17 Best Beaches in Panama

It’s no secret that Panama has some of the world’s most breathtaking and Instagram-worthy beaches.

This long, winding country at the confluence of the Caribbean and Pacific Oceans is home to a variety of impeccable coastal resorts.

With Panama’s beaches, you’ll find the perfect combination of relaxation and heart-racing splashes.

Here is a list of the best beaches in Panama to help you find the perfect bay for your vacation.

1. San Blas Islands

Located along the Caribbean side, these 365 islands offer the best beaches in Panama.

Why We Recommend This Beach

San Blas archipelago is unlike anywhere else on earth.

Discover the white sand beaches, swaying trees, and the azure waters of these remote and pristine islands.

Despite the rough journey to these exotic islands, you will surely enjoy every moment.

Expert Tip

The beautiful setting of San Blas is the perfect place to disconnect from the world.

In Panama, these islands are owned by the native Kunas, and staying on them requires a special procedure.

They offer three meals a day, rustic accommodation, and transportation to this surreal Panama beach.

You might consider chartering a yacht if you want a more luxurious trip.

2. Red Frog Beach

Especially popular with backpackers, this beach on Bastimentos Island is a true oasis.

Why We Recommend This Beach

While this beach is pretty famous, it never feels congested or crowded.

Taking a dip here is a memorable experience, as it’s surrounded by gentle waves and pristine water.

There’s no better beach in Panama to go swimming on than this one.

This beach also has a picturesque rainforest backdrop that will have you taking photos at every turn.

Expert Tip

After a day in the sun and sand, explore the island a little more.

You can see monkeys and sloths hanging from the trees, and you can also discover caves that are hidden in the forest.

There are also surfboards and kayaks you can use in the ocean.

3. Starfish Beach

This piece of paradise is located in Bocas del Toro and is known for its sugar-white sands and clear blue waters.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Here in Bocas del Toro, you’ll find magnificent, family-friendly beaches.

Known for its gentle waves and shallow, crystal clear water, it is one of the safest beaches for children.

In line with its name, this beach is home to an abundance of starfish.

Expert Tip

A trip to this beach does not require you to pack a lot of food.

Delicious grilled dishes, fried chicken, and lobster are available in nearby makeshift kitchens.

If you wish, you can also rent a chair and enjoy a cold beer with a friend.

4. Playa Bluff

Featuring three miles of stretches of sand, this Isla Colon beach offers a wealth of activities for all types of travelers.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Playa Bluff is undoubtedly a top location for exhilarating water activities like boogie boarding and surfing because of its continuous gigantic waves.

It’s also more tranquil than the other notable beaches in Panama, making it a great spot to relax.
Expert Tip

It is advisable to bring food and supplies since there are not many amenities on this beach.

While there are a few restaurants near the beach, bringing your lunch will save you more money.

5. Isla Coiba

This uninhabited island in Panama’s Coiba National Park boasts some of the country’s most beautiful beaches.

Why We Recommend This Beach

There is no place like Coiba Island.

While there are calm beaches and high wave surf spots on the island, there are also relaxing beaches with calm waters.

Expert Tip

The best way to reach the island is to take a boat ride from Santa Catalina.

Browse through the island’s wildlife, including turtles and over 200 different birds.

6. Playa Coronado

With a 50-mile drive from Panama City, this cove is the area’s most developed beach.

Why We Recommend This Beach

It’s no surprise that Playa Coronado is one of Panama’s most well-known beaches.

There are hotels, restaurants, and shops here, so you’ll find everything you need for a comfortable beach vacation.

Its swells make it an ideal location for swimming and water sports.

Expert Tip

What if your beach getaway could be a little more exciting?

Have you ever played golf at the Blue Bay Coronado Golf and Beach Club?

This family-oriented club offers more than just its 18-hole golf course.

7. Isla Iguana

This 58-acre wildlife refuge on the Azuero Peninsula was declared a protected wildlife refuge in 1981.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Isla Iguana is a bird enthusiast’s paradise and a wildlife reserve.

Having a hard time getting into birding?

Perhaps the gorgeous coral reefs, untouched beaches, and crystal clear waters will entice you.

Divers can also find octopus, moray eels, turtles, and fish with rainbow colors.

Expert Tip

There are no amenities or shops on the island, so you must bring your food and water.

Also, don’t forget to bring insect repellent and sunscreen.

You can enjoy the beach at night too, but you should inform the shelter ranger.

8. Playa Larga

In the middle of Contadora Island, this half-mile stretch offers a respite from the busy world.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Playa Larga is a must-have on any list of the top things to do in Panama.

It features serene waters and stunning white sands, but it also has a relaxing ambiance.

The beach is ideal for individuals looking to avoid crowds because it is a little out of the way.

It’s easy to avoid the crowds at Playa Larga, a lovely and tranquil beach.

Expert Tip

The grocery stores on the island don’t accept cards, so bring cash.

