Playa Venao: Panama’s hidden gem on the Azuero coast




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Panama’s beaches have always been a source of pleasure and relaxation for locals, tourists, and full and part-time expats. Panama is famous for its dual coastlines that stretch the width of the entire country on both the Pacific and Caribbean, and a few names always pop out as the most popular: Coronado, Isla Grande, Las Lajas, San Carlos, Santa Catalina, and now…Playa Venao. If you’ve lived in Panama for even a short time, you’ve most likely heard of it, but may not have been there yet. This is because for a long time, Playa Venao was a well-kept secret for locals from the Azuero, and some die-hard surfers and nature enthusiasts. Now, the beach is coming full swing into the fold becoming an eco-tourist hot spot, and soon, a popular location to live and retire to as well. Here’s why.

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Playa Venao is the perfect mix between nature and community

Ecologically conscious communities are in high demand these days, and in Panama this is no different. Whether it’s for tourism or full-time living, more and more people are conscious of the impact that development and the human footprint leaves on nature, and are trying to be more responsible about it. In a way, Playa Venao is Panama’s first well-documented foray into this, with no major development or infrastructure currently there that makes a negative environmental impact, and no plans for future development in that category either.

Aside from conscious construction, the sheer remoteness of the beach makes it a typical “tropical paradise” with pristine water, lush flora and fauna, and sunsets that will leave you breathless. There’s no light pollution, no artificial noise, and no malls or chain stores nearby. If this is your thing, then Playa Venao is for you.

A budding surf and action sports scene

Panama may not be famous for surfing like, let’s say California or Hawaii, but that doesn’t mean that the surf scene isn’t alive and well here. Panama has always had an active surf culture, and now (thanks to places like Playa Venao) they are starting to capitalize on it. Playa Venao, and many other places on the Azuero Peninsula, are now attracting tourists (both domestic and foreign) who come specifically to surf, wakeboard, kite-surf, and participate in a number of aquatic action sports. Playa Venao currently has a handful of lodging options that cater to this crowd, and many other nature-centric travelers. The curve of the beach and cliffs around it make it great for waves, and the year-round summer weather has a ton of potential for northern and eastern visitors.

Remote location is a benefit, not a burden

One of the biggest reasons so many people haven’t been to Playa Venao yet is that it’s reasonably far from Panama City and other urban centers of the country. It takes about 6 hours to drive there from the capital, however there are now small flights leaving from Panama’s Marcos A. Gelabert airport in the city that land in nearby Pedasi. Despite it being a bit of a trek, many of Playa Venao’s biggest fans cherish its remoteness. People who travel there are going with a purpose, and this helps weed out irresponsible or mass tourism, which is one of the big appeals to the area. Rest assured that when you’re out in Playa Venao you will have peace, tranquility, and the soul-refreshing atmosphere of Panama’s beautiful natural surroundings

About Manoj Chatlani


Manoj Chatlani is a Senior Partner at POLS Attorneys, a full-service law firm in Panama City, Panama. Specializing in offshore services, including asset protection, estate planning, offshore banking, and offshore corporations, as well as Panama immigration and real estate transactions, POLS Attorneys offers clients a streamlined solution to all their Panama legal needs. Manoj is a Panamanian lawyer and holds a law degree from USMA and earned a Masters in Communication Law and Panama Tax law.

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