Surf, Diving, Hotels, Gastronomy and Relaxing Walks

Panama’s Pacific coast stretches for more than 1,600 kilometers, and the water conditions on its beaches can vary from calm to rough, making it excellent for surfing. The beaches may have black or pearl white sand. These are some of the beach destinations found on the Pacific coast.

West Panama

It is the closest beach sector to Panama City and is highly visited by Panamanians looking to enjoy a day away from the capital. They have a lot of activities to do.

  • Coronado

This beach is part of the urban area of ​​Coronado beach. To enter is necessary to stay in one of the hotels, rent one of the residences or be a guest of a resident.

On this beach, different activities are carried out such as beach volleyball, jet skiing, kayaking, or simply taking long walks. Coronado has a wide variety of dining options, and different culinary styles.

This beach is located just over an hour and a half from Panama City traveling along the Pan-American Highway. The entrance is located right next to the Coronado Rey supermarket.

  • San Carlos

This coastal sector has two beaches: El Palmar and La Ensenada. The favorite one is El Palmar, as it offers waves to surf during high tide. There is even a surf school for those who want to learn or perfect their technique. Playa La Ensenada is quiet with large sandbanks, ideal for those who want to fish and for families with children. These beaches have hotels and Airbnb to stay, with all the comforts.

On these beaches there are restaurants that offer a menu of fish and shellfish that are very popular with visitors. It also has the San Carlos Beach Club with a restaurant and other facilities. It is located a little less than two hours from Panama City traveling through the Pan-American Highway.


It is the most recognized beach sector in the country, due to the large number of beaches and tourist complexes of all sizes. The proximity to Panama City is another aspect that helps the attractiveness of this sector.

  • Santa Clara

This beach has beautiful white sand accompanied by the brilliant blue waters of the Pacific Ocean for a relaxing getaway, perfect for walking on the sand and swimming in the sea.

Here you can rent cabins with chairs, table and hammocks, to enjoy a relaxing day at the beach. Here are some restaurants that offer food and drink options that lead to the cabin. It is also possible to bring food and drink to the beach. They also have toilets and showers.

Santa Clara has accommodation options such as hotels, bed and breakfasts and even hammock rentals to spend the night outdoors. It is located 2 hours from Panama City on the Pan-American highway.

  • Playa Blanca

The destination with the best tropical climate in the country, with mild temperatures and little rain. This destination has a long and wide white sand beach that extends to the banks of the Farallon River, with a large number of tourist developments ideal for resting and relaxing. In Playa Blanca you can visit the fishing village of Farallon, where there is a long beach surrounded by a rocky reef, as well as Isla de Farallon, a volcanic rock that has become a refuge for a highly varied fauna.

Here you will find a gastronomic offer rich in fish and shellfish, such as spider crab, lobster, shrimp, octopus or guabina.

Playa Blanca is located just over two hours on the Pan-American highway from Panama City. The sign to enter this beach sector indicates where to go.


It is the province with beaches in their natural state, and where it is possible to enjoy relaxing moments to get away from the daily urban life of Chitre.

  • El Reten Beach

Located in Monagrillo, it is a natural space surrounded by mangroves and hosts a kite festival every year. This beach is visited by the locals who take advantage of its warm waters to bathe and spend a pleasant day with family or friends.

Here there is a bar-restaurant where it is possible to enjoy delicious fresh fish or shellfish. It is also possible to bring your own food to the beach as long as the area is kept clean. This beach is located 11 minutes from downtown Chitre.

  • El Agallito Beach

This beach surrounded by mangroves is not used for bathing, however, it is a place surrounded by nature where it is possible to enjoy a beautiful view of the sea. A natural escape for those who stay in Chitre and where it is possible to enjoy a 7-kilometer long bike path. An excellent way to exercise and enjoy the surroundings of Chitre. The beach also has a park and a gazebo to relax in the afternoon or early in the morning. It is located just 13 minutes from Chitre along the road that leads to the Alonso Valderrama airport.

