Last Sunday I had lunch here in Las Tablas with a group from the Panama Relocation Tours.
A lovely woman from Boquete, Jackie Lange, leads these tours, which help people from just about everywhere decide if Panama is right for them.
Jackie loads her group of 15 or so onto a giant, comfy, air conditioned bus and takes them to all the favorite settling places for gringos. In the Azuero, that includes Las Tablas.
One of the things her groups really appreciate is meeting local expats at each watering hole. At each stop, Jackie has a local person, like me, talk about their experience living there. Thus it was that I joined the group for lunch and opinions. Naturally, I had a lot of great things to say about Las Tablas and the Azuero.
And now I also have a lot of great things to say about Panama Relocation Tours. If you are considering a move here, taking a tour of the region with Jackie Lange might be one of your better ideas. She’ll have you speak with real people, not real estate agents. She has no axe to grind, and no interest to promote. This is strictly an unbiased “how it is” tour to help you decide whether Panama would be right for you.
Not everyone is suited to life here. For example, some people wilt in the intense heat and humidity of most of the country. Others find the general noise level not to their liking. Or the food doesn’t suit them. And so forth.
But those of us who love it here, really do. There are minor climate variations at different elevations, and except for in the City of Panama and in David, life seems a bit slower and more laid back than it was in the States. It’s easier, even if it is often (paradoxically) more difficult. Why? Perhaps because everyone is more relaxed here.
Jackie’s own home is in Boquete, which she loves as much as I love the Azuero. Boquete is at a higher elevation and gets the rain forest mist, which cools it off a bit when the rest of the country is cooking. Whether the Azuero, El Valle, or the City, or Boquete, or somewhere else is the right place for you, is something only you will know, and the tour is a great way to find out.
One word of warning – Jackie has an imitator somewhere in the Midwest who also call themselves Panama Relocation Tours, take your money and then skip town. You can read about that here. Make sure you are signing up with the correct tour group.
Otherwise, I won’t get to meet you when you visit Las Tablas!
BTW – no, I’m not getting paid in any way for this endorsement. It’s real. I happen to think Jackie is doing a really good thing.