Getting Here

You have a few options to get here, depending on your appetite for budget, duration, etc. Here’s a list from most to least expensive.

  • Charter helicopter: ~$3000. Will get you door-to-door from Panama City to Playa Venao in ~70 minutes. The most scenic option for sure. The trip will total around $3000-3500 as the 4-seater (R66) prices around $1250/hour, 2-seater I believe is around $900/hour (you pay for 2.5-3 hours for the round-trip flight even if only flying one-way).
  • Charter plane: ~$2300. Will fly you from Albrook Airport (Panama City) to Pedasi Airport in about 35 minutes. The Kodiak can seat about 8 persons + pilot, about 1200 lbs. ~$1300 each way and you need to pay roundtrip even if flying one way. If you need the plane to wait, the extra charge is usually ~$80/hour. From Pedasi, you will need either a hotel shuttle for pickup, rent a car in Pedasi, or hire a taxi ($20 to Venao).
  • Taxi/Private Car : Ranges $200-$300 one way from PC to Venao. The drive is about 4.5 hours. See below for options
  • √√√ Commercial flight to Chitre : ~$150 RT (per person if traveling in a group of 2). Fly into Chitre (flights $113 RT), then take a taxi ($45-60) or connect on minibuses.  See below for options to get from Chitre to Venao.
  • √√√ Car Rental: ~$50. You can rent a car in Panama City for as low as ~$25/day (I believe daily rates are as low as $6/day but you are required to purchase insurance at $17/day). You can also rent a pocket WiFi for $15/day (Thrifty). If you’re only driving one-way, be careful as a drop-off fee applies ($145 +7% tax).
  • √√ Shuttle$40 one-way, runs M-W-F (from Venao), T-Th-Sa (to Venao) leaving early in the morning. Book with Venao Tours +507-6274-3222.
  • Drive : $20 for a tank of gas. If you own a car, drive! I use about 3/4 tank for the round-trip. Directions below.
  • Bus : $15 one-way. There are hourly buses to either Chitre or Las Tablas for $10. From Chitre/LT you can catch a taxi ($45-50 from Chitre, ~$35-40 from LT) or connect to a minibus ($5). Detailed directions here on how to get from Chitre/LT to Venao. 

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Travel Options:

Best

Drive (rent a car or share a ride)

Grab some company to share the 4.5 hour journey and split the $20 for the roundtrip cost of gas, load up on some groceries  along the way, and enjoy the idyllic route!

Fastest

Fly, then car 

If you don’t have money to splurge on a chopper (1h 15 min), flying to Chitre will get you there the fastest, at roughly 2 hours (flight 30 min + taxi 1h 40 min). ~$130 for 1 person, on-way (less if you book as a RT and split the cab). One drawback is that your luggage is capped at 14 kg (check-in), 4kg (hand baggage)

Most Convenient

Shuttle

If you don’t want to drive but want the flexibility, share the shuttle for $40, leaving 3 times a week. 

Alternatively, if you’re traveling in a group, hire a private car and split the costs. A pretty comfortable and convenient way to travel. 

Cheapest

Public Transport

If you have tons of time and don’t mind delays or stopping along the way, then you can get to Venao as cheap as $15 (one-way) utilizing the public transportation system

Are you already in Venao?

Then skip to the 'Getting Around' section

If you’ve already arrived in Playa Venao, click on to view how to get around Venao and from Venao/Pedasi.

Departing Panama City … skip to the relevant sections

Fly

Flights to Playa Venao
* The flights to Chitre (Aeropuerto Alonso Valderrama) are in either 12-seater or 50-seater planes based on demand, and are basically twice a day.
30 minute duration
* Usually full so book in advance
ROUND TRIP as low as $113 (*Varies with fuel surcharge)
* INFANTS (0-2) fly free, KIDS (2+) charged same as adults
Car rentals available at the Chitre Airport (Thrifty desk is located inside airport)
* Tel: 316-9000. Parking available at airport. Airport closes at 6pm but gates are open 24 hours. 

