Back in the 1940s, Coronado was a handful of sleepy ranches speckled along an unspoiled stretch of the Pacific. Given its picture-perfect location and its status as the least rainy spot in Panama, those pirates and smugglers sure picked the right spot for their principal trade route during colonial times. Even in 2005, Coronado was mostly a weekend-only beach destination, with few full-time residents, restaurants you could count on one hand and nowhere to shop.
Today, Coronado is the epicenter of beach life in Panama, offering great amenities and the infrastructure to match the unrivaled natural beauty surrounding it. It boasts three shopping malls, a buzzing restaurant and nightlife scene with top-notch international cuisine, and several international schools. No wonder that expats in the know from the U.S., Canada, and Europe have decided to make Coronado home and set up their businesses right in town — or on the beach.
Coronado is THE closest beach town from Panama City. Hop on the Pan-American Highway and you’re there in just over an hour – and the government knows how to make it easy for drivers. Weekend visitors can escape the city Friday afternoon and head back on Monday morning on three dedicated lanes, although we always recommend jumping out of the city before 3pm. For $3 a bus will also get you there from the city’s Albrook mall.
Things to do
With Coronado’s coastal proximity you may want to try your hand at one of the various aquatic pursuits available. One of the more popular activities being deep-sea fishing, with various providers in the area. Notably, the highly-rated Coronado Fishing Club. They offer various trips for fishermen, sightseers, snorkelers, or folk who simply want to get out on the water.
Or if fishing isn’t your thing, relax at one of the various highly-acclaimed beaches. To the east, you have the likes of the famous Punta Chame, a hotspot for surfers and those looking to relax on a white-sand beach with a book in their hand.
To the west, you have the likes of Playa El Palmar, a popular beach destination with families that has ample facilities and a nice atmosphere for a fun family day out.
For those of a more daring persuasion than me, they can take advantage of the nearby Panama Skydive Center and take in the beautiful views Panama has to offer from 13,500 feet in the air!