Panamá is known for Panama City being the most developed city in Central America or for the Caribbean islands visited by many tourists, but the beaches at the Pacific side of Panamá are worth a visit as much as the ones in the Caribbean side. Playa Venao is one of those beaches, at the Azuero Peninsula with an incredible landscape is the perfect place for those who love to surf and being in contact with nature.
How to get there
Playa Venao is located at 34km southwest from Pedasí and 370km from Panama City, if you go by car it will take you around 5h to get there. Be aware of the last 1h30min, especially during the night, the road is not well lit, and you may need to divert some animal on the way. A few hotels and hostels like Selina Hostel and Beach Break have a transferred service from Panama City, you may want to check that out, it’s more expensive but you won’t need to drive all the way there. Another option is to go by bus, but there isn’t a bus that goes from Panama City straight to Playa Venao so you will need to take a bus from the Albrook Bus Terminal and go to either Chitré, Pedasí, or Las Tablas. From there you can take another bus to Playa Venao or negotiate the ride with a taxi. It takes a little longer but it’s cheaper.
Here to stay
This depends on the type of accommodation you are looking for and your budget. Playa Venao has from the simplest hostel to fancy hotels and you can even rent a house if you prefer. The good news is that most of the hostels are right at the beach, in the sand to exact. So, my only advice here is that you choose one of those hostels, you will be right at the beach and the city center, where you will find a small supermarket and a few restaurants are very close.
What to do
Playa Venao is mostly known to two things: being a surf point in Panama and being a spot for electronic music lovers. Playa Venao is one of Panama’s most well-known surf spots, if you are a surfer passing throw Central America this is a mandatory stop and if you are looking to learn how to surf Venao will not let you down, there are a few places where you can rent a surfboard and even get surf lessons. About the electronic music, Playa Venao is the stage for the Sonica Venao Festival and the Radio Venao Gathering, and even if you miss one of those it’s likely that in others National Holidays you will be able to find an electronic music party either at El Sitio or Selina Hostel. Besides that, you can also do ecotourism, sport fishing, horse riding, visit a close island like Isla Iguana or Isla Cañas, and of course enjoying the beach.