The western Azuero coastline also know as the Azuero Sunset Coast in Panama’s Veraguas province is one of Panama’s most beautiful coastal areas, one hour south of the city of Santiago. The landscape is far more dramatic, than the much more developed eastern side of the Azuero peninsula. Lush mountains descent to scenic beaches, most of them deserted. Plenty of wildlife inhabits the area. The land is sparsely populated, and most locals are involved with cattle ranching or agriculture. A growing number of European and American expats have made the coastal area south of Torio their home. Several residential developments are sprouting up along the coast. Fishing off the western Azuero is fantastic! Tuna, dorado [mahi-mahi], wahoo, sailfish, marlin, yellow tail and many other game fish are plentiful. Dolphins and whales regularly visit the waters. Sea turtles come to shore to lay their eggs. The residents of the fishing village of Malena are devoted to their protection and conservation.
An asphalt road was completed some time ago, and slowly travelers are discovering the hidden treasures of the Azuero Sunset Coast. Pristine beaches, rivers, waterfalls & mountains greet the visitor. Cerro Hoya National Park is located at the south western end of the Azuero peninsula. Covered with virgin rain forest it is home to many endangered species and wildlife. A new small hotel, the Heliconia Bed & Breakfast opened up north of Malena. Heliconia B&B is run by a dutch biologist couple, devoted to nature preservation and reforestation. The lodge provides much needed accommodations in a yet remote location. A couple more places to stay & restaurants are available in Torio, which is within walking distance of a wide and shallow beach favored by locals from Santiago on weekends and during summer vacations. Panama’s summer lasts from December to April during the dry season. This is the hottest time of the year with daytime temps in the low 90s, tempered by trade winds by the coast and cooling down to the 70s at night.
Morillo Beach, 5 miles south of Torio has been ‘discovered’ by the surfing crowd a couple of years ago and is fast becoming a popular surf spot with one of the best and most consistent waves in Panama. An annual surf tournament is held here in February. Cabañas & a hotel are under development on the beach.
Morillo Beach surfing, accessible through 3 Star Gate, 5 miles south
iPhone pics © Alli Akard, one of the early pioneers of Morillo & the Azuero Sunset Coast.
Morillo Beach, Veraguas, Panama Surfing Video
Just a few miles offshore is Cebaco island and further out 50 miles away is Coiba Island National Park, which used to be a penal colony under Noriega, but now is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Heliconia B&B offers guided overnight tours to Coiba Island.
Panama External Links
- Official website for Panama Tourism Bureau
- Sights, Smells and Sounds of Panama City, Panama
- Panama City, Panama Weather
- Panama Satellite Weather Map