What folks say about ESCAPE TO PARADISE

BookCoverPreviewI am glad that I read the entire text instead of skipping parts. I am glad to know living conditions are reasonable and comforts are at hand. Knowing that all is not bliss is the information I find most honest and helpful. I am glad this book has inspired me to be adventurous and to consider this relocation. Linda & Bob Little

Truthful. My Dad & I have decided to move to the Boquete area. We spent 2 weeks there in July, & absolutely fell in love with the area. While there, we asked a LOT of questions of anyone who made eye contact with us. So much of what we heard is here! There is, as he pointed out, the good & the bad. No, this book is not about moving to Panama City, it IS an informative book about moving to Boquete, Panama. I’m sure much of this is also applicable anywhere in Panama. Thanks, Richard……unless we can find a house, we still want to build…..maybe. D. Lintz (Gainesville, FL)

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Best book on Panama I have read!!! I was SO happy I made the decision to buy this book written by Richard Detrich. It was far better than the other one I had chosen by a female author whose book was so negative. Richard is realistic, very well written and easy to read. You get the real scoop from ALL angles! I even wrote him and asked him a question and HE responded. The other author did not! Then I found out Richard has a blog too, so you can follow up on his travels and life in Panama. BEST BOOK on all of Panamas books I read! Definitely worth the money. Thank you Richard for writing it! Antoinette Jackson (moving to Panama from Hawai’i in Oct 2013)

Great Read for those thinking of relocating to Panama. My husband andI are looking into moving to Panama and we found a tour that requires this book. It was very good in that Detrich tells you the good and the bad and debunks alot of what is on the Internet that is old and out of date. Very easy read, well written . . . Sarah Reynolds

I have just finished reading Richard’s book for the second time. The fact that I now call him Richard without having ever met him is one of the reasons I love the book, it is like sitting down and talking with a friend. After reading it, actually while reading it, it feels as if you get to know him. He doesn’t give you an unrealistic view of life in Panama, he tells the good and the bad and shares what bothers him most. His book is about falling in love with a place, warts and all, and not about becoming infatuated and running away to a place you know virtually nothing about and don’t really even like when you do. S. Oaks (Guntersville, AL}

Richard lives in Boquete and that is the place he writes about but so much of his book applies to anywhere you go in Central America. In our research as we search for the country there that is right for us I keep returning to Richard’s book. Topics like renting before you buy a place in a new country, some of the dangers/pitfalls of building,things to beware of if you buy land, information about some of the shortcomings of the medical and emergency response systems,the gringo pricing, the reasons to learn Spanish even if you can get by without it, the true meaning of manana and other cultural differences, limited availability of things we take for granted in the US, driving, etc. are written about one area in Panama but apply to other areas of Panama and other Central American countries. They may not be exactly the same but it is a definite primer of the things you need to consider before leaving the US. The book has questions and tools at the end of each chapter that are applicable to living anywhere and definitely make the book worth purchasing if you don’t look at anything else.

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OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERAEvery reputable source I have read has advised that you research carefully before deciding to move. I found Richard’s book during that process. Not all countries have the information available that you can find about Panama and some other countries. I believe Richard’s book has helped fill those gaps for us as we try to find the place that is right for us. This is a book that I highly recommend and that I will continue to use as we research to find our own “Paradise”. Who knows, it may be in Boquete. I definitely want to visit it and other parts of Panama after reading the book. S. Oaks

5.0 out of 5 stars Very informative!, Since my husband and I are thinking of relocating to Panama, we are doing as much research as possible. This book is a must read!!! Not only is it filled with information, it is very enjoyable to read, as well. While the author refers to Panama as paradise and obviously loves living there, he doesn’t hesitate to point out the negatives. I felt the book was very balanced. Read it! Debbie Curtis (Princeton, NJ}

Read this before you go, Good reading especially prior to a planned visit, which is exactly what I did. There is a lot of useful information in this book, so I found it helpful in my expectations on my trip to Panama 3 weeks ago. The author actually moved there himself about 8 years ago, so he knows what he is talking about. Mignon S.

