Explore Panama City’s Best Up-And-Coming Neighborhoods!
An ever-increasing number of real estate investors and expats from across the world are coming to Panama to invest, work and build a life. Panama is an excellent destination due to several factors, including its booming economy, welcoming business environment, breathtakingly diverse landscapes and beaches, and a vibrant cultural history. Its capitol, Panama City offers residents and travelers a unique blend of modern metropolitan life and natural beauty, creating a truly unforgettable experience when living there. With ever more investors flocking to the country, Panama’s real estate market is booming, and new neighborhoods and developments are being built at record rates.
In this article, we will take a closer look at Panama City’s best neighborhoods to keep in mind when looking to invest into real estate in Panama. These areas offer a variety of advantages, from convenient locations and proximity to public services, to affordable properties and attractive amenities. Whether you’re planning to invest in rental properties, purchase a second home or even relocate to Panama permanently, the following neighborhoods have a lot to offer:
Costa Del Este – Perfect For Businesses, Expats & Families
Costa del Este is a modern and well-developed coastal area, located in the eastern part of Panama City and is an emerging hub for local and international businesses that are opening their offices and manufacturing there. Costa del Este also keeps attracting many families and expats – this may be due to its strong English-speaking community and generally quieter lifestyle when compared to downtown PTY.
Costa del Este has great infrastructure and is connected to the city center by the Corredor Sur, just five driving minutes away from Panama City’s center. Being located near Tocumen Airport also makes Costa del Este an attractive destination for travelers that want to enjoy a vibrant city life and at the same time have more privacy and mobility – with its growing business district, many public services and recreational activities, Costa del Este is perfect for those who want to work and live in the same area.
A large amount of apartment buildings in Costa del Este is modern and high-end, featuring state-of-the-art amenities and interior design – new development projects are being built at record rates, as Costa del Este is gaining further popularity among locals and international investors alike. When living in one of the newer developments, you also have access to fully equpipped gyms, restaurants, pool decks and sometimes even spa areas!
The potential for future growth in Costa del Este is immense, and it continues to be one of the most attractive areas of Panama. Its location, high-end apartment complexes and its expanding business district make it a popular choice for many expats and young professionals. Also being the location of some of Panama’s best international private schools makes Costa del Este the go-to for many families.
El Cangrejo – Enjoy Panama City’s Metropolitan Life!
El Cangrejo is located right in the center of Panama City’s metropolitan area and its popularity has dramatically risen in recent years – this may be due to its unique architectural style, colorful street art and a wide variety of shops, restaurants, and bars that create a unique and charming environment. The neighborhood is also among the most diversely populated in the entire city, with a blend of Panamanian locals, international expats and tourists living and working in the area side by side.
Just like for some other areas in this list, El Cangrejo’s location is a key factor for its attractiveness – the area is just a few walking minutes away from the city’s main business district and also offers a handful of green spaces and parks for recreational time. El Cangrejo really is a comfortable place to live for anyone from businesspeople to families alike.
When looking at real estate options to choose from, El Cangrejo offers a wide selection of residential buildings, featuring everything from high-rise apartment complexes to standalone townhouses. The area is known for its competitive rental prices and comparatively affordable properties for sale as well – a popular choice for young working families and expats!
Overall, El Cangrejo is considered a friendly and exciting neighborhood that offers a unique mix between urban life and cultural diversity. With its key location, colorful blend of residents, as well as its more affordable real estate market, El Cangrejo is generally said to be one of the best choices for people looking to live life to its fullest in the heart of Panama City.
Marbella – The Perfect Location For Convenience
Marbella is centrally located in the Bella Vista district and is a highly sought after neighborhood, just like El Cangrejo and Costa del Este. The area is popular for its strategic location and access to public infrastructure, stunning views of the Pacific Ocean, and its proximity to some of Panama City’s top attractions as well as the city center. Marbella is perfect for professionals, families, and retirees who value living in convenience, luxury and comfort at the same time.
One of the main factors driving Marbella’s popularity is its prime location – and its ambitious high-rise building projects, of course! Marbella is situated just a few blocks away from Panama’s main financial districts, meaning it is an ideal choice for professionals who work in the area and want to live directly nearby. Additionally, Marbella is home to several shopping centers, such as the famous Soho Mall and the Multiplaza Pacific Mall, as well as a wide range of top-rated restaurants and bars.
In terms of real estate opportunities, Marbella has a wide range of condos to offer that suit different budgets and will definetely satisfy your personal preferences – there are multiple ambitious apartment complexes and towers in the area, giving you incredible views of the city skyline as well as the Pacific Ocean! One of the most talked-about development projects in the area are the Wanders&Yoo Towers that provide residents with a true feeling of luxury and modern convenience.
