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Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Beaches in Panamá

View of Isla Taboga with Ilsa El Morro with Panama City in the background – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPanamá is located in the central part of the American continent, between North and South América, surrounded by Costa Rica and Colombia.
 
(Isla Tobago with a view of Isla El Morro in the Gulf of Panama with Panama City in the background, pictured.)
 
This small, but beautiful country is blessed to be surrounded 100% by the Atlantic Ocean to the north and the Pacific Ocean to the South.  It´s a very narrow piece of land, which is one of the reasons why engineers in 1904 made the decision that Panamá was the best place for the water-level canal, which today, is one of the Eight Wonders of the World, a marvel of engineering, especially now where the expansion is under way, for the world’s commerce to benefit.

Panamanians love beaches and aquatic sports, and they share all this beauty with visitors.  Some beaches are better known that others, and are spread through out the country.  We will mention some of them here:
 
By the Atlantic Ocean
  • The main beach is near Portobelo, a very historical town, very important since the 15th century, where gold were carried from South America into Spain.  Portobelo offers visitors many restaurants and excellent seafood, including lobster.  There is also a nice resort in the area, surrounded by beautiful beaches where you can enjoy scuba diving, snorkeling, and surf.  It is the ideal place if you want to spend a different kind of day.  There is also Fort St. Lorenzo, a little abandoned at this time, but still, a nice place to visit.Surfer at Rio Mar Beach, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
​​(Surfer at Rio Mar Beach, Panama, pictured at right.)
  • From Portobelo, you may like also to visit Isla Grande, a nice island about 15 minutes from there, with nice small hotels, restaurants, beach, boat rides and a nice hill to hike. You may also like to take the modern tourism/cargo train between both cities, a ride which takes about 1.5 hours and costs US $36.00 round trip and is along the Panamá Canal.
Pacific Ocean:
  • We can start by mentioning "the causeway", or "Cinta Costera" in the city of Panamá.  It is not suitable for swimming, but it is a beautiful path to walk, bike ride, skate, or simply, go to a restaurant of your choice, or take a cruise, or one of the Panamá Canal 4 hour excursion, or the full transit.
  • Farfán is located in the Port of Vacamonte.  Along the way, passing the Canal, through the Bridge of the Americas,  you find excellent resorts and the well known Panamá Pacífico, which is an industrial park with over 150 multinationals from all over the world. This beach there is popular among locals, and is located about 30 minutes from the bridge.
Pacific Ocean, "Interior". The "Interior" is everything after by the Canal, and is considered "the country."  This does not mean that you cannot find 5 star communities and resorts in this area, because there are.  It ranges from Chame to Boquete and Bocas del Toro, nine hours apart by car.  We'll travel in order, from the city.
  • Arraiján and Chorrera.  You will find some beaches and coast in this area, and some lakes where you an enjoy walking, fishing or a boat rides.
  • Punta Chame.  A nice beach area with a nice resort.  You will also see mountains in the area.  Passing by the beautiful "Cerro Campana", the town of Chame  is a very cute place, located about 90 minutes by car from the city.  From here, you may like to visit the town of Sorá, and Altos del María.Darien province coast, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
​​(Playa de la Muerte on the coast of the Darien province, pictured right.)
  • Coronado and Gorgona, about 2 km (about 1.2 miles) from Chame.  Both places very popular among locals and visitors.  All the modern facilities are available, including resorts, hotels, restaurants, pharmacies, an emergency hospital, condo buildings, three malls, and much more. Gorgona connects with Chame by the beach, and has beautiful hills and mountains afar. From here you might like to take a tour to "El Valle de Antón", a charming,  picturesque town, with excellent and cool weather, 30 minutes away by car, with lots of curves in the road. Gorgona is singular as a result of its black sand beach.
  • Las Guías, San Carlos, Bonaventure, and Punta Barco are among other beaches in this area, offering all kind of restaurants, beautiful high end condo buildings, villas and resorts. The list could be longer, but impossible to mention them all. Along the main highway "Interamericana" you are able to buy fresh fruits, vegetables, natural drinks and other basic needs.Santa Clara beach, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
  • Santa Clara (pictured right), and Seaclif, are also very popular, a little bit further down.
  • Then, you reach the central part of Panamá, approaching Chitré, Las Tablas, Penonomé, Monagrillo, Guararé, Pocri, Pedasí, and Tonosí.  All those towns and villages offer a unique experience to visitors. It's call the "Península de Azuero", and is famous for their folklore, history and culture. In Pedasí, beaches are spectacular and offer a variety of outdoor adventures.
  • Also in Central Panamá, there is Soná, with the famous San Pablo River, and Santa Catalina, very famous for their international  surfing tournaments. The main town in the area is Santiago.
  • Then in the very west of the country, there is the province of Chiriquí, which also offers less known beautiful beaches, not less yet discovered.  This is followed by the area of Puerto Armuelles, a bit isolated and more of an agricultural area, but also with beaches.  Locals are more used to going here.
North West Panamá, by  the Atlantic Ocean:Isla Escudo de Veraguas, Bocas del Toro, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
  • The internationally well known Bocas del Toro, with hundreds of islands, each of them offering a unique experiences to the visitors.  This area is very popular the back-packing, and you will see visitors from all over the world enjoying restaurants, hotels and out at the beaches, especially enjoying open sea boat rides, corals.  Bocas del Toro is Ideal for surfing, scuba diving, snorkeling, honeymooning, or simply, family reunions. The most popular spot is Isla Colón (Colón Island; which is simple, small, nothing fancy, but fun. A plane ticket to Bocas del Toro is is $200 and takes about 1 hour from the city of Panamá.
​​(Isla Escudo de Veragua in Bocas del Toro, Panama, pictured above. )
 
