If you read much about real estate investment in Central America, you will surely run across articles about all the reasons why Panama offers some of the best opportunities. There are good tax incentives, a stable government, and all transactions are in dollars, for a start. One of the most attractive spots in the country is the Caribbean archipelago of Bocas del Toro.

It’s not all rosy and easy getting your slice of this idyllic island paradise though, as Beverly Gallagher explains in this feature story on buying real estate in Bocas del Toro.

It is important to understand why prices here look cheap compared to more developed markets, even Roatan. As one agent quoted in the article says, “We have so many natural resources you can practically live off of the land. What we don’t have, which makes the prices look ridiculous, is infrastructure. One of our biggest problems here is water and waste management.”

There are also issues in getting clear title, which makes it tough for developers. For now, this is not an area where you can just come in and buy a home in a gated community, expecting it to be like home but with a different accent and a warmer climate. Be sure to pack some patience along with those flip-flops.

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