Don Womack: West Beach Communities: Coronado
Beaches, well known for being the first planned and organized beach
development. But more than its history, dating back to the 1940's, it
has become a popular home to many expats who enjoy being part of
a community, a community of many nationalities.
Panamanians abound on weekends and holidays, and although it is
not the closest beach to the City, it has ongoing activities and music
to enjoy. Often referred to as part of the Gold Coast of Panama, this
playa (beach) area was the place to go for the rich and famous.
They are still here, but with a mixture of other lifestyles.
The full-timers have the beach and most of the restaurants and 5
shopping malls to themselves from Monday through Friday morning.
Often only a few people are on the town's beaches, it is easy to get
a tee time on the world class Coronado Club de Golf course, and
lines are small in the three major supermarkets.
The Golf Club, with its hotel, golf, and beach memberships, features
a resort and spa, a Fazio designed championship golf course, an
equestrian club and beach dining, among many other amenities.
The Hotel's Beach Bus travels to the Beach Club on a daily schedule
and picks up homeowners along the way.
Shopping and restaurants are found right on the PanAmerican
Highway, as are private physicians' and dentists' offices with multi-
specialties. Four shopping centers are located right on the
PanAmerican Highway, another shopping center and smaller strip
malls are located further on the main road through the town.
A Medical Clinic and Emergency Room staffed by the San Fernando Hospital is right before the gate to Coronado.
Within the main gate to Coronado are found many private, gated communities, as well as restaurants and nightlife. There are several condominiums both
on the beach and on the golf course, with new condos in construction that are close to both golf and beaches.
A great addition to Coronado is the International School, affiliated with the Metropolitan International School in Panama City. This private school is one of
three in the area, but is closest to Coronado. In its first year 2012, Kindergarten through 4th grade is in operation, with plans to have a full curriculum to the
high school level. Younger families are now populating Coronado because of the educational opportunities for their growing families.
Coronado is the home of an English speaking, nondenominational church, as well as an outdoor Catholic Church. The Coronado Social Association,
started by expats years ago, has been renamed to the Coronado Area Social Association (CASA) to include residents of all the beach communities.
While all Beach Communities have access to bus service to the City or to points west, there are bus pickup points near the entrance to Coronado. Within
Coronado, there are private taxi services and small vans for workers to travel throughout Coronado. Two of the major supermarkets have vans scheduled for
their customers, if needed.
Within Coronado, it is not unusual to see people traveling by golf cart or on horseback, as well as ATV's and the usual passenger vehicles.
As with all of the West Beach Communities, Coronado looks forward to the completion of the International Airport at Rio Hato which is just a short drive