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QUICK TAKES

Panama Beaches and Mountain Towns
Around Panama City

By Juan Carlos Martinez

Panama is a relatively undiscovered secret although it is not known how long it will be so, as the "Lonely Planet" has named it one of their top ten destinations in the world. Additionally United States travel agencies are promoting Panama as a to choice. One of the most wonderful things about Panama is that it is a tiny country where you can quickly change scenery. For example you can go from the heat and the bustle of Panama City to a cool, mountainous climate within 45 minutes to an hour's drive.

mountains

Close to the city you can find towards the airport Cerro Azul, a mountain community a few degrees cooler than Panama City where houses are set far apart on large lots. It is a rural community with rustic roads and many hills. To the other side of Panama City towards the beaches you can find Altos de Maria and Sora which are two of the most well known mountain communities. If you head out of Panama City towards the West on the PanAmerican Highway the beaches will be towards your left and the mountain communities towards your right.

buildings on beach

By far the most popular spots in Panama are the beaches both with locals and tourists. The beaches on the Pacific coast of Panama are the most developed. The whole area of this part of Panama has developed quickly and right over the bridge you will find communities such as Veracruz, Arraijan and Chorrera. Arraijan and Chorrera are both very large communities with many facilities including schools, hospitals, strip malls and supermarkets. Houses in these communities are not expensive however these communities are not organized or well laid out as they grew up pretty randomly.

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Copyright© 2011, Pan Am Publishing S.A., Republic of Panama