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Just a one-hour drive from Panama City along the Inter-American Highway, Playa Blanca is the most important of a string of beaches unspooling along the Pacific Coast of central Panama like a ribbon of silver lamé. The sandy beaches are actually coral-gray, despite the name — White Beach. Panama's middle class maintain beach homes here, while the high-rise condominiums and hotels pinning the shore include several huge (and only modestly appealing) all-inclusives, including the Royal Decameron Panama and SuperClubs' Breezes (new in 2009) — that draws capitaleños from Panama City in droves. The beach is backed by tropical lagoons, but ...

Just a one-hour drive from Panama City along the Inter-American Highway, Playa Blanca is the most important of a string of beaches unspooling along the Pacific Coast of central Panama like a ribbon of silver lamé. The sandy beaches are actually coral-gray, despite the name — White Beach. Panama's middle class maintain beach homes here, while the high-rise condominiums and hotels pinning the shore include several huge (and only modestly appealing) all-inclusives, including the Royal Decameron Panama and SuperClubs' Breezes (new in 2009) — that draws capitaleños from Panama City in droves. The beach is backed by tropical lagoons, but nature seems far away when families flock and crank up their radios. Rustic fisherman's shacks maintain a modicum or yesteryear, and gaily colored fishing boats and nets drape the sands. Bubba Shrimp Fishing Tours will take you out on a converted shrimp boat. Playa Blanca is about to go even more upscale if and when the Nikki Beach Playa Blanca opens, as slated, in 2010 as a superb chic and exclusive condo hotel club for only the hippest jet-setters, and billing itself as the “sexiest project in Panama.”

Christopher Baker
About the Expert

Christopher P. Baker has authored guidebooks to Costa Rica, California, and various Caribbean islands for Frommer's, Lonely Planet, and National Geographic, among others.

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Christopher Baker for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

  • Location: located on the pacific Ocean 75 minutes west of Panama City
  • Language: Spanish
  • Currency: Panama Balboa
  • Weather: Rainfall
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Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    December-April dry season