Whether you prefer undiscovered and under the radar or developed and readily accessible, Panama likely has a beach for you.
The country’s Caribbean coast features white sand beaches and aqua waters, while on the Pacific shores, you’ll find grey sands and blue waters. No matter which part of the country you choose, the waters are always warm.
Here are some of the top beaches and beach communities to explore next time you visit Panama.
Bocas del Toro
A province of Panama that’s primarily made up of an island chain in the Caribbean, Bocas del Toro is home to numerous beautiful beaches. It’s a place that truly embodies the idea that there’s a beach for everyone.
One of the most picturesque choices is Bocas del Drago. (Just Google images of the beach and you’ll understand its attraction.) Think long stretches of secluded, untrampled beach and nothing but you and the palm trees. The beach is located far enough away from Bocas town that hordes of tourists rarely make the trip.
On the Isla Colon, another equally unforgettable choice is Starfish Beach, appropriately named after the numerous sea stars on display here. Located on a remote, unexposed side of the island, there’s not much swell, meaning the waters remain placid. But the biggest draw is the hundreds of starfish easily visible in the calm waters.
Yet another remote corner of paradise for those seeking to get away from it all and enjoy time on a memorable beach, the San Blas islands (more than 300 of them) are located off the coast of Panama.
Many of the islands are uninhabited, which means their beaches have definitely not been overrun by tourists or any sort of development for that matter. The islands are run by the Kuna tribe, who work hard to protect their land.
A variety of companies run trips to the islands from Panama.
For those who are seeking convenience when beach hunting, look no further than Coronado, which is about an hour’s drive from Panama’s capital. Located near the Bay of Panama, Coronado attracts affluent locals. The area has also become home to a growing expat community. Despite the growing number of people living here, and the development of modern conveniences that their arrival has inspired, the white sand beaches remain quiet and uncluttered.
The tiny island of Contadora presents yet another opportunity to explore remote beaches that have yet to be largely discovered.
There are seven main beaches on the island, each with their own character and charm. Most of them are accessible via main roads, but some require a bit of an adventure.
Located near the Pacific Ocean, the water here isn’t azure blue like the Caribbean but is lovely nevertheless with its shades of green and blue.
Notable beach stops include Playa Caracol, where marine life thrives, making it a good place for scuba diving. Playa Ejecutiva, meanwhile, is the smallest beach on the island. It is located between two cliffs, creating a particularly calm place to swim.
Perhaps the most famous beach on Contador is Playa Larga, so named because it is well, big. The beach stretches from north to south, covering much of the island. There are numerous resorts along this beach and along with them, the majority of tourists. As for the quality of the beach itself, think white sand and blue waters.