1. Aguadulce, Cocle
Aguadulce is a quiet town in the interior of Panama. The people here primarily work in agriculture, sea salt production, and some fishing. It would be hard to blend in as a tourist here since the town seldom receives white tourists.
The beach is in the eastern part of the city and can be accessed by bus or taxi. The majority of beachgoers are local families and the occasional fisherman. You won’t find the typical Panamanian beach experience of artificial white sands, suntanning tourists, and paid parking. This is one of my favorite beaches since it has yet to be spoiled by the unforgiving tourist industry.
2. Playa la Barqueta, David
Playa la Barqueta is located directly southwest of David, Panama. David is a rapidly growing city with hectic traffic, so this beach is a nice escape from the bustling city. Look for the Graumal bus at the main bus terminal, and there should be three buses leaving daily for the beach. A taxi could be negotiated down to $15 for a direct trip.
Although the beach is heavily dominated by the Las Olas beach resort, visitors may access the beach free of charge. This is very fortunate since many beaches in Panama have been taken over by private resorts, blocking access to the frugal beach bum. Accommodation at Las Olas typically varies at $60 to $80 per night, making it one of the cheaper resorts in Panama.
You will find both American tourists and local families having picnics and barbecues at the beach. A restaurant is available at the parking lot, serving a wide variety of seafood and other local dishes. The waves can be quite intense, so more experienced surfers would appreciate the waters.
3. Farallon, Cocle
Farallon is a small beach town that is near other popular beaches such as Rio Hato and Coronado. This town has specifically become more popular amongst French Canadians, and there are even direct flights from Quebec. You will find signs in French and Spanish more often than in English. Restaurants and small casinos are also in great abundance.
Much like most beaches in Panama, the beach has been mostly engulfed by the private resorts. Fortunately, there are still free parking spots offered by local restaurants with free access to the beach. Once you get onto the beach, you may freely walk the entire stretch of white sand, even the spots originally reserved by the resorts.