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My family and I love to spend time at the beach. By that I mean the simple pleasures: swimming, eating and sunbathing on unspoiled, largely empty beaches. The nearest long stretch of beach is at Las Lajas. That is about a one-hour (very pleasant) drive from David, now that the road is paved all the way.

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Until now, food and accommodation was almost non-existent at Las Lajas but this weekend my wife and I visited the new Las Lajas Beach Resort. It is a small hotel (14 rooms) right on the beach, with a pool and a bar/restaurant. The rooms have air conditioning, nice bathrooms but (as yet) no cable TV. Wifi is available in the bar but not in the rooms, it would seem. The food is not very inspiring but is inexpensive (eating out is quite a challenge in Chiriqui in general; Boquete has the most options, David very few.)

The manager is a very friendly, trilingual Dutch lady. The Panamanian staff were very helpful and friendly too. This is the bartender, Julio, who was raised locally.  He told us that as a boy, when there was no road, only a track running between the fields, he used to transport the fish his grandfather caught out to the town on horseback – in the middle of the night. He was a great source of information.

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These are photos of the hotel.

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Horses (with saddles!) are available for those who like to ride.

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Not surprisingly, we had some rain but when it cleared it made for a spectacular sunset.

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And there were lots of crabs about.

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Full marks to the hotel for keeping their section of the beach clean. Litter is a big problem in Panama in general and the beach is no exception.

A German couple who used to have a restaurant at the beach have now built some cabins with a swimming pool in the town of Las Lajas (i.e., not at the beach). We went to Paradise Inn for dinner.  As I remember it,  the place doesn’t look quite like the photo on the Web page but I didn’t have my camera with me so couldn’t take photos of my own.

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The pool has not been completed yet, nor have all the cabins. But the food was good and Christian and his partner great hosts. We looked at – and loved – the cabin for four people. The Inn is another welcome addition to the area as it increases the options close to the beach.

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