Panama's Beaches & Islands
Panama’s beaches are less than noteworthy. Bordering the Pacific Ocean and the Caribbean Sea, covering 2857 kilometers (1,786 miles) of coastline, are myriads of lagoons, bays and countless islands from which to choose. There are beaches in Panama for every need! From smart resorts to “Robinson Crusoe” islands where the only footprints will be your own; from calm palm-fringed bays to surfers’ paradise; coral islands and atolls where indigenous people sustain a very different culture; beaches bordered by lush mangroves or hidden beaches where the rainforest meets the sea. The choice is yours.
The colors of the beaches are no less diverse. In Panama, you will find pristine white sand beaches edging turquoise blue lagoons, inky blue waters of the Pacific coast where foaming white surf pounds on stunning black sand beaches, golden sands and sapphire seas, and “salt and pepper” sand beaches that usually border calmer waters. These colors change to pearl grays, purples and pinks at sunset. Best of all you can have them to yourself if you wish.
National marine parks and many other areas offer incredible diving and snorkeling experiences. One interpretation of the name “Panama” in a local Indian language is said to be “an abundance of fish”. Panama provides opportunities for world class sport fishing. Boating, sailing and sea kayaking are popular pastimes. Many of the unique diving, surfing and fishing areas have been well kept secrets by serious aficionados; however they are now beginning to gain popularity as more discerning travelers discover the unique opportunities Panama offers.
Follow in the footsteps of explorers such as Christopher Columbus, Vasco Nuñez de Balboa or Francisco Pizarro who all anchored off the Panama coast. Maybe you will find the treasures of pirates and buccaneers like Henry Morgan and Sir Francis Drake, or find wrecks of Spanish galleons resting on the sea bed waiting to be discovered. Modern explorers are discovering treasure in beachfront property they can purchase at a fraction of prices they would expect to pay in other areas on the Pacific and Caribbean coasts.
Panama has been ranked by the National Geographic and Financial Times as one of the top 10 tourism destinations to be visited.
According to National Geographic and Financial Times, Panama is number one among the top 10 tourist destinations to be visited and its beaches has been compared with paradise, blessed by its perfect weather, lush landscapes and beaches galore. There are a wide variety of beaches in Panama to choose from: calm water or big waves, uninhabited and no people or large crowds, white sand or yellow sand, with facilities and/or restaurants or without. There is a beach for everyone.
Chagres National Park stands out among tourist attractions, from which is possible to see the Panama Canal. Regarding the fact of changing status from tourist or visitor to resident, more than 80% of the real estate projects are registered, with reference to the Province of Panama, in San Francisco, Juan Díaz, Arraiján, and in Chiriquí on beaches and mountains areas.
There is a great variety of units, from beaches condominiums, villas and duplex to beach or mountain residences.
Pacific Coast close to Panama City
Approximately one hour’s drive west of Panama City along the Pacific Coast, you will find miles of pretty beaches. These beaches are popular on the weekend with Panama City dwellers but during the week you may have the beaches to yourself. Your choice of lodging is as varied as the beaches, from smart all-inclusive resorts such as the Royal Decameron and Playa Blanca to small seaside lodgings, cabins and an RV park. The beaches are easily reached from the Pan-American Highway. These small ocean side communities stretch from Punta Chame (popular for wind surfing) to Santa Clara in the Cocle Province. Many of the beaches have salt and pepper sand and safe swimming, however surfing is popular at El Palmar, Rio Mar, Santa Clara, Punta Barco, Santa Catalina and Playa Venao.
Recent property developments are available for sale in the beaches of Panama, just to name a few: Playa del Sol, Riverside Hills, Playa Caracol, Ibiza Las Olas and Solea Punta Barco Beach Residences, among others. Also, in San Carlos, investors can find the Vista Mar Marina, a dock and marina that offers services for yachts from 40 feet to mega-yachts, aid to navigation, facilitating the transit of recreational boats to the region.
To view properties, farms, homes, condos, islands in different parts of Panama, visit our Real Estate Marketplace.
Panama’s wealthier families enjoy coming and spending time in this marvelous coast project. With its large equestrian center and seaside golf course designed by Tom Fazio, it is a place to see and be seen.
