Latin America

48 Hours in Panama City, Panama—with Benoit Properties International

Come with us around Panama’s capital as we tour our current properties and scope out new investment opportunities for our global client base.

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Last week, Benoit Properties International jetted off to Central America to visit several of our main markets—one being the spectacular Panama City in Panama.

With burgeoning economic growth, well-developed infrastructure, and a diverse real estate landscape, this prosperous city is one of the most sophisticated capitals in Latin America and presents significant value for investors.

Although it was a flying visit of 48 hours, we managed to squeeze a lot in—touring current projects, scoping out new developments, and identifying the most attractive areas for investment. Luckily, there was time to experience a handful of the city’s best shops, restaurants, and bars. (We also got our hands on the world’s most expensive coffee at $10k a kilo!)

Overall, the team left with a great feel for the city and excited about the opportunities there. Now, let’s take a closer look at what we found in Panama City, Panama.

First Stop: Casco Viejo

Named among the “12 Coolest Neighbourhoods Around the World” by Forbes Magazine, Casco Viejo is the oldest part of Panama City and a designated UNESCO World Heritage Site. With its charming colonial buildings, narrow streets and water views, this beautiful old town is full of charm and character. It also serves as a gateway to the famous Panama Canal, one of the city’s main attractions.

The neighbourhood has undergone a significant amount of regeneration. Boutique hotels, galleries, and trendy cafes now make it one of the most fashionable parts of Panama City. Many head here in the evening to experience Casco’s vibrant nightlife which is underpinned by some of the best restaurants and rooftop bars in the city.

Casco Viejo’s unique history and cultural richness make it a hotspot for tourists and expats. This fuels a high demand for homes and short-term lets, opening up attractive opportunities for investors. The only downside is that it can be quite hard to get in and out during peak times.

For our stay, we booked a couple of Airbnb apartments at Las Clementinas, our latest project in the area. One of the first hotels to be restored in Casco Viejo, Las Clementinas has recently undergone a renovation and six beautiful apartments are up for sale. With hardwood floors, high ceilings and eye-catching colourful tiles, these homes embody the neighbourhood’s traditional yet vibrant character, making them particularly attractive to tourists seeking an authentic stay.

Our team also stopped by another one of our completed developments: Santa Familia. This waterfront project enjoys a prime position in front of Santo Domingo Beach, with the most spectacular views of Casco and the modern city.

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From high ceilings and open-plan spaces to mosaic tiling and tropical interiors, Santa Familia perfectly blends old and new. We were really impressed by the spec of the apartments and the communal facilities, which include an ocean club, library, and garden. For those seeking luxury waterfront living in Panama City, this project is ideal.

Due to limited supply and their unique appeal, properties in Casco Viejo will hold their value better than homes in other parts of the city; and despite being one of the capital’s longest-standing neighbourhoods, the market here still has a lot of room for growth.

San Francisco, Panama City

We also spent a lot of our time in San Francisco, a modern neighbourhood around 15 minutes drive north of Casco Viejo. Several of our projects are located here.

Panama City is relatively small compared to other capitals, so it was easy enough to travel from one side to the other. San Francisco enjoys a very central location, yet we didn’t have much trouble getting in and out by car. With a great selection of independent shops, restaurants, cafés, bars and other amenities, the neighbourhood is becoming increasingly popular with both locals and tourists. In our opinion, it’s one of the best parts of the city, with plenty to keep you busy and entertained.

San Francisco draws in a lot of affluent visitors and business travellers, making it the perfect place for short-term rental investments like Airbnb. We have scoped out several projects in San Francisco which allow investors to capitalise on this opportunity.

While each has a unique appeal, all of our projects here open the door to luxury living with high-spec, tech-friendly apartments, and a range of upscale amenities such as swimming pools, fitness centres, co-working lounges, and rooftop access with city views.

Loom has been one of our best-selling developments this year and it was great to see how construction has progressed since our last visit. We also swung by the site of our newest launch, Be Living, which excitingly is beginning to break ground. Designed for short-term lets, these projects provide a fully managed rental investment, allowing investors to capitalise on a thriving Airbnb market with the added benefit of personal usage.

Punta Pacifica & Ocean Reef Islands

Another area well worth a visit is Punta Pacifica, often referred to as the “mini-Dubai” of Central America. This area boasts the region’s tallest buildings, several of which are luxury U.S. hotels including JW Marriott and Trump Tower. Next to the city’s financial district, and just 15 minutes from Tocumen Airport, this is a prime destination for affluent business travellers.

With its waterfront properties, world-class amenities and breathtaking ocean views, Punta Pacifica is one of the most expensive areas in Panama City, home mostly to wealthy Panama residents and expats. It’s an impressive neighbourhood but lacks the character and cultural diversity of other parts of the city.

Cast your gaze just off the coast and you’ll spot Ocean Reef Islands. Delivered in 2020, this exclusive residential community is made up of two man-made islands and is connected to the city by a private road.

With its million-dollar residences, lavish marina and high-end facilities, Ocean Reef resembles Dubai’s Palm Jumeirah and Miami Beach’s Star Island. Its residents enjoy an unmatched lifestyle with access to beach clubs, spas, golf courses, tennis courts and water activities. If you’re in the area, Blu Coffee & Kitchen is a great place to get lunch, with its light, breezy interiors and beautiful marina views.

Why Invest in Panama City

Overall, Panama City presents significant potential for those looking to invest in property.

With economic stability, tax incentives, and investor visa programs, Panama is one of the most attractive markets in Latin America. Its capital city has a unique real estate landscape, booming rental market and comparatively affordable prices, making it a compelling destination for investment.

If you’d like to find out more, get in touch—one of our property consultants will be happy to shed more light on the market and introduce you to available properties in Panama City, Panama.

Love Panama? Discover more in our destination guide,
and contact us today to secure your dream property.

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