Back in the 1940s, Coronado was a handful of sleepy ranches speckled along an unspoiled stretch of the Pacific. Given its picture-perfect location and its status as the least rainy spot in Panama, those pirates and smugglers sure picked the right spot for their principal trade route during colonial times. Even in 2005, Coronado was mostly a weekend-only destination, with few full-time residents, restaurants you could count on one hand and nowhere to shop.
Today, Coronado is the epicenter of beach life in Panama, offering great amenities and the infrastructure to match the unrivaled natural beauty surrounding it. It boasts three shopping malls, a buzzing restaurant and nightlife scene with top-notch international cuisine, and several international schools. No wonder that expats in the know from the U.S., Canada and Europe have decided to make Coronado home and set up their businesses right in town — or on the beach.
Coronado is THE closest beach town from Panama City. Hop on the Pan-American Highway and you’re there in just over an hour – and the government knows how to make it easy for drivers. Weekend visitors can escape the city Friday afternoon and head back on Monday morning on three dedicated lanes, although we always recommend jumping out of the city before 3pm. For $3 a bus will also get you there from the city’s Albrook mall.
And, after the roadworks are completed on the new Chorrera–San Carlos highway, road capacity will expand and traffic will ease up significantly, meaning weekenders who leave the city at 5pm can get to their beach houses well in time for pre-dinner cocktails on the beach. Metro Line 3 will also be a game-changer. That, combined with the new bridge over the Canal, are on track to be completed in four years, meaning a new route out of the city and a huge reduction in car volume as people opt for the faster metro. So hold your breath, because it’s coming!