The Beaches of Neuva Gorgona have been known always in Panamanian Lore as the best swimming and surfing beaches in Panama, and have been a very popular place for weekend getaways from the city. Neuva Gorgona is a transplanted community as the name implies ( “New”) as when the canal was being built the original town was in its path. Nueva Gorgona is 79 km west from Panama City on the Pan American Highway (about one hour drive). It ́s located between the towns of Chame, with it’s awesome highway vendor with homemade Cheese, and bustling Coronado, 5 minute drive from either town. Gorgona is a peaceful, relaxed and naturally laid back town of about 1,400 people and we find the local residents to be friendly and helpful souls.
We experienced a flat tire one day while driving towards the Pan American from our condo and three separate,local men stopped to see if they could help us. It was the older fellow, on his bike, who finally persuaded my husband that it was better for him to change the tire, which he did very well and much easier than Al could. We do not speak Spanish but always find it amazing how well we can communicate. Nueva Gorgona is the closest beach to Panama City. Its proximity to the city, its beautiful beaches and its allure have been noticed by many developers as you will see. Gorgona is only 20 minutes from the new development , Nitro City, if you are into extreme sports. Gorgona is is the Dry Arch which means we have more sunshine and less rain than other areas of Panama. We have often been in Panama City or visiting friends up the mountain in Altos Del Maria, where it is pouring rain and return home to Gorgona to beautiful sunshine.
Gorgona has a 4.2 km long beach with white / black sand and turquoise waters. Nueva Gorgona possesses one of the best surfing beaches (Malibu) in the area, and a fish market where, if you are an early riser can have your pick of the fresh catch that day. Depending on the season, there is a large variety of fish from large shrimp, to snapper to shark and many other species of fish for eating. The local vendor always has someone there who will filet your fish for $1.00 There is a small local roadside vendor who most always has Papaya, yucca and a variety of locally grown fruits a vegetables, so we enjoyed stopping to see what she has to take
home to enjoy.
We discovered the local restaurants and their excellent food. We could order Coconut crusted sea bass, and many other delectable dishes that were in the finer restaurants in Panama City at a Much Higher cost. We also enjoy going to La Ruina, which means “the ruins”. This restaurant and bar is a gathering place for many, with a wonderful ambiance and very friendly American owners who speak Spanish very well and are very helpful with translation. We love the beautiful views of both mountains and ocean from our two balconies. Looking from our balcony, over the security fence, is a street of homes with beautiful mango trees and in season we could just wander over and pick as many as we wanted as the friendly local owners of the homes were never able to use the abundance of fruit the trees provided. Just down from our condo we also found Papaya trees hung with fruit. We walk most mornings along the beach. The flat sandy beaches give us excellent exercise and great enjoyment. We walk, then swim, then walk more for as long as we want and then home again. We always feel safe in Nueva Gorgona.
We are always aware of our surroundings and use common sense. Our condo building is a very friendly place and we have made many friends. We often congregate around the pool in the later afternoon and visit, play cards, swim and relax. Out building also boasts year round residents so there is always someone there. Many of the very large buildings are empty for many months each year, so if you happen to be the sole resident, it is very lonely and a little spooky. Something that is truly wonderful about our building is that we have enjoyed the same great staff for the 5 years it has been occupied. The condo board has also had the same president for 5 years, so it is well managed,and the financial health of our building is very good which is unusual in Panama.
Written By Jo Ann Fahlman