The Coronado Hotel and its beach club are known for elegance and service. This community continues growing with the opening of Coronado Mall earlier, the first one on the beach, and with the clinic founded by San Fernando Hospital, which includes a drugstore and a medical emergency area. This medical institution has been operating in the City of Panama for more than 50 years.
This area has still much to offer to the commercial, real estate and tourist areas. Right now the Bern Enterprise, which is one of the major developers in Panama, is working on the projects like Coronado Golf Community and there are several other which excel with ultimate quality of life and unique conditions.
The main town in the area is Coronado, which is home to Coronado beach. Nearby you will find other great beaches like Malibu, Gorgona, Sirena, Playa Teta, El Palmar, Rio Mar and Santa Clara. Some of these beaches become very popular on the weekends due to their close proximity to the city, but during the week it is very possible to have the beach all at everyone’s access.
JW Marriott Panama Golf & Beach Resort
Considered a premiere resort in Panama, located in one of Panama’s luxury location, the community of Buenaventura, this all inclusive beach resort offers elegant accommodations and suites set amongst lush gardens and a lagoon with vistas of the Pacific Ocean.
This luxury beach resort offers numerous activities to its guests such as golf, water sports, and offside activities from surfing to zip-lining, fitness activities, among others. In the evening, enjoy fine wines and stellar cuisine.
This is the perfect location for business meetings, social events, weddings, family reunions, conventions, among others.
Wyndham Grand Playa Blanca
Wyndham Grand Resort Playa Blanca combines tropical elegance with first class service and many facilities to create an all-inclusive retreat that is unmatched.
With a spectacular beachfront location on the Pacific coast of Panama, Located just 90 minutes west of Panama City, The Wyndham Grand Resort Playa Blanca offers dark blue waters of the Pacific Ocean and its warm and gentle breezes. With delicious cuisine, a variety of activities and decor that combines contemporary elegance with sophisticated style, travelers enjoy vacations that exceed regular experience of a resort all inclusive to make it sublime.
With five restaurants and bars offering various international cuisines, guests can enjoy unlimited food and drink from sunrise to sunset and all intermediate times. Each of its 211 contemporary rooms are airy and designed for maximum ease and comfort , and features a unique fusion of warm and cool tones, tropical contemporary style and floor to ceiling windows offering stunning views.
The Playa Blanca Resort offers a unique combination of venues indoors and outdoors, totaling more than 7,570 square feet. Event space is composed of a beautiful area with oceanfront gazebo, ideal for small meetings and Ocean 5,450 square foot salon that can seat up to 250 guests for dinner or 600 for a reception.
Sheraton Bijao Beach & Resort
Located in the beautiful beaches of Santa Clara, the Sheraton Bijao Beach & Resort is the perfect location for beach resort weddings, business meetings, family events and weekend escapes.
All 294 of its well-appointed guest rooms and suites have a balcony or terrace, featuring breathtaking views of either the Pacific Ocean or the lush mountainside.
Near the Anton Valley, the community of Penonome and Panama City makes it the best location for its proximity to a nine-hole golf course and numerous shopping, dining, and nightlife options.
Royal Decameron Gold, Beach Resort and Villas
The Royal Decameron Gold, Beach Resort and Villas was one of the pioneers in beach resorts in Panama. It is among the most popular beach resorts in the country for locals and foreigners, not only for its rates, but also for the amenities and the proximity to the newly renovated International Airport Scarlett Martinez.
This all inclusive beach resort is located in the privileged area of Playa Blanca, 90 minutes away from Panama City and close to the community of Penonome and the Anton Valley.
It offers one thousand tropical-themed rooms, with an 18 hole golf course, 8 pools for all ages, 10 exquisite restaurants (8 a la carte) and 11 bars which prepare delicious and refreshing beverages. You can also relax in the spa, have fun and party at the disco, or, if you dare, you can gamble at the casino during the evenings.
Some of the activities this resort offers to its guest are water sports and pool aerobics, live shows for kids and adults, visits to touristic locations in the area, shopping, excursions to the Panama Canal, among others.
Vistamar Golf & Beach Resort Panama
Vistamar is a touristic complex built in 300 hectares of luxury condominium, penthouse and beachfront houses, surrounded by a unique gold course in Latin America, in which each hole is set in the beachfront of the property.
