PEDASÍ

Pedasi is one of Panama’s most authentic and charming small towns. Located at the southeast corner of the Azuero Peninsula, Pedasi is situated in a golden corner of this country, within a few minutes of hidden white-sand beaches and undiscovered rocky headlands. The town itself, with a population of about 3,000, has the atmosphere of a village.

Pedasí is one of five districts of the Los Santos Province, Panama.
Founded: 1840
Area: 378.3 km²
Capital: Pedasí township, Los Santos
Population: 3,864 (2004)
Province: Los Santos Province

Entering Pedasi is like taking a step back in time. The local population is friendly and hospitable. The region is one of the most traditional and folkloric in Panama.

The Azuero Peninsula is otherwise known as Panama´s dry arc, as it experiences less rainfall throughout the year than any other part of the country. This makes it the perfect sun filled vacation.

The Azuero Peninsula constitutes Panama’s southernmost landmass. Jutting into the Pacific, the peninsula in general and Pedasi in particular are an excellent staging post for expeditions into the Pacific. This is the country’s “tuna coast,” and just offshore are big numbers of yellow-fin tuna. The waters around Pedasi yield both inshore and offshore fish species. Within a few minutes of town you can catch sailfish, red and cubera snapper, marlin, Spanish mackerel, roosterfish, amberjack, mahi-mahi, grouper and wahoo in season.

Pedasi, Panama is a Spanish colonial town situated in the 3rd largest province of Panama, Los Santos. Combined with Herrara, this makes up The Azuero Peninsula which is considered the heartland of Panama.

Pedasi is also considered one of the best places for witnessing the annual migration of the humpback whale (during the season / June to November).

This coast is well known in surfing circles, and two world surfing championships have been hosted at nearby Playa Venao in recent years.

There are small and medium-sized supermarkets, two bakeries, a dulceria (a Panamanian cake shop), several restaurants, bed and breakfasts and hotels. The region is primarily agricultural, and it is therefore possible to find high quality fresh products of all kinds. In addition, Pedasi has a public health clinic, two banks, a public library and a small clothes shop selling surf and beach wear. You can get by day to day without travelling beyond the town’s borders.

This is a wholesome, genuine and authentic place. It’s the kind of place you might doubt still exists anywhere in the world and an ideal place to embrace a quiet, simple beach lifestyle.

ADVENTURE IDEAS IN PEDASI

BEACH HOPPING

Isla Iguana  Thirty minutes off the coast of Pedasi is the national wildlife refuge Isla Iguana – a truly beautiful island near Pedasi. Isla Iguana is surrounded by 16-hectares of protected coral reef and boasts 2 beautiful white sandy beaches – Playa El Cirial and Playita Del Faro. Its crystal clear waters make the island perfect for swimming and snorkeling. You may even be fortunate to catch a glimpse of humpback whales between the months of June and November.

While the beaches at Isla Iguana are likely the most beautiful, there are plenty of other sandy spots that are more accessible.

Playa del Toro is a long, golden-sand beach. It’s one of the closet beaches to the town of Pedasi, easily accessible on bicycle. The road down to Playa del Toro is beautiful itself, winding through green countryside. Once you’re at the beach you won’t find that much there. It’s a great place to go for a long walk and escape the heat with a gentle swim.

Playa El Lagarto is famous locally for its great body boarding breaks. Some of the locals who practice here have even made it to international body boarding competitions. El Lagarto is located on the road just before El Toro, ten minutes down a dirt road. There’s one sign leading to the beach, but all the locals will happily direct you there.

Playa Arenal isn’t the most beautiful of the surrounding beaches, but it does have a lot of local flavor. This is where the fishermen start and end each day. Boats to Isla Iguana also depart from this beach.

SURFING

20 minute drive to the south of Pedasi and arrive at one of Panama’s best surf breaks – Playa Venao. Recently home to the ISA World Championship surf content, Playa Venao offers great rights and lefts for all levels of surfers.

SCUBA DIVING

Scuba divers can choose from a number of dive sites, including Isla Iguana and the Frailes Islands to the west. In addition to the many species of marine turtles, rays, eels and tropical fish that call the tropical Pacific home, lucky divers will spot hammerhead sharks school at certain times of year, and the whales and dolphins that haunt the coastal waters with their young.

FISHING

Pedasi Fishing is truly world-class. It is one of the few spots in the world where one can fish for black marlin and yellow fin tuna in the same day. If you are interested in catching some big fish and enjoying a day out on the water at an affordable price, Pedasi is the place for you.

