Venas Azules and Playa Blanca are two stunning places to visit within the Portobelo National Park in Colon. Venas Azules is an estuary which is on dry land but you need to go by boat from Portobelo or José del Pobre. The blue color of its name can really be seen from the sky with drone photos that show the beauty of the area. It is still beautiful from below, although it does not look so blue.
There are no waves in the area, making it a great place for snorkeling or swimming amongst the mangroves. However, swimming is not allowed since June 2021 since Panamanian authorities declared the mangrove to be a protective area. There are starfish and colorful reef fishes in the area. It is really quiet if there are no tourist boats. Boats are required to travel at minimum speed to protect the natural environment of the area. Isla del Padre is at the entrance of Venas Azules.
The tour of Venas Azules and Playa Blanca also includes a visit to Playa Blanca beach, not to be confused with the all inclusive Playa Blanca Resort. This beach is way prettier since it is one of the best beaches in the Caribbean Sea close to Panama City. It is possible to snorkel on this beach. Some people sell coconut water and food on the beach sometimes. It is also possible to purchase food in Portobelo to bring along the day tour. Another alternative to Playa Blanca is the Puerto Frances beach.
- Transfer from Panama City to Colon and return
- Snorkeling gear
- Boat tour
Available: year round.
Time: 10 hours.
What to bring? swimsuit, beach clothes, aqua shoes / flip flops, hat, sunscreen, towel, rain jacket or dry bag in the rainy season, change of clothes, and waterproof camera.
Important information: this tour requires a minimum of 2 passengers. Children under 6 years are age have no cost for this tour. It is best to visit Venas Azules and Playa Blanca during the week as there are less people in the area. Colon gets crowded on weekends with local people.
This tour does not include a full meal and beverages. So it is important for passengers to bring their own or buy in the area. Venas Azules and Playa Blanca are part of a national park so no pets are allowed. Alcoholic drinks and smoking are not permitted. It is forbidden to feed the fauna and it is not allowed to take fauna or flora from the area.