Coronado was started by a family headed by Roberto Eisenmann when the Inter-Americana Highway (the highway that is called by many different names and goes from here to Alaska) was just a small, two-lane road with a beautiful set of coast beaches nestled against the mountains. Coronado started as a weekend vacation destination not long ago because of the natural beauty and the terrain, and it has just built upon that.
if you’re in Panama City and you say, “I’m going to the beach,” you’re not just going to Coronado but you’re going somewhere in the 20 mile strip between Coronado-Gorgona and Coronado-San Carlos; to the people in Panama City, that’s “the beach.”
Many people get focused on just the town of Coronado, but you wouldn’t know from looking out the window where Coronado starts and the next little town starts or stops. So what is generally referred to as “Coronado” is more than just the town of Coronado; it’s a strip of about 30 miles of beach of numerous little places that have their own characteristics. For example, San Carlos has their own little bread market and they make bread with the shape of a fish. They have produce stands and vegetables grown by the locals.
The great news is this whole beach area has lots of room to grow. People worry sometimes about the Coronado area being overbuilt but there’s miles and miles of beaches and so the development is going into the towns next to Coronado—Gorgona, the towns past Coronado, San Carlos—and you get different terrain and different other characteristics of each area.
They’re improving the highway again from the Panama City and they’re bringing the train to the town of La Chorrera from Panama City. La Chorrera is about halfway to Coronado. We have a little airport that’s international now called Scarlett Martinez International Airport in Rio Hato, and there are flights from Canada coming into the airport. This area is just going to continue to grow.
The real shock of the Coronado area is the number of young families living here with kids from all over the world. When I moved here my son was one of the four kids in the only international school. Now, that school has grown to 47 kids in high school alone and there are three schools in this area that are international and are all full and having to add on every year. The young people who now live here have given Coronado a feeling of electricity. Now you’ve got the ability to retire here and in addition young people with kids are making this place fantastic.
(View of the beach from a condo in Gorgona near Coronado, Panama, pictured.)