David for Expats
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David Guide for Expats: Everything you need to know

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2023 David Guide for Expats

We are going to cover the what living in David, Panama is like. We’ll also look at some of the factors you need to take into account before choosing. Read on if you want to learn more about David’s services or if you are considering relocating here.

About David, Panama

David, the second-largest city in Panama, is home to around 140,000 permanent residents. The Pacific Ocean is just a few kilometers away, while the border with Costa Rica is 50 kilometers away. The city is situated along the Pan-American Highway in the western province of Chiriqu.

The agricultural and animal industries of Western Panama are centered around David. Numerous institutions, universities, and government agencies are located in the city.

David’s main business is tourism, and the city serves as a well-liked entry point for those interested in exploring the surrounding area.

Travelers are catered to by a number of hotels and restaurants, and numerous tour companies provide excursions into the adjacent highlands and jungles. With its abundance of stores, establishments, and shopping centers, David is also a significant commercial hub.

With several private hospitals and sizable state institutions, David serves as the region’s healthcare hub.

What is living in David like? The good and the bad.

Panama’s David is a fascinating city. For many individuals in Panama, particularly the expats, it is either a love or hate relationship.

We will first consider the benefits and drawbacks of residing in David before delving more thoroughly into each of them.

The Good about living in David

Throughout the year, it is hot.
– Low cost of living compared to the rest of the world and Panama.
– Excellent, inexpensive healthcare
Excellent facilities, particularly for foreigners
neighborhood safety
– Optional private schools for children of expats
to the beach in a short drive

The Bad about living in David

– Year-round heat

– Less developed infrastructure than in North America
Crazy traffic

Not the greatest beaches for swimming

– Not the “Big City” vibe some would anticipate
Increasing violence in certain city neighborhoods

Climate in David, Panama

The typical temperature in David, which ranges from 21 degrees Celsius at night to 32 degrees Celsius during the day, is tropical and humid. Throughout the year, these temperatures remain rather constant. At 70 to 90%, the humidity is quite high.

Along the Pan-American Highway is the David Terrazas commercial area.
The city receives some precipitation on about 140 days each year during the rainy season, which normally lasts from May to November. David does, however, also go through a dry period from December to April. The city gets fewer than 50 millimeters of rain each month throughout this season.

Let’s discuss the heat. People either love it or detest it.

Therefore, if you want to live somewhere with a warm, humid environment, David could be the place for you.

Living expenses in David, Panama

David is a fair price. There are many different housing choices available in the city, and you may discover homes and flats for rent beginning as $300 per month.

Additionally, real estate is affordable, with condominiums beginning at $100,000 and mansions at $150,000.

Local dinners in David cost around $5 per person, making them quite inexpensive.

The cost of your home’s water, garbage, gas, internet, and mobile phone service will be less than $100 each month in David. Depending on how much you use the air conditioner, your electricity bill will increase.

Buses start at 25 cents, while taxis may be taken everywhere in the city for about $1 and $4.

Overall, David, Panama, has a relatively low cost of living, making it a fantastic choice for individuals on a tight budget.


David offers all the facilities you might want if you want to live there since it is a full-sized city.

The immigration office for Western Panama is located in David, therefore there is no need to go to Panama City to complete your immigration.

Additionally, there are offices where you may pay your speeding fines, which are also quite reasonably priced in Panama, and for your driver’s license.

Everything you might possibly need in terms of shopping is there, from little stores and services to huge malls in the North American fashion.

Zapatilla Island Climate Panama

You may locate huge North American-style grocery shops as well as a Do-It-Center (Ace Hardware) for those little household chores. Even a PriceMart (Costco) is there and well-liked by foreign nationals.

However, keep in mind that the best place to buy fruit, vegetables, and seafood in Panama if you want to save money is in the open markets.

Medical services in David, Panama

In David, Panama, there is decent healthcare. In David, the majority of private healthcare facilities are up to date and functional. They provide first-rate treatment for various medical conditions.

Living in the central business district of David, Panama
You may utilize David’s large public hospitals as well. Doctor appointments start at 50 cents in the public system, while specialist consultations cost $5. Less than $100 will cover the cost of a small accident resulting in a broken arm, and less than $200 will cover the cost of surgery for a hernia.

The costs shown above may seem outrageous, yet there are some disadvantages. The public healthcare system is not the greatest since it lacks funding, people, equipment, and drugs.

Excellent private healthcare is available in Panama, and there are several insurance plans to choose from.

Some expats like having global insurance coverage. Compare the prices offered by different companies for foreign health insurance to ensure you are getting the greatest value.

David, Panama’s educational system

One of the key goals for younger expat families migrating to Panama is to locate their children appropriate private international schools. David has that to give.

Some of the greatest private schools in the nation are located in David. Numerous of these institutions have competitive academic programs, extracurricular activities, and athletic programs. At a private school in David, the typical class size is small, allowing teachers to provide each student more focused attention.

At general, student-to-teacher ratios in private schools are lower than those in public ones. As a result, there are more chances for pupils to get assistance and direction from their teachers. Additionally, pupils have an edge in their education since private schools often have greater resources than public ones.

In David, there are a number of schools, including the American School and the Oxford School. David’s private schools demand tuition, but many parents believe the cost is justified by the high quality of education their kids will get. Given that the whole public education system is in Spanish, it is also the sole alternative to homeschooling.

Infrustructure in David, Panama

In recent years, Panama’s infrastructure has seen significant growth, especially in the city of David.

A new airport has been built for the city, and several roads have been upgraded. A new, sizable, North American-style retail center is building, there have been recent improvements to hospitals and colleges, and a new baseball stadium is already finished.

The police force might be better equipped and trained, and the public transit system is ineffective.

Safety in David, Panama

A nice neighborhood is a safe place to live, according to David. It is a city, however, and all cities have poorer neighborhoods and greater crime rates.

Although there are certain parts of David you should stay away from, for the most part you can get by as long as you apply common sense, don’t show off your money, and take safety measures like never going alone at night in sketchy neighborhoods.

The Panamanian government has been putting a lot of effort into enhancing city security, and they have seen results. There are more cameras and security guards in public locations, and the police force has been expanded and improved.

Even with all of these precautions, crime may still be an issue in David. Reports of robberies, muggings, and even killings have been made. It’s mostly gang-related.

If you want to settle in David, consult a dependable real estate agent or relocation specialist for assistance in locating a secure area.

The David Beaches

We must discuss the beach as you are relocating to the tropics.

The Pacific Ocean is just a few kilometers from David; a 15-minute drive will get you to Playa La Barqueta.

This beach features black volcanic sand and is around 20 kilometers long. Due to the currents, swimming in the waters is not advised unless you are really experienced.

This is not the beach to go to if you want to leap into the water. You’ve come to the correct area if you’re seeking for quiet walks along a beach and the sounds and fragrances of the ocean.

Additionally, the real estate prices are excellent. With coastal quarter-acre properties selling for $50,000 and three-bedroom, big condominiums for $200,000.

Conclusions on living in David
You could might like living in David, Panama. It is understandable why this tiny city is becoming more well-known given its pleasant temperature, affordable cost of living, and wealth of attractions. The infrastructure is improving, and the healthcare is excellent.

If you’re considering moving to David, please do further study and arrange a visit to experience what this city has to offer expatriates just like you! Do you still have concerns about relocating to David or retiring? If you have any, kindly post them below.