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. Best options? I usually just drive (rent a car or share a ride), or take a $10 bus from PC-Las Tablas, then catch a cab from LT ($35-40) as that minibus connection can be cumbersome with lots of bags.

  • 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 : ~$300 one way from PC to Venao. The drive is about 4.5 hours. I’ve been quoted as low as $180-200/one-way (Jose Angel 6231-9913 speaks English) or $200 (Algis 6406-2469).
  • √√ Commercial flight to Pedasi: ~$220 RT (per person if traveling in a group of 2). Fly into Pedasi (flights $200 RT), then take a taxi from Pedasi to Venao ($20).  More options on how to get between Pedasi/Venao  here: how to get from Pedasi to Venao. 
  • √√√ Commercial flight to Chitre : ~$150 RT (per person if traveling in a group of 2). Fly into Chitre (flights $113 RT), then 1. take a taxi from Chitre to Venao ($45-60) or 2. connect on minibuses (Las Tablas -> Pedasi -> Playa Venao).  Detailed directions here on how to get from Chitre/LT 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 (dropping off in Pedasi at Pedasi Tours), be careful as a drop-off fee applies ($145 +7% tax) .
  • √√ Shuttle$40 one-way Playa Venao-Panama City, runs approx. twice a week (there is a minimum passenger requirement for the shuttle to operate). Usually leaves Venao early in the morning. Book with E.T Shuttle +972-54-235-0094  (whatsapp) or +507-6317-7054 (cell)
  • 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. Detailed directions here on how to get from Chitre/LT to Venao. 

 

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Fly

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Air Panama

 

Flights to Playa Venao

Chitre/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)
  • TIP: booking the round trip ticket will save $11 than booking two one-way tickets.

COST

  Air Fare Tax  Fuel Surcharge TOTAL
Platinum (one-way) $44.99 $19.15 $10.00 $74.14
Diamond (one-way) $49.99 $19.50 $10.00 $79.49
Platinum (roundtrip) $89.98 $27.61 $20.00 $137.59
Diamond (roundtrip) $99.98 $28.31 $20.00 $148.29

(as of May 2017)

 

Schedule

Panama City, Albrook (PAC) – Chitre (CTD)
Dates Depart Arrive Flight No.
Mon-Fri 7:15am 7:45am  –
Mon-Fri 4:45pm 5:15pm  –
Saturday 7:15am 7:45am 650
Sunday 4:45pm 5:15pm  –

Flying in from Panama City to Chitre

Chitre (CTD) – Panama City, Albrook (PAC)
Dates Depart Arrive Flight No.
Mon-Fri 10:15am 10:45am 951
Mon-Fri 5:25pm 5:55pm 951
Saturday 7:55am 8:25am  –
Sunday 5:25pm 5:55pm  –

Flying out from Chitre to Panama City

 



Drive

   DISTANCE                          DRIVING TIME

361 KM                                    4.5 – 5 HOURS

From Panama City -> From Avenida Balboa head south toward Casco Viejo.
Either 1. Take the onramp on the left before Casco Viejo -> follow signs “Ave de los Martires” -> follow signs to “Autopista Arraijan-La Chorrera” which will take you out of Panama City and merge with Carretera Panamericana (Pan-Am Highway).

or 2. Head out on Cinta Costera -> cross the Americas Bridge -> straight until you merge with Carretera Panamericana

Stay on the Carretera Panamericana 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 (5km. It’s a circular turn-oiff onto a brand new well-lit highway) -> Continue 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 from here will take you to Las Tablas.

Once in Las Tablas, take a left onto Calle de Circunvalacion (the first big traffic light after you enter the town – it’s the intersection w/ a Terpel and a car repair shop on the corners) -> 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

Overview: On a bus you will need to get from Panama City (Albrook) -> Chitre/Las Tablas -> Pedasi -> Playa Venao.

Panama to Playa Venao Bus Guide

From Panama City, take a bus from the Gran Nacional Terminal de Transporte in Albrook (right outside the Albrook Mall) to either Chitre or Las Tablas for $10.

At Albrook: There will be ticket counters as you enter the bus terminal – the terminal is usually packed with people. The person at the counter can tell you which rotary the bus leaves from. The schedule is below but usually the bus leaves earlier or later depending on when the occupancy fills up. Generally it leaves every hour. The trip is about 3-4 hours with one rest stop. In the entrance area you will need either a card or 10 cents to get through the turnstile. Have small change ready and give it to the man checking tickets as he can scan you in in exchange for 10 cents (He won’t have change).

Once in Chitre or Las Tablas, you can either take a door-to-door cab ($35-40 from LT, $45-50 from Chitre), or connect on minibuses (Las Tablas -> Pedasi -> Playa Venao).

From Chitre: a minibus runs to Las Tablas approx every 7-10 minutes from the same bus station. The trip is about 30 minutes and costs $1.50. The minibus can drop you off at the shuttle stop for Pedasi if you tell the driver. Otherwise you will need to walk as the LT-Chitre bus stop is different from the LT-Pedasi stop. Check map below.

From Las Tablas: The Panama City bus will drop you off at the COOVETRAS bus stop. You will need to take a taxi or walk to the bus stop for the Pedasi shuttle. Check the map below.

From Las Tablas to Pedasi, a minibus runs every 45 minutes. ($2.40/one way). The trip is about 45 minutes. Finally from Pedasi to Playa Venao, there are 7 shuttles daily. If you miss these, you may need to catch a taxi ($20), hitchhike, or stay overnight in Pedasi.

Panama City (Albrook) – Las Tablas

FROM PC TO PC
Mon-Sat Sun AM PM
6am 6am 2am 12:30pm
7am 7:15am 4am 1:30pm
8am 8:15am 6am 3:30pm
9am 9:15am 7:30am 5pm
10am 10:15am 8:30am 5:30pm
11am 11:15am 9:30am
12pm 12:30pm 10:30am
 1pm 1:45pm  11:30am
 2pm
 3:30pm 3pm
 4:45pm 4:15pm
 6pm 5:30pm
 7pm 6:45pm

Panama City (Albrook) – Chitre

FROM PC TO PC
AM PM AM PM
6am 12:20pm 1:30am 12:00pm
7am 1:10m 2:45am 12:45pm
8am 2pm 4am 1:30pm
9am 2:50pm 5am 2:15pm
9:50am 3:40pm 6am 3pm
10:40am 4:30pm 6:45am 4pm
11:30am 5:20pm 7:30am 5pm
6:10pm  8:15am 6pm
7pm  9am
8pm  10:30am
9pm  11:15am
10pm
11pm


BUS STANDS




Panama City (Albrook) Bus Terminal

Gran Terminal Nacional de Transporte / Albrook Bus Terminal.

Located between Albrook Airport & Albrook Mall.

Map here

Chitre Bus Terminal

Terminal de Transportes de Herrera. Bus to Panama City, Las Tablas, Santiago, and everywhere else. on the big new paved highway, Via Circunvalacion (1km south of downtown, near AutoCentro & Spiegel). Chitre. (996-6426)

Las Tablas to Panama City

COOVETRAS station. On Calle 8 de Noviembre (on Av. Emilio Castro by the big hospital). The bus stop for the minibus to Pedasi is a different bus stop.




Bus from Panama City to Las Tablas
Las Tablas Pedasi shuttle
Bus from Panama City to Las Tablas




Las Tablas to Chitre

Parking area between Mailboxes etc. and Supercarnes

Las Tablas to Pedasi

Located a few blocks from Supercarnes. Minibus leaves from the taxi stand on Paseo Carlos Lopez (the main street) between C. 12 de Octubre & C. Agustin Batista.

Pedasi Bus Stop

Behind Super Centro, across the street from the post office.


Taxi

Las Tablas

Taxi Tableao 994-6615

Pedasi

Find complete list here