"My New Home" Las Tablas by bilgeez

Las Tablas Travel Guide: 32 reviews and 78 photos

Moving to a new environment.

Las Tablas is a quaint town and has much to offer, despite it's small size and being in a third-world country. But the area is growing and economy expanding locally, for the good, I hope.
I hope that the gringos moving here aren't going to turn Las Tablas into another Coronado, with high rises and private clubs that will make real estate unaffordable for the locals.
Most of the gringos here are low-key and not needing a luxurious lifestyle.

What is different...

I'm amazed by the amount of cantinas and fondas, here, they are on every corner! If you want an wall-less bar to enjoy a drink out of the sun but feel the cooling breeze, these are the places to go. Try a Panamanian beer, I recommend Cerveza Panama and it's sister beer, Soberana, but Atlas and Balboa are OK, too. Best of all, they cost only about .50 in most cantinas and restaurants here! The Panamainian rum, Ron Abuelo, (Grandpa Rum) is very fine, and cheap, about $2.50 for a 375 ml bottle. The local liquer, Seco Herrerano, is fine, too, use it like vodka, which means mix it with fruit juices, mostly. It also is cheap, costing about $2.20 for a 375 ml bottle.
If you want a quick meal, fondas have mostly local fare, try some! Empenadas Panamania, ribs, fried yucca, fresh juices, and Panamanian lemonade! You can have a nice lunch or snack for less than $2!
Cabs and buses are everywhere, who needs a car? You can walk everywhere in Las Tablas. If you want to go Rincon del Faro or some other restaurant or beach away from, but near town, the cabs charge less than $3 to go to those places. The bus to Chitre is $1.25 and one can walk in the mercado district there, also. If you must take a cab in Las Tablas, they are .90 to $1.25 to most places in town.

What you might miss...

Unless you have to be on the cutting edge, you will find life in the provinces of Panama very pleasant. It is different, you will have to learn some Spanish, but you will get along fine. I watch ESPN and the movie channels, and am developing a taste for the Spanish game shows; such as their version of the 'Wheel of Fortune' (La Rueda de la Suerte) . They have a very cerebral game show that would make 'Jeopardy' look like 'Quiz Kids' called; "Saber y Ganar" (Know and Win). It has some very long-winded questions! I don't know how the contestants answer them!
You have to be careful walking in the streets as drivers here won't normally yield to pedestrians. You have to get your produce weighed before you check out and you have to call for your check in a restaurant or the wait staff will never bring it too you! (Joven, la cuenta, por favor!) The service levels here are not the same as the US, many clerks act like they couldn't be bothered with helping you, as they usually only make .50 an hour, why should they care? It's changing some, but Panamanians have a very casual attitude to helping customers in the stores, if you don't ask, they won't come to you to find out if you need help. They figure, unless you ask, you don't need help.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Different, compact, easy-going, friendly.
  • Cons:Not for people who want a diverse night life or lots of creature comforts.
  • In a nutshell:Great place to get away!
  • Intro Updated Sep 4, 2010
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Reviews (23)

Comments (6)

  • mtncorg's Profile Photo
    Sep 16, 2015 at 6:48 AM

    Super Carne is thriving as well - most important is the 50 cent beer.

    • bilgeez's Profile Photo
      Sep 16, 2015 at 7:23 AM

      Thanks for the update! I miss them both,esp Cerveza Panama! I hope to get back some day, I'm stuck in Detroit taking care of aging relatives...

    • mtncorg's Profile Photo
      Sep 16, 2015 at 7:32 AM

      a common refrain. something to look forward to, though.

  • Jim_Eliason's Profile Photo
    Oct 16, 2014 at 5:24 PM

    Great tips

  • Oct 20, 2011 at 11:21 PM

    I would like to buy a home there so let me know how life is there

  • Jul 10, 2010 at 3:03 PM

    Bilgeezs, I'm an old body sufer(66) is there any surf or is it flat as appears in pictures I've seen

  • Nov 26, 2009 at 10:37 PM

    hey Bill, love your site. also love what i have seen about las tablas. am soon to be an expat and need to know 1 thing. is internet access easliy available anywhere other than internet cafe's? thanks, steve

  • aussirose's Profile Photo
    May 5, 2007 at 8:15 PM

    Gee I like it already Bill! I reckon you and Noris have picked a great place to live!! Looking forward to seeing more pix mate. Cheers, Ann xx

bilgeez Used To Live Here!


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