Panama has both an Atlantic Coast and a Pacific Coast, not to mention hundreds of islands and islets, so as you might imagine, the Panama beaches are pretty abundant. Except for the Chiriqui Highlands, Panama is warm and humid year round, and as such, the Panama beaches are always beckoning. The high season for Panama beach vacations runs roughly from December-April, as this is the dry season. As a result, you can expect Panama beach hotels to raise their rates during these months. While there are some decent beaches found on the Panama mainland, it's the country's islands where you will find the best beaches in Panama. After exploring Panama City and the Panama Canal, a good amount of visitors to Panama then head to a beach destination for a few days. Since the country's transportation infrastructure is quite adequate, getting to one of the Panama islands to enjoy some fun in the sun is a pretty easy venture.
Though Panama City is found on the Pacific Coast, it is not known for great area beaches. If you are hanging out in Panama City and want to escape to a sandy stretch for a day or two, nearby Taboga Island is an ideal choice. It's a very tranquil island, where relaxation is induced the minute you get off the ferry or airplane. The white sand beaches here are nice, and you can find a few Taboga hotels that will have you right by the sea. Taboga Island is also great for hiking, and it figures prominently in Panama history. Those heading on to other Panama beaches might just consider visiting Taboga Island for its historic value, saving yourself for the better beaches found elsewhere. Other Panama beaches found near the capital are Farallon and Santa Clara. They are quite picturesque, and the calm water is great for swimming. As a side note, the beaches in Panama are known to have powerful riptides, so it's always a good idea to keep that in mind. At Farallon, the Decameron Resort is just one of the Panama beach hotels that you might consider staying at. You'll find beaches closer to Panama City, but they tend to be dirtier and lacking in sand quality.
San Blas Islands
San Blas Panama
If you were pick the best Panama beach scene, the San
Blas Islands are a worthy candidate. Found in the
autonomous and northeastern Comarca de Kuna Yala Province,
the San Blas Islands number in the hundreds, and most
are uninhabited. While you'll find some of the more
rustic Panama beach hotels here, it's worth roughing
it a bit to enjoy this slice of paradise. These are the
kinds of beaches that you see on the covers of travel
magazines, and palm trees are certainly in big supply.
The coral reefs found just offshore many a San Blas Island
are great for scuba diving and snorkeling, and should you want to get away from the
world, you can hang out at an isolated beach on one of
the many uninhabited islands. The Kuna Indians, who control
this region, are a culturally-rich society that is among
the more interesting in all the Caribbean.
On the northwestern Panama coast, the Bocas del Toro archipelago is another top Panama beach destination. Isla Colon is the main hub for travelers exploring these island beaches in Panama, and you can always head out to one of the Panama beach hotels found on nearby islands. Snorkeling and scuba diving are again excellent here, due to the coral reefs and abundance of colorful fish. Red Frog Beach and Playa Larga are just two of the great Bocas del Toro beaches, and they can be found at the stunningly beautiful Isla Bastimentos National Park. There are a healthy amount of Panama travel packages that include either a stay on the San Blas Islands, or one on the Bocas del Toro islands. Back on the Pacific side, the Pearl Islands are starting to receive mention as an up and coming Panama beach destination. Like Taboga Island, the Pearl Islands are easy to get to from Panama City, and most visitors arrive at and stay at one of the Panama beach hotels on Contadora Island. You can visit deserted beaches here, and as of now, it's a pretty uncrowded place. It might not stay that way for long however, so you might get here fast.
Located offshore heading west along Panama's Pacific Coast, the island of Coiba is a top spot to enjoy some of the best beaches in Panama. The scuba diving here just might be the best in the country, which is saying quite a lot. The Isla Coiba National Park is a place where the jungle meets the sea, and it's a fantastic place to explore for a few days. You can get to Isla Coiba by flying or driving to the city of Santiago, which is found in the Veraguas Province. From here, you head to the shore to hail a boat for the 3-hour trip. Playa Damas and Playa Blanca are just two of the notable Isla Coiba National Park beaches, and the feature crystal-clear water and soft, fine sand. Pretty much all of Panama's regions have good beaches to offer, and you can enjoy surfing year round if you are interested. The Panama beach hotels continue to see newer and better additions among them, helping to move Panama to the forefront of top beach destinations.