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Daryl Ries of Keller Williams Panama, associate – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
NEW DEVELOPMENTS on the PACIFIC COAST about one hour drive from Panama City, including the Coronado area.
 
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.
Abdu Aguilar – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Santa Clara beach, Colce, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingThe Coronado area was one of the first developments in what we call “the beach areas.” The beach area is also known as Arco Seco, which translates to “dry arch”. The beach area starts from Punta Chame, which is a peninsula going out to Juan Hombron, which is in Cocle, the state next to Panama Oeste (Panama West). Punta Chame is a big beach. The most popular development in this area is Coronado because it was the first and it is where most of the biggest businesses have branched out. The biggest pharmacies, banks, restaurants, etc., have branches in Coronado. That is why Coronado is the main place to be.
 
When we talk about Panama West, which is the state, which has districts. The most significant district and what is referred to as the main city is Chorrera. After Chorrera, the next districts are Capira, Chame, and then San Carlos. Inside Chame, is Coronado. Coronado just became popular even if it is not the main city in the Panama West area. At the same time, when people and even businesses started to realize that Coronado is quite full, they decided to move to other areas like Cocle, which is the state that has the airport. They have the biggest hotels in the area and they have nice beaches, too. Now Cocle has a commercial center and businesses are starting to arrive. 
 
There are several developments in the beach area such as Coronado, Casa Mar, Rio Mar, and Buenaventura, which is the most luxurious and expensive place here in the beach area. There’s also Playa Blanca, Bijao, and Vista Mar, which is building the biggest marina in the area. So people are starting to look at other places other than Coronado. 
 
El Palmar, is in San Carlos, located between Vista Mar and Rio Mar. El Palmar is basically in the middle of nowhere in a funny way because the main place is San Carlos and Vista Mar is just next door but El Palmar has a private entrance. When you come over to El Palmar, you’ll see that there is nothing around you and you will see the buildings. It is very private and there is not a lot around there.  
 
(Santa Clara beach, Colce, Panama, pictured.)
Evie Brooks of Panama Vacation Realty – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Westin Playa Bonita, Panama – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingVeracruz, where I am, is a quaint little town at the very first exit once you go over the Panama Canal bridge, which is referred to as the Bridge of the Americas. Veracruz is only 15 minutes away from Panama City by car and about 45 minutes away from the airport
 
Veracruz is a resort area that has the Westin Playa Bonita as well as the Intercontinental Hotel. There is a famous restaurant in Vera Cruz called Karimar, which is located outside and on the ocean that has been recognized on all the different food channels and that is what Veracruz is known for in addition to the Westin Playa Bonita.
 
At The Westin Playa Bonita, you also have Casa Bonita, which is the residential sister building to the Westin building. They are of Greek architectural design and they have magnificent ocean, mountain, and jungle views as well as a view of the Panama Canal, where you can watch the ships coming through, straight from your balcony. It is a 5-star resort with seven swimming pools, seven restaurants, the private Pearl Club, which has our own private swimming pool right on the ocean, as well as its own private restaurant and deli. It has game rooms, ping-pong tables, etc. Casa Bonita has a theater currently in the works. It also has a fitness center and a spa and accessible to the guests of the Westin Hotel.
 
The Westin Hotel has five pools and two pools that are private to Casa Bonita. One is located at the social area at the top of the building and the other pool is at the Pearl Club. We also have our own private fitness center in the building. We have all kinds of amenities such as kayaks, paddleboards, the beach, the cornhole, etc. There are all kinds of activities going on in the Westin Hotel that one could participate in on a regular basis throughout the day and on into the evening as well. It is basically a community where you never want to leave. You could even have your groceries delivered right to your condo, so it’s self contained.  You have the ability to come here to live and relax and you don’t really need to have a car because you are so close to Panama City that you could take a taxi if you just wanted to go shopping at the malls in the city.
 
Veracruz is just a beautiful and magnificent location with great views of the mountains, the ocean, and the Panama Canal. Veracruz is where people want to come if they want to have that beach environment vacation experience or they also like it for the views and the convenience of Panama City without having to drive an hour and a half to get to the actual “beach areas” or the “Gold Coast” area. 
 
The next location that people are interested in is Gorgona, which is the neighboring area to Coronado. It is just half a kilometer away and you can walk it up the beach in 20 minutes from Gorgona to Coronado. It takes about 40 minutes to get to Gorgona from Veracruz
 
Gorgona is where the new high-rise buildings are being built on the oceanfront because there is no ocean front property left in Coronado and there has not been for a very long time. The most magnificent high-rise, oceanfront dwellings are being built in the Gorgona area right now, scheduled for completion in the summer of 2017. I personally have a property there and many of my clients have also purchased in that building so we are really excited about its completion.
 
Gorgona is the “new Coronado” because the Coronado area is running out of space, so between Gorgona and Coronado is where all of the new expansion is taking place for retail, restaurants, and everything else.
 
Just east of Gorgona, they built a new shopping center that includes a PriceMart, which is similar to Costco or Sam’s Wholesale in the US. It is convenient because it has everything that you could possibly need without having to go all the way to Panama City. PriceMart is located a couple of exits before Westland Mall so it is closer to Gorgona and Coronado than Westland Mall. PriceMart is in the area of Costa Verde, which also has a DoIt center, a lot of restaurants, etc. It’s just a wonderful location. So there is all that, as well as the new area slightly west of Gorgona before you get to Coronado, which has new strip centers and new retail centers coming in left and right.
 
