My wife and I went to Panamá for four days to meet friends from the U.S. who retired and were thinking of moving. After crossing the border, we found them in David. That night we had three 12- inch pizzas, a few beers, and the women had Coca Cola (We took one pizza back to the hotel to share with the manager). Our bill including tip was $32.
The next day we set out for Boquete. Breakfast including coffee for four was $12, a delicious lunch that was almost too much to eat averaged $4.25 each, and an early dinner including drinks was $22. I failed to mention that I purchased running shoes for $89 that cost $122 two years ago in Costa Rica.
Saturday we stopped for drinks, snacks and beer to take to the beach. Panama beer was .50 cents, Coca Cola was 75 cents and snacks varied but they were all MUCH cheaper than Costa Rica. We had dinner at the beach. A dish of HUGE shrimp and two beers were $14.50. Gasoline was $3.79 while in Costa Rica it was the equivalent of $4.75, and the roads were without potholes.
I have hesitated to write this simply because I love Costa Rica so don’t tell me to love it or leave it. This is mi casa. But I am asking why 360 kilometers to the south the Panamanians can do it and we can’t. For us, our Tico family is here but if it weren’t for them, my Tica wife and I would move in a heartbeat. We felt safe and could probably save 20 to 40 percent in the cost of living.