loading

What to Do in Playa Venao Panama (Besides Surfing)

November 17, 2021

What is there to do in Playa Venao, Panama besides surfing?

If you’re visiting Playa Venao, there’s a good chance you’re drawn by our world class surfing beach and year-round waves suitable for all skill levels. But even the most avid ocean-lovers need a break from the sea eventually. 

Luckily, you won’t be hard pressed to find what to do in Playa Venao, Panama besides surfing. Whether you’re looking for relaxation, adventure, or a bit of both, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Playa Venao.

People standing in a circle, smiling, wearing Jiu-Jitsu kimonos.

Learn Jiu Jitsu 

How did Panama’s top surfing destination become a haven for jiu jitsu and other forms of martial arts? We may have had something to do with that. Our hotel at Beach Break is managed by a husband-wife (and baby) team of jiu jitsu experts, who brought their love for BJJ to the Playa Venao beachfront.

Our modern fitness facility at Beach Break Surf Camp offers a full schedule of brazilian jiu jitsu classes, including jiu jitsu for kids! When you stay with us at Beach Break, you have unlimited access to our fitness calendar of martial arts, yoga, and general fitness classes. 

Photo of a deserted island with a fishing boat speeding by nearby.
Photo: Discover Pedasi

Go deep sea fishing 

The fertile waters surrounding Playa Venao offer some of the best deep-sea fishing in the world. The region is affectionately called the Tuna Coast due to its incredible supply of– you guessed it– tuna, both bigeye and yellowfin. Plenty of other species can be found in these abundant waters, including wahoo, mahi mahi, pacific sailfish, and roosterfish. 

You can book deep-sea fishing tours with local fishing tour groups such as Playa Venao Fishing which offers boat and kayak fishing charters on a day rate basis. When you stay at Beach Break Surf Camp, we are happy to help you organize these tours and arrange for transportation. 

Two people practicing yoga together.

Practice yoga 

There is no shortage of places to practice yoga in Playa Venao. Whether you sign up for a group yoga class or roll out your mat for a self-guided sesh, you’ll find that Venao offers a supreme backdrop for the yogi experience.

At Beach Break, we offer group yoga classes as part of our weekly fitness schedule. These typically take place in our grassy area right on the beach, so you can watch the waves roll in without getting sand all over your mat. You can also mix up your practice with classes at our neighboring local businesses, or join us for a yoga-surf retreat. 

Close up of a whale rising above the surface.

Go whale watching 

If you visit between the months of June and November, you can add whale watching to your “what to do in Playa Venao” list! Every year during this time, the surrounding waters are teeming with massive whales and lovable dolphins who come to feed on the seasonal supply of plankton and other tiny fish.

Humpback whales are the most commonly cited, but you can also spot blue whales, fin whales, pilot whales, and beaked whales. When you stay at Beach Break, we’re happy to help you book whale watching tours with reliable and responsible tour operators. 

A girl zip-lining through a forest jungle.
Photo: Cañas Jungle Adventure

Go zip-lining

Zip-lining is one of those things that should be on everyone’s bucket list. Bonus points if you’re flying through a rich tree canopy, with views of the ocean and jungle all around. Cañas Jungle Adventure offers exactly that, with Panama’s longest zipline, professionally trained staff, and all-new professional grade gear. 

Because the zipline runs through the jungle canopy, you’re likely to see monkeys, parrots, and plenty of other cool jungle creatures while you’re up in the sky. Cañas Jungle Adventure operates by appointment only, so let us do the scheduling for you when you stay with us at Beach Break.

Photo of Isla Iguana beach.
Photo: Wikipedia

Visit Isla Iguana 

If you love wildlife and pristine island vibes (honestly, who doesn’t), Isla Iguana Wildlife Refuge should absolutely make your bucket list. The island sits a short boat ride away from Pedasi, the nearest major town to Playa Venao. 

This biodiversity hotspot is teeming with wildlife, from exotic birds of paradise to fluorescent marine life of all shapes and sizes. Bird-watching is a major attraction for Isla Iguana, as is snorkeling and scuba diving through the region’s colorful coral reef. 

Close up of two little turtles in shallow waters.

