Bocas del Toro in Panama provides investors and buyers with an alternative option to investing in the US mainland. But why would you?
For a start, there’s the lifestyle, with the area being similar to that of a Caribbean paradise but at a price point significantly less than more established locations. Boca del Toro offers tremendous value, and what would be considered a luxury home elsewhere, can be bought at very attractive prices. Then there’s the flourishing community of foreigners who’ve already discovered the area and have made it their home, which makes it easy for new residents to transition and integrate into the community here. Favorable business and government legislation has created an environment that encourages foreign investment and an extensive program is in place to continually make the region even more attractive.
All this and more have made Boca del Toro a compelling consideration when it comes to where to invest. Here, we’ll guide you through what you need to know if you’re thinking of investing in Boca del Toro real estate.
BOCAS DEL TORO AT A GLANCE
Bocas del Toro borders Costa Rica and the Caribbean Sea towards the northwestern part of Panama and attracts residents and tourists looking for a more off-grid and Caribbean lifestyle. It’s easy to see why people automatically think of white sand beaches and beautiful mounts, but there’s more to Panama than meets the eye. This country presents an excellent investment opportunity for those looking for real estate where they can experience a new adventure as well as make a shrewd and profitable investment.
Buying Bocas del Toro homes for sale means living within a tropical rainforest climate with consistently warm temperatures throughout the year. Enjoy the ocean breeze, and with only two or three wet months each year, you’ll have a home that is not only picture-perfect but also ideal for renting out.
- Bocas del Toro consists of three primary islands—Isla Colon, Isla Carenero, and Isla Bastimentos. Bocas Town is located in Isla Colon and acts as the main area with hotels, restaurants, bars, and shops.
- Panama has its own currency (Panamanian Balboa), but U.S. dollars are widely accepted and easy to convert.
- Spanish is the primary language, but the majority of locals speak English.
BOCAS DEL TORRO REAL ESTATE
Panama is considered one of the best residential destinations in the world to invest in because of its outstanding growth over the past two decades. Located in the southernmost part of Central America, Panama boasts unparalleled natural beauty and reliable infrastructure, leading to a business, real estate, and tourism boom.
When it comes to property for sale in Bocas del Toro, the options are diverse. Bocas Town is great for investors looking for fantastic opportunities in emerging markets. Prospective buyers can own anything from a titled hilltop home with a view of the water and jungle villa to a waterfront mansion or luxury condo.
Panama has seen a relatively stable and steadily growing real estate market since 2005. Following the recession and the COVID pandemic, the economy and the travel industry have picked up, and more and more professionals are relocating to Panama’s Bocas del Toro. Realty options are expansive, and both commercial and residential properties are selling, and are likely to continue to do so in the foreseeable future.
With the continued development of infrastructure and resorts, tourism has risen by an average of 10% since the early 2000s. Investors looking to purchase properties—whether for business or residence—will find even ever greater expansion and development throughout the islands.
WHY INVESTING IN BOCAS DEL TORO REAL ESTATE IS A GOOD IDEA
Panama has been a long-time investment haven for European, American, and Latin American investors who enjoy the favorable business and lifestyle conditions. Here are the top reasons why more and more people are turning their attention to Bocas del Toro Real Estate.
- Affordable real estate prices
Housing in Bocas del Toro costs about one-third of what you would spend in the United States, and you’re never more than 20 minutes from the beach. While rentals vary per area and on the accommodation type, Bocas del Toro is generally affordable. Actually, renting an apartment or buying Bocas del Toro real estate is more cost-effective than in most other cities in Panama.
- Low cost of living
The cost of living in this region is relatively low, not only compared to North America’s daily cost of living but also to other places in the Caribbean. It’s relatively easy to live an enjoyable life in Bocas del Toro on about $1,000 to $1,500 a month. This amount would cover a decent rental, recreational activities, all grocery needs, and still be enough for you to hire a few extra services like house help.
- Booming tourism industry and rental income potential
Bocas del Toro presents a location that offers a balanced blend of tranquility and the opportunity for adventure. Until fairly recently most tourists visiting Panama only went to Panama City, which indeed, has world-class attractions. However, over time, many adventurous visitors are opting for unspoiled natural sites, which you’ll find in Bocas del Toro. Diving and snorkeling are amazing on Panama’s Pacific side, especially Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro.
It’s a favorite tropical destination, and with the increased arrival of guests and tourists, buying Bocas del Toro homes for sale and opening them up as rentals, there is the opportunity to generate lucrative income streams for owners. For those looking to also use the property, renting out short-term provides you the flexibility of having a holiday home, whenever you want.
- Tax benefits for foreign investors
Panama’s tax policies favor foreign investors. For example, foreign investors and their businesses have similar rights as Panama natives and are free to participate in trade, industry, import, and export.
- Developed expat areas
The steadily increasing number of expats who have created communities in the country over the past decade, means there are now established active networking groups that hold regular community events and activities. Integrating into a community is very easy with foreign investors, from the United States and Europe (most of whom speak English) looking to eagerly welcome new residents.
