During my 32 years in Costa Rica I have visited dozens of beaches, always trying to find the best one based on the color of the sand and the clarity of the water! I always wondered why so many Costa Rican families visited Playa Panama in the Gulf of Papagayo when there are so many other attractive beaches nearby with lighter sand and clear blue water.
Personally, when I would decide to go to a beach near our area I would normally choose from some of the more beautiful beaches like La Penca, Playa Buena, Playa Huevos , Playa Nacazcol or Playa Cabuyal. These beaches all have light sand with perfect visibility; great for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Since the arrival of our new daughter Samantha who is now 5 years old, I finally now understand why Playa Panama is so popular with the Ticos. The sea is calm, flat and secure, almost more like a lake than the ocean, which makes it perfect for everyone; children, seniors, people who do not know how to swim and even the disabled can enjoy a day at Playa Panama without worrying about big waves or undertow.
This beach is also popular because it has so many huge Guanacaste trees that shade the entire area, so you can relax in the sand without the danger of burning your skin. Since the opening of the new 5 star Mangrove Hotel, many tour operators are also on hand to offer visitors aquatic excursions of every kind! Five years ago we decided to take Samantha to Playa Panama; it was a huge success! I took her out to where the depth was about 1 meter deep and gently bounced my little angel in the water where she immediately felt comfortable as if she was in a pool.The rest of the morning we relaxed and stared out at the beautiful ocean and surroundings, while enjoying a basket picnic made by my wife Estrella. However if we had not brought anything to eat, it would not have been a problem as there were many local merchants offering all kinds of different food and beverages directly on the beach at a very affordable price. Playa Panama was perfect for teaching our daughter to swim in the ocean.After a while I wanted a place with a few more waves, so we went to Playa Hermosa, just six minutes away. That day, the surf was almost 2 meters high and while Samantha was taking a nap in the shade I went playing in the challenging but very safe waves of Playa Hermosa!
Pura Vida Alain
Playa Panamá Lake!