Watch turtles hatch 

Visit Playa Venao between the months of July and November and you can witness the unforgettable sea turtle hatching that takes place at Isla Cañas. Located near the charming town of Cañas, about a 15-minute drive from Playa Venao, Isla Cañas is a protected area that sea turtles return to every year to nest and hatch their next generation.

If you’ve never seen a small army of baby sea turtles making way for their first ocean dip, you are in for an incredible experience. Sea turtles can lay up to 95 eggs in a single evening, and the resulting hatching is a surreal experience you’ll never forget.

Two people horseback riding at sunset.

Go horseback riding

Everyone should experience riding a horse along ocean waves at least once in their life. In Playa Venao, you can make that happen with horseback riding tours right on the beach. The 3- km stretch of beachfront provides a pristine backdrop for your ride. On one side– the ocean filled with surfers and seagulls. On the other, thick walls of jungle greenery.

When you stay at Beach Break, we can help you book horseback riding tours. We only work with responsible and reliable tour providers who we trust to provide a safe and enjoyable experience for both you and the horses.

A girl holding a cocktail high up in the air and smiling.

Party!

While we like to keep a low-key vibe here at Beach Break, Venao offers plenty of opportunities to party til the sun comes up. The beachfront is scattered with lively bars and dance floors that are great for mingling with locals and travelers from around the world. Depending on when you visit, you might get to experience major festivals like the famous Sonica Venao.

What’s great about staying at Beach Break is you have all these great nightlife opportunities within easy walking distance, right on the beach! When you’ve had enough, you can safely walk back to Beach Break to escape the noise and crowds. We do have a bar and restaurant that our guests love hanging out at and mingling with others. But it’s a laid-back, low-key vibe– no pounding headaches required. 

Photo of a massage room from Nourish Spa.
Photo: Nourish Spa at Eco Venao

Get a massage 

After all that adventuring, you’re likely to be ready for some self-care time. You can book a world-class massage at the nearby Nourish Spa, which offers a range of massages including Thai, Swedish, deep tissue, and reflexology. 

The ambience at Nourish Spa is soft and soothing, with a clean space where you’ll feel comfortable unwinding. We’re happy to assist you in booking a massage at Nourish Spa when you stay with us at Beach Break.  

La Cascada waterfall.

Go chasing waterfalls 

If you’re the hiking type – or just love a good waterfall– head out for a hike to the nearby waterfall of La Cascada. Located near Cañas,, this easy half-day hike is about 1.5 miles long. It’s suitable for all ages and fitness levels, including young children. 

Though La Cascada is a relatively small waterfall, it is beautiful and totally worth the easy hike. You can dip into the cool water for a refreshing swim, or sit on the rocks and take in the pristine surrounding nature. You may even get to see some howler monkeys swinging in the trees. 

Photo of Playa Venao, with outside pool, beach and other amenities.

What to do in Playa Venao, Panama Besides Surfing

Ultimately, your Playa Venao experience can be as wild or as relaxing as you like. Whether you’re looking to stretch your comfort zone or soak up a little R&R, you’ll find plenty of things to do in Playa Venao, Panama that will only enhance your surfing vacation. 

If you’re planning on visiting Venao, contact us to schedule your ideal vacation. We can provide custom packages including accommodations, activities, and even meals and transportation. Best of all, we do all the coordinating for you, so you can simply show up, relax, and enjoy all the things to do in Playa Venao.

EXPLORE other blog posts

Venao Lifestyle
A Colorado Surfer's Playa Venao Experience
Bobby Moyer (@Sonic.bob) is an accomplished skiier, traveler, and writer from Colorado. He wrote about his experiences traveling around Panama and staying at Beach Break Surf Camp in Playa Venao.
go to
Surf Camp
Teaching Lifelong Surfers
We are not here to merely get you standing on a board. We are not here to help you get that profile picture of you standing next to a surf board on the beach. Our mission is to get you (more) hooked on surfing and create passionate, knowledgeable, lifelong surfers out of our guests. Here are only 5 of the many ways how.
go to
Surf Camp
Surf Camp Magical Moments
Magical moments happen all the time at this very special surf retreat.
go to