The neighborhood is home to several parks, green- and recreational areas, including the beautiful Urraca Park, which has numerous walking trails, gardens and even playgrounds for children. In addition to that, Marbella homes several cultural institutions, for example the Panama Museum of Art as well as the Panama Canal Museum – for those who enjoy the outdoors, there are a handful of beaches within comfortable driving distance of Marbella, such as the popular Veracruz Beach.
Obarrio – The Heart Of Downtown Panama City
In the heart of Panama City, near El Cangrejo and San Francisco, is the neighborhood called Obarrio. It is located in the Bella Vista district (just like Marbella) and is only a stones-throw away from the financial center of Panama. Obarrio is one of the most popular, young and dynamic neighborhoods in the city, offering a mix of commercial and residential buildings – it is an ideal place for those who are planning to live and work in one of Panama City’s most vibrant centrally located areas.
The main reason behind Obarrio’s popularity as an up-and-coming neighborhood is its convenient central location and its family-friendly athmosphere. It is a prime location for both residential and commercial purposes, with easy access to your work, some shopping centers and entertainment venues. It is an amazing choice for young workers and families, as its central location gives Obarrio’s residents direct access to many public services, including several schools and hospitals.
Just like many other neighborhoods in Panama, Obarrio offers a wide selection of real estate investment options for many different budgets. Especially middle-income individuals are drawn to Obarrio, as it offers affordable 2- and 3-bedroom apartments. For more apartment options in Obarrio, feel free to contact us anytime! Our real estate professionals will gladly show you around the area.
Obarrio has a wide range of amenities and different attractions to offer – there are several parks and green spaces in the area, including the Andres Bello Park, which is a lovely place for outdoor activities such as jogging or walking. Additionally, the neighborhood is home to several popular restaurants, bars and coffee shops, making Obarrio a great place for nightlife and culinary experiences! Some of the most popular restaurants in Obarrio include Barrio Pizza, Lume Bistro, and The Market Kitchen.
San Francisco – Always Well Connected
San Francisco is one of the best connected areas in Panama City, bordered by Obarrio to the east and Punta Pacifica to the south. It is popular for its easy access to various parts of the city as well as some great building projects, apartment complexes, townhouses and more!
San Francisco has earned its status as one of the most popular neighborhoods in Panama City due to its close proximity to some of the metropolis’ most important and key areas, for example the financial and banking district as well as the popular shopping area of Via Argentina. San Francisco’s real estate market has also undergone some significant changes in recent years, with new residential developments and commercial buildings being constructed by the day.
San Francisco is a highly demanded area for both buying and renting real estate – the neighborhood is home to a unique mix of high-rise apartment complexes as well as low-rise homes and townhouses, offering a wide range of investment options for locals and expats alike. While San Francisco is one of the more pricy areas in the city (between 2,000 – 3,000 USD per square meter for a fully developed apartment), it is still comparatively cheap when looking at Western Europe or the United States.
Further than that, San Francisco also has several amenities and attractions that make it a desirable place to live: The neighborhood is home to several large shopping centers, including the Multiplaza Mall and the more price-friendly Street Mall, as well as a wide selection of restaurants and bars, offering both local and international cuisine. There are several parks and green spaces in the area, such as Parque Omar – it is a popular location for outdoor activities and events, especially for young people.
Punta Pacifica – Businessmen’s Dream
Punta Pacifica is an exclusive oceanfront neighborhood located near the center of Panama City, adjacent to the iconic Avenida Balboa. It is best known for its luxury real estate options and modern high-rise buildings that offer breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean as well as the Panama Bay and is home to some of Panama’s most prestigious hotels. Punta Pacifica’s prime location, world-class amenities and high-quality real estate developments truly make it one of Panama City’s most attractive and sought after neighborhoods.
The real estate market in Punta Pacifica is highly competitive, with property values and rental rates among the highest in the city. The area is characterized by numerous modern high-rise buildings, upscale condos and luxury apartments, which provide residents with top-notch amenities and services around the clock. There are also some townhouses available on market, granting residents even higher living standards and quiet comfort at home.
Besides its luxury real estate market, Punta Pacifica provides a handful of unqiue attractions and public places that truly make it a desirable neighborhood to live in. Punta Pacifica is also known for its high-end shopping malls, multiple world-class restaurants, as well as its vibrant nightlife scene due to some of Panama’s best casinos and hotels like Marriott that attract wealthy foreigners to the area. The nearby Punta Pacifica Hospital that is affiliated with Johns Hopkins Medicine International, is one of the best hospitals in all Central America!
Punta Pacifica is a clean and well-maintained neighborhood, and most buildings are equipped with modern amenities such as swimming pools, gyms, as well as 24/7 security. Overall, Punta Pacifica presents itself to be the perfect location for international businesspeople, expats and wealthy travelers. For all available real estate options in the area, feel free to contact us anytime!
