Punta Burica, Panama
Punta Burica lies along a tiny sliver of land separating Panama’s Pacific coast from Costa Rica’s. It is one of the most isolated spots in the country, and not surprisingly, one of the most difficult to access. However, the beaches here are deserted and the surf can be awesome.
Punta Burica is a long stretch of coastline, which, apart from a few small towns and one accommodation, is absolutely desolate. All that’s out here is huge, unpopulated beaches, rows of palm trees, and some surfable waves. The beach is fairly attractive, with grey-sand and striated rocks reaching all the way out to sea. During low tide, these rocks create some interesting tide pools, as fish, crabs, and other sea life become trapped in their caves as the water draws back.
Punta Burica is renowned as having consistently good surf, with waves that tend to break left with large tubes. Anyone surfing out here will undoubtedly have the whole place to themselves.
There is only one accommodation in the area, so those interested in coming should make reservations or be prepared to camp on the beach. Hammocks may be the best option for campers, as the water consumes most of the beach during high tide. No restaurants, shops, or anything of the like exist out here. The closest facilities are in the small town of Limones, about a 30-minute drive from Punta Burica.
A trip to Punta Burica requires something of a trek. Travelers coming from David can take a bus to Puerto Armuelles, a 90 km southwest trip that takes about three hours. From here, a truck known locally as el carro de la costa gets passengers the rest of the way. The ride is a bit of an adventure, as the truck passes by oil pipelines, drives along bumpy roads, and even cruises along a stretch of beach at the end. It only runs at low tides and takes about an hour and a half. Bus times change depending on the tides, so be sure to ask the driver when and where you’ll need to be to catch a ride back.
Note that this area is near the border, so travellers should have their passports handy while visiting.