I was reading a post on this question about the crime rate in Coronado, Panama, and the reply was that only residents and hotel guests could enter, which made me laugh out loud for about 10 minutes before I could go on and post this.
Yes, in Coronado they do have a private gate with guards standing by, but never have they ever stopped me from rolling right inside. I did it so many times it was just crazy. You see, even though Coronado is a private place, they still have open bars and restaurants as well as a local Cable Onda building back in the day where I took my mother down once a month so she could pay her cable bill. I would pull up to the guard and say “I'm here to see Randy Wetbottom” or “Cindy Hotpants” and they would wave me right in. My mom would say one day they are going to have someone out here that will understand me and I was going to be in trouble.
Well a friend of mine asked me to come along with him to play poker with a bunch of guys down there so I went, and my friend pulled up to the gate and told the guard we were here to see Billy Boner!! I busted out laughing and my friend said “What's so funny?” I had never told him about what I do all the time and I just thought he was being funny like I always did, but as it turned out the joke was on me because that was the man's real name.
Anyway, again with places to eat and others in Coronado, you can see how they can't turn anyone away from going in there. Years ago the people down there wanted to stop everyone from going past the gates into their little world and they got the government to agree that they were private, so when the roads turned to pot holes they all cried “Come fix our roads!” and the government said “NO, IT'S YOURS AND IT'S PRIVATE.”
The expats have bought many homes in Coronado, but all that did was make the price jump. You are close to shopping though, so if you don't mind paying US $350,000 for a $125,000 home, jump right in there.
Know this as well, that all beaches here in Panama are open to the public, so what they started doing is blocking all that land behind the beach off so you couldn't get to the beach unless you walked across someone's yard and that is a “no no” here, so the government stepped in and said the people blocking off the land behind the beach must leave open alleyways so the public can get to the beach. Yeah, but then where most of those beaches in Coronado are, there is no parking, so where you have to park and leave your car you can't see it, so when you do come back is your car there or not? Humm..
Did someone say “car alarms??” Here in Panama car alarms are the songs of my people. One goes off every second of every day, so much so when one goes off no one even looks up
Now, back to the question “Is Coronado safe?” Coronado is as safe as any city in America.
Use your head, don't flash a bank roll of money, don't wear high end watches and gold, keep your head up and look around you at all times. A lot of the crimes here in Panama on us expats are from people in our inter circle: our maid, the yard or pool man, people you trust and pay well and allow into your homes and your lives.
They ALL talk about you, and they know all about you over time. You’re planning a trip back to the States for two weeks to see little Kate get that degree, who are you going to tell? The maid, the yard or pool man. “Yep, keep a eye on the place for us. We will be leaving this date and returning this date.” And trust me, a maid knows everything inside your home, even the places you don't think she knows about. Now NOT ALL, but many. But again these are the same problems you have any place in the world. Overall, Panama is a very safe place to live, and some parts more the others.
Invest in your safety and in the safety of your loved ones. Lights, dead bolt doors, window guards, maybe a large dog outside and a small dog inside. Get to know the people who live around you. I also put in a camera system that records day and night 24 7 on a month loop, so no one can walk in my yard without me knowing it. I’m not scared of anything, but I don't want to make myself a easy target. If my house has all of the above and yours doesn't, they will go to your house and by pass mine.
God bless and keep safe.