Traditions that have Traveled the World
A Peninsula that Combines Culture with Outdoor Activities that Make each Visit an Adventure Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the south and west, and the Gulf of Panama to the east, is the largest peninsula
A Peninsula that Combines Culture with Outdoor Activities that Make each Visit an Adventure
Surrounded by the Pacific Ocean to the south and west, and the Gulf of Panama to the east, is the largest peninsula in the Republic of Panama. It includes the provinces of Herrera and Los Santos and the southeastern part of Veraguas.
This journey, classified as the “heart” of the country, is where most of the popular traditions, customs and festivals are best preserved such as carnivals, the favorite celebration of most Panamanians.
The Azuero Peninsula shares a rich Pre-Columbian history as indigenous and Spanish. Its cities are still traced like the old colonial model with squares lined with 18th-century cathedrals, a church, government buildings, commercial premises, and houses with tile roofs Spanish style.
—Sun and Beaches—
To think of the waters on the Pacific Ocean is to think of the beaches of the Azuero Peninsula. Although this sector is more prone to dry weather, it enjoys popularity in the interior for having mysterious beaches hidden to most people..Some of them are calm for swimming, and there are cases such as Playa Venao (southeast corner of the peninsula), with high waves that make it an ideal destination for surfers and fans, as well as the Cambutal Beach in Tonosí.
If there is a district famous for its beaches, it is Pedasí, located throughout the tip of the Azuero Peninsula. Among its best known marine enclosures besides Playa Venao, are: El Arenal beach, El Toro, La Gaita, El Ciruelo, Los Destiladores, Los Panamaes, Guánico, to name a few. There are beaches that have nearby tourist facilities such as hotels, hostels, restaurants. Others are almost off the radar of the well-known beach route, but are visited by those who are well equipped for adventure.
Other tourist spots for snorkeling and diving are Isla Iguana (outside Pedasí), and Isla Cañas, further down the peninsula, the latter known for being an important point for the arrival and spawning of sea turtles in the Pacific.
This region is well called “The Cradle of Folklore.” The Spanish colonization introduced cultural expressions such as fairs, religious celebrations and carnivals. The Azuero Peninsula is a region whose best component is its humble and cheerful people.
In the religious aspect, the traditions that were rooted in combination with the daily activities of the locals are preserved. Among its main celebrations – besides Easter – are: Corpus Christi of the Villa de Los Santos and Parita, San Juan Bautista of Chitré and Santa Librada of Las Tablas.
Other cultural events include the Dance of Dirty Diablicos, Clean Diablicos, Del Torito Guapo, the Spanish Montezuma, the Parrampanes, the Dance of the Great Devil to highlight some, where Spanish beliefs and heritage are intertwined and attract new devotees. In addition, folk music and dance competitions, folk singing, parades of ox carts, craft parties among others are organized.
One of the main participatory folk events in Azuero, is Las Mil Polleras Parade in Las Tablas, province of Los Santos (January). Women dressed in Polleras (traditional dresses) from different regions of the country, go out to the main streets and walk along with their male companions dressed for the occasion.
Other manifestations that attract tourists are the Festival of Manito Ocueño, The Festival of La Pollera and the Festival of La Mejorana, where in addition to the exhibitions, there are open competitions to choose the best artists and the most beautiful typical galas in different categories.
The epicenter of these festivals is in this region, being the city of Las Tablas in Los Santos, the main reference of the country’s famous carnivals. In this encounter two streets are measured for five days: Calle Arriba and Calle Abajo. Both streets have a queen, a retinue of future queens that accompany her in allegorical cars, and a murga charged with entertaining the music that will accompany the tunes with lyrics loaded with “puyas” (provoking lirics) dedicated to the lle and carival queen.
In the city of Chitré the carnivals have gained more relevance, especially for their original “Pechugón” (first culeco on Friday at midnight). You can also go to the city of Los Santos, where another of its attractions are the puyas that are thrown from `Los Grillos´ (transports where friends go and the successor queen who leaves on Carnival Tuesday) or in Ocú in Herrera, where Carnivals are quieter.
—Things to do—
- Uncover the charms of Pedasí. A picturesque little town in the Azuero Peninsula, with tiled floors and Spanish colonial architecture. One of the best ways to discover it is by bicycle, cycling from the town center all the way to neighbouring villages.
- Take a boat to Isla Iguana. At Only 8 kilometers off the coast of Pedasí, with turquoise water, white sand beaches, mangroves and an exciting underwater life to discover on a snorkeling tour.
- Beach hop by the Pacific. The Azuero Peninsula is surrounded by beaches that are great for both surfing and relaxing. Some of the best ones are the long golden-sand beach of Playa del Toro, Playa El Lagarto, famous for its fantastic body boarding breaks and Playa Arenal.
- Explore the natural marvels of Cambutal Beach
- Surrounded by one of the peninsula’s few coastal forests, is perfect for surfing, kayaking, horseback riding and to see baby turtles.
- Spend a Day in Chitre. The Capital City of Herrera Province, known for its beautiful plazas, churches, parks, bakeries, and for the Herrera Museum, an anthropology museum.
- Celebrate Carnival in Las Tablas. The most awaited celebration, the biggest party of the year. With an explosion of colours, costumes, and four days of non-stop parades, that brings together people from all walks of life and ethnic groups.
- 太平洋海滩之旅：阿苏艾罗半岛（Azuero）被许多海滩环绕着，这些海滩都是冲浪和放松心情的理想地点。金色海沙沙滩大部分都是最好的沙滩，例如Toro海滩、El Lagarto海滩（以奇异的海浪而闻名，最适合冲浪人士）以及Arenal海滩。
- Las Tablas市狂欢节