In the towns of the Azuero Peninsula time seems to move more slowly. The people move through the shady tree-lined streets without hurrying, or sit within the central plaza talking for hours. The locals will typically leave their doors open to the street and sit outside their houses in large rocking chairs, chatting with neighbors and enjoying the breeze. It is a lovely and enchanting place with a relaxed lifestyle and a rural feel.
DuThe Azuero Peninsula is considered the heartland of Panama and it is home to more traditional folklore and culture than any other region in the country. There are approximately 500 religious celebrations that are held every year in Azuero, which means that there is more than one festival for every day of the year.
Although Chitre is one of the largest “cities” on the Azuero Peninsula, the atmosphere is very laid back as it still clings to its Spanish-colonial roots. Men often wear the traditional straw hats as they go about their daily business. During the dry summer season it’s common for people to gather in the plazas to talk and enjoy the breeze. It’s truly Panama the way Panama has always been!
Chitre is a great place to base yourself for a couple of days as you delve deeply into the cultural heartland of Panama. Just a few kilometers to the southwest is the small town of Pese, home of the Seco Herrerano factory. Seco is a sugarcane liquor and Panama’s national drink. Panama’s best rum is also produced there and taking a rum tour is one of the highlights of a visit to the Azuero Peninsula!
Isla Iguana Nature Preserve
This beautiful peninsula is also home to a number of natural reserves, including Isla de Canas and Isla Iguana – offering beautiful white sand beaches, calm coastal waters and excellent snorkeling. For its part, Isla Iguana is about 5 miles off the coast of Pedasi and it is true paradise. Walk up to the lookout over by the Ranger Station and you find spectacular views of the sparkling blue pacific and the gorgeous beach. Take a stroll along the nature trail and you will run into the islands’ namesake iguanas running around everywhere. When you get tired of being on land you just need to go a few yards offshore before you encounter the coral reef and some of the beautifully colored tropical fish that call the reef home.
While all of our vacation packages are completely customized we always include a day trip to Isla Iguana. And with our Authentic Panama Vacation Package you will have the opportunity to take part in the lively festive atmosphere and enjoy the laid back, friendly vibe of the Azuero Peninsula. Contact us today to find out more about all of the Customized Vacation Packages that we have to offer.
51 weeks out of the year Las Tablas is a sleepy little town that is one of the most traditional towns you will find in Panama. But the other week of the year Las Tablas is home to the famous Carnaval celebration which is five days of festivities and celebrations that are filled with brightly colored costumes, traditional music, parades with extravagant floats, and lively dancing. Carnaval has been celebrated in Panama since the early 1900s and while the festival began in Panama City it has spread to all corners of the country. Without a doubt Las Tablas offers the best and most authentic Carnaval celebrations found anywhere in Panama.
In Las Tablas the premise of Carnaval is based around the age old rivalry between the “high street” and the “low street” as they compete for the most creative floats and fanciest costumes. Each side will have a parade, a carnaval queen, music, fireworks, presentations, concerts and more in a competition for who can throw the biggest party.
Pedasi is known for being the birthplace of the only female president in Panama’s history – Mireya Moscoso (1999-2004). It is also being discovered as Panama’s next best beach town, but fortunately that has not fully taken place yet. Pedasi is still a friendly little town that is charming in its own right. There are no chain hotels and the restaurants are mostly fondas which are tavern-type places frequented by locals.
One of the biggest draws of Pedasi is that the Pacific Ocean is only a couple of kilometers from the center of town. Playa Arenal is very popular and stretches down the coast seemingly forever. This is home base for the fisherman who anchor their boats here by day and then pull them up on the beach at the end of the day.
Another popular beach is Playa Los Destilladeros which is 10 kilometers south of Pedasi. Between the beaches and simple Panamanian life at its best, Pedasi is a must-see in the Azuero Peninsula. But if you are looking for thrilling nightlife and major attractions, Pedasi is not the town for you. However, if you are looking for a peaceful, simple basic lifestyle on the beach you may never want to leave.
Surfing enthusiasts should head to Playa Venao for the chance to catch superb waves – this excellent beach has been attracting passionate surfers from all over the world for many decades. The beach has waves that are suitable for all levels of surfers, so whether you are a beginner or you have been surfing for years you will have a blast here.
This laid back beach is the perfect place to have drinks while watching the sunset and relax after a full day of exploring Panama’s natural wonders. Visit the open air El-Sitio restaurant where you will find fresh seafood – or the relaxed thatched roofed restaurant Bobore.
These are just a few of the gorgeous destinations on the Azuero Peninsula that you can visit during your travels in Panama. To make the most of your trip, book one of our fantastic Panama Azuero Peninsula tours – Contact Us for more information!