Punta Duarte Beach
Ahhhh! Fresh salt air.

Before our move to Colombia in December, we wanted to take one last beach road trip with the “kids” – and Susan’s birthday a couple of weeks ago gave us the perfect opportunity. We had our usual requirements: a dog-friendly place with a nice pool, easy beach access, good food, and an extra-large helping of tranquilo.

Our friends Sharna and Bryant had mentioned a place they’d visited on Playa Morillo, the Punta Duarte Garden Inn, so we decided to check it out. The Inn is about a 4.5-hour drive from Boquete and far down on the western side of the Azuero Peninsula at the end of a bumpy gravel road. Although it’s not terribly easy to get to, we’re so glad we made the trip.

Map to Punta Duarte Garden Inn
Punta Duarte is well down the western side of Panama’s Azuero Peninsula.
Azuero Highway, Panama
The road down the Azuero gets slower and more pot-holey the further south you go. And you’ll see all means of transportation.
Dirt Road to Punta Duarte
Eventually you leave the paved road and take a bumpy dirt track for a couple of miles to the resort.

The Inn met all of our requirements and offered us a perfect dog-friendly escape. Gaby, the owner, was a wonderful and caring host and went out of her way to make sure we were comfortable. On top of that, she’s an outstanding chef. For Susan’s birthday dinner, she treated us to one of her German specialties, pork with plum sauce and spaetzle. Her fresh  ceviche was fantastic (this does need to be requested ahead of time), and her Cóktel de Casa is da bomb!

The resort itself is a bit on the rustic side and could use a bit of a facelift here and there. But the pool is great and the wonderful private beach is steps away. Rosie and Tango had the time of their lives exploring the beach and the volcanic rock formations at low tide. We drank in the lush, tropical surroundings, woke to birdsong, and went to sleep with the sound of crashing surf. We didn’t even miss the lack of hot water (see: rustic)!

Punta Duarte Garden Inn
The inn’s main building (photo courtesy Punta Duarte Garden Inn)
Punta Duarte sunrise
View from our room at sunrise . . .
Punta Duarte Sunset
. . . and at sunset
Punta Duarte Garden Inn Pool
Pool view from our room
Punta Duarte Flowers
Interesting flora on the path to the beach
Punta Duarte Beach
Peeking through the palm trees
Punta Duarte Dogs
Fierce beach dogs on the prowl!
Punta Duarte Blowhole
Checking out the blowhole
Punta Duarte Tango
Dad time!
Punta Duarte Tired Dogs
Pooped pups!
Pan-Pacific Highway, Panama
Improvements to the Pan-Pacific Highway are (mostly) complete now and it’s a driver’s joy. We had it practically to ourselves, coming back on Sunday.



    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Thanks 🙂 Yes, there are many things we’ll miss about Panama. The easy access to the beach is a big one. And it is sooo scenic here, especially in the highland cloud forests – as you’re aware, from your time in Boquete. But we’re looking forward to new adventures in Colombia!

      • From reading your posts I’m sure you will love Medellin too. Have you met anyone from the bloggers group in Medellin? If not let me know and I can put you in touch with them.

        • John and Susan Pazera Reply

          That would be great! We know of a couple of Medellin blogs but didn’t know there was a group. Thanks!

  1. That view from the inn is enough reason to visit this rather secluded place. I realized despite living in Indonesia I haven’t been to any beach in the country since November 2016. I’ve been drawn more into the ancient sites here, but I know a little vitamin sea will keep me sane.

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      Vitamin Sea is necessary for sanity! Sounds like you’re overdue for a dose, and we’ve heard about the beautiful beaches in Indonesia 🙂

  2. It looks delightful. There are parts of Panama we miss as well, and easy access to the big water is one of them. Too bad the rest of the country leaves so much to be desired. It appears the ‘pooped pups’ had a grand time. BTW, your foto of the beach at sunset is now my screen saver, so thanks for that!

    • John and Susan Pazera Reply

      De nada, amiga! We’re enjoying the beach while we can.

  3. Wynne Wilson Reply

    Enjoying your blog but can you remind me why you made the move from Panama to Colombia? Another blog I follow has returned to US from Panama. I am reading a lot about Colombia recently but I was still leaning towards trying Panama. Thank you.

  4. Patrick Tutwiler Reply

    Hi John & Susan, Hope this post is still alive. I’m planning my escape from Washington State, with my little black Persian buddy if possible. I plan to explore a bit and ultimately settle in for retirement. David seems like a great place to check out…as well as Columbia. How do you compare the health care for expats in Panama and Columbia (and Costa Rica if you know)? Great site you have here. Thanks

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