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Beaches

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Atlanta GA
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Beaches

My husband and are going to Panama City in February. We have several day trips planned but wanted to spend at least one day at the beach. Are there no nice beaches/water near PC? Any info on the best beaches that are near is appreciated. It sounds like the best beaches are on the Pacific coast; how long would it take us to get there?

Florence, Oregon
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1. Re: Beaches

"Best" beaches is very much a matter of opinion; both sides are good, depending on where you go.

You didn't mention your budget or timeline. If you're willing to fly, then you could go to Bocas or San Blas on the Caribbean side, or Contadora on the Pacific side. All flights are under an hour, and around $150-180 pp RT. Those would require an overnight stay, due to flight schedules.

If you want to drive, then there's San Carlos, El Palmar, and Farallon/Playa Blanca on the Pacific side, all within a 2-hour drive. Keep going, and there are many more choices -- but the drive time gets up around 6 hours (Pedasi, Las Lajas, etc.)

Or, you could take a ferry (40 minutes) to Taboga; the beach there is just OK, but the island is charming. There are ferries in the morning and afternoon, so you could do it as a day trip.

You could also drive and ferry to Isla Grande on the Caribbean side, but the last portion of the 2-hour drive is not fun, and the beaches there are, imho, just OK.

The easiest and cheapest day trip is El Palmar, which is just 1 km past San Carlos; there's a great little place there for a lunch stop called Bay View Resort, right on the beach. If you want to stay overnight, it's about $80.

Farallon/Playa Blanca have two large all-inclusive resorts, but there are other choices, too, in the range of $70-140, if you want to stay overnight.

(Actually, there is a pretty nice beach called Veracruz even closer to Panama City -- about 20 minutes -- but I would not recommend it for tourists.)

2. Re: Beaches

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