7 Ways to Rent in Bocas del Toro, Panama

The decision to move abroad and join the thousands of expats who are living in Bocas del Toro is an exciting adventure. It can also be a bit overwhelming.There are a million questions and many decisions to make before you actually find yourself living in your own tropical paradise. One of the biggest questions is housing. Where will we live?
Renting can be a good first option for those wanting to take their time finding a permanent place. It is also great if you only plan to stay a short time. Much like buying a home, finding a perfect rental can be even more complicated.
People are always asking me if I have any rentals and being a Real Estate agent sometimes I do come across them, however that is not my business. So I thought I would make a list for anyone looking to help them find a quality rental in Bocas del Toro.
1.Walk the streets
Come on down or if you are already in Bocas, one of the best ways to find a place is to stroll the streets around town (especially in the off season), looking for for rent signs (se aquilla). Check bulletin boards, grocery stores, restaurants, water taxi stations or the monthly newspaper the Bocas Breeze
(also online).  It's a great way to meet people and to rule out places that don't look appealing.
2. Check local web sites
A few examples are Viviun.com, Encuentra24.com, Craigslist for Bocas, or if you are a Facebook fan search groups like Bocas for Sale or Rent. Check often for new listings and reach out to old ones. You never know what you may be able to negotiate. In addition, you can post your own ad.  Someone may just have the perfect rental for you.
3. Read blogs
There are a number of local bloggers that provide a lead for you. An example is Retire Worldwide
4. Local newspapers
Bocas Breeze, El Visitante.
5. Ask around
In addition to asking friends of friends, try local Bocas forums, clubs and organizations ( Bocas Garden Club, BESO).  You could come across someone thinking about renting and stumble on to it before it hits the public sites.
6. Try a home exchange
Save a few bucks by looking at HomeExchange, Travex, Air B&B or other sites putting together folks who want to do a trade.
7. Last but not least, contact a professional
There are property managers who may have something or can scout something although you may have to pay a fee. Island Property Rentals or Bocas del Toro Realty Services are a couple that come to mind.

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