Around & About
Eco Venao’s most obvious attraction is Playa Venao and its famous surf break. However, if you fancy venturing a little further away, there are great places worthy of a visit.
Perhaps the most charming town in Panama, Pedasí is certainly worth a visit. With a number of good places to eat and its nearby beaches there is usually a good excuse to make the 30 minutes journey by car or bus. Carnival and Fiestas Patrias are just two of the annual celebrations the locals take very seriously. On the coast Pedasí boasts some breathtaking beaches – Playa Lagarto and Playa El Toro.
For those who prefer calm waters to the surfer-friendly waves of Playa Venao, Achotines Bay is a great alternative, and only a few kilometers up the road towards Pedasí.
Protected by a rocky island formation at its seaward entrance, it’s an ideal place for swimming and frolicking in the water.
Snorkeling is also fun here where the white sandy beach helps make Achotines Bay a true tropical paradise.
The Achotines Laboritory is also located in this bay and is one of the few places in the world where tuna are reared out of the sea for scientific research. It is a phenomenal operation that makes for a fascinating visit.
The coast is littered with great surf, dive and fishing spots. Not to mention the neighbouring islands:
This idyllic island was declared a nature reserve in 1981, and is a favorite with scientists, biologists, and Panamanian and international visitors alike.
The island has a surface of 53 hectares (130 acres), and includes two stunning white sand beaches. Isla Iguana is home to many seabirds and marine species and is an important nesting ground for many species of sea turtles. The surrounding waters are also visited every year by two species of whales that migrate from the cold polar waters to warmer waters in the tropics to mate. It is an ideal place for snorkeling and diving, where wildily colored tropical coral fish abound! It is also a very popular bird watching location.
This long narrow island is separated from the mainland by barely 300 meters of swampy estuary and in 1994 it was declared a Wildlife Refuge. The Isla Canas area has a very high ecological value due to its variety and extension of mangrove. However, for many people its main attraction is the 10 kilometer sandy beach that faces out to sea, where over thirty thousand turtles arrive each year to lay their eggs. Five out of the six Pacific Ocean marine turtle species come to Isla Cañas. The highest concentration of turtles arrives between September and November, but turtles continue to arrive throughout the year. It is the most important nesting site for sea turtles on Panama’s Pacific coast. Island locals have traditionally harvested and sold turtle eggs as a way of earning a living. Recent campaigns have tried to promote tourism as a more turtle-friendly way of earning an income. Locals now work together with the National Environmental Authority (ANAM) to protect the turtles and their eggs.
A little further out to sea, the Frayles (Frair Monk) Islands offer great fishing, scuba diving and important bird watching. We can help arrange visits to all of the above.