6 best beaches in PANAMA to explore in 2022 (+MAP)

Panama It is a country that lies between two continents and two oceans with a rich culture and an incredible history.

It is among the most beautiful countries in Latin America, and its coastline adds to this beauty with breathtaking beaches.

The weather is amazing with summer being the predominant season throughout the year with some rain in the other months.

As a tourist destination, it has some of the best kept secrets for beach lovers looking for tranquility, peace and relaxation.

From Panama City to David, the beauty of this nation can be found just about everywhere. If you want to escape the crowds with your family, friends or colleagues, here are six of the best beaches you can visit in Panama.

  1. Santa Catarina
  2. The San Blas archipelago
  3. Cayos Zapatilla, Bocas del Toro
  4. Starfish Beach, Bocas del Toro
  5. Playa Venao, Azuero Peninsula
  6. Praia do Sapo Vermelho

Best beaches in Panama MAP

Best beaches in Panama MAP

Related: The best beaches in Costa Rica

Santa Catarina

Santa Catarina Panama

The name may sound familiar because of the Catalina Islands in Los Angeles, California, but don’t worry, they’re two different places. Santa Catalina is a small, quiet fishing village set outside the Panamanian surfers.

Santa Catalina is now a booming surfing and fishing hotspot, but not just for locals, because it’s on Panama’s Highway 1.

The south side of the highway has a nice beach area and a pretty little town with lots of restaurants, bars and shops. If you’re in Panama, Santa Catalina is where you go surfing or fishing. Surfers will find great waves, including perennial favorites Caballito and El Tamarindo. In addition, the surf in Santa Catalina also offers excellent opportunities for fishing by boat, as several mangroves within a few hundred meters of this beach make it ideal for fly fishing. It also allows you to launch your standup paddle board or take a kayak tour from the beach to Isla Catalina.

Why recommend this beach?

It’s great for getaway fishing and perfect for surfers out there. Also, the area is not crowded; it’s quiet and peaceful, so you can go to the beach with your family and have fun without worries. Cost: This beach is on “budget”.

Where to stay?

In Santa Catalina, there is no accommodation apart from the camping spots in the nearby town of Estero Hondo. So if you plan on staying a few days or a few weeks, we don’t recommend it. You can also find accommodations in Panama City, but they can be more expensive than Estero Hondo.

The San Blas archipelago

San Blas Panama Archipelago

This archipelago of islands is located in the Caribbean Sea, east of Panama, and is known for snorkeling. The San Blas Islands have been an extremely remote, undeveloped and untouched destination that has remained a mystery. The Guna indigenous people are descendants of the Kuna who live on these islands.

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Europeans first arrived on the San Blas Islands in 1503, but little did they know that it would be over 400 years before anyone set foot on these islands again. At that time, they were known as “Islas de Escudo” and only later renamed in honor of their indigenous inhabitants. Today, foreign travelers can visit these islands and experience local life with a Guna family.

San Blas beach dazzles with its power and beauty. Don’t be afraid of its vastness; enjoy the fascinating color of its waters and white sands. The San Blas archipelago is one of the best kept natural secrets in the world, a paradise of turquoise seas and white beaches that no tourist has ever visited.

Why recommend this beach?

The San Blas Islands are one of the best places in Panama for snorkeling. In addition to having some of the best beaches in Panama for snorkeling, you can also enjoy day and night cruises, fishing and tours with the Guna families. These tours are fascinating for visitors who have never seen the Guna people before. The San Blas Islands are located on Panama’s Highway 1, near Gamboa (also called El Chorrillo), and can be easily reached by bus or boat from most major cities in Panama.

Cayos Zapatilla, Bocas del Toro

Cayos Zapatilla

The Cayos Zapatillas or Zapatilla Keyes is a group of islets located in the Caribbean Sea, off mainland Panama in the Province of Bocas del Toro. They are a top-rated destination for backpackers and travelers on a budget who want to explore the area by boat or kayak. This is the best beach for taking photos in Bocas del Toro.

Unlike the beautiful beaches on the islands, Cayos Zapatilla has a very rocky and rugged coastline. However, it has earned a reputation as one of the most beautiful beaches in Panama because of its pristine white sand and water. The water here is calm and inviting for swimming and snorkeling, with large schools of colorful fish that make this place stunning.

