Which beach is Panama’s best beach?
With the coast running along two sides of the country, the Caribbean and the Pacific, there are no shortages of amazing beaches in Panama.
And don’t forget the beaches around the many islands surrounding Panama!
Panama’s beaches are as varied as the people who visit them.
Which beach would YOU like to spend the day at?
- Boca del Drago – Located in the northwest of Isla Colón, the main island in Bocas del Toro, is one of the best beaches on the island. There are a couple of restaurants where you can get delicious fresh seafood and a cold beer and cabins where you can spend the night. Clear water makes for good visibility and coral growths just offshore offer world-class snorkeling here. Starfish beach is about a 15 minute walk and is known for its abundance of stars!
- Cayos Zapatillas – These are actually two small islands that are part of the National Marine Park of Isla Bastimentos. The beaches have beautiful white sand and the water is perfect for snorkeling and viewing large varieties of underwater life. Hawksbill sea turtles are also known to nest here.
- San Blas – On the other end of Panama’s Caribbean coast is an island chain that is inhabited by the indigenous Kuna Yala Indians. Perfect for exploring native cultures or just relaxing and swimming in the clear water. These islands are also popular among sailors and ecotourism fans.
- Isla Coiba – Located off the Pacific coast of Panama in the Gulf of Chiriqui. Coiba is part of the National Marine Preserve and is best known for the abundance of large fish and sea mammals that are seen here regularly.
- Santa Catalina – Once a secret surf spot but not today. Some of the best surf in Panama has attracted people from around the globe for international surf meets. There are even surf camps where they give lessons for those who are new to the sport. You can also enjoy the peace while sunbathing, reading, and watching the waves.
- Isla Contadora – Part of the Pearl Islands and best known as the place where pirates and merchants stopped to count their pearls before heading back to Europe to trade. A popular tourist destination, Contadora has a small regional/domestic airport and has regular flights to and from Panama City.
- Playa Venao – Another popular surf spot on the Pacific side of Panama, located Southwest of Pedasi on the Azuero Peninsula. Waves break in both directions and there is a soft sandy bottom which makes this spot popular for all skill levels. It’s a bit off the beaten track and the vibe here is relaxed.
- Red Frog Beach – Located on Isla Bastimentos in Bocas del Toro. Monkeys and sloths are common in the jungle here, as well as the poison red dart frog that the beach is named after. Great for surfing, swimming and sunbathing.
- Taboga – The island is known as the “island of flowers” and is only an hour from Panama City, making it a popular weekend getaway for the locals. Get there by ferry from the Amador Causeway. The beaches are beautiful on the island. Boat tours for fishing, whale watching, snorkeling, and sightseeing are available, as well as walking and nature tours.
- Las Lajas – This beach is in Chiriqui Province on the far western side of Panama about 1 hour to David, the second largest city in Panama. It’s a very long beach with tropical trees lining the shore. This is the place to go to relax! Las Lajas is great for swimming or just walks along the long beach. Between April and October, you may see humpback whale too.
Although we have 10 beaches listed here, each is number #1 on someone’s list, so we’ll let YOU decide which beach is your #1!
When you live in Panama, you can take little in-country vacations to your favorite beach in Panama.
It is often a short 1 hour drive to an amazing beach!
Check out this video of a Panama Relocation Tours ALUMNI Beach Day to Parida Island in the Gulf of Chiriqui on the Pacific side of Panama.
Randall L Butler says
Nice Article, can’t wait to visit some them after we make our move in about a year from now
Daniel Wayne Morgan says
What are some of the best expat beach regions on the Pacific coast with markets and close proximity to health care? Assuming reasonable life style amenities.
Jackie Lange says
These towns are near a beach and have close proximity to a hospital Chitre, Coronado, San Carlos, David (La Barqueta beach)