8 Festivities in Azuero to Visit

Those who want to visit Azuero, a peninsula made up of the provinces of Herrera, Los Santos and Veraguas, should take advantage of the celebrations and festivals that take place in the area. Traditionally, it is known as the cradle of Panamanian folklore. This area was populated by Spaniards who mixed with the natives, resulting in a combination of cultures and traditions that can be seen in many of the celebrations.

The Spaniards were very Catholic and religion is reflected in so many of the festivities of Azuero. The celebration of Carnival in Panama changes every year, being in the month of February or March, as it marks the beginning of Lent, which is 46 days before Easter. Corpus Christi is another religious holiday celebrated 60 days after Good Friday. The Festival of Santa Librada, patron saint of Las Tablas, is every July 19 to commemorate the founding of the capital of Los Santos.

We share with our visitors the list of the best parties and festivals in Azuero. In our list we only share the big events that happen every year. However, many towns have events such as bullfights, loose bull, junta de embarre (mud event to build houses), oxcart parades, carnivals and other cultural activities that are worth visiting. We suggest booking accommodation in advance, especially for Carnivals, since there is not many hotels in the area and everything fills up.


New Years

Azuero es uno de los mejores lugares para celebrar el Año Nuevo en Panamá. Playa Venao es la principal zona de fiesta. Hospédese en un para evitar manejar si va a estar tomando. Lugares como son los que hacen las fiestas más grandes con festivales con DJs que duran varios días. Hay muchos restaurantes donde se puede ir a comer antes de ir de rumba. Aquellos que buscan una opción más tranquila para celebrar el fin de año lo pueden hacer en Eco Venao o Villa Marina. En el pueblo de Pedasí hay celebraciones más tranquilas; un buen lugar para ir es el Hotel Carey.

Las Tablas y Chitré celebran sus fin de años en las plazas. Año Nuevo se ha vuelto como un segundo Carnaval pero más pequeño que esta fiesta épica, aunque cada año crece en tamaño y popularidad. Las reinas pasan por la plaza con sus carrozas y murgas sonando la música de las tunas. El cielo se llena de fuegos artificiales para despedir el año viejo. Al día siguiente hay mojadera para que las personas sigan la fiesta y se refresquen del sol del recién iniciado verano.

Azuero is one of the best places to celebrate the New Year in Panama. Playa Venao is the main party area. Stay in a hotel in Playa Venao to avoid driving if you will be drinking. Places like Selina Playa Venao and El Sitio de Playa Venao have the biggest parties with festivals with DJs that last several days. There are many restaurants in Playa Venao where you can go to eat before going partying. Those looking for a calmer option to celebrate the end of the year can do so at Eco Venao or Villa Marina. In the town of Pedasi there are quieter celebrations; a good place to go is the Carey Hotel.

Las Tablas and Chitre celebrate their end of years in the squares. New Year’s has become like a second Carnival but smaller than this epic festival, although each year it grows in size and popularity. Carnival queens pass through the square with their floats and murgas playing the music of the ‘tunas’. The sky is filled with fireworks to say goodbye to the old year. The next day there is a ