When people think about traveling to Panama they always think about Panama Canal Tours or they want to do one of the Panama City Tours to see all the skyscrapers that cover the city, but what people don't know is that Panama is more than an engineering wonder and luxurious buildings. Panama is known worldwide for being a country where you can be in the Pacific Ocean and in just a couple of hours you can be enjoying the Caribbean Sea. For this reason, Panama has several beaches throughout the Republic. Today we will be focusing on the best beaches we have near Panama City where in a matter of a few minutes or hours we can be enjoying these paradisiacal beaches.
Veracruz Beach (30 Minutes from Panama City)
How to get there? To get to this beach there are 2 options: you can take a bus at the Panama transport terminal in Albrook, they are “Diablo Rojo” type buses and you will have to shout “Stop!” when you are close to the beach as this bus would take you to the town. The other way is in your car where you will only have to take the exit to the right that says Veracruz once you have passed the Bridge of the Americas, you must follow that street without turning anywhere, you will pass by the Playa Bonita Hotels. Once you see restaurants and parking lots on the left side, you will have arrived.
Travel time This will depend on how you decide to go to Veracruz Beach, if you decide to take public transport it would be around 45 minutes since they make stops at different points of the route, but if you go by car it is approximately 30 minutes of travel.
Price for a Full Day The cost of public transportation is 1 USD one way. For the return, you must take the same bus that comes back, and it will also cost 1 USD, it will drop you at the transportation terminal in Panama City. There are many restaurants with different food options that are between 10 to 20 USD a plate.
What can you do on the beach? Veracruz Beach is popular for its proximity to Panama City and for being a place where you can eat all kinds of seafood of the best quality. But also, if you want to go into the water there are activities such as Paddle Board (they are rented on the beach) and at sometimes of the year you can surf.
As additional comments, Veracruz Beach has that score because it is a destination where entering the water is not its strong point and it is not the best beach for bathing, but rather to spend a quiet afternoon in any of the hundreds of restaurants that are on the beach and enjoy a delicious meal in front of the sea.
Taboga Island (1 Hour from Panama City)
How to get there? From Panama City you can take public transport at the Panama transport terminal in Albrook Mall that will take you to Perico Island in Amador, another option is to take a Taxi / Uber to take you there or you can also get to Perico Island in your car where you can leave your car parked during your stay in Isla Taboga. To get to Isla Taboga, you must buy a Ferry ticket with a company called Taboga Express Ferry that departure daily from Perico Island, just 15 minutes from downtown Panama City. You will make the crossing by Ferry and you will arrive at Isla Taboga.
Travel time Generally it is 15 minutes from the center of Panama City either by taxi / Uber or Metro bus. The transfer by ferry from Perico Island to Taboga Island is approximately 45 minutes.
Price for a Full Day The cost of public transportation to Perico Island where you will sail to Taboga Island is 0.25 cents, the ferry generally has a cost of 20 USD Round Trip. For food and drinks, there are several options within the island with Caribbean options that have a cost of around 15 USD, if you want you can bring your food and save money.
What can you do on the beach? On the beach you can relax on the sand, enjoy the clear waters of Taboga Island. On the beach, you can rent umbrellas and chairs to make the experience more pleasant. If you want to do something different than being on the beach all day, historical tours of the small island town of Taboga are also offered.
Taboga Island is the most popular option among others since the quality/price ratio is good and especially because it is near to Panama City. If after reading this you want to know this incredible destination, do not miss the opportunity to do one of this Taboga Island Tours, you will find different tour options to Taboga Island, including an all-inclusive option so that you do not have to worry about anything during your stay.
Coronado Beach (1 Hour from Panama City)
How to get there? You can take a bus from the Panama Transport Terminal that takes you to the Coronado entrance, from there you can take a taxi from Coronado Mall to take you to the beach. If you want to go in your car from Panama City, you only have to leave the City by the Bridge of the Americas or the Centennial Bridge and continue on the Pan-American Highway approximately 80 km until you see the Coronado sign, the entrance is on the left. Once you enter you must continue and you will find a sentry box, but you can only enter if you are the owner of one of the houses that are there or if you are staying at the resort. There they will guide you to the public entrance to the beach.
Travel time The estimated time is 1 hour from Panama City, this may vary slightly depending on the traffic on the beach that day.
Price for a Full Day The cost of public transportation is 6 USD round trip or if you go in your car the price will depend on how much it consumes. There is no food service on the beach itself, so we recommend bringing your food. But from time to time street vendors stop by to offer you different types of local tastings. However, if you can get out of the beach and go to the entrance of Coronado you will find different restaurants and popular franchises.
What can you do on the beach At Playa Coronado you can enjoy its Pacific waters and its dark sands where you can play beach soccer, riders also pass by renting their horses so that you can take a tour along the beach.
Coronado Beach is one of the favorite destinations for locals to buy beach residences due to its proximity to Panama City.
Contadora Island (1 Hour and 30 Minutes from Panama City)
How to get there? To go to Contadora Island and be able to enjoy these paradisiacal beaches is easier than you think and its best attribute is that it is close to Panama City. First, we have to go to the dock in Amador, you can take public transport at the Panama Transport Terminal or you can go directly in your car, to take the Catamaran that will take you to Contadora Island. Another way to get to this paradisiacal island is through a small plane that makes flights several days a week.
