Playa El Salado

Coclé Province

Located 9km southeast of central Aguadulce, this saltworks is a crucial habitat for marsh and shore birds. The area draws local and international birdwatchers to view roseate spoonbills, wood storks and black-necked stilts. When the tide is out, you can walk nearly 2km before reaching the water. But be careful: once the tide turns, it rises quickly.

On a warm day it's fun to loll about in Las Piscinas, shallow stone pools that catch the tidal water as it comes in. The surrounding flats are also famous for their jumbo shrimp, which are harvested in abundance and served in restaurants throughout Panama. In the dry season, the heaps of salt look like snow has just fallen on tropical Panama! The best way to reach El Salado is by taxi (US$8) from Aguadulce.