The Cost of Food in Bocas del Toro, Panama vs. the United States 

If you are dreaming of escaping the high cost of living and the rising food prices in the United States. You might want to consider moving to Bocas del Toro, Panama, a tropical paradise in the Caribbean Sea. Bocas del Toro is a stunning archipelago with a rich culture, a relaxed lifestyle, and a diverse cuisine.

Bocas del toro beach

But how much does it cost to eat in Bocas del Toro? How does it compare to the United States, where food prices have increased by 3.3% in the past year and are expected to rise by 8% by the end of 2023?

In this article, we will compare the cost of food in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and the United States in 2023, and show you why Bocas del Toro might be the ideal place for you to enjoy delicious and affordable food.

plantain bananas

Food Prices in Bocas del Toro, Panama

In Bocas del Toro, you can live well on a modest budget. The cost of living in this popular destination in Panama is relatively low compared to many parts of the world. The cost of food is a major factor in this calculation.

You can feed a family of four in Bocas del Toro for around $324 per month.

But what about the food?

Well, you will be amazed by the variety and quality of food in Bocas del Toro. Where you can find local dishes, international flavors, and fresh produce and seafood. A dinner at a restaurant will typically cost you around $10 per person, which is a steal compared to the United States. A cup of coffee will set you back $2, and a cold beer will quench your thirst for $2.5. Unless of course, you go to local restaurants which will be a lot cheaper! A beer at the chinos is $1, the average price of a beer in the U.S. is $4.75 .

beer on the beach

But the real deal is the fresh produce and seafood that you can find in Bocas del Toro. You can buy a chicken for $4-5, a bottle of rum for $9, a pineapple for $2, and 2 pounds of fresh tuna for $13. These prices are much lower than what you would pay in the United States. Where a small chicken costs $7.50, a bottle of rum costs $15, a pineapple costs $3.50, and 2 pounds of fresh tuna costs $28.

pineapple plant

Food Prices in the United States

In contrast, the United States has a higher cost of living, with food prices being a significant contributor to this. The average cost of groceries in America in 2023 was $415.53 per month per person. That’s more than 5 times the cost in Bocas del Toro!

Food prices in the United States increased by 3.3% in the 12 months ending in October 2023, easing from 43.7% in the previous month and a peak of 11.4% in August 2022. The U.S. Department of Agriculture predicted an 8% increase in grocery costs for the year.

rising food prices

The cost of food varied depending on whether it was consumed at home or away from home. The food-at-home (grocery store or supermarket food purchases) Consumer Price Index (CPI) was 2.1% higher than in October 2022, while the food-away-from-home (restaurant purchases) CPI was 5.4% higher.

Comparative Analysis

When comparing the cost of food in Bocas del Toro, Panama, and the United States, it’s clear that Panama offers a more affordable cost of living. The average cost of a meal in Bocas del Toro is significantly lower than the average cost of groceries per person in the United States.

However, it’s important to note that these costs can vary greatly depending on personal eating habits, lifestyle, and the specific location within each country.

In conclusion, while Bocas del Toro, Panama, offers a lower cost of living and more affordable food prices, the choice between the two locations will depend on various factors, including personal preferences, income level, and lifestyle.

bocas del toro beach

So, what are you waiting for? If you are looking for a change of scenery and a taste of paradise, why not give Bocas del Toro a try? You might be surprised by how much you can save and enjoy in this tropical wonderland. Buen Provecho!

Buen Provecho