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Playa Venao a Beautiful bay and a must visit place in Panama with Great surf

 In Best of, General, panama
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Panama is full of wonderful places -empty beaches, exotic islands an amazing capital city and many more places that you shouldnt miss…
But if you ask the young travelers and the surfers where to go in Panama? They will tell you:  PLAYA VENAO
I totally understand them, Its a lovely bay with many diffrent sleeping options, almost year-round surfing, comfortable weather and the most delicious food we ate in Panama.

For our story from Playa and Nao click here.

How to get to Playa Venao?

The coolest town in Panama (according to the surfers and all-Israelis) is not that easy to get too.

Playa Venao is on the Pacific coast of Panama about 5 hours by car from Panama City (about 3-4 hours on the main road and then descends to side roads)
The coastal strip is near the town of Pedasi (a sweet little town from which you can take tours to Isla Iguana Island)


Rent a car – you can do whatever you want, get anywhere (also to get around in the bay and beaches near by you need a car).
Public Transport – I found a site that explains all the ways to get to Playa Venao
We rented a car from a local company that brings the car to the airport. They were professional, kind and charming. But they don’t allow for Panama’s circular route where you need to leave the car in a diffrent location .

Our first rental company is called CORONADO CARS

Where to Stay in Playa Venao

.Playa Venao is developing very fast. because the town is suitable for both young travelers, families and couples, it has a wide range of accommodation options
This is a large strip of beach filled with charming and unique hotels

 Playa Venao Hotel Resort


We chose this hotel because we got a lot of great recommendations on it and also because it has an infinity pool to the sea and we were not disappointed.

Lovely hotel with great service, spacious rooms, a number of restaurants and plenty of space between places. Breakfast is served in an open space by the pool, and cocktails flow into the pool area at sunset.
We were at the hotel for a week and enjoyed every moment.

More Hotels in Playa Venao

Link to our perfect hotel: Playa Venao Hotel Resort

Link to the travelers hotel with a cool surf club: Selina Playa Venao

If you stop first in Pedasi you can also sleep in Selina: Selina Pedasi

Link to the non-smoking lighthouse with the cool vibe – located on the sea: El Sitio

Link to Tipi hostel is suitable for those who want to spend more time in the area: Tipi hostel Eco Rural

Link for Wildlife lovers Far from the Center: Eco Venao Lodge

I would love to receive more recommendations for hotels since the area is developing very fast.

What to do in Playa Venao


We were in Playa for a week, but don’t be surprised if you stay there longer, most of the people we met really loved the place.

Surfing – There is nothing like surfing in Playa Venao (and if you are not a surfer its likely you will start ) there are good conditions for both beginners and advanced throughout the year. A lot of Israelis go to the club in Selina – Its a great surf club with a great atmosphere. 

Food –  You will eat really well in Playa Venao, there is a large concentration of diverse restaurants.

 ZIPLINE For details click here

Pedasi – a charming little town about half an hour before arriving in Playa Venao, From the city you can reach Isla Iguana – a stunning island with perfect water and plenty of nature.
The city itself is very nice and worth checking out especially when it is carnival time.

Sonice Venao -Around march ther is a music festival which has been around for some years now  – SONICE VENAO is worth checking out if you are in the area.

Travel to Playa Cambutal – please check below more about cambutal.

Where to eat in Playa Venao

We were very satisfied with the food in Playa Venao, the restaurants there are great value for money and especially for taste,
there is a great selection: from humus restaurants (did I say there are many Israelis?) to Sushi, Italian, Thai, there is a supermarket and an ice cream and more.

Everywhere in Playa Venao is within walking distance

Recommended Restaurants in Playa Venao:

playa venao resort – Our hotel had 3 restaurants:

Micaela – maximo refinamiento – Pleasant, we mostly we had breakfast there but the hamburgers were also excellent.
Sushi at the hotel reception – was very nice.

El sito – In the hotel El Sito the restaurant was excellent not a cheap restaurant but with delicious food and well worth the price. We ate there both evening and morning.

Coleos – A small restaurant in the center (opposite the supermarket) mixed food with Asian touches – the cevice was the most delicious dish I tasted in Panama.

MAMU | Seafood & More – Just opened when we arrived simple and wonderful! The Fish & chips and everything they served was simple and delicious!

La Barca – Beach bar – Cool bar on the sea with tapas.

Panga – considered to be an excellent chef restaurant,
we didn’t think that way and thought I wouldn’t write about it, but a friend who recently returned told me that it was excellent and that they had returned a couple of times.



Playa Cambutal 

About an hour from Playa Venao or 5.5 hours from Panama City you will get to “Playa Cambutal.”

A Stunning bay with black sand and lots of surfing points. Unlike the pulsating Playa Venao, Cambutal symbolizes the tranquility and so you can find retreat yoga – and quieter  more secluded hotels. We arrived on Saturday and found a small local market where the locals (many foreigners who moved to the place) sold their products.

I marked myself a certain hotel that I really wanted to see and did come in for a light snack and was not disappointed, If you want quiet yoga and surfing this is the place for you. We also found a few other cute hotels and a sweet Italian restaurant. It’s totally worth spending three days here or visiting for a day from Playa Venao.

Cambutal hotels

Sansara Resort – A very special hotel that combines yoga and surfing. (The hotel we checked and found in the photos)

Hotel Playa Cambutal – This beachfront hotel is also suitable for families.

Boom Shiva – small rooms. We had dinner in the local Italian restaurant of the place. 

A few more tips (because we can? 😀)

During March there is a cold current and the water can be cold. check  before and if you can bring a wetsuit. ( for surfers mainly)

Check out the surfing schools before you decide.

Get ready to stay longer than you planned.

If there are new places please update me 🙂

Look for the story from anywhere: Playa Venao

Planing to visit the Islands of Panama, you can find more great info with Adi sees world about Ina’s Island 



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