Just under two hours from Panama City is a stretch of beach that development seems to have forgotten. With my group of friends, we rented a car, hopped in, and took the trip to Playa Santa Clara on the shores of the Pacific Ocean.
We followed the road signs and arrived to find a nearly deserted white sand beach that seemed to stretch for a good distance.
Because the weather wasn’t all that great for swimming and the surf was a bit too strong, we spent a couple hours at Veraneras, a small beachside restaurant with bungalows available for rent. There were reasonably priced drinks available along with several meat and seafood options for lunch.
A walk a bit down the beach showed us the same scenery – nothing. The owner of the restaurant said weekdays are very quiet and relaxing, but on weekends, the beach attracts big crowds. There are more developed and upscale beach areas nearby, like Playa Farallón, but Playa Santa Clara had exactly what we needed to escape the madness of Panama City.
To get to Playa Santa Clara, it’s easiest to have your own vehicle, otherwise, any bus heading west from Panama City can drop you off at the turn-off to the beach.