Casco Viejo – Panama City’s Cultural Powerhouse
Casco Viejo, sometimes referred to as Panama City’s Old Town, is a district rich in history. It is known for its charming colonial-style architecture, narrow streets with colorful buildings, as well as lovely historic sites, including various churches and monuments. It is located right on Panama’s Pacific Coast and visitors enjoy incredible views of the ocean and city skyline. Casco Viejo has also experienced extensive revitalization efforts over the past, becoming one of Panama City’s most culturally diverse districts to live in.
Over the past decade, Casco Viejo has attracted lots of new businesses, luxury hotel brands and international embassies. This has led to a sharp increase in property values, making it one of the most sought-after neighborhoods to invest in Panama. Additionally, its proximity to the government district makes it a convenient location for those working in government-related jobs.
The restoration and redevelopment of Casco Viejo’s historic structures and apartment buildings – which have been rebuilt into upscale apartments, boutique hotels, and even restaurants – is the area’s major real estate goal. Property values per square meter are among of the highest in Panama City, this is due to the lack of room for new constructions, some regulatory restrictions and the need for restoration of old buildings. As Casco Viejo is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, new building projects will be kept at a minimum in order to protect its beauty and historic character.
Casco also features a vibrant nightlife with lots of trendy bars, nightclubs and restaurants, as well as a number of art galleries and some boutique shops – it is the perfect place for young & creative people and those interested in history & culture. The Cinta Costera park nearby also offers a walking and biking path with incredible views of the city skyline as well as the Pacific Ocean!
Santa Maria – Living On Another Level
Santa Maria is a rapidly growing, wealthy neighborhood located in the heart of Panama City. It is a gated community with several luxurious high-rise apartment buildings and townhouses that offer stunning views of the city skyline as well as the Santa Maria Golf Course. The neighborhood has quickly become a popular choice for wealthy families, expats, and professionals from across the globe – this is due to Santa Maria’s overall safety, proximity to the city’s main business districts, as well as its upscale way of life!
One of the key features that make Santa Maria a great neighborhood is its level of safety that residents can enjoy – the community is gated and has 24-hour security, making it a safe and secure place to live. This factor alone is a major advantage for families with young children who want a safe and peaceful environment to call their home.
Santa Maria is also strategically located close to several of Panama City’s main business districts, for example Costa del Este and San Francisco. This makes the community an ideal location for those who work in these areas and want to enjoy a convenient and stress-free way of living near their work. Additionally, the neighborhood has easy access to the Tocumen International Airport, meaning it is a great choice for international businesspeople and other frequent travelers!
Santa Maria boasts several recreational activities and exciting amenities, making it a great neighborhood for residents to live, work, and relax – all at the same place! The Santa Maria Golf & Country Club is a major attraction, offering a world-class golfing experience and other sports activities for its residents and paying visitors. The community also has its own shopping center, several restaurants and cafes that offer a wide array of culinary experiences – as well as some green spaces, parks as well as recreational and sports activities for families with children.
So, What’s The Best Area To Live In Panama City?
Panama City has a variety of different up-and-coming neighborhoods, each offering their own unique characteristics and benefits for homeowners and investors. From beachfront living in Punta Pacifica and the historic charm and cultural heritage of Casco Viejo, to the modern convenience of Costa del Este and Santa Maria, each neighborhood has something special to present. Marbella and Obarrio also have their own character and set of advantages, such as their central location and vibrant city life. There are also areas that didn’t make it into this list, for example Coco del Mar and Punta Paitilla – these areas also hold very exciting opportunities for investing, and you can always find more listings here!
Which area to choose then, all depends upon your personal needs and preferences. If you want to enjoy absolute security and luxury and have the budget to finance it, living in the gated community of Santa Maria is probably the way to go. For professionals in the financial or legal sector that want to be at the center of metropolitan and business life at all times, areas like Punta Pacifica, Costa del Este and San Francisco make the most sense. But again, it all depends on your personal preferences and budget!
As a professional real estate company & network based in Panama, Panacrypto is dedicated to helping you both identify and purchase your dream home or investment property – with ease! Our experienced agents have extensive knowledge of the local and national real estate market with all its unique different locations and can provide you personalized showings of each neighborhood and their respective properties to help you make the best-informed decision. No matter if you’re looking for a luxury penthouse or condo near the beach or a spacious family home in the city, our team will help you find the perfect property to meet and even exceed your standards!
We want to encourage readers that are interested in exploring these neighborhoods further to always reach out to our team at Panacrypto! We are always happy to share our expertise and provide guidance on the best neighborhoods and properties based on your needs and budget.