TURTLE WATCHING

Isla Cañas, just beyond Playa Venao and less than an hour from Pedasi, is also a major nesting site for several marine turtles. The mangrove-ringed island is home to about 700 residents, and boasts a 14-kilometer long beach where pregnant females lumber up during the night to dig holes in the soft sand, laying clutches of up to one hundred eggs. A little further afield, the Cerro Joya National Park offers hiking through pristine rainforest, with several waterfalls, monkeys and birds galore.

CAÑAS JUNGLE ZIPLINE ADVENTURE

Just 30 minutes from Pedasi, the Cañas Jungle Zipline Adventure boasts the highest and longest zipline in Panama- plus excellent wildlife appearances and truly magnificent views.

This 8-cable course spans over 3km of rainforest, and is constructed to the highest standards of safety and quality. The eco-adventure park also boasts 2 rappels, a suspension bridge, hiking trails, waterfalls and natural pools, and more animal sightings than you’ll be able to keep up with.

SUP TOURS

Glide through the warm, vibrant waters of Pedasi by SUP.  An increasingly popular sport, Stand Up Paddle-boarding gives people of all ages and fitness levels the chance to “walk on water”– exploring an incredible landscape in an unforgettable way.

HORSEBACK RIDING

Experience an epic landscape you could never reach by car or foot. Enjoy horseback riding through stunning and varied landscapes– from rolling green mountains to lush primary and secondary forests, from sprawling cattle fields to hidden lagoons and majestic waterfalls. There are also options for beachfront rides, at the famous, crescent surf beach of Playa Venao.

WHALE WATCHING FROM JUNE TO NOVEMBER

If you’ve never seen a 40-foot, 80,000 lb whale jump out of the water before, you’re in for the experience of a lifetime.

Watch entire families of whales jump, play, sing, and mate as they enjoy their seasonal home in the warm, vibrant waters of Pedasi. Share a day with up to 5 different whale species, as you sail through a colorful ocean landscape

CYCLING THROUGH TOWN

One of the best ways to soak up the charm of Pedasi is via bicycle. The town is easily cycled in minutes, but there are plenty of roads that sprout off from the town center and take you to even smaller villages and great vistas. All of the beaches noted above (with the exception of Playa Venao) are also accessed by bike.

ADVENTURE IDEAS CLOSE TO PEDASI

AZUERO AREA

The Azuero Peninsula is considered the heartland of Panama and is known for its cultural traditions and folklore. There is a timeless quality to daily life here, a blend of the ultra-modern with the centuries-old traditional ways.

Thanks to controlled development and growth, the natural beauty is being preserved.

Azuero’s numerous colonial villages are the wellspring of Panama’s favorite folkloric traditions – beautiful traditional clothing, such as the stunning Pollera, and handicrafts, such as ceramics based on pre-Columbian designs, originated and are still made here. The same is true of some important musical and literary traditions. Even Panama’s most popular drink, the sugarcane liquor known as “Seco”, is produced in Azuero.

NATIONAL PARK – PARQUE NACIONAL SARIGUA

Also known as the “Sarigua Desert”, this national park is located on the coast of the Gulf of Parita. It is divided into three areas: the semi-deserted area, fragmented soils and the sea. Within the area lie the remains of the oldest pre-columbine indigenous settlement of Panama. Pelicans, kingfishers, butterflies, scorpions and grasshoppers are some of the species found on the arid grounds of this part of the tropics.

CHITRE

Chitre is the capital of la provincia de Herrera, and is a lively town in the interior of Panama. Chitre hosts many festivals throughout the year, including the celebration of San Juan, 19 de Octubre and of course, a Carnival party that rivals the festivities in Las Tablas.

Chitre is a thirty minute drive off the Pan-American Highway south of Divisa. Nearby in the scenic town of Pesé, the family owned distillery Varela Hermanos has been producing its famous locally grown sugar cane rums Seco and Ron Abuelo for over 100 years.  When at the distillery take the tour.!

Chitre is home to the only desert in Panama, La Sarigua National Park. Make sure and check out the hand-made pottery and fresh bread in the town of La Arena.

Known by Panamanians as “la ciudad que crece sola” or “the city that grows by itself,” Chitre is a fun stop for a day while on the drive down the Azuero Peninsula.

HACIENDA SAN ISIDRO – TOURING VARELA HERMANOS, S.A.: A CLOSER LOOK AT RON ABUELO

Touring a rum distillery should provide an experience that allows for a more well-rounded understanding of how that rum is created. Such experiences often yield a perspective with significantly more meaning beyond what can be obtained from the name and face of the bottle.

Varela Hermanos, S.A. is located 21 kilometers southwest of Chitre in a town called Pesé.

Please feel free to visit the following links in order to get more exciting ideas on what to do in Panama during your free days:

http://www.visitpanama.com/

http://pedasitours.com/pedasi-packages-and-day-tours/

http://www.sanblastourspanama.com/