If you love to surf and you’re thinking of travelling to Central America then Playa Venao, Panama is the place to go. It known to be an energetic beach town with a carefree vibe offering many excursions nearby.
Where to Stay
There are various places you can stay at in Playa Venao. Booking.com is a great place to search for hotels and hostels that are located along the Pacific shore.
That being said, if you’re travelling on a budget or not, we would recommend staying at Selina Playa Venao. It is the nicest hostel we’ve ever stayed at, that’s located right on the beach. We would definitely rate it as the most instagram worthy hostel.
They offer public dorms and private rooms, all at very affordable prices.
Where to Eat and Drink
There are multiple food options that you can choose from.
Various restaurants are located right by the shore that you can visit – from pizza to sushi.
For the majority of the time there, we ate at our hostel - Selina Playa Venao. They have a restaurant that offers amazing meals like classic Panamanian dishes (patacones), fresh fish stir-fries and even vegan options. All the vegetables used in the dishes are grown on site, in their sustainable garden. It was also very affordable. As of alcohol, all the hostels and hotels will have alcohol available for purchase. Like Pina coladas, Panamanian beers etc. There’s also a daily happy hour that you will not want to miss out from 7-8pm with $1 shots, $2 beers, $3 mixed-drinks & 4$ cocktails.
If you are willing to save a couple $$, we would definitely recommend cooking your own food at your hostel. We stopped at a market right in Pedasi, where the grocery prices were very affordable. The hostel offers a full service kitchen with everything you need to cook a meal.
Again, to save some $$ - pick up some alcohol during your grocery store stop. The beers were around 60-80 cents, and we purchased a 1.75L of Seco Herrerano Rum for only $15!
What to do
Apart from just lounging around at the stunning Playa Venao, there are many other things you can do.
You can head off to the coast to explore Isla Iguana (um gorgeous to say the least). The Selina hostel offers an excursion that we took advantage of. They organize all the transportation, snacks and lunch (we had leftover food for 3 days!) However, if you are not staying with Selina, you can still organize a private boat that will take you to the Island. The cost of the excursion was $42USD.
On the way back from the excursion, stop by Pedasi if you get the chance. It’s a charming little town, full of colourful shops and houses. This is also a great opportunity for you to stock up on groceries, beer etc, as theres only one market in Playa Venao and for that reason it is over priced.
If you’re more of an active person, Playa Venao is one of the best places in Panama to go surfing.
Selina Playa Venao offers a surfing school, where you can either purchase lessons or just rent a board for a couple hours or for the whole day.
Other activities like yoga, and volleyball are offered daily at the hostel. Or create your own fun (like we did) like jumping the ocean waves or just simply gaze at the sunset.
If you’ll be needing a little break from the sand, journey off inland for a canopy tour of Cañas in the Azuero peninsula
Dog lover? Well then here’s another reason to visit Playa Venao. There were dogs running around the hostel all day. (Don’t worry, all of them belonged to workers at the hostel).
Xox the 4 broads