This project offers an exclusive clubhouse with spa, resort, meditation garden, professional tennis courts, Golf Pro Shop, club beach with pool, 2 heliports, and one of the best restaurants in the country with Terrazas del Mar.
The units range from condominium units to residential two-story townhouses, all around the golf course with 18 holes that make up the entire project design. Prospective buyers can buy plots and / or build your own home on your specifications or choose from the models created by the Warner group among other architectural firms.
The infinity pool overlooking the Pacific Ocean and each hole of the golf course has a sea view. One of the best restaurants in Panama with Terrazas del Mar by Pascal Finet, perfect weather and a trained, bilingual staff complete the Master Plan Vista Mar Golf and Beach Resort.
The beach community of Casamar is located in the District of San Carlos in West Panama, bounded on the north by the Inter-American Highway, to the South by the Pacific Ocean, to the east by the River Calabazo and to the West by Quebrada Grande. Its location is ideal, as it is as scarce 95km ( approx. 60 minutes) from Panama City , and less than 10 minutes from private health centers , schools, shopping centers where you will find supermarkets, banks, beauty salons, restaurants, shops decor, housewares, hardware, among others.
This beach community was planned to integrate with the privileged beach topography arises, and with its lush vegetation and natural corridors, making the place a natural paradise compared to sea. It is a combination of extensive green spaces and over 1km of beautiful beaches, making it perfect escape from the bustle of the city.
This beach community project will includes a beach club, town center, sports and fun amenities. It’s advanced in a 20 percent, town houses that are ready and in sale are Marinazul, Altamar, Villamar and Perlamar.
Riomar Oceanfront Beach Resort
Riomar is a boutique oceanfront resort of exclusive designed residences and five star leisure facilities. It is a gated community that offers seclusion, security and exclusivity whilst being within easy reach of Panama City and Coronado’s excellent facilities.
This boutique oceanfront resort includes three elegant condo towers of two and three bedroom, an exclusive three and four bedroom beach flats and independent family villas.
The area is surrounded by luxuriant vegetation and offers its residents with an exquisite beach club that provides all the conveniences they require for a stress-free lifestyle.
Some of the amenities of this boutique beachfront resort include concierge services, maid services, spa and fitness center, among others.
To find more details about these beautiful projects described above, please visit our Real Estate Marketplace.
Pacific Coast close to David, Chiriqui
This Pacific coastline boasts beaches with black sand or white sand. There are few hotels but the beaches are easily reached from the town of David. Playa La Barqueta is a black sand beach with a Barcelo hotel and some development, but it also borders a wild life refuge created for nesting birds. The Gulf of Chiriqui is where you will find the 14,740 hectare national marine park that protects coral reefs, islands and beaches that abound with wild life.
Also, in the Chiriqui coastline you can find Playa Las Lajas, which is growing very rapidly in tourism and high profiled investment. It is located in the Gulf of Chiriqui Marine Park, in an area covered of 22,000 meters, surrounded by gray sand, beautiful scenery and great waves.
To get to this town take the Interamerican Highway for approximately 45 minutes until you reach the intersection of San Felix left and Right hand to Las Lajas.
To view properties, farms, homes, condos, islands in different parts of Panama, visit our Real Estate Marketplace.
The most stunning beaches are to be found on the islands of Panama. The Pearl Islands and Bocas del Toro have been in the spotlight recently as the choice location for a number of “Survivor” television programs from twelve countries.
Crystal clear waters, coral reefs, rainforests and coconut palms are back drops for sailing, diving, fishing, or merely soaking up the sun in your own piece of paradise. On the line of Panamanian islands, the project being developed by ICA, builder and administrator of Corredor Sur, stands out. The Panamanian real estate company working together with ICA is Grupo Los Pueblos who built Los Pueblos Mall and Albrook Mall.
Two artificial islands are being built on the coast near Punta Pacífica (on the Pacific Ocean coast). This is the project called “Ocean Reef Islands”, comprised by “Santamaría” of 10,3 hectares and “La Pinta” of 8,8 hectares. Both islets are linked between each other and linked with Punta Pacífica area by means of a bridge of more than 100 meters. More than 130 residences, several lots and other facilities will be on sale on this area. Currently, these islets are considered to be the first human-built urban islands in Latin America.
