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Amenities in Playa Venao are geared mainly towards travelers, with plenty of hotels and restaurants, shops and tour providers, and a fitness center and co-working office. However, as more and more people start to call Playa Venao home, the array of amenities is also quickly growing. Playa Venao now has a gas station, a mini-market with a full-size grocery store on the way, and even a private bi-lingual elementary school located in nearby Cañas. You can also find more options for groceries and other essentials in Pedasi, about 30 minutes away.
Playa Venao serves up a quintessentially Central American surf town vibe. Most beachgoers you see are likely on vacation, just passing through, or staffing the local hotels and restaurants. Think less routine, more relaxation.
Playa Venao is full of people who have achieved, or who are in the process of achieving, personal sovereignty. Take a stroll down the beach at 11 a.m. and you'll see surfers, sunbathers, a volleyball game, and even martial arts training. You'll also see those digital nomads taking calls and typing away in the WiFi-equipped restaurants and coworking spaces.
Life in Playa Venao is all about sun, salt, sand, and surf. The best activities are in the water– whether you're perfecting your cutbacks on an incoming set, kayaking around the bay, or taking a boat out for deep-sea fishing, scuba diving, or whale-watching.
Playa Venao offers plenty to do on dry land as well, with great restaurants and nightlife, a Jiu Jitsu Academy, and eco-adventures like zip-lining through the forest in Cañas, going on waterfall hikes behind Eco Venao, or enjoying island tours around the nearby wildlife refuge.
The Playa Venao community is incredibly diverse. Most people living full-time in Venao are involved in one of the hotels, restaurants, or tourism services. There are also seasonal or part-time residents that stay for extended periods, either in hotels or, more recently, their own vacation homes.
While travelers and surfers come from all over the world and other parts of Panama, Playa Venao still retains an intimate community vibe. It’s not uncommon for travelers to stay in Playa Venao longer than expected, or to start returning every year. If you stick around long enough, you’re bound to see plenty of interesting characters pass through and then boomerang back.
Playa Venao is a community of diverse backgrounds and cultures working together to build the best possible place for themselves, their children, and future generations. If you have an entrepreneurial spirit or an interest in sustainable living, you’ll fit right into the Playa Venao community.
Amenities in Playa Venao are geared mainly towards travelers, with plenty of hotels and restaurants, surf shops and tour providers, and a fitness center and coworking office.
You can find basic groceries and other essentials in Playa Venao, or drive 30 minutes to Pedasi for more options. Visitors planning to stay for longer periods tend to stop in Chitre, Las Tablas, or Pedasi on the way to Playa Venao to pick up groceries and essentials. Playa Venao residents either make the drive or order local fish or organic produce delivered to their home.
The growing community is spurring more commercial development. Playa Venao’s first gas station is now open and its first true supermarket is currently under construction. If you are an entrepreneur or even just fancy yourself one, Playa Venao may be a great location to turn a dream or an idea into reality.
What Playa Venao lacks–for now– in grocery shopping it makes up for with its impressive gastronomy. You’ve got pizza and burgers at beach bars, homemade falafel and hummus next door, taco-tequila bars a few steps from there, classy fine dining, and farm-to-table Panamanian fusion. In short, there are plenty of restaurants and short order joints to accommodate all tastes and budgets.
As Playa Venao’s prominence as a popular tourist destination has grown both domestically and internationally, the Panamanian government has begun allocating more resources into the area’s infrastructure.
The highway from Pedasi to Playa Venao was just completely refinished, making travel into the community for travelers, residents, and workers far safer, and far more enjoyable. The effect of this road upgrade in helping to drive residential and commercial development cannot be overstated.
Considering its relatively secluded location, the electricity in Playa Venao is quite reliable and a new delivery system of insulated power lines is currently being installed from Las Tablas through Playa Venao and on into Cañas. Power outages are still occasional but far less common than they were just a short time ago. And they tend to result mainly from major storms that affect wider regions.
Wi-Fi service is very strong, certainly strong enough to be able to work remotely, make video calls, or to view streaming services like Netflix or Hulu. Like most of Panama, the water quality is good and the tap water potable. Cell phone signal is also good, though some cell providers do work better than others.
Life at Playa Venao revolves around ocean-based activities. A popular surf destination, the beach offers a variety of surf breaks to accomodate all levels, from beginner to advanced surfers. You’ll see surfers- young and young-at-heart- in the water, eagerly awaiting the next set. And of course, Playa Venao has surf schools where you can get lessons and rent or buy equipment.
Surfing isn’t the only reason to get into the water. Playa Venao offers a variety of other water activities like deep-sea fishing, stand-up paddle boarding, kayaking, kite-surfing (seasonally), and of course enjoying a simple swim in the warm waters. And if you’ve got a boat or catamaran, the possibilities for exploration and adventure only just begin at the beach.
If you find that you need to get your land legs back under you, you can take a class at the martial arts studio and Jiu-Jitsu Academy, which offers daily martial arts training and yoga classes. You could also head out for an eco-adventure like zip-lining, waterfall hikes, island tours, or horseback riding on the beach. The Panamanian National Wildlife Refuge of Isla Cañas is not too far away either. Only a 20-minute drive followed by a 5-minute boat ride through the protected mangrove forests and you are on an island where horse-drawn carts are the main mode of wheeled transportation.
Playa Venao also offers vibrant nightlife options, particularly on the weekends when you can dance until sunrise at many of the beachfront bars. Playa Venao generally holds a small series of multi-day festivals and events each year, which bring people from around the world to party.
The Playa Venao real estate market has emerged as one of the hottest in all of Panama, and at an incredible pace.
Homes are often purchased right as they come to market, leaving little available finished inventory at Playa Venao. Residential communities such as Blue Venao and Villa Marina have both sold extremely well over the past several years and have turned out to be good appreciation plays for those who got in early. For example, a 2-bedroom ground floor condo in Blue Venao that initially sold for $205,000 is now selling for $270,000.
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