(Panamainfo) It is hard to think of any metropolitan city anywhere with so many fine beaches nearby. Along the Pacific Coast just outside Panama City, begin a string of pretty beaches of white sand and sapphire blue waters.
This lovely coastal area near Panama City is home to six full service resorts, three golf courses, beach front cabins, villas for rent and an RV park. Activities include getting wet. surfing and golf. Gorgeous million dollar weekend homes of Panama’s elite and newcomers dot the coastline. Getting here is an easy, one hour drive from Panama City on a modern four lane highway.
How To Get There
By car or bus on a beautiful four lane highway from Panama City. You can rent a car or take a bus from Panama’s new Albrook Terminal for a couple of bucks. The taxi ride will cost you about $70. The major resorts have transportation services from the international airport in Panama City.
Where To Stay
There are now six major resorts on beaches close to Panama City: Just over the bridge from Panama City is Playa Bonita Intercontinental Resort. An hour plus further there are three all inclusives- (Royal Decameron, Playa Blanca Resort and Breezes )the Coronado Hotel and Golf Resort and the areas most upscale resort , Buenaventura Bristol.
Excellent small hotel options include Las Sirenas featuring individual cabins on the beach and Coronado Beach Bed and Breakfast in a beautiful former beach home.
Where To Eat
Gourmet Dining : Vista Mar Resort community has a seaside gourmet restaurant run by one of Panama’s best French chefs. Elegant decor beautiful sea views. Seafood is a specialty.
Good food: Los Camisones, near Santa Clara beach is a Panamanian favorite with an extensive seafood and Panamanian menu. Popular dishes are Galician octopus and jumbo prawns.
Bay View Restaurant: Near Santa Clara, not a fancy place but but ocean views and good seafood.
What To Do
Miles of lovely, uncrowded beaches, beach resorts, retirement and vacation communities, two golf courses, surfing and wind surfing, ocean and river kayaking, RV park, jet skis, and sidetrips to the ancient volcano crater town El Valle de Anton.
One of your first pleasant surprises will be how warm the water is on all Panama’s Pacific coasts year round. You can make this a day trip from Panama City. Santa Clara and San Carlos have nice areas for day trippers.
Some of the more most popular beache are Coronado, Punta Chame, San Carlos, Buenaventura ,Gorgona, Rio Mar, Santa Clara and Playa Blanca.
Rio Mar is the most popular surfing beach year-round. Punta Chame is good for windsurfing certain months of the year, particularly the dry season.
Retirement and Vacation Communities
An increasing number of American snowbirds and retirees are choosing to buy a second home in this area. It has unbeatable attractions:uncrowded beautiful beaches, competitive housing prices, and proximity to metropolitan Panama City. Foreign residents of this area was featured in Business Week July 2009 in an article “Panama-the Next Florida”. They loved the fact that they could surf everyday.
This Pacific Coast area has cable TV, internet access, a fabulous El Rey Supermarket where you can find just about everything you can find in a US supermarket, from Maine lobster to Nutrigrain bars, a new small shopping mall and the San Fernando Clinic , an extension of one of Panama’s major hospitals.
Another attraction of the Pacific Coast beaches are their proximity to the cool picturesque mountain communities like El Valle de Anton and Los Altos de Maria, just half an hour away. You can easily make a day trip there from the beach.