Reasons to recommend this beach

The Zapatilla Islands are a highly recommended ocean area because of their deep blue-green marine waters and white sand beaches. The San Blas archipelago is also a highly rated destination for backpackers who want to go scuba diving or love the calm, clear waters and beautiful landscapes. So if you are planning to go to Bocas del Toro as a tourist, be sure to check out these two areas as well.

Starfish Beach, Bocas del Toro

The beach is considered one of the most beautiful in Panama, with white dunes and rustic beach-style huts. It’s a great place to swim, snorkel, and make friends with the local fish and manatees. Starfish Beach is an open beach with lots of people walking or jogging along its shoreline.

The beach is directly on the Indian River, flowing into the Bay of Bocas. It is one of the best places to relax and sunbathe. It is located near the beach of Boca del Drago, on the main island of Isla Colon. It’s a great place to go if you want to do some walking as there are over 100 steps up to the island. It is perfect for swimming and admiring the starfish, as its waters are shallow and translucent.

Reasons to recommend this beach

The beach is located in Bocas del Toro, a sub-district of Panama City, and is one of the most beautiful and relaxed places to visit. There are no lights on the coast, lots of mangroves, a cool sea breeze and a calming marine atmosphere. It has palm trees that provide more color contrast and the necessary shade. It’s an ideal place to go if you want to see some wild animals in their natural habitat, as Starfish is home to over 1,000 manatees.
To get to the mangroves, you can use the floating chairs, go kayaking or use the water bikes that add to the fun and excitement of visiting this beach. The journey takes only about an hour.

Playa Venao, Azuero Peninsula

Playa Venao in Panama

Playa Venao is located off the main highway at the eastern end of Panama City, with easy access to the beaches of Parque Talamanca and other attractions, 15 minutes from Puerto Angel. With seven kilometers of golden sand beach, plenty of campgrounds with clear water and ample seafood restaurants, this beach is a popular choice for tourists who come to Panama City to visit the islands.

Venao is also an excellent place to spot dolphins, snorkel and hike, because all of this can be done directly from one location.

It is considered one of the best surf destinations in Panama. This is the best beach to make friends with the monkeys galore on the beach and they are very curious about humans. It has hostels for backpackers, luxury hotels on the beach and cheap places in Pedasi town for accommodation purposes.

The journey between Playa Venao and Pedasi is approximately 34 km with options to travel by car or bus.

Why recommend this beach?

• It is situated in a great location
• Has beautiful white sand
• The beach is child-friendly and safe
• The beach stretches for about 18 KM in length, so more space for uncrowded fun.

Praia do Sapo Vermelho

Red Sapo Beach in Panama

If you haven’t been to Panama City yet or need a break from all the hustle and bustle, this little village is just the place for you! It’s a quiet little town with a beautiful beach, untouched by modern civilization. The largest islet on which Red Frog is located is shaped like a giant frog, hence its name.

It was first built in 1877 by Irish settlers; a hurricane eventually destroyed it in 1905. It was rebuilt again in 1957 by Manuel Freyre Ferrer, who rebuilt it primarily because of its connection to his dear late mother. This beach is famous, but it doesn’t feel crowded, although you can find a lot of people walking around.

Red Frog Beach is also a great place to spot monkeys, parrots and other wildlife. The sandy beach of Red Frog is one of the most beautiful beaches in Panama, with white sand and gentle waves. It is an excellent place for diving and snorkeling as well, as it has many sea turtles, rays, eels, seahorses and countless types of fish. The best time to go to this beach is between May and October, as it receives the least amount of tourist trips due to its remoteness.

Why recommend this beach?

• The beach is a hidden gem
• Many people visit the island for swimming and diving, making the beaches full of life because of their clear waters.
• The sunset on the beach is breathtaking
• The sea is clean and has a protective barrier, making it ideal for swimming and snorkeling
• There is a lovely walk down to the beach, past the pretty little houses on stilts.

If you are looking for beautiful beaches in Panama, this is the list to choose from. Panama’s beaches are becoming more and more popular with tourists and backpackers year after year because of their crystal clear waters, white sand, palm trees and tranquility. Many have been described as the best beach in Central America.

Regardless of which beach you choose from the list above, your vacation is guaranteed to be 100% enjoyable. Many backpackers love this place and never get tired of it. Whether you choose one of Panama’s beautiful beaches or prefer to head to the islands, it doesn’t matter because this country has something for everyone. It is also an excellent spot for tourists who want to enjoy different activities such as swimming, fishing, diving, surfing and much more.

Are you planning a trip to Central America? Be sure to visit these beaches when you arrive in Panama. Hope you like!

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