I recommend this to anyone who is considering relocating outside the US. If you are thinking that moving outside the US is the answer to your dreams or problems, you need Richards checklists. Your expectations need to be challenged to see if they are real. If you expect to be able to pick up the Wall Street Journal in English from every Super Market in Country where the official language is Spanish …… well that would be not too realistic. Richards’ book has much more to offer, however the checklist on expectations, and the checklist on finance are each worth the price of the book. Read the book, ask questions, subscribe to the groups, and by all means boots on the ground. I have spent a week with Richard, he took me to his home, introduced me to his wife. This is a genuine person that took his time to put pen to paper and share his wisdom. My sincere thanks for all his effort, Soup (Colin A. Campbell) – Fairbanks, AK

Great resource if your considering a move to Panama. Richard does a great job of giving you the ins an outs of moving to Panama. This book is primary about Boquete and the Chiriqui province. The writing style keeps the read interesting and the information in the book is invaluable. You’ll learn everything from his experience with attorneys, home building, making friends and making the transition to a new life. At the end of each chapter he poses questions you’ll need to think about prior to making this kind of decision. Great book! I highly recommend it. John S.


Contemplating a move to Panama, I found this book to be a very informative read. I would recommend it to anyone contemplating retirement in Panama. This book delivers the good, the bad and the ugly and truly evaluates what Panama has to offer to retirees. Brian Cheary

Great book. To the point with great facts and tells it like it is. i lived for a while in Nicaragua and I can assure you this would have helped me to select else where. Alberto J. Leiva

Bocas Town EveningEscape from Superficial “Blue Sky” Panama Travelogues. Richard goes the extra mile to try to give you a realistic assessment based on his autobiographical “escape” to Paradise. Give Richard a read if you value a take from someone who makes a serious effort to give a real accounting of the pros and cons of moving to Panama. I often return to his book to read a few pages which transport me to a realistic view of Panama (and a bit of his refreshing world view). Richard, hope one day to be able to personally thank you for sharing your adventure- hopefully while tasting one of your Rum concoctions. Best, Doug Y. Reno, NV.

Great book to add to your research pile on moving out of country. I am leaving next month to backpack through all of Panama for two weeks and then the third week my wife and son will join me for a week to see all of the highlights I found the two weeks prior…. The book has great tips, and gives you another perspective on a person who did it….. I follow his blog too and it gives you more info with follow ups and after reading the books makes you feel like you know him and are following a “friends” blog…….. Thanks Richard. Jwilson212

Extremely helpful, If anyone is considering “the move”, this book should be required reading. I found it very realistic and thought provoking. Mr. Detrich helps you look at your reasons, as well as dreams, of a better retirement in a logical, no non-sense manner. Who better to foresee problems and make you think than someone who is living the lifestyle. All this introspection has helped me make my decision to relocate based on hard fact not pipe dreams. Thanks so much for all the useful advice. It will continue to be my guide while making plans. Penny Sloan

Must read before visiting Panama. Read this book to give you a starting point before visiting Panama for possible retirement. I would also recommend that you follow Richard’s blog for weekly updates as well as Bob Adams website.  Larry H.

Excellent, loved it. So much information. Truly does sound like paradise. Hoping to visit in the next couple years. Maybe even meet Richard. Kathleen M. Bernier

From my perspective, this book by Mr. Deitrich is a must read for anyone interested in living and or retiring to Panama. Helpful tips and insights throughout the book. Mr. Deitrich RETIRED TO PANAMA AND HAS LIVED THERE FOR 12 YEARS. Who better than an expat to provide his reader with ” on the boots” experiences . He is not just writing a book about the country. He is living and breathing it every day. Stewart R. Seitz
Five stars plus for Richard Detrich’s book, “Escape to Paradise”. For anyone considering Panama as their possible residence, this is a must read. Written in a easy to read and enjoyable style, all the important facts are presented and relayed into the everyday realities of living in Panama. All written in a style which captures the readers imagination and makes one want to read it in one sitting! In a most rational approach a perspective resident obtains the challenges, joys and often times frustrating aspects of navigating life in Panama by an experienced expat who has already lived the readers dream! All the essentials are presented in an unbiased fashion as the author reveals what to expect of Panamanian living. This is required reading as a prelude to further study and consideration of any such move. Denise Visci

Part memoir, part practical information, Richard’s book is full of helpful information about what to consider when moving to another country. Most of the questions I had about Panama were answered. His writing style is friendly and I felt like I was listening to a friend sharing his experiences. Peggy Archambault (Farmville, VA)

This book is not only informative, but well written, funny and keeps your attention.

