The Quest for the Perfect Beach

We’ve been trying to go to as many beaches as possible while staying at the flower farm. Even though we’re about 20-30 minutes off the main highway we’re fairly convenient to the beaches from here and as such, every day we’ve added a beach or two to our list. As we leave every new beach the kids exclaim, “That was the best beach! Let’s come back!”

It makes one wonder, what is the perfect beach? In my opinion, the answer depends on the individual. While one person might like big waves, another might like a small quiet inlet. Or maybe a person might prefer a beach under cliffs at low tide with some tide pooling opportunities. And what about sand preference? Black sand beaches can be amazing, but long stretches of white sand as far as the eye can see are also superb.

Here are some of our highlights from the past few days.

Gorgona (technically Malibu) on Monday

Gorgona was a repeat of a beach we visited last time we were here. Black fine sand and super sloped until the tide gets pretty low. The slope causes this funny backward wave thing where the waves break and hit the shore then sort of roll back and hit the next wave coming in.

Santa Clara and Rio Mar on Wednesday
Santa Clara is full of beautiful white sand as far as the eye can see. It isn’t super fine sand, but the kind where you can see little pebbles if you look closely.

Rio Mar was a mixture of black sand and white sand. Gorgeous cliffs of some porous rock that create some natural shelter areas to stay out of the sun. The beach itself is a bit too slanted for our taste but once you get in past the break point of the waves the water is swimmable.

Farallón and Playa del Sol on Thursday 

We drove way out to Rio Hato where there’s a nice little town, some fancy hotels, and an airport. It’s also the site of the ruins of Noriega’s beach property which we took the opportunity to drive by. There’s nothing there but fenced off overgrown land but it was neat all the same.

The beach at Farallón is nice. Mainly black sand and very slopey. For the first time on this trip we shared the beach with other folks but it wasn’t too populated.

Just to the right of us was the estuary of a river. Al and the kids walked over and found the river teeming with jelly fish. We had a few other wildlife sightings as well.

Next up was Playa del Sol. We got there just as the clouds were hiding the sun and the tide was pretty far out. Playa del Sol has a nice gradual slope to the water and we were able to see some fun little clam like creatures in the wet sand. Also some trash in amidst the drift wood.

Caracol near Chame on Friday

The drive out to Chame is a bit long. It’s the first nice sandy swimmable beach on the highway once you get out of the city and well beyond the gross water in the bay. With the exception of the beach in Veracruz, but we’ll cover that another day.

Anyway, to get to Chame you need to drive through a dense mangrove forest and around a sizable hill/mountain. We decided to stop at the very first possible beach rather than head all the way to the end of the peninsula. And it turned out to be our favorite beach yet. Perfectly gradual slope into the water. Mostly white sand. And hardly any beach condos. Just a little down to the west of us. (Don’t forget, Panama doesn’t attach to Central America on the east and west end. When you are standing looking at the Pacific Ocean you are generally looking South.) We had the whole beach to ourselves. Well, and the sea gulls and pelicans.

And to top off our week of beach excursions, I finally got my pipa fría!

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