This post is also available in: Spanish
Pedasí is Panama’s Retirement Secret. More foreigners are discovering the charms of the Azuero Peninsula and US News, a digital newspaper, has singled out Pedasi, in the Los Santos province, as one of Panama’s most authentic and charming small towns. Located at the southeast corner of Azuero, Pedasi is situated in a golden corner of this country, within a few minutes of hidden white-sand beaches and undiscovered rocky headlands.
Foreign retirees began discovering Pedasi about five years ago, and more people are taking up residence there part time or year-round. As a result, services and amenities are developing to support the emerging expat marketplace. There are small and medium-sized supermarkets, two bakeries, a dulceria (a Panamanian cake shop), several restaurants, bed and breakfasts and hotels. The region is primarily agricultural, and it is therefore possible to find high quality fresh produce of all kinds. In addition, Pedasi has a public health clinic, two banks, a public library and a small clothes shop selling surf and beach wear. You can get by day-to-day without traveling beyond the town’s borders.
However, for bigger shopping and to find more services, Chitré is just an hour away and offers the amenities of a medium-sized city, including several good hotels and a wide range of restaurants serving both local and good quality international food. Panama’s largest national supermarket chains have big outlets there, making it a good place to stock up on staples.
You are also just four to five hours away (depending on traffic) from Panama City, the biggest and most cosmopolitan city in Central America and a major shopping and banking center. In Pedasi, though, the big city seems very far away. This is the kind of small town where the locals sit outside their houses in rocking chairs and leave their doors open to the street. The old men still wear traditional leather sandals and black-and-white straw hats. Women of all ages wear embroidered white pollera dresses during festivals, especially the annual Carnival celebration, which is a big deal in this part of the country.
This is a wholesome, genuine and authentic place. It is the kind of place you might doubt still exists anywhere in the world and an ideal place to embrace a quiet, simple beach lifestyle in retirement, even on a modest budget. A couple could retire well here on as little as $1,750 per month, including $500 a month for the rental of a three-bedroom home.