Los Santos

The beaches of this province stand out for their beauty and lifestyle of the locals, as well as for the number of activities that can be enjoy.

  • Playa Las Comadres

This beach tells the story of two compadres who had a very strong personal problem that when they fought turned into two rocks, that can be seen from the beach.

It is a quiet beach where families with children take the opportunity to enjoy it. Although it is not so touristy, it has two restaurants and several hotels in its surroundings.

This beach is 4 hours and 30 minutes from Panama City and only 40 minutes from Villa de Los Santos.

  • El Arenal

Playa El Arenal, is located a few minutes from the tourist town of Pedasi, and is a perfect place to swim, sunbathe and try delicacies from the sea in the restaurants located in the surroundings. From here, boats are taken to go to the paradisiacal Isla Iguana and watch whales between the months of July and October. If you rent a bicycle in Pedasi, it is possible to visit this beach without having to take a car. This beach is located 1 hour from Villa de Los Santos and only 7 minutes from Pedasi by car.

  • Venao Beach

The jungle and the ocean mix in this picturesque town with a black sand beach and where it is possible to practice world-class surfing. Although it is a highly visited destination, the beach is calm and it is possible to find hotels and cabins with all the comforts. It is also possible to find several restaurants of great international quality. In Playa Venao you can also enjoy snorkelling, diving, paddle surfing and deep sea fishing. It is located 30 minutes from Pedasi and one hour and 38 minutes from Villa de Los Santos.

  • Cambutal Beach

An emerging tourist destination thanks to the waves that attract both Panamanian and foreign surfers. Its brown sand beach is beautiful and is surrounded by protected forests. Here it is possible to take surf lessons or rent a board to practice this sport in an environment far from most towns and other beaches. It is also possible to do kayak, horseback riding, and even deep-sea fishing. This sector has hotels for all tastes and budgets. This beach is located two hours from Villa de Los Santos and an hour and a half from Pedasi.


The beaches of this province are distinguished by the ecological sustainability that the locals apply for the conservation of species and a lifestyle in balance with nature.

  • Santa Catalina Beach

This fishing village is an international destination for many people who want to practice surf at all levels. From professionals to beginners. The waves can reach up to 9 meters and have strong breakers as well as large tubes.

This town offers more than 20 restaurants, as well as hotels with all the comforts and prices. The beach is at just over two hours from the city of Santiago by car.

  • Mata Oscura Beach

This beach has strong waves and is located in the Mariato sector, where a very important natural activity takes place: the spawning of four of the seven species of sea turtles in the world. The longest nesting season for turtles such as Hawksbill, Kemp’s ridley, Canal and Verde occurs at this site. Tourists can volunteer with organizations that are responsible for the preservation of these endangered species. This beach does not have a hotel infrastructure, so it is recommended to spend the night in the surroundings or in Santiago City. It is at approximately 1 hour and 41 minutes from the City of Santiago.


This province stands out for its nature and diversity of fauna, however, it has several of the largest and most beautiful beaches in the country. Jewels of the Pacific coast that attracts thousands of visitors.

  • Las Lajas Beach

This beach extends 14 kilometers which allows you to have a lot of space to enjoy. Here you can surf on Silva de Afuera Island a few minutes from the beach, you can also practice diving where it is possible to observe manta rays and turtles.

This beach has several restaurants where Panamanian dishes are offered, including fresh fish and seafood. There is also a good hotel offer for all tastes and budgets.

It is located 1 hour and a half from David City on the Pan-American highway, turning at the large sign on the road that indicates Las Lajas.

  • La Barqueta Beach

Located south of David City, this beach with gray-brown sand is highly visited on weekends by the locals. La Barqueta is so extensive that it is possible to walk it for many kilometers. You can also practice surf thanks to its big waves. In the surroundings there are hotels to stay and houses that can be rented on Airbnb. There are also restaurants that offer a Panamanian menu with fish and seafood. This beach is 30 minutes away from David by car.


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