Our recent adventure to Panama was pretty top notch. We had expectations of exploring two different general areas Playa Venao and Santa Catalina with one activity in mind, surfing.
About 30km southwest of Pedasi, 4-5 hours from Panama City, you find the small tourist destination, Playa Venao. Playa Venao is an amazing beach break with a 2 mile black sand beach tucked into a cove. The beach dawns 4, maybe 5, small hotels/hostels and a few private properties. We stayed at the Beach Break Surf Camp, home of Pizza Gallivan, where the rooms were clean, the staff was friendly and we felt right at home.
Be warned, there isn't much in Venao. We suggest stopping in Chitre at Riba Smith's for food and drinks. It's the Central American equivalent to Whole Foods, everything from KINDbars to local brewed Casa Bruja Brewing IPA! There is also a super market in Pedasi (30 minutes east of Venao) on your way from Panama City or take the dirt road 20 minutes west to Tonosi where you will find a Super Market and Bank.
DAY TRIP to Cambutal (about 1 hour West of Playa Venao) and stop at Hotel Cambutal for some cheap and delicious local cuisine and Casa Bruja ON TAP!
EAT AT El Sitio for some amazing Shrimp Ceviche, Ahi Tuna, Grilled Octopus and delicious espresso.
My Favorite Parts:
- Take advantage of every hammock you come across, you will miss it once you're home.
- Go to bed early and wake up early, optimize your time.
- Take advantage of the outdoor shower.
- Never wear shoes, even when you go out to dinner.
- Eat watermelon and fresh made salsa.
- Laugh at yourself trying to speak spanish.
Want to go to Panama and have questions? Don't hesitate to ask email@example.com