From Panama City, a fifteen minute plane ride (Aeroperlas) or a two hour ferry ride to Contadora takes you into the land of pirates and pearls where over 90 islands and 130 islets make up the Archipiélago de las Perlas, named by Balboa in 1513. Buccaneers hid out here to attack Spanish Armadas laden with treasure. Oysters and their pearls are still found in these aqua colored waters. Over the centuries, pearls harvested here have adorned kings and queens of Europe, they include the 400 year old, 31-carat famous “La Peregrina” pearl now owned by Elizabeth Taylor. The calm waters are great for fishing sailing and snorkeling. Only a few of the islands are inhabited.
With almost 30 kilometers of coastline, 14 private beaches and one of the richest marine and bird sanctuaries on the planet, Pearl Island breaks new ground, environmentally, economically and socially for the region. A world all its own, that feels so far away, and that is yet so very close.
Once the heart of the pearl trade, Pearl Island demonstrates rich ties to its history, culture and origins. With an existing population of only 150 inhabitants in the small village of Pedro de Cocal, it embraces a rich biological diversity as well as its own cultural legacy, recently discovered to be dating back over 5,000 years. Pearl Island is a -wildlife preserve all its own, resting in the serenity of a unique and dynamic ecosystem, marine and bird sanctuary and coral reefs.
The calm waters are great for fishing sailing and snorkeling. Only a few of the islands are inhabited. The largest islands are “Isla del Rey” and “San José”. As a consequence of their natural wealth, the Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute (STRI) has focused its scientific researches on this area to study coastal, marine and terrestrial ecosystems. As a result of these researches, now it is known that 15 endemic species of birds live there (only existing in this area) and it has been discovered at least 37 beaches where turtles make their nesting period. Tourist activity is also being developed there. Between 2006 and 2008 the government approved eight environmental impact assessments (EIA) for the development of projects.
The intention is to build little towns with residential areas, malls, marinas, and golf courses on several isles of the archipelago, always seeking for the preservation and respect for the environment as the main concern. A land demarcation plan is being created in order projects do not affect the ecosystem, which has great and wealth biodiversity. The Civil Aeronautic Authority pointed out that Las Perlas, a sector of the Archipelago, represents a tourist potential to Panama as developers of several projects have considered building their own landing strips, improving connections and thus competing on the international market.
Pedro Gonzalez Island
Located off the west coast of Panama, Isla Pedro Gonzalez is the third largest island within the Pearl Archipelago. Known for its untouched coastline, and gentle, sloping vegetation, the island has twelve undeveloped beaches, fifteen square kilometers of forest and one existing fishing village home to about 400 residents. Sustainable development project will be done by the Panamenian Grupo Eleta (owners) and Dolphin Capital Partners from Greece. Master plan will be conducted by Duany Plater.
Also, in the Pedro Gonzalez Island can be found real estate projects such as the Pearl Island Ritz Carlton at Playa Don Bernardo, an 80 bedroom hotel, with restaurants, conference rooms, spa, pool and other facilities. This hotel is part of the luxury ecotourism projects that it’s been developed in the island.
To view properties, farms, homes, condos, islands in different parts of Panama, visit our Real Estate Marketplace.
This largest and most visited of the Pearl Islands was named as the counting house for the pearls. It is a resort island, with many homes owned by wealthy Panamanians and foreigners. There is a large hotel and other cabins available.
It’s the largest and most visited of the Pearl Islands. There are 13 spectacular beaches on three sides of the island. The five coral fields around the island offer incredible snorkeling where fascinating marine life includes white tipped reef sharks, schools of tropical fish, rays and turtles in profusion and, not to mention that Contadora has the only officially designated nudist beach in Panama.
Ocean front properties, lots and private islands are available for sale, with beautiful beach houses. The islands in sale are very private and offer a very quiet environment, for those who’re looking to invest in private locations and spend time with Mother Nature. Real estate projects can be found in Contadora, such as Gemini Villas and The Villas at Contadora, which is an elevated ocean view project and Contadora Paradise. You can also find beach houses and lands for sale by their owners too.