Travel time The time taken from Panama City to Amador is generally 15 minutes and once you board the Catamaran in Amador to go to Contadora Island it will take you in a ride of 1 hour 30 minutes to the beach. If you make the trip by plane, the flight time is approximately 15 minutes from Panama City, Super Fast!
Price for a Full Day The cost of the Ferry is 120 USD, if you want to make the trip by plane the approximate cost is 250 USD round trip. On the island, you can find different restaurant options where prices vary between 15 USD to 25 USD depending on the type of dish. You can also rent chairs and umbrellas for 35 USD.
What can you do on the Island You can enjoy the beaches of this beautiful island where I can mention Cacique Beach, Galeón Beach, Ejecutiva Beach (the most popular) and Larga Beach. They all have something nice to show so it would be nice if you spent time during your stay exploring each one of them. As additional activities, you can do snorkeling tours, Whale Watching, and Diving.
Contadora Island is one of the most exclusive destinations and it is so near to Panama City, where you will live an incomparable experience. Now that we know what Contadora Island can offer us and you want to know it personally, take the opportunity of doing a Contadora Island Tour and begin organizing your visit to this paradisiacal island.
Bolaños Island (1 Hour and 30 Minutes from Panama City)
How to get there? To go to Bolaños Island we must first go to the Amador Marina, to get here you can take a Metro bus at the Panama Transport Terminal or you can arrive in your car directly, to take the Ferry that will take you to Bolaños Island.
Travel time This can vary depending on the day, generally, it takes 10 minutes to get from Panama City to the Amador Marina and the ferry route takes approximately 1 hour 30 minutes.
Price for a Full Day The price in public transportation from Panama City to the Marina of Amador is 0.25 cents and once you arrive you will have to pay for the ferry that costs around 100 USD. On the island, you can find various options for lunch and prices are between $ 15 to $ 25 a plate.
What can you do on the beach? At Isla Bolaños you can enjoy its beautiful beaches with crystal clear water, you can also snorkel and sometimes you can see starfish resting on the white sand. The island has small stone mountains where you can hike to reach the top and have a spectacular view of the entire island.
Bolaños Island is a great option if you want to relax and enjoy yourself in peace. Because is near to Panama City is an excellent option if you want to disconnect from the noise of the city. Were you interested in getting to know this island?, do not waste time and enjoy a Day Pass in Bolaños Island, it includes all the above mentioned so that you don't have to worry about organizing anything on the island and you can enjoy a complete experience.
San Blas Islands (3 Hours from Panama City)
How to get there? To arrive in your car you must follow the road known as Vía Tocumen, it is the road that leads to the airport, once you arrive at the town of Chepo you must continue a few more minutes. Then you will see a sign that says Llano Cartí and you will enter that road on the left, this road is full of curves and hills, that is why we recommend that you go in a 4x4 vehicle so that you do not have any inconvenience. You will continue the path for about 1 hour without deviate until you reach a police booth where they will ask for your passport or ID and there you must pay the entrance to the region. If your vehicle is not 4x4 you will not be able to continue after this point and you will have to wait for a vehicle with space to pass so that you can continue to the dock. At the dock, you can park your vehicle and take a boat to the island of your choice.
Travel time This trip is the longest on this list because it has different stages, the journey from Panama City to Llano Cartí is approximately 1 hour, then once you reach the entrance to the Llano Cartí highway, you must continue for 1 hour more until you reach the police station and from there about 30 minutes to the pier. Once you arrive at the pier, the time you take from the pier to the island will depend on which island you are heading to.
Price for a Full Day If you go in your 4x4 vehicle, the consumption of Diesel and its cost will depend on it. Once you arrive at the police station you must pay the entrance to the region that has a cost for foreigners of 20 USD and Panamanians 5 USD. After this when you arrive at the dock to park your vehicle you must pay a fee of 3 USD so you can park your vehicle. The cost of the boat depends a lot on the distance of this up to 15 USD per person, here you also must pay a dock tax that has a cost of 2 USD per person. Food on the island depends on the menu of the day, but it is around $ 15 per plate and the drinks between $ 2 to $ 3. We recommend that if you are going on a trip bring a cooler and your food to save money.
What can you do on the beach? On the paradisiacal beaches of the San Blas Islands, you can enjoy its white sands and crystal clear water where you can snorkel and appreciate the marine life that exists in that region. Depending on the island you are heading you will be able to do different activities. Knowing which is the best season to visit San Blas will make you enjoy better your favorite activities. But most of all it is relaxing and enjoying the tranquillity that the environment in San Blas gives you.
The San Blas Islands Beaches are known for being one of the most beautiful in Latin America and an excellent destination to get away from all the stress we may experience on a day-to-day basis. We know that it is a bit difficult to get there on your own. we give this beach a perfect score since it is a destination that you cannot miss if you are in Panama City and we have plenty of reasons to visit San Blas. Do not miss out on the opportunity to take one of the many San Blas Islands Tours available. Includes everything and you do not have to worry about anything else. They will pick up you at your house or hotel, they will take you to the island, you will enjoy the island quietly, take lunch and finally, they take you to the place where they picked you up. You can't find anything easier than that!
Panama is a country blessed by its geographical position as it is a narrow country, where you can enjoy different beach environments and, thus, it has various beach options near Panama City. We are sure that no matter the destination of the beaches you choose, you will have the best time. I hope this blog has answered your questions and if what you need is a recommendation, the beaches of Taboga Island is the one that meets all the requirements for its beautiful beaches and most important it is near to Panama City.
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