This district is divided into three main areas: Pedasi Town, Playa Vanao (pictured) and Cañas. The first one that you’re going to run into is Pedasi, which is the business and cultural center of them all. For this area, and even though it’s a pretty small town, Pedasi is like the big city. In Pedasi, there are several restaurants, supermarkets and pharmacies. There is a brand new hospital that was built by the government. There is a million dollar investment, which is the brand new airport that started functioning back in February. We have flights from Panama City three times a week, on Wednesdays, on Fridays and on Sundays.
When people arrive into the town, the first thing they usually do is go to Pedasi Tours. Pedasi Tours is a tour operator that is basically right next to the municipality on the main street of Pedasi where you can find all the activities that you can do in the area. You can go to Isla Iguana, which is a natural reserve island in the Pacific, but looks like a Caribbean island. You can take surfing lessons, enjoy stand-up paddle boarding, and trips to the waterfalls.
There are several hotels in Pedasi. I have to say that the best two right now are Casa de Campo, which is located on the main street, and Pedasito which is a boutique hotel with six boutique rooms and four bed and breakfast rooms
There are lots of restaurants in Pedasi. Smiley’s is an American taco bar with light music on Tuesdays and Fridays. You have the bakery right on the main street where they sell homemade bread. You have Pedasito, that serves really nice chef- type of food. You have Bienvenidush, which is a new restaurant that serves Mediterranean food like falafel and shawarma. You have a new Italian restaurant called Segratto. The pasta is so fresh, and you get a really good quality for the amount of money that you’re spending there.
The Playa Venao area is becoming one of the main attractions of Panama right now. There are two hostels and two major hotels. Dekel recently launched a new hostel in Playa Venao called Selina Hostels.
Dekel is also launching a nice surf community called Blue Venao. It will have small houses, villas and condominiums. We will also have a nice restaurant.
There’s nice food in Playa Venao. You have Mexican, pizza, a chef restaurant, burgers, chicken fingers, all that kind of stuff. You also have Panamanian food. At El Sitio you have really fancy food. You get variety.
Playa Venao is a 25-minute drive away from Pedasi. As the name implies, it’s right on the ocean. So El Sitio and Selina Hostels are both on the oceanfront. Venao is a world-famous surfing beach, but if you’re not a surfer, there’s places to go where you do not have to worry about being swept out to sea.
The parties in Venao are really nice and crazy. On Fridays, everyone from Pedasi stays in town, but on Saturdays, they go to Vanao, where there is a great party scene. There is an afternoon sunset night party in Selina, which usually draws 300 to 400 people partying every Saturday.
Cañas is an hour away from Pedasi, maybe 50 minutes, and 25 minutes away from Playa Venao, or less. Cañas is basically the most preserved natural spot in the area. There aren’t that many hotels and restaurants compared to Pedasi or even Playa Venao. Nevertheless, one of the main attractions, why many people go there, is the naturally preserved island that is called Isla Cañas. At a specific time of the year, you can go and see turtles laying their eggs, if you go at night. It’s beautiful to see. The whole area is really pretty. You have a few local restaurants and hostels. It’s really beautiful.