Puerto Armuelles Neighborhood Guide

A seven-hour drive, or 1-hour flight, from Panama City, on Panama’s Pacific Coast, you will find Puerto Armuelles. Puerto Armuelles is a charming and vibrant fisher town, located close to the Panama-Costa Rican border. Puerto Armuelles is known as the destination for sport fishing, surfing, and miles of beaches.

The Puerto Armuelles area has a local, relaxed, and tropical ambiance. It is a rural area surrounded by giant ocean-view farms and a friendly, hard-working local fisher community.

The town has been gaining attention among locals and foreigners over the past years as a place to live and retire. The community is diverse with a mix of locals, Europeans, Americans, and more nationalities who call the Puerto Armueles area home.

Lifestyle of Puerto Armuelles

Puerto Armuelles is a small fishing town in the Chiriqui province. Most properties you will find inside the town are the colorful wooden “workers” homes that originate from 1927 when Puerto Armuelles was known for the Chiquita Banana plantages.

People living in Puerto Armuelles enjoy a local and simple quality of life in a vibrant fishing community. The relaxed atmosphere that Puerto Armuelles offers is in complete contrast with the city life you find in Panama City or David. The ambiance is laid-back and people are welcoming, warm, and friendly. Eating at a local restaurant, grabbing a beer in a bar, or having your hair cut at the local barber will directly make you feel part of this unique and comfortable community.

Puerto Armuelles is relatively small. You will find a handful of supermarkets, bars, bakeries, and a surprising number of local restaurants nearby from both locals and ex-pats. In addition, you will find local craft shops, barbers, schools, and a baseball stadium.

Weekdays feel like weekends, and vice versa. The town doesn’t get overcrowded during the weekend, but rather keeps its laid-back ambiance.

Location of Puerto Armuelles

Puerto Armuelles is located a 1.5-hour drive from David (the second-largest city in Panama), and within 30 minutes of the border between Costa Rica and Panama. Puerto Armuelles is a unique local community that is built on the beach on Panama’s Pacific coast. You will literally be steps away from the ocean at any time.

Getting to Puerto Armuelles

There are different ways to commute to Puerto Armuelles from Panama City.

By car. Puerto Armuelles is about a seven-hour ride from Panama City over the Panamerican Highway. Enjoy the different sceneries Panama has to offer while crossing multiple of its provinces.

By plane. For 70$ (one-way) you can take the plane with AirPanama from the Albrook Airport in Panama City or from Tocumen International Airport with Copa Airlines to David. From David, it’s a 1.5-hour car ride to Puerto Armuelles.

Private Plane/Helicopter. There are multiple companies that offer private charter flights from Albrook Airport in Panama City.

By bus. The cheapest option is to go by bus. Buses leave every half-hour from Albrook Terminal towards David. From David, you take a bus to Paso Canoas (Panama/Costa Rican border) and from there take a connection to Puerto Armuelles. There are only a few options that ride directly from David to Puerto Armuelles.

Cost of Living in Puerto Armuelles

Living in Puerto Armuelles will allow you to enjoy a great lifestyle for less than what you’d find in the US, Canada, or Europe. Don’t expect fancy restaurants or bars, rather enjoy a $3.50 meal and $1 beer in one of the many local spots. “Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication” would probably describe it best.

Besides the local restaurants and bars, you will find a few American hosts such as Big Daddy’s Beach Club & Hotel and Hooked on Panama Lodge. Overall, prices in Puerto Armuelles are fairly low. This is especially in comparison to other cities in Panama. So it’s safe to say that a couple can live comfortably in Puerto Armuelles for about $1,000 to $2,000 per month.

Puerto Armuelles area gives you the comfort (and as much luxury) as you want at home, with the joy of a local fisher community.

The climate in Puerto Armuelles

Panama has a tropical, hot, climate all year round. Unlike North America, Panama doesn’t have four seasons. Panama only has two “seasons”; dry and rainy. Panama’s rainy season is usually from May to November. From December to April Panama has a dry (summer) season.

In Puerto Armuelles, over the course of the year, the temperature typically varies from 74°F to 91°F and is rarely below 71°F or above 95°F.

Safety in Puerto Armuelles

Panama is one of the safest countries in Latin America. Concerning personal safety, it has a very low level of crime. Puerto Armuelles has a strong sense of community with a small-town feel. Everyone knows each other and people still look after each other. Puerto Armuelles has a police station and border control.

Healthcare in Puerto Armuelles

The brand new hospital “Dionisio Arrocha Hospital” opened phase 01 in 2019 in Puerto Armuelles. The hospital has been built by the national government and is run by the CSS (Social Security) of Panama. Besides, multiple pharmacies can be found in Puerto Armuelles.

Additional hospitals and specialized clinics can be found 1.5h way in the city of David.

Supermarkets & Convenience Stores

The biggest supermarket with the most variety you will find is Romero. Romero is a nationwide chain that offers anything from fresh fruits & vegetables, meat, cereal, and bread to some household goods. Besides Romero, you will find smaller local supermarkets all over town.

For fresh fruits, we recommend you buy them from the fruit stands around town. Freshly baked bread can be found at the bakery “El Pan Ya”, just around the corner from the Romero supermarket.

Fishing in Puerto Armuelles

Panama is known as one of the best places in the world for fishing. Chiriqui Bay is recognized worldwide as one of the best places to catch Marlin and Tuna. For your next fishing trip, we can highly recommend Hooked on Panama. They offer extended deep-sea fishing charters which take you all the way Islas Ladrones in the Gulf of Chiriqui where you will find (black) Marlin, Tuna, Snappers, and more.

Surfing in Puerto Armuelles

Next to the pier in Puerto Armuelles itself is a great surf spot where you will find the locals. In addition, you can find multiple beaches nearby that are perfect for surfing, such as Punta Burica and La Barqueta. You will often only find a handful of other surfers, which gives you the space to enjoy the waves by yourself.

1 Comment
  • Torbern Bratt Reply
    December 25, 2023

    Looks interresting,
    After recently travelled arround Panama, I missed this part of the cuntry.
    This may bee my reason to come back.
    Looking forward to know more.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *