Getting to Pedasi, Panama
So you’d like to visit Pedasi and it’s your first time. Fantastic! This is where we all started at some point. Here’s our best advice on how to get to Pedasi and how to make your trip and stay as smooth and enjoyable as possible. Please note that this information is subject to change.
How you arrive in PedasÃ will have a lot to do with your budget and how much time you have. Here are the options, ordered from most to least expensive. If you’re interested in learning more, feel free to contact us and we’ll send you a document with company names, contact information and pricing estimates.
Fly into Pedasi
Yes, you can come to Panama on your own plane. PedasÃ has an airport, but it only handles propeller planes or very small jets. The runway is about 3,200ft (1,000m) long. For a better look at the airport check out our Pedasi Drone Tour. If you’re in a larger plane you’ll probably want to land either in Panama City or in Rio Hato, about a 4.5-hour or 2.5-hour drive from Pedasi, respectively. If you decide to fly private, let us know and we can put your pilot(s) in touch with the right people here in Panama so you can plan your trip.
You can also take a commercial flight to Panama City or Rio Hato and charter a helicopter or smaller plane to meet you to take you to Pedasi. The charter companies also have Whatsapp groups to help clients share flights. For a bit less, you could cross town to our domestic airport at Albrook and get a commercial or charter flight there.
Getting to Pedasi by car
Assuming you don’t need to make any long pit stops between Panama City and Pedasi, you can hire a private driver to pick you up at Tocumen airport upon arrival. They can also pick you up at your Panama City hotel if needed. Your next option would be to rent a car at the airport or in Panama City and drive yourself to Pedasi. If you’re driving yourself we highly recommend having either Google or Waze road navigation apps installed on your telephone as they can save you a lot of time (avoiding traffic jams) and hassle (alerting you to road hazards or speed traps). Simply input “Pedasi” as your final destination and let the apps take care of the rest.
The Inter-American Highway from Panama City to Pedasi is the Central American section of the Pan-American Highway, which, according to Guinness World Records, is the world’s longest “motorable road”. Overall, the Panama portion of the highway is safe and relatively well-maintained. Speed limits and distances are measured in kilometers per hour and speed limits will range from 40kph to 100kph (25mph to 62mph). Speed limits will also vary frequently and are strictly enforced. Speed traps are common and typically consist of a single motorcycle cop tucked into a shady section of shoulder and wielding a radar gun. Typically, drivers in the oncoming lanes of traffic will flick their lights to alert you to speed traps up ahead so you can check your velocity. If you find yourself being waved down by one of these police officers, simply pull off to the side of the road and wait in the car for them to approach. The fine for speeding is about $50 depending on how fast you were traveling.
Getting to Pedasi by shuttle
If you’ve decided that you’d rather not navigate the Inter-American Highway yourself or with a private driver, simply take the Playa Venao Shuttle which picks up at Selina Hotel in Casco Antiguo in Panama City. The shuttle will take you and up to about a dozen other passengers directly to either Pedasi or Playa Venao. The shuttle leaves Panama City around 8am most days and you should make an appointment. The Venao shuttle costs around $40 one-way. For an extra fee the shuttle can also pick you up at Tocumen airport. Let us know if you’d like more details on this option.
Getting to Pedasi by bus
In terms of running on time, the Panamanian bus system is second to none: you could almost set your watch to it. Panama depends on its buses as they are the primary mode of transportation for most Panamanians. If you’d like to take a bus to Pedasi simply take one of the big, air-conditioned regional buses from Albrook Bus Terminal to either Chitre (chee-TREY) or Las Tablas. If you get off in Chitre, you’ve got to get on a smaller local bus to Las Tablas, and then from Las Tablas you’ll need to take an even smaller bus to Pedasi. You can also take a taxi to Pedasi from either Chitre or Las Tablas, but at that point it probably would have been cheaper and easier to get the Playa Venao shuttle. The bus option will cost you roughly $12 one-way and maybe 6 hours door-to-door. A taxi from Chitre will cost around $50 and from Las Tablas about $30, during daytime hours. After-hours charges may apply.
Getting Around Pedasi
Once you’re here in the Pedasi area, you can take taxis, wait for buses, or rent a car with Autospanama.net in order to get around. If you plan to explore, we highly recommend having your own vehicle- preferably a 4-wheel drive if you plan to really get out there and explore the countryside. You can rent and return your vehicle right in Pedasi.
If you don’t want to go that route, then you can grab a taxi or bus next to the supermarket “El Pueblo” in the middle of town, just off main street. Look for the colorful “Pedasi” sign and the taxi stand is just down the hill on the left. There are a handful of taxis, but there aren’t that many and they tend to work random hours so you should get the phone number of the first one you see and ask them to provide you with other numbers in case they aren’t available.
Where to Stay in Pedasi or Playa Venao
Find a vacation rental or stay in a hotel
Pedasi offers a fine selection of boutique hotels, private vacation rentals and shoestring budget lodging options to accommodate every type of traveler. As a general rule, if you’re staying for less than a month you’ll do as well looking at Booking.com (hotels) or Airbnb.com (private rentals) as anything else.
If you’re looking to stay for more than a month, then it gets a bit more complicated as there is currently no one-stop shop for finding long-term rentals in our area. A very good place to start might be to post your own ad asking for options on the “Pedasi Post” Facebook page. Many property owners keep an eye on this and you can also get referred to the right people. Our team at Panama Sovereign Realty can also introduce you to a few property managers so that you can work with them directly to find the right place.
What to Do in Pedasi
Pedasi offers plenty of fun activities, especially for ocean-lovers. You can relax at any one of the many beautiful beaches, catch some waves at Playa Venao, snorkel or dive at Isla Iguana, or try your luck at deep-sea fishing out along the continental shelf. Also, between August and November you’ll see migrating humpback whales passing by extremely close to shore.
You can explore the area by yourself, or contact a tour operator to set up activities such as: fishing, surfing, paddle boarding, horseback riding, waterfall hikes, many different kinds of fishing (deep sea, kayak, shore-casting, etc), whale watching, sea turtle nesting and hatching tours, the zipline in CaÃ±as, a guided tour of the Herrera Bros Rum Distillery in PesÃ©, private Spanish lessons, and more.
Pedasi is also a nice town to simply have a stroll around. There are plenty of cute cafes and exceptionally good restaurants to stop in and grab a coffee and a knosh or even a full-course meal. The town square also has a couple of souvenir shops as well as a museum dedicated to Panama’s first and only female president (1999 to 2004) and Pedasi native, Mireya Moscoso.
Come Visit Us in Pedasi Panama
Getting to Pedasi has never been easier. We hope you found these travel tips helpful in planning your trip. Don’t hesitate to reach out to us as you plan your visit! We’re always happy to help newcomers experience this magical place. To learn more about Pedasi we invite you to browse our PEDASI GUIDE and to get a bird’s-eye view of the town and surrounding areas using our interactive DRONE TOURS.