Coronado is what everybody knows as the expat destination in Panama. It is the largest expat community in the country. Coronado is closer to Panama City than many of the other locations where some of the other well-known expat areas are located like David, Chiriquí, etc. Coronado is more popular because you don’t have to take another puddle jumper flight or drive another 5 hours to get to one of those other areas from Panama City. What you would like depends on what you are looking for. A lot of people are looking at getting up into the mountains, so they prefer cooler areas. Some people are looking for oceanfront, not too far away from Panama City, so for these people, Coronado is the best destination.
 
Coronado has been established and it has been growing. There are three international schools, which have been bringing a great crowd of younger folks with young children. The schools are doing extremely well and have great reviews. We are starting to see younger families who are moving to the Coronado area. The Coronado area has grown so rapidly that it had begun to spill into the Gorgona area, a trend that started a little over two years ago.  The growth moving into the Gorgona area has been exponential because there is nowhere else to go on the Pan-American Highway in the Coronado area. That is why development is moving on up to the Gorgona area. We are just merging together as one big area.
 
There are not a lot of places of note to the west of Coronado. There are some developments but they are isolated and they are not in an area with huge growth or with big retail coming in. It’s just a more residential economy and houses. It’s not like Coronado and Gorgona as far as being a centralized location for massive retail and commercial growth.
 
(Westin Playa Bonita and Playa Boniga Village outside of Panama City,  Panama, pictured.)
RICH Novak of RE/MAX Beaches & City! INC. – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account
Rio Mar Beach Coronado Panama area – Best Places In The World To Retire – International LivingCoronado, Panama, itself, is definitely a place to look for real estate, and there are a lot of new developments here.
 
To start with the beach towns, Chame, which is 75 miles away from Panama City, is the first beach town, but there are no stores, hospitals, or malls there. If you were to live in Chame, you have to commute to Coronado, and that can take half an hour or more each way.
 
The next beach town is Gorgona (77 miles away from Panama City by car) and there is a new beach development going in there, but Gorgona is not as nice a beach as Coronado, because in Coronado, there are people who take care of the beach. They clean and groom the beach. That does not happen in Gorgona.
 
All the beaches in Panama are public, but the roads to get to the beach are not.
 
The next town after Coronado to the west is Punta Barco (Boat Point). Punta Barco is 5 to 10 minutes away from Coronado. They have exclusive million dollar homes over there and again the beaches are public, but there are two guard gates and you will not be able to get in through the gates to one of those beaches.
 
Going further to the west is Vista Mar (15 minutes away from Coronado by car), which is also a gated golf course community. It is the only golf course in the country of Panama where you can see the ocean from the golf course. They are now putting up a marina there, too. The developers that are developing that marina have a helicopter, and they have a boat that is big enough to land the helicopter on. Vista Mar is a really nice development.
 
Continuing to the west, there is another development called Rio Mar (above photo), which is around 20 minutes away from Coronado by car, and if you go further to the west, there is a new airport being developed at kilometer marker 115. This airport is currently called by different names, but it is in the town of Farallon. Right now, flights are coming in every day from Toronto, Canada and it’s my understanding that starting November, there will be flights coming in from Montreal, and in December, there will be new flights coming in from Minneapolis. The airline is Sunwing. When the Canadians come in from these nonstop flights, they have a choice to stay in four all-inclusive resorts and they can stay for a week. The pricing is pretty good, because they are promoting for people to come over to Panama. The resort that we recommend is Riu at Playa Blanca, which is a new resort. Next to Riu, I would recommend the Royal Decameron Resort, which is also an all-inclusive resort.
 
Another beach community is Buenaventura, which is about 77 miles away from Panama City. Buenaventura has a Jack Nicklaus golf course and a JW Marriott Hotel. Buenaventura is one of the nicest developments in the country of Panama. It is a very beautiful beach community. I would say the top three best beach developments would be Buenaventura, Vista Mar, and then Rio Mar.
Lourdes Townshend of Multimodal  & Logistic Transports Magazine – Best Places In The World To Retire User Account

Historically, the Coronado area has always been a weekend and holiday beach town for Panamanians who have enjoyed their properties from generation to generation, with a great hotel resort and horseback riding  club.

More recently, the Coronado area has become very attractive to visitors and foreigners from many countries seeking a retirement home, or as snowbirds.

The area has quickly developed in the last 10 years.  Three modern malls, shops, and an emergency hospital have been added in the past three years, not to mention the just inaugurated international airport of Río Hato that will serve all towns, especially in the central part of the country, which is where Coronado is located.

Picturesque towns surround the area, many of them not more than 15 minutes away.  The main ones are: Gorgona, Chame, Punta Chame, San Carlos, Santa Clara, Sea Cliff, Bejuco, Punta Barco, Punta Esmeralda, Buenaventura, Penonomé, El Valle de Antón, and Farallón, among others. Some of them offer beautiful and modern resorts, gated communities and the most beautiful condo buildings for any taste, especially those who enjoy beach amenities.  These are charming places where you can interact with locals as well as foreigners and buy fresh vegetables and fruits as well as crafts made throughout the country at very affordable prices​. And, there are excellent restaurants all over the place.

But most of all, the area around Coronado offers a good lifestyle alternative, without the hassle of money exchange, and excellent weather all year round.

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