–E.T., United States
Panama beaches are in Panama…and Ecuador beaches are in Ecuador.
I’m not being facetious. I’m suggesting the big-picture point you should consider first. These are very different countries, each with pluses and minuses. I’d suggest that you begin by considering how each country connects (or not) with your personal agenda and priorities.
Consider cost of living, cost of real estate, taxes, the climate, etc., in each country, so that you understand, big picture, what you’re buying into.
That’s how I’d approach the question.
If, though, you’re looking to make a purchase or a move based entirely on the quality of the beachfront, I’d recommend you invest in touring both coastlines. One man’s beach paradise is another’s hot, sticky, bug-infested swamp.
I’ve seen nearly all the Pacific coast of Panama from Panama City to Costa Rica. Parts of it are jaw-droppingly beautiful. Parts are little better than mud flats.
I’ve seen the Ecuador coast from Salinas to Bahia de Caraquez, and, in my estimation, it’s not great. The beaches farther north are reported to be better, but I can’t say.
To find your perfect beach, you’re going to have to do a little coastal tromping. When you do, consider not only the quality of the sand and the sea, but also the surrounding terrain and the level of development in the vicinity. Then, again, connect the dots with what you’re looking for. Do you want remote or full amenities? Frontier or turn-key? Elevated or level? Rocky or fine sand?
For my money, a beach should be dramatic, with cliffs, coves, crashing surf, and rolling hills all around. I know where to find that kind of beach in Panama…but have yet to encounter it in Ecuador.
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