On Panama's Caribbean coast, you'll find the province of Kuna Yala and its 365 offshore islands – a treasure trove of white sand beaches and blue waters. Visitors come here to snorkel, swing in hammocks and laze away the days in the sun.
One of the best ways to experience the Kuna Yala islands is by chartering a boat and hopping from one to the next. Many of the tiny islands are uninhabited, and for a small fee paid to the Kuna tribe, you can enjoy your own desert island for the day.
Panama's Bocas del Toro province is another hub of excellent beaches, and some of the best are located on Isla Bastimentos, nicknamed Zapatillas (Slippers) Island. Here you'll find plenty of powdery sand, blue waters and excellent snorkeling on the reefs just off the beach.
Isla Colón, the most developed island in the Bocas del Toro Archipelago, is home to its own set of beaches. When you're not lazing in the sand, you can tour the island's forests, caves and turtle nesting spots by bike or boat.
For a quick beach getaway from busy Panama City, head to nearby Isla Grande off Panama's northern Caribbean coast. With native inhabitants of African descent, the island has a distinctly Caribbean vibe, and it's known for its snorkeling and diving.
If your ideal beach vacation includes a little underwater adventure, look no further than Isla Coiba. This national park ranks as the best dive site in the country, and many of its tiny islands are lined with idyllic jungle-backed beaches. Nearby Santa Catalina is excellent for surfing.
Just a couple hours from Panama City on the Pacific Coast lies Santa Clara Beach, one of the country's best for swimming. Nearby Farallón is another good option if you're looking to escape Panama City for the day.