Located in the Los Santos district in the south-east of Panama, Pedasí is historically a small fishing town located just a stone’s throw from dozens of pristine beaches. Until recently this undiscovered gem was very sleepy, with the highlight being the colorful annual fiesta. Since the Panamanian tourist trade has taken an interest in the town, the population has risen to around 2410 (a 20% increase in under ten years).
Served by the municipal Capt. J. Montenegro Airport primarily for private and charter aircraft, most international guests arrive via Panama City, with there being scheduled flights on Wednesdays, Fridays, and Sundays. The alternative is an approximately five-hour drive on reassuringly good quality roads, with buses also available to Pedasí from Chitre or Las Tablas.
As for practicalities, visitors to Pedasí will find the town well served by simple general amenities. There are a variety of hotels to choose between (mostly in classic colonial-era buildings), banks, restaurants and convenient free broadband in the central districts. In regards to currencies, the Panamanian Balboa (PAB) is the local option although USD are also widely accepted.
Pedasí may have a relatively young tourist industry but for those in the know, it really is quite a gem. As may be expected from a coastal town steeped in a heritage of fishing, sports fishing is a major draw. There’s no need to head that far off-shore as the continental shelf drops very close by, allowing for deep sea fishing well within sight of land. Daily charters are surprisingly affordable and as would be expected the town provides all the services and amenities any fishing enthusiast may require.
If fishing isn’t your forte, there is also a burgeoning beach sports scene developing around the area. Thanks to being within easy travel of some of the finest yet unspoiled beaches in Central America, the surf scene is increasingly popular thanks to a consistently high-quality break and has even started to attract the interest of some international standard competitive events.
Nature lovers should not feel left out and any visitor to Pedasí simply must take the time to visit Isla Iguana. Situated just twenty minutes off-shore by boat, this natural coral reef is home to dozens of bird species, seasonal visits from humpback whales and of course the iconic black iguana.
As for downtime, Pedasí is a delightful town to spend an evening relaxing and recharging. The atmospheric old town plaza is the hotspot for restaurants, which as may well be expected tend to be experts in seafood. That being said there are a surprisingly wide variety of cuisines available in the town or nearby – including a rib-shack for those feeling homesick!