This article is brought to us by our newest member of the team, Ms. Karyel Keene. She’s done a fantastic job reporting on a few of the new businesses that have opened up in the Pedasi area this year. It’s an exciting time for Pedasi and is a great indicator of things to come!
Pedasi is often described as a sleepy fishermen’s village and many come looking for a laid back, simple lifestyle. People are coming in from all over the world, and as new residents settle in, Pedasi has started growing into a truly diverse community.
Many decide to pursue business ventures that they would never have thought of or perhaps had always dreamed of, and we’re happy in this month’s newsletter to report on a few!
One thing all of the new comers have in common is that they are driving demand for new products and services in Pedasi and are bringing their own experiences and know-how to enrich the local flavors.
A great example is the Hostal Villa Libera, which is owned by a young Italian couple who came to Pedasi four years ago. They dreamed to open up a hotel and offer authentic Italian cuisine and have succeeded! Located just outside of town in a breezy property on the way to the beach, today Villa Libera offers lodging and their very famous pizzas right off the wood fired oven. Make sure to also try the “entraña” grilled on volcanic stones!
If you are looking for a good sourdough or a quick option for lunch, try Panaderia Pedasi, located right in the center of town. The owner is a Canadian who loves to bake and she offers a different lunch menu everyday. A variety of sandwiches, salads and pasta are commonly served. You can pair these up with one of her fresh fruit juices and (my personal favorite), raspberry cheesecake for dessert or a number of other fresh baked pastries.
Fancy some Mexican? You can´t miss Mantarayas in Playa Venao. The friendly American owner ran a very famous place in Coronado that also offered Mexican and he brings the same great quality and service to this new venture. A small but very tasty menu and super fresh ingredients make this place a popular option among surfers and other visitors. You will find them right behind El Sitio at Playa Venao.
Another great option after a long day in the waters of Playa Venao is Pizza Gavilan. Pizza Gavilan is located at the new Beach Break Hotel & Surf Camp. This pizzeria stays true to its name and pretty much only sells pizzas, but they are fabulous so you won´t feel like you need more options.
The Beach Break Hotel & Surf Camp is also the latest beachfront addition to the lodging options in Playa Venao. The place was built by an Israeli and the location now boasts 14 beachfront rooms with a/c, hot water and WiFi. Enjoy the gorgeous view of the bay from the pool or their beachfront bar while cooling off with an ice cold Panama beer. If you are up for trying the world famous surf break of Playa Venao, you can sign up for one of their surf camp packages with lessons taught by professional instructors or rent one of their boards.
Moving on with the activities…
One of the things that make this area so special is the number of activities available. One of the big developers in town, who are also from Israel, created Pedasi Tours, an agency that makes enjoying these activities more simple. They are conveniently located on the main street of Pedasi and they manage flight bookings in and out of Pedasi through Air Panama as well as car rental through Thrifty.
Visitors can rent one of their bikes and ride around town or go on one of their many tours including a folkloric visit to the town of Guarare where you can learn to make a traditional leather sandals called “cutarras.” They can also arrange whale watching tours, surfing lessons or villa rentals in the area.
So, what about a few drinks after a day of adventure and a delicious dinner in one of these new restaurants? Check out the bar at El Lago Hostel, a little hostel with an artificial lake built by a Panamanian family. The place will surprise you, as you will feel like you are out of town, but really you are in the middle of the local neighbourhood El Naranjal. A good bar selection, fair prices and great music with a pleasing DJ make up for a very fun night out. Don’t miss it!