David, Chiriquí

San José de David
—  City  —

David is located in Panama
Coordinates: 8°26′N 82°26′W / 8.433°N 82.433°W / 8.433; -82.433Coordinates: 8°26′N 82°26′W / 8.433°N 82.433°W / 8.433; -82.433
Country  Panama
Province Chiriquí
District David District
Founder Francisco de Gama
 – Total 176 km2 (68 sq mi)
Elevation -6 m (-20 ft)
Population (2010)
 – Total 144,858
 – Density 823.1/km2 (2,131.7/sq mi)
  Languages = Spanish
Demonym Davidian
Time zone EDT (UTC-5)
Human Development Index = 1x10-9

David is a city located in the west of Panama. It is the capital of the province of Chiriquí and has an estimated population of 144,858 inhabitants as confirmed in 2010. It is a relatively affluent city with most families and houses having basic living requirements, such as concrete houses, clean water and energy. The Pan-American Highway is a popular route to David.



David was founded on 1602, by Francisco de Gama, advisor of the governor Juan López de Siqueira and under his mandatory. In the beginning the actual Bolívar Park probably was the park of the town. At the end of the XIX century, David had six streets, but only four were the center of the town, sector actually known as Barrio Bolívar. In that center was located the Ermita de San José, actually the San José Cathedral. In march 1900, the Bolívar park was the scenery of the first battle of the "Thousand Days' War", between liberals and conservatives.

Commerce and Industrialization

San José de David (official name) is Panama's third largest urban area. It functions as a hub for the province's commercial activities, mainly agriculture and cattle raising and supplies the rest of the country. It's the regions chief financial center and most national banks have offices here, including international banks such as HSBC. It also serves as port of exports and imports with neighboring Costa Rica. It is connected to the rest of the country by the Pan-American Highway, and the Enrique Malek International Airport. It is one of the most industrialized cities in the country and is a center of manufacturing, heavy industry and high technology standards and communications. It is also a popular tourist destination due to its nightlife, entertainment, cuisine, shopping and relative proximity to the Pacific coast.

Location and Geography


David is located in a basin in south central Chiriquí Province between the cities of Puerto Armuelles on the coast and Boquete in the mountains. The city lies below the water break on the David River, at the foothills of the Cordillera de Talamanca mountain range. Volcán Barú, a dormant volcano and also the tallest mountain in Panama, is visible from northern parts of the city. David is roughly 30 km from the Costa Rican border and is a vital center for trade between the two countries. Located some 434 km from Panama City.


A grocery store in David

Central David is mostly laid out in a grid with numbered streets; however, the streets on the outskirts of town are neither named nor numbered. David's population density is rather low as most people live in detached single-family homes. Most buildings in town, including those in the central business district are only one or two stories high. Only a few hotels, banks, casinos, and apartment buildings reach a height of two to five stories.

Most expats and the wealthiest Davidians live in the northern section of town and in the neighboring communities immediately to the north and northwest. This area is also a commercial district and contains many stores and franchises that would be more familiar to American tourists.

David offers many lodging options. As Chiriquí province continues to gain popularity as a tourist destination, more hotels are being built to accommodate all budget ranges.

For Backpackers passing through there is the original backpackers hostel Purple House [1] and the newer Hostel with a pool Bambu Hostel. [2]

Famous residents

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