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Anne-Michelle Wand of United Country Bocas del Toro – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

There are three hardware stores in Bocas Del Toro. If you need paint, screws or you need light bulbs, you can go to any of these hardware stores and they have pretty much what you need. It is not always the quality that you want because a lot of it is imported from China.

There are small department stores here, too. One of the department stores is like Walmart. They sell shampoo and toilet paper or conditioners. These stores are not well organized like in the States. You have to go searching for what you want and need, and it might be in a totally unlikely place and not what you would think. So sometimes, you have to speak Spanish because often people behind the counter do not speak a lot of English. Sometimes they do but if they don't, you would have to be able to ask for what you want and they will find it for you, or you would look for an hour and would not find the thing you are looking for but it is there.

You might buy something in one store one time, you might go to the same store after two weeks, and they do not have it anymore. Sometimes another store will have that thing you are looking for. Therefore, often you have to go three or four stores to find everything you are looking for if you are looking for specific things.

JB Seligman of BUENA VISTA REALTY located in BOCAS DEL TORO, PANAMA – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Slippers on the beach – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe stores and shops and shopping in Bocas del Toro has gotten better. There are two different types of shopping. The Chinese have built lots of their local grocery stores. They sell basic food products and a lot of items that you would find in a regular supermarket in the United States. It’s not on the healthier or more gourmet side, but it’s more of the staples.

As far as shopping for women, all of a sudden there are lots more dress shops in Bocas del Toro. There are more jewelry and beachwear stores. It’s actually at a point where there are more things for shoppers to see.

There are no malls in Bocas del Toro. There is a Chinese three-story building that we call a mini Wal-Mart and is mostly filled with Chinese products. We just got a new appliance store in Bocas Town. If you are looking for name brand appliances, you have to either go to David or Panama City. The transport will bring what you buy back to you. It is easy to get things back to Bocas del Toro. We just had our first larger appliance store two weeks ago.

We have plenty of hardware stores. The Chinese own all hardware stores and there are about five of them right now.

You learn to work around the fact that Bocas del Toro is similar to a very small town in the United States. There’s not a lot here. What I do, and what a lot of us do in Bocas del Toro, is we have a Mailbox Etc. down here. There is lots of online shopping in Bocas del Toro.  Just the other day, I ordered a new pair of flip-flops. Less than a week later, I got them. Online shopping is very big in Bocas del Toro and you can pretty easily get everything delivered here. 
 
(Flip-flops and a beach towel on a sandy beach, pictured.)
monique born of Tesoro Escondido Eco Lodge and Cabinas – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Thankfully there are no malls in Bocas Town, and it is not what you would call a shopping destination. There are some sorts of malls, with merchandise often of dubious quality in the mainland town of Changuinola. Unless you have to go through it to go to, or are coming from, Costa Rica, Changuinola is far from worth the detour. The nearest malls are in the city of David, a 3.5 hour drive away. Panama City has a multitude of malls. There is practically nothing you cannot buy in Panama City.
 
Bocas Town has a variety of stores.  From Gourmet store, to several decent size supermarkets, you should be able to find most food items you are looking for. There are also 3 good hardware stores, and several gift shops.  Keep in mind however, that Bocas is a small Caribbean island, and does not, cannot, and should not, compete with the shopping opportunities of Panama City. You will however, find most of what you need, whether you live here, or are just vacationing.
 

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