Playa Coronado VS Playa Gorgona: What You Need to Know Before You Invest

If Panama’s Gold Coast were a sports team, Playa Coronado and Gorgona would be the two MVPs.

When deciding which MVP you want to be rooting for (i.e investing in)- you need only answer these questions:

1. Are you looking to move in, or strictly to invest?

and (if you choose #1):

2. Are you looking to move now, or later?

Sounds too simple, right? How could such an important decision boil down to two questions?

Because while Coronado and Gorgona may be batting for the same team, they’re not exactly starting on the same base.

But first, let’s rewind. Why narrow it down to The Gold Coast in the first place?



After all, there are other options. Surely you’ve heard rumors of tempting properties all around Panama. Why rule these out?

Well, most people rule them out for the same reasons I did.

I’m a real estate professional, representing one of the largest and most reputable brands in the country.With hundreds of stunning high-rises to choose from, I could see- even 10 years ago- that the Gold Coast was where I wanted to be.

With all my options, I demanded the Gold Coast because I knew two things:

1. The Gold Coast would (and did) become a red-hot real estate market.

2. The Gold Coast is the best place to live, work, and raise my family.

Those that come to me to buy real estate range from high-level brokers to mid-income North Americans. Though armed with different budgets and priorities, the vast majority end up buying in Coronado or Gorgona.

Here’s how they decide between the two.

coronado panama best beach town expats

Playa Coronado is Best For:

Anyone looking to move into their new property within the immediate future.


Anyone looking for a low-risk, high-luxury investment- and can handle the price that accompanies a proven track record of growth and desirability.

Playa Coronado is- bar none- the most sought-after beach real estate in the country. Judging by my waiting list (and my experience in international real estate) I would venture to say it’s the most-wanted in Central America.

Advantages of Playa Coronado

Just 60 minutes outside Panama City, Coronado is Panama’s most luxurious, modern, and well-equipped beach community.

Residents of Coronado (myself included) have more shops, restaurants, and supermarkets than we know what to do with. We’re rarely bored, given our 18-hole golf course, equestrian center, illustrious “black diamond” beaches, and fun-loving expat community.

We also prize our brand-spankin’-new medical clinic and prestigious international school (of which my children are happy students.) Coronado is also considered the safest place to live in Panama.

coronado Golf panama

Residential options in Coronado are also superior. Lavish high-rises such as Coronado Golf offer chic apartments and resort-style amenities. In fact, units at Coronado Golf are in such high demand that the developer, Empresas Bern, is building a sister tower alongside it.

Disadvantages of Playa Coronado

Real estate prices are higher in Coronado due to its high level of international interest. A luxury condo still costs less than if it would in say, California or Florida, but when compared to less developed beach towns Coronado is both top notch and top dollar.

Coronado is also not as sleepy as it once was. For foreigners, it’s the place to relocate and retire. For Panamanians, it’s the place to see and be seen on the weekends. This comes with the benefit of having an established expat and executive community, but it also means you’re more likely to be sharing the beach.

Bottom Line:

Coronado is a turn-key, high-luxury option that is ready now. You could show up tomorrow and be surrounded by everything you want and need- a convenience that’s built into the prices.

Or, you could invest now and have a foothold in the one market in Panama that has proven to be increasingly lucrative- and with no signs of slowing down (you can take the upcoming “Coronado Golf II” as evidence to that!)

You get what you pay for! And with Coronado, you get it all.

playa malibu gorgona panama beach

Playa Gorgona is Best for:

Those planning on moving to Panama in the next few years


Investors who want to get in early on a rapidly developing area

Playa Gorgona is an up-and-coming beachtown just 50 minutes from Panama City and 10 minutes from Coronado. With pristine beaches that merge into fluorescent mountains and grassland, Gorgona is one of the most stunning beaches in Panama.

Until now, Gorgona has remained virtually untouched, making it rich with both beauty and opportunity.

Advantages of Playa Gorgona

You know what Playa Gorgona reminds me of?

Coronado. 5 years ago.

royal palm gorgona panamaThose who crave a luxury beachfront property close to Panama City, but are reluctant to pay the premium prices of Coronado, are perfectly suited for Gorgona.

Currently, the area is short on facilities and sky-high on potential. The sleepy streets of this beach town offer little more than quaint houses and the occasional sandwich shop. Walk along the beach and you’ll find miles of footprint-free sand, velvety mountains, and a few scattered tiki huts.

Inspired by its beauty and close proximity to Panama City, high-profile developers have taken interest in the Gorgona area. One of them is Empresas Bern, currently building Royal Palm- an absolute beachfront, resort-style development- upon Gorgona’s shores.

Just as Empresas Bern’s Coronado Golf and Bay buildings played a large role in transforming Coronado, Royal Palm’s impact on Gorgona will follow suite. Already, a Gorgona shopping mall is under construction, more roads are being paved, and security is beefing up.

It won’t be long before this sleepy beach town is a thriving and modern community.

Disadvantages of Playa Gorgona

Gorgona is still under development, which poses the accompanying lifestyle costs. Neighborhood commercial facilities are virtually nonexistent, sending current residents down the 10-minute road to Coronado to stock up and socialize.

Safety can also be an issue. While I’ll personally frequent the beaches during daytime, I would avoid doing so after dark. There is also an obvious trash problem, as locals lack the education to not litter the streets.

Granted, this will change- particularly as the Royal Palm project progresses. Besides Royal Palm offering its own security force and private highway entrance, Empresas Bern is implementing a street clean-up program and providing proper trash infrastructure to keep the area clean.

Small steps, I know, but indicative of the changes underway, and what is possible when a major developer like Bern takes interest in an area.

Bottom line:

Gorgona is a soon-to-be replication of Coronado- without the premium price tag (yet.)

Would I live there? Not today. It’s not quite ready yet. But would I invest there, with the confidence that in the next few years it will mirror Coronado’s growth?


Which is Right For You?

Honestly? I have no idea. Without knowing you, your plans, and your priorities, I can’t tell you whether Gorgona or Coronado is right for you.

What I can tell you that each community is phenomenal in its own right. These two MVPs of Panama’s Gold Coast will continue to raise the bar for luxury living by the sea. And when you’re ready to take a look at either of them more closely, I’m happy to be your guide.

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