley and town below. Boquete, instead of sounding like a mountain retreat, sounds more like a poor airport suburb every day. People continue to spill into the area, however, and costs of staples as well as rents and property values have skyrocketed. For the same rents one can find in retirement areas such as a Sun City, you get a lot less in Boquete. The local hospital doesn't possess a heart defibrillator and the one ambulance in town is reserved for car accidents and such, so you can't consider it a resource for a critical illness or heart attack emergency care. If you aren't able to survive an hour's ride to the nearest city hospital, you will probably die. Realtors who have a vested interest in attracting people to Boquete will most likely mention the new hospital being constructed in Alto Boquete, but it's a long way from finished and even then, the staffing and medication stock and available equipment remains in question. Two years ago I dislocated a shoulder from a fall and there was no a working xray machine in Boquete. The local doctor refused to treat me without an xray, so I had to find someone to drive me an hour into the nearest city, vomitting in pain, before I was treated.
Boquete isn't a paradise. It's a place to live, like any other. It is scenic and still somewhat rural, but that is changing fast. The weather is temperate, but It rains 8 months of the year, and during the 4 month dry season it has stiff winds and drizzly fog. Crime is decreasing slightly in some of the bigger cities in Panama, but it is significantly increasing in Boquete and other provincial towns.