Back story (first few chapters) give you a good idea who Richard is and adds credibility to his story. Richard doesn’t sugarcoat the problems you’ll find in Panama, but he also lets you feel comfortable about moving there. Basically, there’s a sucker born every minute and a scam artist looking to take advantage of him.Go in with your eyes open and you should have a good experience. After all, his book is entitled “Escape To Paradise”! Bill Hazel (Everett, WA)
Down-to-Earth views, I have recently read this book when a friend of my wife told us about Boguete,Panama. Hearing about the coffee and strawberries, I was very interested. The book is centered around Boguete, but it does give you views and answers about the Medical,cost of living,community, and the Panama view of customer service. The fact that this is “not a perfect paradise, but as close as one can get”. I have been researching the Central America and South America areas for retirement and have already narrowed down to a few countries to do retirement. Panaman has the stability, infrastructure, security and community that I am looking for and this book supplied this information. I am not worried that it does not go to other areas of the country, it does not need to, any country in any given place will give one a view of what to expect in other areas of the country, city-city and rural-rural. Richard,s input on building a home in Panama hit home, as my wife’s friend is having the same problem that Richard explained in his book. If she had this before trying to build a home she may have saved a lot of headaches. I highly recommend this book for those interested in overseas retirement areas as my title states,”Down-toEarth views”. 5 out of 5 highly recommended stars. Gerald Baker, (Burlington Twp., NJ
The book had a lot of really great and practical information. We are planning on “retiring” abroad for a multitude of reasons, many of which were mentioned by Richard as his reasons. I really enjoyed making the list of 15 things we wanted in our place of residence. Great exercise! This has honestly been more helpful to me than any other ex-pat book I have picked up. The real costs of things like health care, electricity and so on. I would have liked more information on other areas, but since Richard lives in Boquete this is his area of expertise. Lusk-Meierl, Rogue River, OR
Absolute Must, Even if you are not moving to Panama, this book is a must read for anyone planning to move overseas. So much stuff on the Net is outdated and will lead you down the wrong road – especially International Living. Follow Richard’s advice and you will end up in the perfect pace for you, and be thrilled to live there. Sonata
Great read — We are escaping to Panama, We enjoyed reading Escape to Paradise. On our first trip to Panama later this month, I intend to read the book again. Richard Dietrich has a unique writing style that captures your imagination. Thank you Richard for being part of our background information for our impending move to Panama. We are excited but have seen some of the “not so bright” side of living in Panama. Thank you Richard for exposing Panama. I particularly enjoyed the last chapter. Dee

It’s About Time. Richard really hit the nail….of all places…on the head !! Of all the articles and books I RESEARCHED…this one tells it like it really is, with no personal axes to grind. Even tho Richard has obviously been in Panama for quite some time his approach is current. His answers are to questions that the other literature I read failed to ask….much less answer!Not only that, his approach is far from lofty or detached…it’s like you’re both sittin’ at the breakfast table sharing conversation….with a little wit here and an off hand comment there. None of it a waste, but a nice easy way to give the info YOU’RE interested in !!Oh….and there are a few little cliff hangers…like what is the meaning of Boquete in _________….well I don’t want to spoil it !! Not that I’m the expert all of a sudden….but we have been there a several times, have bought our land, have a great architect, and are headin’ that way really soon ! Bob Little

My husband and I both enjoyed this book immensely! We made the move ourselves to Boquete, Panama six years ago. If ONLY we had had this book to help prepare ourselves when we were first considering making the move!! The author tells you everything you need to know about what it’s like to live here. We loved the way he included his own experiences in the telling. It made it ever so much more personal and interesting to us. If you have any thoughts about finding your own paradise, and particularly finding your paradise, as we and the author did, here in Boquete, Panama, you MUST buy this book!! S. James
I’ve been following Richard’s blog for several months. You should sign up for his updates. His stories are always entertaining and educational about Panama. The more I learn about Panama, the more exciting it sounds. Moving to another country is a big decision but Richard’s book helps you think through all the benefits of moving to Panama. Get Escape to Paradise! It is a GREAT book and the best information I have found anywhere about relocating to Panama J. Lange