The Most Beautiful Beaches in Panama

Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro, Panama | © Etched99 / WikiCommons
Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro, Panama | © Etched99 / WikiCommons
Photo of Martina Gili
6 October 2017

Skirting both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans and with thousands of islands, Panama is home to some of the world’s most spectacular beaches. Whether you’re looking to relax, snorkel or surf, this little Central American country has got you covered. Read our guide and discover the most beautiful beaches in Panama.

Cayos Zapatillas, Bocas del Toro

Cayos Zapatillas are two mangrove islands located in the archipelago of Bocas del Toro. With golden beaches and exotic coral reefs, they are important ecological sites for endangered sea turtles. A local legend says that the Zapatillas Islands (meaning literally ‘slipper islands’, because of their shape) were made by the feet of God as he stepped down from heaven.

Bocas del Toro, Panama | © JAIROMAYA/Pixabay

The San Blas archipelago

With turquoise crystal waters and fine white sand, the beaches of San Blas rank among the most beautiful in the world. The 378 islands of the Caribbean archipelago have been spared from massive tourism by the native Gunas who control them. If you are searching for that desert island feeling, San Blas is the perfect destination.

San Blas | © lapping / Pixabay

Isla Coiba, Province of Veraguas

Named a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Isla Coiba is the biggest island in Central America and one of the most precious natural treasures of Panama. Located off the Pacific Coast of the province of Veraguas, the National Park of Coiba is home to some exotic marine species that you can get close to on one of the many snorkelling or diving tours organised on the island.

Isla Coiba, Chiriquí, Panama | © Alex Proimos / WikiCommons

Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro

Named after the little red frogs that can be spotted along the shores of Isla Bastimento in Bocas del Toro, Red Frog Beach is one of the most unique beaches in Panama. With wild vegetation lurking right behind the stretch of sand, the beach is raw natural beauty at its best. The placid crystal waters come alive with winds and currents, turning Red Frog Beach into one of the best surf breaks of the country.

Red Frog Beach, Bocas del Toro, Panama | © Etched99 / WikiCommons

Santa Catalina, Province of Veraguas

Santa Catalina is a hidden paradise in the Gulf of Chiriquí. Until recently, the small fishing village was rather unknown to visitors. Nowadays it has become a popular destination among surfers thanks to its incredible beach break, and for travelers looking for an off-the-beaten-path destination for diving, fishing and relaxing on the beach.

Santa Catalina, Panama | © Dronepicr / WikiCommons

Isla Contadora, Pearl Islands

Isla Contadora is the ultimate beach getaway from Panama City. Part of the Pearl Islands, an archipelago off the Pacific Coast made up of beautiful savage islands, Contadora is a stunning blend of raw nature and sophistication, with desert white beaches, pelicans and beautiful exclusive villas.

© Rowan Heuvel / Unsplash

Playa Estrella, Bocas del Toro

Located on a remote side Isla Colón, in Bocas del Toro, Playa Estrella (or ‘Starfish Beach’) is one of the most beautiful beaches of Panama. Shaped like a bay, Playa Estrella has placid waters with a constellation of starfish laying in the turquoise background of the sea. With palm trees providing plenty of shade and piña coladas within easy reach, this is one of the ultimate paradise beaches.

Starfish | © Pedro Lastra / Unsplash

Isla Grande, Province of Colón

Only a short boat ride away off the coast of Portobelo, Isla Grande is a little gem in the Caribbean and a great weekend getaway from Panama City. With a colorful village made up of wooden houses on stilts, small fishermen’s restaurants and transparent waters, Isla Grande has an amazing beach that blends with a thick and wild vegetation, and a rocky side providing great point breaks for surfers.

© Martina Gili

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