Panama's Best Surf Break
Dec. 10, 2014, Playa Venao, Panama: A surfing expat community is taking hold in Playa Venao on Panama’s Azuero Peninsula.
Dear Live and Invest Overseas Reader,
If you made the journey all the way down to the bottom of Panama's Azuero Peninsula to visit Playa Venao seven or eight years ago, you wouldn't have found much. The occasional surf contest drew attention from around the country, and the occasional intrepid surfer from farther afield sought out Venao's famous beach break. Otherwise, this was about as remote an outpost in this country as you could imagine. Anyone who wanted to stay overnight at Venao camped on the beach or strung a hammock between two palm trees.
Today, Playa Venao is increasingly recognized as a top international surfing destination, and a small expat community has taken hold. Among the full-time residents is E.J. Gorman.
E.J. hails from Chicago. His mother worked for an airline, so every winter the family would escape the Chicago cold with trips to warmer climes. E.J. learned to love the tropics and the lifestyle that goes with them. Today, you'll find him in his office a few steps from the Venao surf...
What brought you to Panama in the first place?
My uncle invited me to come visit with him in 2004. I found Panama fascinating back then, full of opportunity but really nothing much happening yet. We were just beginning to hear about Panama in the press, but nobody knew much about the place.