The Pacific coast of Panama has long been a refuge for city dwellers, with its wide beaches and numerous small towns, offering accommodations and restaurants. Easy to reach from Panama City within an hour or so by bus or car along the InterAmerican highway, the summer weekends and annual holidays draw the city's crowds to this otherwise sleepy area.
The more exclusive gated communities like Coronado offer luxury amenities at their beach and golf resorts and residences there tended to be vacation homes. A lot has changed in the past 8 years with the Canadians first arriving and retirees from the USA and Europe, and increasing amounts of tourists coming to the super resorts of Decameron and Playa Blanca. Condos began to spring up in established communities in the Coronado area as the malls multiplied, and now the scenario is in full bloom, or BOOM!
There are many new developments offering great amenities,for permanent residents, whether retirees, or families, and rentals galore for snowbirds etc. The BOOM has improved infrastructure, creating great lifestyle choices, all conveniences and necessities, yet the area is still affordable and adds to the maintenance of the natural beauty.
There are many wonderful new condo developments to recommend within an hour more or less from Panama City, starting with Playa Bonita, and midway to Royal Palms and Bahia in Gorgona; Coronado Golf, Punta Paraiso (homes) and several more in Coronado; then onward to San Carlos' Fontanella del Mar and El Palmar, Casmar; further toward the new airport in Farallon, Playa Blanca's multi condo and home developments; and much more in between, including the expansion of Vista Mar, Bijao, and the very new Playa del Sol condo and home community still under construction.
Buying a condo or home in a project still under construction offers excellent values, with two to three years before occupancy. Here are three to consider:
- Fontanella del Mar is a boutique building of six floors located near the Coronado malls; about 15 minutes away. All apartments have spectacular sea views and spacious balconies overlooking La Ensenada Beach in the charming village of San Carlos. Prices start at $163,664.
- El Palmar Residences, on the beach at the small town of El Palmar, is a high rise with apartments ranging in size from 201 square feet to 4,451 square foot penthouses. Units have 1, 2, 3 or 4 bedrooms, and all units have ocean views. Pools, solarium, sauna, spa, squash, cinema, restaurant and bar are just some of the amenities available. Prices start $128, 216. Located near Coronado malls about 20 minutes away.
- Playa del Sol is a full-size community including low-rise condos, homes, beach club with restaurant, bar, pools, and changing rooms, tennis and basketball courts, and playgrounds. Phase l offers a residential complex of low-rise condos (3 levels ), with 6 apartments in each building. All apartments have ocean views and ground floor gardens. Located on the beach, the master development has a total of 753,473 square feet. Condo prices start at $148,000. Located about 30 minutes from Coronado Malls.