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Best Beaches Around Panama City

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Beyond being famous for the Panama Canal, Panama is a popular destination for tourists who come from all over the world in search of beautiful islands and beaches for their holidays. There are many types of places to visit throughout the country, some very close to Panama City and others further out. The important thing is that this country is full of wonders on both its Pacific and Caribbean coasts. This guide offers some excellent ideas for beaches to visit in Panama.

Good for
  • Thrill Seeker
  • Nature Lover
  • Peace and Quiet Seeker
  • Beach Goer

10 Places

3 City Tips

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Map

10 Places

San Blas Islands

Destinations

Nueva Gorgona

Destinations

Santa Clara

Destinations

Farallon

Destinations

Punta Chame

Destinations

Isla Grande

Destinations

Taboga Island Beaches

Islands

Contadora Island

Destinations

Bocas del Toro Province

Destinations

Red Frog Beach

Beaches

Maria Camila R's City Tips

  • Protection from the sun is really important here. It is better to carry your own parasol because you surely won't find them on each beach.
  • Most beaches have no shops or restaurants, or sometimes they are expensive, so I recommend bringing your own food and water. Having a picnic at the beach is a nice plan!
  • The characteristics of the ecosystem makes the climate of Panama very humid, so even when it's hot it can rain. It's better to carry a light coat to protect you from the rain.
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    San Blas Islands
    Destinations
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    This, for me, is a highlight of Panama. You cannot leave without going to San Blas because it is a paradise with truly stunning beaches. San Blas is an archipelago located in the Caribbean Sea, with more than 300 islands that are part of the territory of the Kuna-Yala indigenous people. It is about three hours from the city, but you can talk to someone in the community and they will point you in the right direction to reach the main port. It is a place worth staying two or three days, so you can enjoy the peace and tranquility that you get when you're outside the city and surrounded by the sea.

    Good for
    • Peace and Quiet Seeker
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can go just forthe day or spend the night on one of the islands. Each one has different characteristics and options for places to sleep, like cabanas, hammocks and there is space to camp on the beach.
    • There are tours that include food, however I recommend you bring your own supply of food and drinks.
    • The closest island is called “Isla Aguja,” an inexpensive boat ride away. The cost of the ride to each island depends on the distance.
    • I recommend visiting "Isla Perro Grande," where you can explore the ruins of a sunken ship, "Isla Perro Chico," the Natural Pool, and "Isla Chichime."
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • San Blas Islands
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    Nueva Gorgona
    Destinations
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    Nueva Gorgona is the beach closest to Panama City, just one hour away on the Pacific coast. Although may not be the prettiest, it is a good choice when you want to plan a beach day but you don't want to go far. It is also visited by surfers due to its good waves and great sunsets. The beach is quite large and has many access points and public areas to relax in, but if you prefer, there are also hotels with restaurants, swimming pools, and other services.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrifty Traveller
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Public transportation to the beaches is not very efficient, so it's best to rent a car or go with a local who has one.
    • If you decide to go to the public areas versus the hotels, it is best to bring your own food, good hydration, and parasols.
    • If you go on the weekend I recommend arriving early to find a good spot; sometimes it’s quite busy, being so close to Panama City.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Nueva Gorgona
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    Santa Clara
    Destinations
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    I would say that this beach optimizes beauty and proximity, only two hours away and easily reached. Located on the Pacific coast, it is a white sandy beach with calm water. It is public, but there are areas that are managed by small hotels or restaurants that maintain the beach in good condition and offer different kinds of services: food, bathrooms, and small huts with hammocks where you can spend the day.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • There are small entry fees to the managed areas of the beach.
    • If you don't want to organize your own food, the Santa Clara restaurant has good options of typical plates for different budgets.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Santa Clara
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    Farallon
    Destinations
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    Relatively near to Santa Clara is Farallon beach, which shares features with some of the closer beaches, but differs because of its proximity to high-ranking hotels, apartments, and condominiums, such as the Decameron and Playa Blanca. This beach is visited equally by tourists and locals, who love to walk along the beach and have a day of ‘sun, sand, and sea.'

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • As this beach is public, you will not find restricted access in the hotel areas, you just can't access the private services.
    • If you bring food for a picnic, remember to collect and throw away trash, as it is a public beach and no one is there to take care of this for you.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Farallon
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    Punta Chame
    Destinations
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    Punta Chame is recognized for its windsurfing. In this bay, an hour and a half from Panama City, you will find a park called Nitro City, the franchise of a place especially created for lovers of extreme water sports and adventure. It's perfect for kite boarding, fishing, and scuba diving, as well as yoga and fitness.