- Opportunities for eco-friendly and sustainable living
If you’re looking to live a more environmentally conscious life, Panama’s simple, laidback lifestyle will help you do your part. Many areas in Bocas del Toro remain relatively untouched, allowing residents the ability to not only enjoy a certain wilderness but also lower their carbon footprint.
TWO TYPES OF HOUSING OWNERSHIP: TITLED OR RIGHTS OF POSSESSION
In Panama, properties are either titled or designated as Rights of Possession—all the land that’s not registered as owned, by default, is owned by the government. Rights of Possession was an initiative introduced to provide land rights for indigenous people. While it does allow people to claim land, it does not automatically entitle ownership. Those with the Rights of Possession must maintain a constant presence on the property, or else someone can claim it. This can prove problematic for both buyer and seller when it comes to the financial sale of ROP land.
When buying property for sale in Bocas del Toro, it is strongly advised that you purchase only a titled property. Working with a reputable local real estate agent will ensure that investors are only provided with secure investment options.
TOP NEIGHBORHOODS IN BOCAS DEL TORO FOR REAL ESTATE INVESTMENT
Choosing where to stay in Bocas del Toro can be a tricky task for people who are not familiar with the area. Here are some areas you may want to consider:
Red Frog Beach Resort
Red Frog Beach Resort is an island community composed of luxury condos and other beachfront properties in Bocas Del Toro. This 20-square-mile island oasis has a secluded villa community, jungle village, private beach club, and full-service IGY Marina.
Red Frog Beach Resort is a multi-awarded property recognized for its green initiatives. The development has preserved 80% of the island property and uses sustainable energy to ensure environmental sustainability. It received the TripAdvisor Travelers’ Choice Award for 2019 and 2020. It has received the reputable Green Globe certification three years in a row, highlighting Red Frog Beach Resorts’ commitment to sustainable tourism practices. Some other accolades received by the resort include the Central and South America Property Awards.
Bastimentos is the home of Panama’s first national marine park and the Caribbean town of Old Bank. The charm of this town lies in its authentic Caribbean community where locals speak Guari-Guari. This is a laidback alternative to Bocas Town and features picturesque beaches like Wizard Beach and Red Frog Beach.
Bocas Town is located in Isla Colon, the central island hub where you will find essential services and infrastructure, such as the airport, hospitals, hardware stores, restaurants, and bars. Still a paradise, Bocas Town also provides easy access to all amenities and conveniences. There’s an active night scene in the area and bars are a popular way to spend your nights in Bocas Town.
Big Creek is a mere 10 minutes from Bocas Town and is a quieter residential community with newly built homes and condominiums. During a walk around Big Creek in the morning, you’ll likely find residents walking or jogging with their pets on the beach while others have already taken their paddle boards out to hit the clear waters. Big Creek is ideal for those who prefer to enjoy the more natural charms of the islands.
Choose this area if you’re looking for a beachfront home. Located on the island’s eastern side, about half an hour from town, this is where the beach meets the jungle. Discover beachfront homes close to the jungle and the wildlife that comes with it. Bluff Beach is known for its fantastic beachfront restaurants and bars.
Boca del Drago
Although a bit further out than the other neighborhoods mentioned, this is one of the emerging communities in Bocas del Toro. Boca del Drago is 45 minutes from the town but offers stunning beaches, stretches of agricultural land, and beautiful sunsets.
FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN BUYING BOCAS DEL TORO INVESTMENT PROPERTY
Buying a property for sale in Bocas del Toro has never been easier but as with any property investment, there are still several considerations.
Location and proximity to amenities
If you’re looking more towards access and convenience to services, you’ll likely prefer investment options in Bocas Town, or at least near it. Opting for somewhere near Bocas Town will have a higher price tag and potentially more interest should you choose to sell the property down the line.
If you’re looking for a more isolated residence, living further away from the city on one of the less populated islands may be a more appealing choice.
Property type and style
Real estate in Boca del Toro comes in all types and sizes, and an investor is spoilt for choice. Bear in mind that waterfront homes are ideal for properties that you may want to rent out, as well as being beautiful vacation homes.
WORKING WITH BOCAS DEL TORO REALTY PROFESSIONALS
It’s highly recommended to use reputable real estate professionals when buying real estate in Boca del Toro. Apart from the before mentioned protection they provide in ensuring that the property you invest in has no title issues and can be sold to you without difficulties, real estate agents provide an array of other benefits.
A good real estate agent will carefully listen to your reasons and aims for investing in Boca del Toro, which will allow them to zero in on a perfect match for your lifestyle, budget, and financial goals. As well as providing you with administrative and legal guidance, they can also be a resource for moving and integrating into a new life.
For more information on Bocas del Toro real estate, feel free to get in touch with us by phone at 281.892.1344. Alternatively, send an email inquiry to realestate(at)redfrogbeach(dotted)com. Let’s explore your options and begin your journey to paradise.