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Schedule

From Panama City to Chitre

Panama City, Albrook (PAC) – Chitre (CTD)
DatesDepartArriveFlight No.
Mon-Fri7:15am7:45am 650
Mon-Fri4:45pm5:15pm 950
Saturday7:15am7:45am 650
Sunday4:45pm5:15pm 950

From Chitre to Panama City

Chitre (CTD) – Panama City, Albrook (PAC)
DatesDepartArriveFlight No.
Mon-Fri7:55am8:25am651
Mon-Fri5:25pm5:55pm951
Saturday7:55am8:25am 651
Sunday5:25pm5:55pm 951

Pricing

 Air FareTax/Fuel TOTAL
Econo Plus (one-way)$44.99$32.90$77.89
Premium (one-way)$49.99$33.25$83.24
Econo Plus (roundtrip)$89.98$55.10$145.08
Premium (roundtrip)$99.98$55.80$155.78
*TIP: Save $11 BY BOOKING ROUNDTRIP!

(as of Mar 2018)

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Getting from Chitre to Playa Venao

Once you’ve landed in Chitre, there are a few ways to get to Venao. Click on to find out more!

Drive

DISTANCE            DRIVING TIME
361 KM                    4.5 – 5 HOURS

From Panama City

Head south on Avenida Balboa toward Casco Viejo.

After the underpass, follow the road and veer left passing the fish market on your left (Cinta Costera 2).

At the roundabout, take the 2nd exit towards the big, wide road,  which will take you out of Panama City and merge with Carretera Panamericana (Pan-Am Highway). Cross over the Bridge of the Americas.

Stay on the Carretera Panamericana for about 200 km until you reach Divisa (~should be around 2.5-3 hours).

Stay in the RIGHT lane as there will be a sharp turnoff on the right side (easy to miss) with a big sign/arrow that says “Veraguas / Herrera / Los Santos“.

You are now on the Carretera Nacional!

Continue on Carretera Nacional through Chitre (30km). Bypass Chitre by turning Right onto Via Circunvalacion as you enter the city (It’s a circular turn-off onto a brand new well-lit highway).

Continue 5km along the curve until you hit the main intersection in Chitre (by Banco Nacional. the first set of traffic lights). Turn right onto Carretera Nacional and continue onto Las Tablas. There will be a few roundabouts on the way but basically all roads lead to Las Tablas – keep going straight.

Once in Las Tablas, take a left onto Calle de Circunvalacion (the first big traffic light as you enter the town – it’s the intersection w/ a Terpel and a car repair shop on the corners). Follow the Circunvalacion until you get to a stop sign.

Take a left onto Carretera Nacional (2km, at the Stop sign). Then it’s a straight shot on Carretera Nacional straight to Playa Venao, passing through Pedasi on the way!

Ride

Panama to Playa Venao Bus Guide
More comfortable: Private shuttle transports door-to-door for $40. ~5 hours

More economical: Requires 2 transfers  and the trip can take 6.5+ hours. Prices from $14.

Shuttle

6-10-seater private shuttles that operate daily. Wifi onboard, deliveries arranged. Venao Tours 6274-3222.

Schedule

Monday, Wednesday, Friday:        Venao to Panama at 7:30am 
Tuesday, Thursday, Saturday:      Panama to Venao at 6:30am
Sunday:                                                Minimum of 5 passengers

Prices:

Panama-Pedasi:    $35
Panama-Venao:     $40
Roundtrip:             $70
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Private Car / Taxi

A comfortable way to travel on your own schedule is to hire your own private car. Drivers typically charge $200-300 for a one-way trip, with some discount for roundtrips.

  • Juan Thompson, $180/ one-way, $250/roundtrip (SUV):   6869-2800
  • Algis  $200/one-way:   6406-2409
  • Venao Tours (shuttle up to 5 passengers). $230/one-way to Panama City, $250 to Tocumen.    6274-3222
  • Dani Wiesel   6615-4258

Public Transport

Bus from Panama City to Las Tablas

Your journey will start at the bus terminal located next to Albrook Mall in Panama City.

Panama City

Albrook Bus Terminal

Gran Terminal Nacional de Transporte / Albrook Bus Terminal.
* Located between Albrook Airport & Albrook Mall.
* TRANSPORTE TUASA      Tel. (507) 314-6235 (Panama)
* TRANSPORTE INAZUN     Tel. (507) 314-6204 (Panama)

 



Ticket counters will appear on the left as you enter the bus terminal. The terminal will be packed with people. Porters are sometimes available for a few dollars but hard to locate.

