The white sand shimmers in the sun like a million tiny crystals. Palm trees fluttered in the warm Pacific breeze. I watched as pelicans drifted low over the water and breaking waves flashed sprays of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and violet.
Less than a few weeks ago, I stood with my toes in the sand on Playa Caracol, the sun warming my shoulders…
The peace there was almost unnatural. Just down the coast was the town of Coronado, where strip malls stretch encroachingly along the main boulevard and million-dollar homes fight for a place on the shoreline. It was just a few miles away but it seemed a world apart from the quiet tranquility of Caracol.
The vacation rental where I stayed was only feet from the sand. A sleek, tropical-modern building with exceptional 180-degree views.
From my corner balcony, I could watch the sun rising in the east and setting in the west, with the rhythmic sound of crashing waves pouring into the condo all day long.
From my birds-eye view, I watched sandpipers and turnstones play in the surf. In the evening, fishing vessels sped across the horizon towards Panama City in a race against the falling tide.
The setting was spectacular, wild, and serene.
A few weeks after I returned home, I was happy to learn the vacation rental was owned by a Real Estate Trend Alert member. In January 2017, Ronan brought members a RETA-only opportunity to buy these two-bed, beachfront, ocean–view condos in this building, The Palms, from just $199,000.
In August 2019, a similar-sized condo in Caracol, farther back from the beach—with only a side view—listed for $299,000.
You can check out this video I took from the vacation rental here:
My stay cost me $260 a night, and at that it was a steal… I couldn’t believe that anyone could get this kind of beachfront, with these views, at the price this owner got.
I had arrived in Playa Caracol from Panama City, where I spent a dizzying 48 hours exploring a labyrinth of skyscrapers, modern office buildings, condo complexes, and hotels of shining glass and exposed steel.
For a Central American city, the wealth on display there was mesmerizing. And you could see it everywhere. The BMWs, Lexus, Porsches, Ferraris, and Lamborghinis on the streets. The Chanel, Louis Vuitton, and Hermes stores. The expensive yachts that populated the newly-built marina on the man-made islands in Panama Bay (which happened to be built by the same developer who’s building the community at Playa Caracol).
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The incredible appeal of Playa Caracol comes into full focus only after you arrive from Panama City. It’s a literal breath of fresh air from the metropolitan heat, hustle, and bustle. And that’s exactly what it was designed to be.
Playa Caracol is the closest, nicest beach to Panama City. It’s the first stop along the newly dubbed “Riviera Pacifica,” a 50-mile stretch of Pacific coast that runs west of the city from Chame to Farallon. And the perfect place for urbanites to take a much-needed weekend break or summer vacation.
Until recently, Playa Caracol was practically virgin territory. Due to the lack of road access and agricultural zoning, few people even knew it was here. But I suspect that will all change very soon…
Right now, Playa Caracol is still a blank canvas. It hasn’t been spoiled by development sprawl like Coronado. And because of the strict guidelines of the master-planned community, it’s set to remain that way…exclusive and protected.
It’s peaceful, tranquil, and revitalizing. The place you want to be when you’ve spent too long in a city apartment. When the planes are in the sky again, I’ll be back.
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