If you are looking for picturesque tropical beach front property set in a small remote fishing village that offers pristine white sand beaches and lots of privacy maybe you should be considering Punta de Chame, Panama. Think of every postcard picture you’ve seen of beach front paradise and this is Punta Chame.
After leaving Panama City on the Pan-American Highway, Punta Chame is located at Km 78. A small sign on the left of the Pan-American Highway in the town of Chame points the way to Punta Chame. Punta Chame is located about an hours drive from the highway. After you pass the town of Lebanon throughout the rest of the drive you will see the shrimp farms and mangroves of Chame Bay located along the road to Punta Chame. When arriving at the city limits there is a sign that says “END” and “CHAME”, it’s not hard to know you’ve arrived.
The town of Punta Chame mainly consists of fisherman, and has approximately 400 residents (375 according to the census of the 2000). Punta Chame is a small town with a school
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, police station, hardware store, a basic food supply store, a hotel, orchid nursery, and a landing strip. Years ago it was more like an island as it was only possible get there by boat. Now everything is much easier with the road, although currently the road is in desperate need of repair. Some small vehicles may become lost in the potholes that pepper the way to Punta Chame. In fact it is a reasonable guess that the travel time to Punta Chame could be reduced by as much as 15 to 20 minutes if road repairs were completed. But for some this adds to the charm and remoteness of the area.
The Punta Chame is a peninsula that is comprised of about 22 miles of white sand beaches, and the beaches here are pristine and relatively deserted, especially during the week. However, this area is fast becoming a real estate hotspot for beachfront weekend and retirement homes.
There are beaches to both sides of the peninsula: one side towards inland makes the Chame Bay and the other side faces the open sea (or the Gulf of Panama). The north beach, the one that faces inwards to the Chame Bay, has a unique view to the hills of Chame and Campana. A little beyond that you can see Isla Taborcillo in this area the sea is calm and it is where a lot of people choose to swim and spend time on the beach. The south beach is less visited due to the sea being rougher. The sand on the south beach is very white. This is where Kite boarding and Wind surfing events and practices take place in the dry season. There is a Kite boarding school
that takes up residency in the Punta Chame hotel during the dry season and as annual completion is held there.
Due to the north beaches direction it is the only beach of the Pacific (mainland) where it is possible to bask in the sun in afternoon. From the north beach location boats are taken to Isla Taborcillo, an island once owned by John Wayne.
John Wayne liked Panama and bought the island of Taborcillo as a retreat. The island has a little town with a sheriff station that doubles as a post office and the theme on the island is the American Cowboy. Taborcillo, also goes by the name of John Wayne Island.
Punta Chame’s beaches are supplied with sand from the great sleeping volcano of El Valle De Antón, by its rivers comes the sands that become beaches on this side of the Pacific. The main rivers that supply these beaches are: Chame, Lajas, Teta, Corona, Agallal, Las Guias, Platanal, Majagua, and Hato.
In the City of Panama you see many enormous buildings under construction, in fact a record numbers of new towers are going up in the next two years. In order to make these buildings sand is needed; lots of sand. The interior and exterior walls of these high rises are constructed of concrete. Before sand was taken directly from tourist beaches, then in the mid 90’s the government prohibited the removal of sand from these beaches. Now there is equipment that takes the sand from the sea bottoms in the front of Punta Chame. The sea has a way of replacing the sand that is being removed from it and it appears to be replacing the sand by taking it from Punta Chame’s beaches, one high rise at a time. It seems as if daily the beaches of Punta Chame become narrower.
The last thing to mention about Punta Chame is the sand flies, or midges. During the dry summer months the wind blows briskly enough to keep the sand flies from landing and biting. The dry summer months are roughly from December to the end of March or first of April. But during the rainy winter season the winds stop and the rains start. This coupled with the abundant mangroves and shrimp farms make for a perfect breeding environment for the sand fly. If you’ve never had the pleasure of meeting a sand fly let me introduce you. They are small in size and fast, think mosquito. As long as you are in motion moving across the beach you minimize your chances of getting bit. But pause to pick up a sea shell or piece of driftwood and you’re likely to experience the unpleasant bite of the sand fly. The bite can leave a welt and be enduring in discomfort, it can also possible lead to a secondary infection.
Even with the unpleasantness of the seasonal sand fly and arduous drive some of the wealthiest residents of Panama have weekend homes at Punta Chame. More than likely this is due to the remoteness and privacy this area has to offer coupled with its unsurpassed beauty.
Rumors about Chame:
• The country of Spain has purchased a large area of land in Punta de Chame.
• Because of Spain’s land purchase the President of Panama has stated he will repair the road out to Punta de Chame.
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About The Author: Jean Bouttet is a researcher, with years of experience in finances and real estate.
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