Beaches, Islands – Choose your ocean – Choose your sport

This post is also available in: Spanish

With its Pacific and Caribbean coastlines and hundreds of islands, Panama is a mecca for beach lovers and fans of aquatic sports. Everything you could wish for is on offer here. Some beaches, like that of the Playa Bonita resorts, are within easy reach of Panama City, but most lie further away.

On the Pacific coast the nearest beach is 50 miles up the Pan American Highway from Panama City. Punta Chame, Nueva Gorgona, Playa Coronado, San Carlos, El Palmar, Rio Mar, Santa Clara, Farallon all have facilities for stopping over.

Further afield, the Azuero peninsula from Chitre to Pedasi, to Punta Mala and around to Tonosi is lined by long, lovely beaches which can seem like your own private kingdom.

Further still, in Chiriqui, Las Lajas beach lies an hour to the east of David as does the area of Boca Chica about 40 minutes from David. A few miles to the west lies La Barqueta Beach.

On the Caribbean side Between Colon and Palenque are many beautiful beaches in the area known as “Costa Arriba”. Maria Chiquita and Playa Langosta beaches both have visitor facilities.

The island beaches of Panama are magnificent and all quite different. On the Pacific side lie Contadora, Saboga, San José, Taboga and Taborcilla. On the Caribbean side there is Isla Grande and the islands of San Blas and Bocas del Toro.

Water sports abound. Snorkeling, kayaking, fishing, surfing, kite boarding are all readily available. Surfing is the most exciting rendezvous with the sea. Experienced or beginner surfers will find beaches on both oceans with ideal waves for the sport. Many national and international professional tournaments take place in Panama, taking advantage of the huge waves of the country’s Pacific coast.

Beaches such as Santa Catalina and Mariato, in the province of Veraguas, and Playa Venao, in the province of Los Santos, are the venue for important regional and international surf tournaments, attracting many participants and spectators. The Santa Catalina surf break is renowned.

Surf beaches within easy reach of Panama City are; Gorgona, Coronado, Punta Barco, Costa Esmeralda, San Carlos, Playa Teta, El Palmar (rentals available), Playa Malibu and Río Mar (rentals available at Río Mar Surf Camp).

Kite surfing takes place at Punta Chame. It is a summer ( December – March ) sport because of the prevailing winds.

Sport fishing is another activity for which Panama is famous. Species like Marlin, Dorado and Yellow Fin Tuna as well as Grouper and Snapper swim the oceans. Tropic Star Lodge in the Darien jungle about 150miles south of Panama City holds many world records.

Fishing expeditions can be arranged out of Panama City or Contadora Island. In Chiriqui, fishing trips set out from the port of Pedregal and there are several fishing lodges in the area of Boca Chica. On the Azuero Peninsulas, the small town of Pedasi is well known for the sport. Bocas del Toro also offers many fishing challenges


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