No one gets bored on the Riviera Pacifica. Its array of beaches is so different that their activities and lodging options seem endless. Enjoy this beach chain with different sand and watercolors, and such changing tides that the landscape transforms every 6 hours.

Get to know some of the best beaches on the Riviera Pacifica and how to enjoy them in the list below.

1. Punta Chame, the Immense one

Punta Chame, la inmensa

Just an hour from Panama City (89 km, 50 miles) you'll find the detour to Punta Chame, the first beach on the Riviera Pacifica. Enjoy from the moment you enter this huge peninsula more than 10 km long (6 miles), with the sea on either side.

You can enjoy the beaches of Punta Chame all year round, but the magic that makes it special is the strong winds it gets between January and May, which have made it the capital of windsurfing, kitesurfing, and foiling. 

But Punta Chame isn't just for athletes. In this immensity of white sand, you'll find a natural landscape, almost without human intervention. However, in the town of Punta Chame, less than 1 km from the beach entrance, you'll find hotel and gastronomic offers, traditional restaurants, all-inclusive hotels, hostels and rental houses.

2. Playa Caracol: A Beach to Make Friends

Near Chame, but at the opposite end of the peninsula, you'll find Playa Caracol. An option with a large, full-service beach club. There are beach chairs, umbrellas, a café-bar, changing rooms, showers, and bathrooms, all to spend a very comfortable day.

It's a little busier, especially in summer, because it has schools to practice the area's famous sports, surfboard rentals and everything you need for surfing, windsurfing or kitesurfing.

3. Gorgona and its Colorful Sands

Gorgona playas

As part of the Nueva Gorgona area, this beach is another paradise for local surfers. The beach is covered by a mixture of black and white volcanic sand, which produces a beautiful effect with the sunshine. The Chame River outlet creates a distinctive landscape you can see from your surfboard. 

During the weekends, this beach can be busier, as it's a very common destination for the capital's residents, especially in summer. But thanks to this, you'll find many gastronomic offers and tourist infrastructure, such as hotels, rental houses, restaurants, a surf club and much more.

4. Surfing and Good Vibes at Playa Malibu

Here the sand is white, but with small black spots giving it a grey tone. The sea water is more turquoise, and it has the Chame River outlet. It's a very striking landscape. 

Malibu is a key point for surf lovers in Panamá due to its proximity to the city and, above all, its long stretches of tubular waves with breaks to the right at low tide and to the left at intermediate tides. The breaking point is located in front of the river, a must-see sight. 

Although the beachfront is undeveloped, you'll find kiosks, restaurants, and surf schools.

5. Coronado, the Original one

playa Coronado

If you continue along the Pan-American Highway, about 2 hours from Panama City (88 km or 54.6 miles) is Playa Coronado, which was the first to create a coastal development for Panamanian vacations and is still the most developed and visited in the entire Riviera Pacifica. In Coronado, besides delicious food, you'll find everything you need within a short distance and without going too far from the sea.

The color of Coronado beach is a mystery and depends on the area where you are. In some areas, the white sand is combined with black volcanic sand, and in others, the sand is so black that it glistens under the sun.

Here you can practice endless activities: there are jet ski, water ski, kayak, four-by-four, surfboard and kitesurfing rentals, and even horseback riding on the beach. There are also beach volleyball courts, soccer courts, tennis courts, and even a large golf course.

If you want to get out of the sand, you can visit the Tropical Dry Forest, a hidden gem that has been protected so that the diverse flora and fauna may continue to grow. There you can take a birdwatching tour or a guided tour of the alligators. In short, Coronado is the alternative for the most demanding in search of luxury and comfort.

6. Playa Teta, the Surf Hideaway

A much less developed area, where the attraction is the natural state of the beach and the shade that the trees give to the seashore, Teta is one of the most sought-after beaches for surfers on the Riviera.

In this hidden treasure there are two famous spots: Frente de Teta and Punta Teta, where you'll find exciting waves. Teta also has a river outlet, where you can get your adrenaline pumping in fresh water.

To get there, follow the directions on your GPS, as it is not well signposted, and bring everything you need to spend the day.

7. Playa El Palmar, Your First Waves

Playa El Palmar

El Palmar is another surfing spot, ideal if you are just starting out in this sport, as there are several schools and surfboard rentals here. 

On the beach you'll find restaurants, bars, rental huts, showers and, most importantly, lifeguards. El Palmar has accommodation options from hotels and hostels to campsites. It's also very close to Playa Ensenada and the town of San Carlos, so you have several options to go from one location to another, or purchase products and services.

8. Playa Ensenada

In the township of San Carlos is Ensenada, a beach with a much calmer sea. The beach has little infrastructure, but you'll find a few bars, showers and bathroom services. 

A short distance from the beach is a town where there is everything: hotels, a beach club, a soccer field and even a heliport. From the port of Ensenada, you can also rent small boats to take a ride on the open sea and fish.

9. Playa Río Mar, Between Salty and Sweet 

This 600 meters (2,000 foot) long beach is the ultimate surf spot on the Riviera. As its waves are usually quite high and at times there are strong currents, it is recommended for experienced surfers.

As its name implies, this beach also has a freshwater stream. The Calabazo River forms a small lagoon, just before reaching the sea.

Part of the beachfront is occupied by private condominiums. If you don't have reservations at their beach club, you'll have to enter through public access. Once there, you'll be surprised by an almost deserted beach with a predominating black color of the volcanic sands. 

If you are visiting to enjoy its waves to the fullest, be sure to stop by the surf camp, where you can find, a few meters from the beach, parking, showers, a camping area, cabins and, of course, surfboard rentals and surf lessons.

10. Playa Corona, Guaranteed fun

This is the last beach in the province of West Panamá. Enjoy beachfront hotels and spas with rental chairs and umbrellas. 

It is a very popular beach, especially in summer, so it has other amenities such as parking, showers and changing rooms.

11. Playa Santa Clara, its Name Says it all

Santa Clara is in the Cocle province. As its name implies, the sand and water of this beach are clear, contrasting with the black beaches of the West Panama province. 

Santa Clara is perfect for those who want to spend a day at the beach, but not necessarily in a big hotel. For about $10, you can rent a typical palm-roofed beach hut, complete with a table, chairs, and hammocks. 

In Santa Clara, there are also several restaurants ranging from typical to Mediterranean food, and offering shower services for an extra price.

12. The Resorts: Bijao, Playa Blanca, Buenaventura and Farallon

Catamarán Buenaventura

The next stretch of beaches is known for having the most comprehensive offer on the Riviera. These beaches each have their own hotel. Some are luxury hotels. Others are all-inclusive hotels. In any of them you'll find extensive installations, a variety of day and night entertainment, facilities for water sports, different gastronomic options, beach bars, shaded kiosks and swimming pools.

In this area, you'll also find the best golf courses in Panamá. Some with more than 7,000 yards and others with 18 holes and a great setting. Please note that in order to enjoy these golf courses, you must be a guest of the respective hotel.

To get to this beach area, Rio Hato's Scarlett Martinez International Airport offers mainly charter flights.

At the end of what we know as the Panamanian Riviera is Farallón, which is publicly accessible and very lively. It has several restaurants and small beach bars.

 On the Panamanian Riviera, you can enjoy a luxurious golf course or a catamaran trip to a relaxed surf resort. Have fun finding the thousands of shades of sand, and become an expert on your board with this surf circuit and hop from beach to beach to get to know this Riviera, which is waiting to be explored.

Where to Stay in

Riviera Pacifica

Where to Stay in

Riviera Pacifica