Here are the homes of the rich and famous. The Shah of Iran once owned a home nearby. Excursions by boat or jet-ski can be arranged to visit other islands such as Pacheca Island where magnificent frigate birds roost and bird watching is memorable. Panamanian and Nicaraguan investors will invest up to 1.200 million dollars in a period of 10 years to build a real estate and tourist complex which will also comprise a mall, a marina, restaurants, bars and a Trump club. There will be prices for all budgets, from hostel-type locations to great luxury rooms.
The project started with an investment of two million dollars to build villas. Several projects of that investment program have already been completed on the island. If you visit Contadora, do not miss visiting: The Point Hotel with its luxury environment, located on a cliff dominating the Pacific Ocean; the Sweden Beach (remember: it is just for nudists) and the beautiful Galeón Beach.
San Blas Islands
The San Blas islands are a group of islands in the archipelago de San Blas in the North of Panama facing the Caribbean Sea. There are 378 islands within the San Blas area and they are scattered in an area of about 100 square miles. The San Blas Native Reservation includes not only the San Blas Islands, but also a strip of Caribbean coastline from the Colon Province. The Kuna Indians have governed this autonomous province since the 1920s.
They natives of the islands maintain their own economic system, language, customs and culture with their distinctive dress, music, dance and legends. There is a feeling of being in another world – straight out of the pages of National Geographic. The men still fish from canoes and climb for coconuts as they have done for centuries. Stunning golden sands and blue-green waters are edged by the coconut palms, the idyllic islands of your dreams. These islands do not belong to a single person; in many cases they belong to a whole family or to a community. Daily Flights serve several of the islands so don’t be surprised if you find yourself island hopping. You are advised to make reservations as the small planes tend to get crowded. Air Panama offers flights from Albrook airport.
Helicopters are also used to reach the islands. Traffic between islands is by motorized boats. Another way to visit Kuna Yala Islands, and a very fashionable way, is through sail boats or crewed catamarans which may be chartered. There are also cruisers which sail around the islands until reaching the Panama Canal locks. Ask for information to your travel agency or hotel. Accommodations are generally in simple and rustic cabins, with palm thatched roof and walls, some have hammocks instead of beds. Sailing and snorkeling around these coral islands is superb. Diving conditions are best between April and June.
The arts and crafts of the Kunas are famous. The bright tropical scenery and wildlife is reflected in the colorful molas, a rainbow of reverse appliqué embroidery in geometric designs made by the Kuna women that are popular souvenirs for visitors. Most islands require visitors to pay a registration/visitation fee that varies usually from USD 6.00 to USD 8.00 to for foreigners and USD 3.00 to 5.00 for Panamanian citizens, and usually the Kuna require a USD1.00 for permission to photograph them. While moving about the islands, away from the beach, it is appreciated by the Kunas that no swimsuits or short shorts are worn, men should not go shirtless. Some of the islands get crowded when the cruise ships arrive so it is as well to try to check the schedules. A tour operator should be able to help you plan your trip accordingly and a good guide will also help you get the most out of your once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Bocas del Toro
Bocas del Toro, located in the northwest Caribbean side of Panama, was discovered in Christopher Columbus in 1502. It’s becoming in a very attractive location for the free spirits and one of the hottest destinations around the world. It is composed by a main land, habited mainly by an indigenous group by the name the Gnobe Bugle’s and an archipelago filled with beautiful islands in which we can find the capital city of the province located in Isla Colon. Other well-known islands can be found there, such as Isla Carenero and Bastimento. Its beautiful archipelago is located near the Costa Rican border with a variety of snorkeling and diving sites.This is a diverse community indeed, where English is widely spoken and life is lived to a Caribbean beat. The area is now being discovered by international tourists (particularly since the Survivor programs) and more and more people are staying for retirement or building a second home.
This may be some of the last affordable Caribbean beachfront property in the world. Business Panama will be pleased to assist you in the purchase of a home anywhere in Panama, please click here to contact us. Check out the properties on our real estate listings for this area.
