Quaint Pedasi and its Surrounding Region

Pedasi is one of the most picturesque towns of Panama. It is friendly, charming and keeps a low profile. The town’s thoroughfare is Avenida Central, and the main landmarks are two neat plazas. One of the plazas houses the bust of the former president Mireya Moscoso, who was a native of Pedasi.

The town is not your typical tourist spot as it does not have many modern commercial establishments and amenities.  Everything here is basic; from lodging to restaurants. Even though the main town area does not have a fancy hotel, the nearby villages of Los Destiladore and Playa Venada offer luxurious and beach front lodgings. Despite the lack of modern amenities, Pedasi town has become a significant jumping point for many visitors who wish to explore the Azuero Peninsula.

There are a number of beaches in the Pedasi region, but the nicest beach by far is called Los Destiladores, which is about 6 miles south of Pedasi. Even though it’s relatively farther than other beaches, Los Destiladores is much more attractive and cleaner. Playa Venao (Venao Bay) is also a major tourist draw in the Pedasi region because of its great surfing conditions year round. There are no shops, ATMS or cell phone signals in the beach area, but there are some beach bars, restaurants and cabanas to accommodate guests. It is a quiet laid back spot for surfers to enjoy beach and nature

The Isla Iguana Wildlife refuge is one of the premier attractions in the area. It is also home to a number of interesting wildlife including the fascinating green iguanas.  This island refuge can be reached by taking a boat from Playa Arenal, which is a mile from the main town road.  The refuge area is almost 2 miles from the shore and has a total land area of about 136 acres.  Aside from having nice sandy beaches, the island is widely known for its massive well-preserved coral formations. This makes it quite attractive to a wide range of fish species. Thus, the blue ocean water surrounding the island is perfect for snorkeling.

If you visit between the months of June and November, you may get the opportunity to witness humpback whales breeding in the surrounding waters.  The island has no commercial establishments or services so make sure to bring enough food, water and other supplies when you visit.

Buzos Azuero is the major scuba center servicing the Pedasi region.  It offers scuba diving excursions around shipwrecks and coral reefs.  If you’re a diving enthusiast or interested in learning diving, the best time to come is from April to December when sea conditions are calmer.  You can also arrange a deep-sea fishing or spear fishing trip with the center. Some of the abundant fish species in the area are marlin, tuna and mahimahi.  The tour company also takes visitors to the Isla Frailes, which has a 150-foot drop-off teeming with various marine creatures.

To reach Pedasi through public transportation, you can take a regular bus service from Panama City or Chitre to Las Tablas. From Las Tablas, there are frequent bus routes to Pedasi. You may take a taxi if you’re coming from Chitre.

About Author:

Arie Boris has extensive travel industry experience, including business and sales development for commercial aviation, the International emergency assistance & travel insurance industry and a national association of travel agents. He was a contributing editor to several print and Internet travel publications, including Fieldings’ Worldwide Cruise Guide and was part of the start up team for CruiseCritic. He has written over 400 cruise ship reviews. Arie also produces and hosts Cruise Gourmet Voyages, a variety of fundraising & theme group cruises for various charitable and arts organizations. He has produced theme cruises for a variety of special interest groups including opera, comedy, spiritual retreats and fan clubs for TV shows like Dark Shadows and Dancing with the Stars!