For years, few people visited this lovely, long stretch of white beach because it lay behind a military base used by Panama's national guard and was restricted. The base saw heavy fighting during the 1989 U.S. invasion, and for much of the 1990s its buildings, pockmarked with bullet holes, were slowly being covered with jungle. Everything changed at the beginning of the 21st century, when the Colombian hotel chain
Decameron opened a massive resort here and began promoting it as "Playa Blanca" (White Beach). Panamanians still use the Farallón (fahr-ah-YOHN) name. Now the area is the epicenter of beach development in Panama, with several new resorts, two 18-hole golf courses, and a growing number of homes and condos.