Retirees, working expats, and locals, have long sought after Panama’s beach communities as the ideal place to live both full-time and part time. In recent years, and especially today, many of these communities are going through a major Real Estate boom. This is great for the local economy, and is really driving investment and revenue into Panama’s top beach locations. The only downside is that with all of the development, many communities are becoming crowded, and more importantly, expensive. They are also moving further and further away from the city as land becomes less available. And that may not necessarily be a bad thing, especially for people looking for an authentic, natural experience. The problem is, once you bring the city to the beach, it loses some of its authenticity.
For many expats there is a need for something a little quieter, and away from the hustle and bustle of modern beach development. And there’s a huge demand for eco-friendly areas that are unspoiled by cookie cutter developments and rush hour traffic. If you’re looking for something off the beaten path, but still a quality, safe beach community, Panama’s got a lot of unique options for you. From “Costa Arriba” on the Caribbean side near Colon, to Pedasi in the Azuero Peninsula, Santa Catalina on the Veraguas Peninsula, and Bocas del Toro for some Caribbean island lifestyle, there are some great finds when it comes to real estate in Panama. There is one area, however, that’s attracting a new kind of attention, and for all the right reasons.
Spotlight on Playa Venao: Clean, unspoiled beach living
Whether you’re looking to retire, rent, or just vacation, you’ll find that Panama’s “off the radar” beach communities offer the perfect fit for what you’re looking for. One of our favorites, and one that’s been picking up steam recently, is Playa Venao. Playa Venao is located on the Azuero Peninsula, in one of the southernmost regions of Panama. “El Azuero”, as locals call it, is surrounded by hundreds of miles of Pacific beaches, with the peninsula’s interior being dominated by rolling hills, and dense tropical forests.
Playa Venao is located about a 4-5 hour drive from Panama City. There are no direct busses that go there from the capital, but there are a number of daily routes that service nearby Las Tablas and Pedasi. You can also fly from Albrook (Panama City) to Pedasi. From there, there are regular busses and shuttles to the beach, as well as car rental options should you want to explore on your own. The town itself is very small, if you can even call it a town, but the surrounding green space and undeveloped land is enormous. Even better, both the interior land and beach area are nearly completely free of mass development. That is to say, that the development that is there is done with eco-friendly building in mind, as well as incorporating sustainable wildlife and reforestation projects.
One of the biggest proponents of keeping Playa Venao clean, and environmentally stable is Eco Venao, a popular eco lodge for tourists visiting the area. Aside from promoting eco-friendly tourism and sustainable living, Eco Venao also spearheads a local reforestation campaign. According to a statement on their website, they have a 17-hectare piece of secondary forest adjacent to the lodge, which is protected and reforested with plants and animals, and funded by proceeds from local tourism services. Not only does this add to the eco-system of their property, but it also sets the tone for others who run businesses or buy property in the area.
Playa Venao is a truly green community, and a nearly impeccably unspoiled beach. There is no traffic, no trash, and no excess man-made noise. And the best part about it is that future development projects all plan to keep it that way. Whether you are investing, or just visiting, you are committing to help keep a standard of environmental stability, and preserving natural beauty. And if you value these things when looking at a beach community, the dividends of maintaining them are priceless.