This spectacular archipelago consists of six large islands and numerous small ones in an area that mostly caters to ecotourism. The emerald waters are edged by silvery sand against a back drop of the dramatic peaks of the Cordillera hills. Isla Colon is the most visited and developed island with a number of small hotels and boasts an airport with daily flights to and from Panama City and David by Air Panama. This is the only island with roads as most of the traffic throughout the area is by water. Most families go shopping by boat or water taxi. The best times to visit are from February to April and September/October.
This investment is a consequence of a policy for improving the national airport net in matters of safety, infrastructure and facilities. The investment on this project includes the construction of a fire station, the extension of the passenger terminal, the construction of a control tower and the construction of a perimeter fence. Other works of equal important are the construction of the shoulders of the landing strip, extension of the plane parking platform, and installation of the ground light system for the landing strip. All of these tasks are aimed at improving the experience of tourists and visitors who have increased their stays here. Furthermore, this commercial and tourist investments on this province is a consequence of its famous beaches and islands and because English is spoken.
On these islands, you will find gorgeous beaches, where the rainforest reaches the sea and the only access is by boat, perhaps mangroves full of wild life, or with coral fields near their shores. Some of the islands are within the marine ParqueNacionalBastimentos, this provides protection for nesting turtles, aquatic birds and mammals, and consequently has terrific spots for diving, snorkeling and swimming. However, the best places for diving are Hospital Point, Coral Key, Dark Wood Reef and Punta Juan buoy. For snorkeling, the Garden near Cayo Nancy, Hospital Point and Punta Juan buoy are excellent. Boating, sport fishing and kayaking are popular everywhere. One of the most spectacular beaches is Red Frog Beach, so called because it is the only home to a thumbnail sized species of dendrobatids, bright red with black spots.
Bocas del Toro has just the right balance of development and raw natural beauty. For the perfect holiday, choose from luxurious resorts, jungle eco-lodges and private island resorts to beachfront surf hostels and island-style bed and breakfasts. Then, from your home-base you can go on sail around the island chain, zipline through the rain forest canopy, scuba dive in some of the most biologically diverse tropical coral reefs in the region, learn to surf in warm Caribbean waves, or take on many other adventures. You will be able to explore deserted palm lined beaches, coral reefs teeming with sea critters, swim with manatees, or even see one of the last remaining monarchies on the American continent. It’s impossible to see all of Bocas del Toro on one vacation, and after one visit, you will find out why so many visitors always come back or never leave.
Surfing is popular at Punch Beach on Isla Colon, and surfers are excited about a big reef break called Silverbacks on Bastimentos Island. If you just wish to chill out and enjoy the pleasures of sand and sea then you have miles of beach to choose from. There is something special for everyone in Bocas! A good souvenir from Bocas del Toro is hot spices which may be found in decorated bottles and at a very good price. It is a West Indies-style hot spice for food.
Islas Taboga (Taboga Islands) are the closest islands to Panama City. It is a small group of Pacific islands that can be reached in approximately 1 hour by boat from Panama City (Amador Pier, USD 14.00 for adults and USD 9.50 for kids, round trip, twice daily departure schedule: 8:00 and 10:00 a.m., return schedule: 3:00 and 5:00 p.m.), on a weekend you will probably require a reservation on this ferry. The island is quieter during the week. Islas Taboga at 571 hectares is the largest island, also known as the ´Island of Flowers”.
It is a popular weekend destination for residents of Panama City who come to enjoy the slower pace of island life, the flowers, the beaches, and the water sports. As in most areas of Panama an island is more than its beaches, Taboga has its own area of protected rain forest and is home to one of the largest breeding colonies of brown pelicans in the world. Taboga is older than Panama City and its tiny church is reputed to be the oldest in the Western Hemisphere. From 1515 the Spanish colonized the island until it was used by the pirates and buccaneers in the 17th century to attack the Spanish ships. Pizarro set said from here to discover Peru.
You can still see ships today lining up to enter the Panama Canal and on your return to Panama City you will have an incredible view of the Bridge of the Americas. In this oasis of tranquility there are no cars, tropical flowers are the only ones jostling for position, beautiful beaches and a green mountain rising out of the sea. Watch for humpbacks during August to October when migrating whales can be seen from the shores. Swim where Gaugin swam and take time to smell the flowers! Visitors may buy low prices souvenirs offered by islanders, who have stands along the street towards the beach.
