Santiago & Santa Fe, Veraguas, Panama
The village of Santa Fe, in the mountains of Veraguas. Just over an hour north of the city of Santiago, Santa Fe is about 1,300 feet above sea level, temperatures ranging from the 70s to the 80s. Santiago is about a 3 hour drive west of Panama City.
The expat community here has grown slowly. The ones I met were friendly and supportive, but their homes were scattered around town. Some are snowbirds, spending only part of the year here. In Santa Fe, your neighbors will usually be locals...and they will likely to do a little farming or raise chickens (or both).
And because it's barely on the tourist or expat radar, Santa Fe remains extremely inexpensive. A two-bedroom home of about 900 square feet can cost 50% less here than in Boquete, where you're likely to spend $175,000 to $250,000. The major supermarket in Santiago is modern and features a variety of products, including some hard-to-find items like soya. But the prices are among the lowest in the entire nation.