Also, be sure to bring plenty of water when visiting this beach.

9. Cayos Zapatilla

Cayos Zapatilla consists of two islands and is part of the spectacular 13,226-hectare Bastimento Island National Marine Park.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Unwind and enjoy some sun rays on Cayos Zapatilla.

These islands also have coral reefs and sea turtle nesting grounds.

The underwater world of the archipelago is home to colorful fish and moray eels.

Expert Tip

The clear night sky of these islands makes them perfect for camping.

However, be careful of the sand flies and chitras.

Through mangrove patches and tropical forests, there’s an interpretive walking trail on the east Zapatilla.

10. La Barqueta

Located in the province of Chiriqui, La Barqueta is a laid-back beach community.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Thanks to its large swells and consistent waves, La Barqueta is a hotspot for surfers.

There’s nothing better than strolling and sunbathing on this isolated beach, and the best part is you have it all to yourself.

Expert Tip

Ensure your feet are protected by sandals or aqua shoes when visiting this cove.

The sand can become very hot and can cause you to burn your toes.

11. Playa Las Lajas.

This 12-kilometer-long beach on Chiriqui’s Pacific coast is a favorite on the mainland.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Visitors are mesmerized by Playa Las Lajas’ seemingly unending stretch.

The beach, of course, also has some fantastic waves, making it a fantastic location for body surfing.

If swells are not your thing, you may simply unwind and enjoy the soft breezes and stunning palm trees.

Expert Tip

Weekends typically see a large influx of tourists and adventurers at the beach.

However, the beach is frequently deserted during the week, so you may enjoy the beautiful stretch all to yourself.

12. Isla Grande

This Colon island, despite being called “grand,” is small, serene, and lovely.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the large cities?

Do yourself a favor and visit Island Grande for a rejuvenating retreat.

This island will transport you to a world of relaxation, exclusivity, and seclusion, thanks to its rustic appeal and pristine waters.

Expert Tip

Bring cash for the ice cream, lunch, beach admission, and parking.

Remember that there are no ATMs on Isla Grande.

Similarly, bring sunscreen and rash vests.

13. Santa Catalina

This fishing community tucked away on the Chiriqui Gulf used to be Panama’s best-kept secret.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Until recently, foreign travelers were comparatively unaware of Santa Catalina.

Thanks to its great beach break, it is becoming a growing surfing destination.

Additionally, it is humming with interesting beach activities like scuba diving, kayaking, and snorkeling.

Expert Tip

Take the scenic Cres Trail, a 1.5-mile hike that will take you to a viewing point.

A panoramic panorama of the Gulf of Montijo and Agua Blanca awaits you at the summit as compensation for your effort.

14. Punta Chame

Punta Chame is a well-known windsurfing destination along central Panama’s Bahia de Chame.

Why We Recommend This Beach

Kite surfing is popular in Punta Chame, especially from December to April.

There are respected institutes where beginners can learn the fundamentals of windsurfing.

You’ll also adore the lovely vistas of the bay and the gray dunes.

Expert Tip

Children should not swim at this beach.

The beach is littered with stingrays during low tide.

Also, the wind can produce choppy waves that may be too powerful for inexperienced swimmers.

15. Pedasi

Located on the edge of the Azuero Peninsula, this underrated seaside town is a 4-minute drive from Panama City.

Why We Recommend This Beach

For many years this picturesque village has been a favorite spot for sport fishing.

And guess what?

It is now known for its first-class surfing, impeccable beaches, and sparkling black volcanic sand.

Expert Tip

From June to November, visitors have ample opportunity to spot humpback whales in the waters surrounding the city.

An island is also a great place for diving and snorkeling, and the coral reef attracts a lot of fish.

16. Taboga

Located about an hour from Panama City, this popular weekend retreat is called “the island of flowers.”

Why We Recommend This Beach

Don’t have time to go to Bocas del Toro?

Then embark on an enjoyable beach excursion to Taboga Island.

In Addition to its dazzling beaches, the island has a rich history and was once visited by conquerors and pirates.

Needless to say, the island offers nature walks and boat excursions for snorkeling, whale watching, and fishing.

Expert Tip

Hike one of the island’s scenic trails for a bit of adventure during your beach getaway.

The best view is from Cerro de la Cruz, a 300-meter-high peak with a large stone cross.

The cerulean waters and colorful town are breathtakingly beautiful once you reach the top.

17. Playa Venao

On the south coast of the Azuero Peninsula, this crescent-shaped beach stretches 1.8 miles (2.9 km).

Why We Recommend This Beach

With waves varying in size, Playa Venao is one of the best beaches in Panama for surfing. It is a superb place for beginners.

Whether you surf or not, you’ll appreciate sitting on the golden sands and watching the surfers fight the waves.

Expert Tip

A variety of accommodation options are available in town, from luxury hotels to backpacker lodges.

If you want cheap accommodation, we recommend staying in Pedasi.