Being from Vancouver, Canada, I ’ m used to seeing the Pacific Ocean every day. In my sphere of Panama City, though, I rarely catch a glimpse of it, let alone get the casual to dip my toes in the body of water .
Whenever the constant concrete of the city starts to get to me, I like to escape to the beach, normally heading to conversant and close-by Coronado. however, I recently went on an adventure… I got to know a different stretch of Panama ’ s Pacific beaches and was pleasantly surprised by what I found .
Chame is a placid alternate to Panama ’ s expat-populated City Beaches area, and it has a lot to offer… natural diversions ranging from white-sand beaches and kitesurfing to national parks and bird-watching to canyon-swimming and cliff-jumping.

Chame is both the name of the zone and the town. The district of Chame, separate of the Panama Oeste Province, comprises 353 square kilometer and 11 corregimientos ( or small towns ). These hamlets offer the ultimate relaxation—traditional, sleepy hamaca living—but for most expats, they are barely name on a map .
The town of Chame is inland. many fall through it on their way to the City Beaches area and don ’ t even realize they are entering a town. The good newsworthiness is this lack of concern means much cheaper real estate of the realm prices than in neighboring exile blistering spot Nueva Gorgona, for example.

After speaking to respective locals ( both Panamanian and exile ), I got the impression that there are three main population groups in Chame :

  • Middle-class locals and expats.
  • Weekenders from the city.

The last two categories are transeunt groups, perpetually coming and going, while the beginning is permanent wave. All three groups buy Chame ’ mho real estate. In particular, the exile contingent of the permanent population chooses Chame because it ’ s a quiet alternative to the big city .

Benefits Of Living In Chame

  • Real estate is cheap. It’s a buyer’s market, and owners who have had their houses on the market for years will accept far less than what they paid for (especially for cash offers)—great if you’re a buyer and want a place to hang your hat.
  • Close to nature. Unless you opt to live in a manicured gated community, you’ll likely live surrounded by jungle and in the heart of outdoor activities such as hiking, bird-watching, surfing, fishing…
  • Small-town feel. The population of permanent residents is small and spread out. The isolation draws people together, and you’ll likely get to know everyone in your area if you participate in one of the community groups.
  • No traffic. Especially for those coming from Panama City, this is a huge draw.
  • Close enough to the city for major needs. The lack of entertainment options and certain amenities could likely go unnoticed with Panama City only an hour-or-so’s drive away.

Challenges Of Living Here

  • Not super kid-friendly. Your kids can enjoy the outdoors, but aside from a jiujitsu school, there are few team sports, organized leagues, or group extracurricular activities. One expat lamented the lack of daycares, pediatricians, and maternity wards.
  • Power outages. Power comes and goes without rhyme or reason.
  • Water struggles. Some areas struggle with water outages. Know what type of system you’re on before buying property.
  • Pollution. Seeing trash on roads and beaches is disappointing but part of life here.

Those cons aside, I was stunned and refreshed by the natural beauty of Chame. Lush rolling hillsides, white-sand beaches, the crashing waves of the Pacific… all good an hour and a half away from the capital.

Gaps To Be Filled

Chame is where you go to revel in nature… but you ’ vitamin d never know about its amazing natural attractions without talking to locals and getting viva-voce recommendations. No tourism infrastructure is in home, and nothing is advertised. In some ways, this is a effective thing : Panama hush has a opportunity to develop an ecotourism diligence the correct way and strike a balance between making the most of the natural world and conserving it .
person with the capital to start an ecotourism recourse or an outdoor-adventure company offer zip code lining, trekking, rock climb, rappelling, or glamping could do very good here.

And that ’ s not the only market niche that needs filling… One exile with a print business is busier than always simply because no one else in the area offers that service. A daycare or babysitting company is badly needed. In Punta Chame, low-cost accommodation for surfers and young people is lacking. A hostel or B & B could be a big seasonal worker occupation .
Sophia Titley