 
North East Panamá, by the Atlantic Ocean:
  • The most popular area here is the "Archipiélago of San Blas", a beautiful place with thousands of isles, but only a few of them open to the public.  San Blas is inhabited  by the "Gunas" (native Indians), and is the place where the famous "molas" are made.  The beaches here are similar to the Bahamas.  Several tours offer their services to visit San Blas by car or local plane.Yandup Island Lodge in Playón Chico, Guna Yala, Panamá – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
(Yandup Island Lodge in Playon Chico, Guna Yalka, Panama, pictured.) 
Charles Conn of The Visitor – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Playa Teta, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe best beaches in Panama would depend on what you are looking for. If you like to surf, the best place for me would be Playa Teta (pictured), which is a funny name, because it is slang for breasts, but that is what they call that beach. The shape of the bay provides constant waves and it is family friendly. The waves are not like the waves in Hawaii. It is a nice, good beach. It is really long, so you won’t feel crowded, all while being close to Panama City. It just an hour and a half away going west.
 
There is a further beach called Santa Catalina that is the best surfing beach in the entire country of Panama. Major surf tournaments take place there. It is closer to Costa Rica than to Panama City, since it is past the Azuero Peninsula going to Chiriquí. To get to Santa Catalina from Panama City is half a day, so you would want to make sure that you have a place to stay for at least one night to make it worthwhile. If you make it out there, you will be at one of the best surfing beaches in region. That beach is more for suitable for surfing and has a rocky bottom; it is not your typical white sand beach.
 
On the Atlantic side, there is Isla Grande in the province of Colon. It is an island, so to go there, you drive a little more than an hour from Panama City, park your car in a secure place and take a boat taxi that takes you to the island. The waters of Isla Grande are super calm and crystal clear. They have nice sand beaches, so if you want a great, relaxed beach experience, you can go to the Atlantic side.
 
Of course, we also have Bocas Del Toro, which is the province of Panama that borders Costa Rica. Bocas Del Toro is just pure islands and beaches and crystal clear waters. It is one of the top destinations in Panama. A lot of people go exclusively to Bocas Del Toro when they go to Panama on a vacation.  It’s really easy to get there by ferry service that departs from Colon every Friday.  It involves an overnight ride of 12 hours, but you can sleep aboard, wake up in the morning and you´re there.  The ferry has full service and entertainment onboard. 
Linda Jensen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Las Lajas, Panama girl on the sand – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
From Boquete in the cool mountains, the drive to Las Lajas is only two hours. You can drive the sc
enic back road through the small villages and come to the Pan American Highway, turn left onto the Pan American and drive a bit further south past the road to Boca Chica about 30 minutes, or 40, depending on traffic, then turn right onto the blacktop road to Las Lajas.
 
The village is small and typical of little Panama communities; churches, a school, police department, a few small businesses. There is access to the beach in various places, with some places that offer covered parking for a small fee. The resort is a bit isolated, but quite a nice surprise. You can get a day pass there for access to the beach, hotel restaurant, bathrooms and pool. There are not many rooms, but they offer basic creature comforts, have ceiling fans and air conditioners.  
 
The beach is excellent for walking, doing some jogging or horseback riding. The waves are not too big, but can get some large swells that will toss you about. The beach is sand, not mud, and it is easy to walk a good distance into the surf. Honestly, it seems much more people friendly than other beach locations in the area. There are usually small numbers of people.  However that changes with the seasons and holidays. Las Lajas, Panama surf – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
This area has spectacular sunrises and sunsets; you will want a camera on you during the outing. Beautiful, lush tropical trees and plants against the bright blue sky just beg for you to take a picture. I think this beach is one of the best-kept secrets in Panama. It has a feeling of a backyard party with the neighbors as you huddle under thatched roof cabanas, or order a delicious meal in the small restaurant that is such a colorful place to enjoy a drink or meal.
 