    Good for
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Beach Goer
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Nitro City has all kinds of plans for individuals and friends groups, you can pay for each activity or stay a few days with an all inclusive plan.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Punta Chame
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    Isla Grande
    Destinations
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    Located in the Caribbean Sea, Isla Grande is two hours from Panama City, near the historic town of Portobelo. You can reach the small port Guaira by bus or car, and from there a take boat for no more than five minutes. Isla Grande also has a wide range of hotels and restaurants to make for a nice, relaxing day.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • The sea is quite calm, so I recommend snorkeling to see some fish.
    • The boats that take you to Isla Grande are very inexpensive and run from 6am to 6pm.
    • This is a perfect destination for families: The sea is calm and quiet, and the island has all kinds of options for both adults and children.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Isla Grande
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    Taboga Island Beaches
    Islands
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    Just 30 minutes by boat from a port located in the Amador Causeway is Taboga Island, an island home to many stories of Panama's colonization. It is quite close to the city and has good beaches, white sand, and different offerings for tourists and locals who want to spend the day. I recommend walking around the island and visiting some of the streets, where you'll come across pieces of the island's history.

    Good for
    • Beach Goer
    • Like a Local
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • History Buff
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Get to the boat in Amador early to buy tickets and check the departure times.
    • On this beach you can pay for a parasol and beach chair rental, useful if you don't want to bring your own.
    • You'll find many restaurants with various options and prices for lunch or drinks. There are even a few that deliver to the beach!
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #1 of 3 things to do in Isla Taboga
    • Worth being visited 10/07/2018
    • Nice day trip 06/07/2018
    • Taboga Island Beaches
    Address:
    Golfo de Panama
    Panama Gulf
    Isla Taboga 0811
    Panama
    Phone:
    +507 6489-0074
    Other:
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    Contadora Island
    Destinations
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    Contadora is known in history as the place where the Spanish completed their inventory before returning to their lands, thus the name 'Contador.' It is part of the archipelago Las Perlas, and it is a really wonderful place, recognized as a luxury destination, especially for couples. There is a wide range of watersports, including snorkeling, diving, tours on the beaches, and walks through the interior of the island.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Luxury Traveller
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can reach Contadora by plane or ferry, depending on your preference.
    • It is worth spending at least two days here to explore the whole island and enjoy its the beaches.
    • You'll see some expensive hotels with many amenities, but you can also find some cheaper options.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
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    Bocas del Toro Province
    Destinations
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    Maria Camila R Says:

    Bocas del Toro is iconic tourist spot in Panama, so while it isn't near the capital, you may want to include it in your trip. On the main island of Isla Colon, you can find all kinds of lodging, restaurants, and even some markets. There are also other islands within the archipelago that you can visit, with beautiful beaches, natural paths, and other attractions.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Solo
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Senior
    • Family
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • You can reach Bocas del Toro by plane (Air Panama has regional flights) or by bus, which takes about nine hours.
    • It is worth spending three or four days going to the landmarks, including Cayo Zapatilla, Isla Bastimentos, and Playa Estrella.
    • When going around the islands via boat tour, it's best to pay separately for each trip. Unfortunately, it can happen that you pay for the whole tour and the boat does not come to pick you up at the agreed time.
    • If you want a more romantic experience, there are luxurious hotels with cottages located over the sea, with more privacy and amazing views.
    • Bocas del Toro is a very humid region, so be sure to include a rain coat in your luggage.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    • Bocas del Toro Province
  • Save
    Red Frog Beach
    Beaches
    See more photos
    Maria Camila R Says:

    Red Frog Beach is one of the islands of the Bocas del Toro archipelago. It is a tourist attraction and especially popular with surfers looking to catch the best waves. A large part of the island consists of nature trails, and you must walk along the trail for about 15 minutes to reach the beach. Sometimes people find the famous small red frogs here, which is how the island got its name.

    Good for
    • Must See
    • Beach Goer
    • Hidden Gems
    • Friends
    • Couples
    • Thrill Seeker
    • Nature Lover
    Tips
    • Best to go early to enjoy the beach for a few hours, because when the tide rises it can be dangerous.
    • There is also a hostel and restaurant on the island where you can stay if you prefer a less crowded spot.
    • You can bring your own food and have a picnic on the beach if you're here for a few hours — a plan I personally love.
    Plan to stay:
    More than 3 hours
    From the community
    Ranked #4 of 8 things to do in Isla Bastimentos
    • Paradise beach 21/06/2018
    • Nearly empty beaches, great swimming 17/06/2018
    • Red Frog Beach
    Other:
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