Fish in Panama

Fishy, Fishy, Fishy

Fresh fruit, fresh vegetables and of course fresh fish! With miles of magnificent beaches it is no surprise the Panama Riviera has the freshest seafood around. The waters are rich with a variety of fish.

Local fisherman can be found in almost every village along the coast. Every day they can be seen cruising in pangas to cast and gather their nets. Telltale signs they are returning with their catch is seeing the sky filled with birds circling the boats anticipating their feast. Often shrimps boats can be spotted in the distance along the horizon. The fish can be purchased fresh off the boats, in the local coop or at the Rio Hato Fish Market. Vendors at the market display the catch of the day of the local fisherman. You can find almost anything, corvina (sea bass), snapper (pargo), catfish, shrimp, lobster, stingray, octopus and more depending on the time of year. Fresh off the boat or in the market they will fillet the fish upon request.

The Rio Hato market is located on the PanAmerican Highway across the street from the Rio Hato airport and about 25 minutes west of Coronado. It is open daily from 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. Bring you cooler!

Tips for choosing fresh fish or shellfish:

  • Smell it, the nose knows - it should have a briny or cucumber smell and smell like the ocean

  • See it, look for clear, bright eyes – avoid cloudy or dull looking eyes

  • The skin should be clear, firm, metallic andbright with no slime

  • The gills should be rich red

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