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Cross the Canal from Panama City, over the Bridge of the Americas, or the Centennial Bridge onto the Pan American Highway and you are beachward bound.
Panama’s Paciﬁc coastline from Colombia in the east to Costa Rica in the west covers about 767 miles bordering six provinces.
That’s a lot of beach. But a relatively small stretch to the west of Panama City has become known as the Paciﬁc Beach Area where around 17 speciﬁc beaches are easily accessible along the Inter American Highway and where hotels and residential projects have proliferated in recent years.
The whole area from Punta Chame to Farallon is being developed, with foreigners and Panamanians eagerly buying lots, houses and condos. This growth is likely to accelerate since the opening of the Scarlett Martinez International Airport at Rio Hato close to Farallon Beach.
Charter and scheduled ﬂights can now land passengers directly at the beach area to avoid the two hour transfer from Panama City’s Tocumen Airport.
Farallon used to be the exclusive preserve and regimental HQ of the Panamanian military in the era of strongman General Omar Torrijos and later of General Manuel Noriega. The U.S. Military had used it before them as a base and constructed the Rio Hato Airport during WWII.
The capital of the Paciﬁc Beaches is Coronado where an embryo development began over 40 years ago. Coro-nado now has branches of most major stores and supermarkets and facilities such as the San Fernando Hospital and an international school.
There are small towns and ﬁshing communities every few miles along the coast, and golf courses, ﬁve of them. The highway, while not often affording a view of the ocean, never strays far from the shoreline.