Locate the ticket counter for Chitre or Las Tablas. They’re located near each other. The rough schedule is below, but this changes by season (the Las Tablas bus schedule is online), and the bus can leave earlier or later depending on occupancy. Generally they leave every hour.

(Las Tablas is located closer to Venao, so is the natural choice as a connection. Chitre is a large city with all the bells and whistles. Because this adds a connection to your trip, you might as well spend a few days visiting the rum factory or the interior of the Azuero Peninsula.)

Tickets cost about $10. With ticket in hand, head to the rotary area.  In the entrance of the rotary, you will need either a metro card or 10 cents to get through the turnstile. Have small change ready and give it to the man checking tickets (He won’t have change).

The buses have their destinations printed on their window shield. The porter will take your bags to stow beneath the bus. If you have unusual sized luggage or boxes, they may charge you a few bucks extra for stowage.

Once on board, the driver will check tickets right before departure.

The trip is about 3-4 hours with one 30-minute rest stop.

The rest stop is a great place to grab some local souvenirs and some fried food.

To/From Chitre

(From Panama) First Bus: 6am, Last Bus: 11pm, leaving every ~1 hour

(To Panama) First Bus: 1:30am, Last Bus: 6pm, leaving every ~1 hour

Duration: 3.5 hours
Cost: $9.70

FROM PCTO PC
AMPMAMPM
6am12:20pm1:30am12:00pm
7am1:10m2:45am12:45pm
8am2pm4am1:30pm
9am2:50pm5am2:15pm
9:50am3:40pm6am3pm
10:40am4:30pm6:45am4pm
11:30am5:20pm7:30am5pm
6:10pm 8:15am6pm
7pm 9am
8pm 10:30am
9pm 11:15am
10pm
11pm

Chitre Bus Terminal

* Terminal de Transportes de Herrera.
* Bus to Panama City, Las Tablas, Santiago, and everywhere else.
* Located on the big new paved highway, Via Circunvalacion (near AutoCentro, Super Xtra, Novey, Spiegel). 996-6426
* TRANSPORTE TUASA Tel. (507) 996-5619 (Chitre)
* TRANSPORTE INAZUN Tel. (507) 996-1794 (Chitre)

 

 

From Chitre to Venao

Skip to next section

Click to find out transportation options from Chitre

To/From Las Tablas

(From Panama) First Bus: 6am, Last Bus: 7pm, leaving every ~1 hour

(To Panama) First Bus: 2am, Last Bus: 5:30pm, leaving every 1-2 hours

Duration: 4 hours
Cost: $9.90

FROM PCTO PC
Mon-SatSunAMPM
6am6am2am12:30pm
7am7:15am4am1:30pm
8am8:15am6am3:30pm
9am9:15am7:30am5pm
10am10:15am8:30am5:30pm
11am11:15am9:30am
12pm12:30pm10:30am
 1pm1:45pm 11:30am
 2pm
 3:30pm3pm
 4:45pm4:15pm
 6pm5:30pm
 7pm6:45pm

Las Tablas Bus Terminal

COOSVETRAS Bus Terminal
* Located on Calle 8 de Noviembre (on Av. Emilio Castro by the big hospital and Terpel / McDonalds / Dominos).
* COOSVETRAS Tel. 994-6656, 994-6247
* Worth noting that the minibus to Pedasi departs from a different bus stop.

 

 

From Las Tablas to Venao

Skip to next section

Click on to find out transportation options from Las Tablas

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Taxi

Taxi Fare Chart
None of the taxis have meters, so you ask the price when you board. In the countryside, people are honest and drivers don’t rip you off all that often, but you can negotiate prices to a certain degree. Here’s a sample fare chart and list of cab companies.

Chitre

Taxi Nuevo Milenio    996-6676

Las Tablas

Taxi Tableao 994-6615

Taxi Santa Liberada  994-6236  / 994-9493

Taxi Super Centro Rosa   994-8533

Pedasi

Find complete list here

View the next page!

From Chitre/LT to Pedasi/Venao

There are a various transportation options from the big hubs of Chitre & Las Tablas to Pedasi/Playa Venao. Click onto the next page!

Or skip onto the Getting Around section to see how to navigate between Pedasi & Venao!

OR skip ahead ...

Getting around Pedasi and Venao

Once you’re already in Pedasi/Venao, the transportation is a bit less frequent. Click here for options!

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