Coiba Island National Marine Park
This park is home to the second largest coral reef in the Eastern Pacific. The island of Coiba, in the Gulf of Chiriqui, is Panama’s largest island and it remains undeveloped and 80 percent of the islands’ natural resources have therefore survived untouched and flourished through limited human contact. It was home to a penal colony for many years, avoided by most people. Today the prison is gone and the island remains as a pristine nature reserve. It is a unique area where marine life abounds and on shore many delights appeal to birdwatchers, naturalists, and biologists.
Nowadays the island is considered as a World Heritage and it is the largest island on the American Pacific Ocean. It has a unique value as a fish farm and humpback whales arrive to spawn at its waters. It is a spectacular and splendid event which can be seen from the sea or during the tours to the island. It is a valuable asset to a careful development of ecological tourism. Monkeys, parrots, macaws, giant rodents, butterflies, snakes, insects, felines and giant tress of natural beauty comprise the landscape. It is an ideal place for nature and adventure lovers.
Coiba National Park is managed by the National Authority for the Environment (Autoridad Nacional del Ambiente, ANAM). The park is accessible only by permit from ANAM. A number of tour operators in Panama offer ecotours, fishing, and scuba diving trips to Coiba and can assist in obtaining appropriate permits. The tour operators depart from several different places on the Panamanian coast.
Isla Grande & Portobelo
15 km east of the historic town of Portobelo is another popular weekend destination for Panama City dwellers, particularly those who like to party. Here you can relax and enjoy the usual delights of a tropical Caribbean island, with diving and snorkeling spots even wreck sites. You can sail from here to the San Blas Islands. The islanders are of African descent and since they make a living from coconuts and fishing, seafood and coconut milk are the main ingredients for the dishes served here.
Isla Grande is on the Caribbean side of Panama near the town of Portobello, about 2 hours from the city. The small island sits about 1 km from the coast and is dotted with small restaurants, a few hotels, one resort, and bright turquoise water. The island is small where it is nice to walk from one end to the other to take in the scenery. It takes about 30 minutes. Also, there is some decent surfing on the island which is worth checking out.
Portobelo was named “Puerto Bello” (beautiful port) by Christopher Columbus for its beautiful natural harbor. The area was fortified by the Spanish and, as usual, attached by pirates and buccaneers. It is a natural harbor and a town and was considered one of the most important towns in America during the colonial era and port that spent most of the wealth that Spain sailed to Europe from the conquest of South America today. Portobelo is located on the north coast of the Isthmus of Panama, about 50 km northeast of Columbus (city)
Portobelo can be reached by sea or by land, following the Transitmica Avenue, a distance of 49 km from the city of Columbus and 105 km from the city of Panama.
In 1976, through Law 91 historical monuments of Portobelo are delimited. Includes the area occupied by the old city of Portobelo , the ruins of the castles of Santiago de la Gloria , the castle of San Felipe , El Fuerte San Jerónimo Battery , Fort Drum and Fort Santiago House , the High and Low battery and the Casa Fuerte de San Fernando , the ruins of Fort Trench primitive Santiago , battery fortune , the ruins of Fort Farnese , Trench House Powder , Customs , the bastions of walled enclosure called San Cristóbal, and other ruins that existed within and near the
The Festival of the Black Christ (Cristo Negro) is held here every 21 of October of each year, the focus for pilgrims from all over Panama. There are still little-known places as the so called “Puerto Francés”, a perfect inlet for adventures, snorkeling practice and camping. The boat trip takes about 12 minutes; dolphins can be seen very close from the boat during the trip, as well as some fortifications from the Spanish colonial period. Once arrived at Portobelo, leave your car on the parking of Fuerte Santiago where some attendants will care of it. On the dock say you are interested in going to Puerto Francés.
The fee is between USD 7.00 to USD 10.00 per person. In case of groups the fee may be negotiated to obtain a cheaper price. Ask for life jackets. In addition, tell them the hour you like them to pick you up and ask for the cell phone number of the person in charge of the boat. Portobelo is also seat of sport events such as “extreme triathlon”. Nowadays, several kinds of properties may be found to buy or rent in Portobelo, inclusive on the bay.