Playa Venao, a dreamy beach town located on the Pacific Ocean of the Azuero Peninsula in Panama, is attracting some of the world’s finest electronic music DJs. 

Playa Venao is not only making a name for itself as a world-class surfing destination but is also home to several boutique electronic music festivals taking place throughout the year. These festivals attract a mix of local Panamanians, expats, and travelers looking to disconnect and enjoy electronic music in a tropical setting. Here’s what you can’t miss in 2019.


Sonica Venao Festival

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Sonica Venao is an international music festival held every March in various locations around Playa Venao. Events happen on the beach, inside the Positive Reactor – a pyramid-like art installation – and the breathtaking rolling hills overlooking the bay.

The single-stage focus is perfectly coordinated with the rhythms of nature, in order to allow experiencing the magic of the setting sun, dancing in the moonlight, and enjoying the beautiful rise of the new day.

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It is an event where international musicians, artists, surfers, and fun lovers join forces with local talents to create a week-long celebration of life. The event is a cooperation between the internationally renown Ibiza Sonica Radio and homegrown Radio Venao. This collaboration attracts an audience from various locations all over the world, both in person as well as through live event broadcasting.

Sonica Venao welcomes artists like Bedouin, Nico Stojan, Behrouz, Valentin Huedo and Yokoo, just to name a few. 

The next Sonica Venao Festival is happening March 19-24, 2019 and is the event you don’t want to miss out on. For complete details on how to buy tickets, how to arrive, and where to stay – visit sonicavenao.com.


Radio Venao Gathering Events

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Born from the need to fill the gap left by the magic of Sonica Venao, Radio Venao Gatherings are smaller, yet equally satisfying for underground electronic music lovers. Held twice a year in El Sitio Hotel, around June and November, the events give a unique opportunity to discover latest releases in deep and melodic house introduced by international headliners, which have included the likes of Kora, Goldcap, Gab Rhome and others. 

Stay tuned for the latest Radio Venao gatherings by visiting facebook.com/radiovenao.


Holiday Weekends

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Whenever you happen to visit Playa Venao during New Year, Carnaval, Labor Day or National Holidays (view complete holidays here), you can be sure that either El Sitio, the Selina Hostel – or most likely both, will have hours of top quality music in-store for you. From downtempo enchanted sunsets, deep house sounds to more dynamic tech-house beats – Playa Venao never disappoints anyone looking for “diversion”.


Where To Stay In Playa Venao

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El Sitio: El Sitio de Playa Venao has a rustic design with modern style with an iconic lighthouse suite that overlooks the ocean. The hotel features a pool, restaurant, and an on-site surf shop that offers surfboard rentals and surfing lessons. They are also famous for hosting amazing house music parties throughout the year.

Selina: Selina is a recently opened hostel chain in Panama that has made staying in a hostel the best experience ever. They have locations in Playa Venao, Pedasi, Bocas del Toro and Casco Viejo and offer transportation between locations so you can easily hop from one to the other. Their oceanfront location at Playa Venao has 19 unique rooms and offers a variety of activities such as surf & SUP lessons to board rentals, adventure tours, yoga classes, outdoor pool, restaurant and bar, and a thriving nightlife scene.

Beach Break Hotel: Beach Break Hotel caters to people looking to learn to surf at their camp or for experienced surfers needing a board rental. The property is right on the beach and features an outdoor swimming pool, beachfront bar, and tons of hammocks to lounge around in. Besides a great variety of hotel rooms, they also have a dorm option for people looking to stay somewhere nice on a budget.

Eco Venao: Eco Venao Lodge is the ideal getaway for eco-lovers! It’s a little bit farther from the beach but the benefit is that you are surrounded by nature, wildlife, and a beautiful waterfall hike. They have rooms for travelers on any budget that range from shared dorms to huge private villas.

Joanna Szumin
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