Las Lajas is a relaxing place to visit. Surrounded by beauty, by fresh clean air, cooling trade winds and the sound of the waves crashing on the shores of a wide, accessible beach. Distant islands look like mirages in the morning haze, the sun sparkles against the blue ocean making you feel lazy, relaxed and very comfortable! Come to Panama for a visit and stay for a lifetime! Check out the photographs:

Las Lajas, Panama grass, sand, and ocean – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLas Lajas, Panama hotel pool – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
Las Lajas, Panama sunset – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingLas Lajas, Panama hotel with pool – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
Ian Usher of House Sitting Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Bocas del Toro has some of the finest beaches in Panama.
Starfish Beach, Bocas del Toro, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
The picture to the right shows Starfish Beach, which is accessible from Bocas del Toro either by bus or by boat.
 
Starfish Beach is very popular because it is on the sheltered side of Isla Colon, and is very safe and calm. It's name is well justified, as there are many starfish to be seen there.
 
Bocas del Toro is unique, in that it offers the best of both worlds for beaches. On the outer sides of the islands beaches face the open Caribbean and are much wilder and emptier. You can easily find long stretches of quiet beach all to yourself.
 
On Isla Colon Paunch Beach and Bluff Beach are popular, and in the right conditions draw keen surfers.
 
The ocean side of Isla Caranero has a beautiful beach and some world class surf.
 
Wizard Beach and Red Frog Beach on the ocean side of Isla Bastimentos are both popular with surfers and holiday makers alike.
 
Further afield a boat tour will take you out to the Zapatilla islands, true Caribbean picture-postcard locations with beaches to die for.
 
Enjoy your Bocas del Toro beach time - but don't forget the sun cream!
kevin obrien of BarefootPanama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Panama has some of the best beaches in the world. Islands on both sides of the country (Pacific and Atlantic) provide the best of the best! Pearl Island beaches are amazing and the San Blas is hard to beat. The mainland has OK beaches, too, like Santa Catalina and Venao and other islands in the Bay of Chiriqui and Bocas make for great beach destination trips!
Allen Rosen – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The best beach in Panama is Las Lajas in Chiriqui province. Light sand. Rarely crowded -- only on holidays. The sand goes on mile after mile. Great for kids and swimming. You can wade out for a couple of hundred meters and still be able to stand on the sandy bottom.
 
There is a new B&B opening there run by Flavio and Pillar Nobili. Check it out. Best place to stay.
 
Louis Seldon – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Principal beaches of Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe best beaches in Panama: Judy covered the subject well and is very knowledgeable on Panama.
 
My opinion is I like the beaches on the strip west of Panama City that are an shown on this map.
 
If you have more time don't miss Azuero Peninsula.Coronado near the El Gaviota hotel/ B&B – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
 
The second photo (the one below the map) is of Coronado near the El Gaviota hotel / B&B.  It's a neat little place off the beaten trail.
 
The third photoGorgona Beach Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living is Gorgona Beach.
 
Santa Clara Beach, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe fourth and fifth photos are of Santa Clara BeachSanta Clara Beach, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPlaya Farallón, DeCameron Resort – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingPlaya Farallón, DeCameron Resort at sunset – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living.
 
The final three photos are Playa Farallón, DeCameron Resort.
 
 Saludos amigos ~~ PanamLouMorning at DeCameron Resort, Farralon, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International Living
Judith Tovar of Easy Travel Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
The best beaches in Panama...we have beautiful beaches both on the Atlantic and on the Pacific Oceans. 
 
When you are in Panama City...you get on the Panamerican Highway...and after driving for 1 hour...you will get to go to a lot of wonderful beaches right off the highway.  The roads to most of these beaches are very good too.
 
On the Pacific side we also have some beautiful beaches in the Chiriqui area, in the Peninsula de Azuero area, in the Pearl Islands, etc.
 
Then we also have some beautiful beaches on the Atlantic/Caribbean side.  Bocas del Toro  has some beautiful beaches.  San Blas has some gorgeous beaches.
 
If you like beaches...you can take your pick.  You can fish, snorkel, dive, swim, surf, or just relax.  Different beaches are better known for each of the things I have mentioned above.  Once you are here you will see that we have a LOT to offer beach-wise!
 
 
Neil Stein of Panama Paraiso – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are fabulous beaches in Panama.  Looking at a map, you will see there are hundreds of miles of coastline along the Caribbean Coast as well as the more populated Pacific side.  Besides all the gorgeous beaches along the Coronado coast, there is Azuero Peninsula including the famous surf beach Playa Venao, and the even more well known famous surf town of Santa Catalina, west of Azuero.
On the Caribbean side, there are the beautiful beaches of the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, Isla Grande and the San Blas Islands.
 
If you're into diving, the Pearl Islands near Panama City will provide a great variety of beaches as well.
Ivan Marquez of Manglar lodge – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
There are a lot of good beaches near or in Panama City.  Most of then are 80 km (about 50 miles) from Panama City.
 Punta Chame, Coronado, El Palmar in San Carlos my favorite one.  I live here, San Clara and Farallon.

The photo to the left is a picture of El Palmar.

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