Have you conquered these surf spots near Playa Venao Panama?

If not, you’ve got some exploring to do. While Playa Venao has earned its title as one of the best beach breaks in Panama, the surrounding area has some lesser-known spots that are definitely worth an excursion.

Each spot described here is within a hour’s drive of Selina Hostels at Playa Venao. The best way to explore these breaks is to head out with our team at Shokogi Surf School. These guys (and gal) know the region better than anyone– they can point out the best spots and time the trip so you get as much surf in as possible. Of course, you can also head out yourself (though your car had better have 4×4.)

Surf Spots 1 & 2: Playa Guanico


Experience: All Surfers
Type: 1 Beach Break & 1 Point Break
Direction: Right and Left
Crowd: Low
Best Tide: All Tides (but best at low)

Just 40 minutes SW of Selina Hostels Playa Venao sits Playa Guanico, a sandy-bottom beach break with long sets, low power, and near empty line-ups.

Waves at Guanico tend to be bigger, yet less powerful than those at Playa Venao. Sets are long, giving you plenty of room to work on your balance or experiment with some fancy footwork. The water is virtually empty– it’s not uncommon to have the whole beach to yourself at Guanico. On the rare days when Playa Venao isn’t firing, however, you can expect to see in-the-know surfers head over to Guanico.

The beach is fairly untouched, though there are a few small ranchitos to hide from the sun and an awesome, inexpensive restaurant called “Guanico” where you can fuel up between surf sessions.


The Guanico Beach Break works at all tides. It starts working at about a 1.5 foot swell, and has numerous peaks from which to take off. You can find it to the front of where you’ll pull up to Guanico (you’ll be able to spot it fairly easy.)

Walk down to the far right from where you pull up and you’ll find the Guanico Point Break. This one starts working at around a 4 foot swell, and works best at low tide.

Surf Spots 1 & 2: Playa Cambutal


Experience: All Surfers
Type: 2 Point Breaks
Direction: Right and Left
Power: Hollow, Powerful
Crowd: Low
Best Tide: Low Tide for 411, High Tide for Cuatro Secreto

Roughly 25-30 minutes past Guanico (~1 hour from Playa Venao) sits Playa Cambutal. With two powerful point breaks and a barely-there crowd, Cambutal makes for a stellar day trip.

The first point break, 411 (or Cuatro-once), which works best at high tide, while the other point break, Cuatro Secreto, is best at low tide. If you time your excursion correctly, you can hit both spots in one day. In fact, this is the best way to surf Cambutal, as each point break is powerful and short-lived, working best an hour before and after their respective tides.

For example, if low tide is in the morning you can drive to Cuatro-Secreto first, surf through low tide, then have lunch, rest, do some sight-seeing, and hit up Cuatro Once in time for high tide.

Or, if high tide is in the morning, go vice-versa: Start at Cuatro-Once, surf through high tide, then eat, rest, and get to Cuantro Secreto for low tide.

Want us to arrange the perfect surf trip in & around Playa Venao?

Our ridiculously cool team at Shokogi Surf School will take you right to the best spots and time the trip perfectly so you can get as much surfing in as possible. Just ask when you get to Selina Hostels in Playa Venao.


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