#28 Casco Viejo, Panama
Population: Just over 900,000
Average Annual Temp: 84°F
Photo by Damian James
Casco Viejo, the historic quarter of Panama City may be one of those undiscovered jewels that is on the verge of becoming a major hub of expat and investor activity. Overlooking the Pacific entrance to the Panama Canal, this UNESCO World Heritage Site contains historic architecture that gives visitors a glimpse of the foundations of modern day Panama. Buildings from the Colonial period often sit next to refurbished structures converted to high-end residences, combining Old World charm with the promise of the future.
Housing is very affordable in Casco Viejo, particularly for those looking to restore older properties to their former grandeur. There are an increasing number of smaller hotels with modern amenities that make finding lodging in the old town convenient. Local vendors, restaurants, and the general street scene all make Casco Viejo an experience as much as a destination.
There are a number of conservation and development projects under way in throughout Casco Viejo, all of which make this a very good time to invest or purchase property. The emphasis on keeping the area authentic translates into an increased potential for tourist activity and a good return on initial cash outlays. With so many available properties that could be restored and customized, Casco Viejo could be “the next big thing” for expats, retirees and investors.