Luxury holidays in Chiriquĩ Gulf

A marine national park is at the heart of this westerly region in Panama, easily reached from the country’s gateway second city, David. Its pristine Pacific waters are sheltered by an arc of bucolic lowlands, fringed by white, sandy beaches and wildlife-rich mangroves. The gulf itself is peppered with islands – many uninhabited, all unspoilt. Inland, largely agricultural landscapes rise towards the cloud-forested mountains around Boquete, famed for its coffee growing and waterfall-riven national parks.

When to go

Late December until the end of April is dry season, aka high season, in tropical Panama: skies are at their bluest, Pacific visibility at its clearest, and roads and forest trails unhampered by heavy rains. From May to November, although you can expect some rain, the Chiriquĩ Gulf coast remains far drier than Panama’s Caribbean shores, with occasional downpours short-lived, leaving plenty of scope to soak up the sun from your hammock.

Getting there

  • Planes

    Enrique Malek Airport in David is the nearest regional arrival point by air, just a 50-minute flight from Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport. From David, the Chiriquĩ Gulf coast is no more than an hour away by car.
  • Automobiles

    For a region where the ocean is the focus and taxis are affordable, renting wheels isn’t the obvious choice. But if exploring beach to beach through verdant farmland is your preference, you can pick up a hire car from David Airport or Tocumen International. The paved road network is extensive and fairly well maintained in Chiriquĩ Province.