Visiting Playa Panama
Playa Panama is one of the more secluded and serene beaches of Guanacaste. This beach is located in the Gulf of Papagayo and lies at the southern border of a small bay called Bahia Culebra (Snake Bay). The International Airport of Liberia (LIR), is only a 20 minute drive away.
Playa Panama has gorgeous ocean views, fantastic sunsets, and is a great beach for swimming and sunbathing. The calm waters that also define the rest of the Gulf of Papagayo, are most apparent here. Stepping into the water almost feels like entering a lake or a pool. That is how tranquil the waters are! In this respect, Playa Panama is ideal for a family vacation.
Family beach time!
The calm waters make Playa Panama is one of the best beaches in Costa Rica for some carefree fun and relaxation. The lack of a town center gives the beach an extra bit of authentic serenity. Developments are popping up slowly but surely, but the pristine conditions are respected and maintained. Swimming is perfectly safe which is why Playa Panama attracts so many families to its shores. Playa Panama is a great spot for fun activities like jet skiing, boating, paddle boarding and kayaking!
Playa Buena and Playa Bonita
Guanacaste is a pretty touristy province, but there are also plenty of hidden beaches to explore. 4km South from Playa Panama you can find Playa Buena and Playa Bonita. White sanded little paradises with bright, turquoise water. Developments have started to take root and they are building some luxury condos on the beach. But with Guanacaste’s respect for its natural surroundings, you can still fully enjoy the beauty and tranquility.
Explore the Gulf of Papagayo
Playa Panama lays north from other major beach destinations on the Gulf of Papagayo. In heading South, the first beach you will pass is Playa Hermosa. A beach that has been awarded the Blue Flag for its environmental and safety efforts. Head a little more south and discover Playas del Coco. A fisher town turned party town while still maintaining its traditional dignity. 3 km further will bring you to the southern entrance to the Gulf of Papagayo. Playa Ocotal’s black sands, blue waters and white mists will make you feel like you walked right into a dream.
Costa Rica’s National Wonders close to Playa Panama
North of Panama beach you can find Santa Rosa National Park. The once vast grazing farms and haciendas have been turned into secondary tropical dry forest. This has created an area of nearly 100,000 acres of protected land. Additionally, Santa Rosa can teach you quite a bit about Costa Rica’s military past.
Rincon de la Vieja is famous for its volcano, hikes, adventure, waterfalls and natural hot springs. This national park is home to the country’s largest known population of Guaria Morada (Guarianthe skinnier). This beautiful purple orchid is Costa Rica’s National Flower.
Palo Verde National Park is home to over 280 species of birds. In fact, beautiful, large birds like the Jabirus have found refuge here. You can spot these and many more creatures on boat tours or bicycle routes through the park.
Visit between January and March: Guanacaste has the longest dry season in the whole of Costa Rica. Even during the rainy season it has the least amount of rainfall. Still, it may be best to explore Playa Panama during the dry season! This way you won’t be surprised by an unexpected rain storm.
Rent a car: Renting a car is the best option to explore the Gulf of Papagayo and the rest Guanacaste has to offer.
Bring factor 50 sunblock: The sun in Guanacaste is no laughing matter and can get quite intense. Protect your skin with factor 50 sunblock or more!
Visit nearby national parks: Guanacaste’s beaches are only one part of the province’s magic. There are some stunning national parks to explore where you can discover Costa Rica’s amazing biodiversity.
Playa Panama is very easy to reach. Located at about 20 minutes from Daniel Oduber Quiros International Airport in Liberia (LIR), your best option is to fly in from your country of origin or from San Jose if you start your trip there. Once there, you can take a shuttle or rent a car to head to Playa Panama. With Liberia laying at the intersection of Highway 1 and Highway 21, you can easily rent a car from San Jose as well. If you prefer to take a private shuttle from the capital you can do so, but keep in mind that these could cost around $200 where shared shuttles will cost you between $50 and $100.
Playa Panama doesn’t really have a bustling town center but there are a couple of very good restaurants to enjoy. Abbocato is one of the most highly rated restaurants around. It serves a wide variety of dishes spanning from Italian to local cuisine and seafood. Vegans and vegetarians are also welcome. For a beautiful place overlooking the boats and ocean, The Dive Bar is the place to be. This restaurant serves high quality food in a more casual, pub atmosphere. Enjoy Central- and South American dishes as well as seafood!
Where to stay
The Gulf of Papagayo is known to have some of the finest Hotels in Costa Rica. And The Casa Conde Beachfront Hotel is a fine example of that! Set in an idyllic setting, it offers a wide choice of tours and activities. The hotel has gorgeous tropical gardens, with great views of the ocean. It has a lovely swimming pool and wet bar. El Mangroove has carved a reputation for itself as a tropical paradise. With 85 contemporary suites to choose from and a fitness center offering Cross fit and yoga classes, you can combine fine luxury with tranquil beach setting. If you are looking for on all-inclusive adults only resorts, check out the Secrets Papagayo Resort & Spa.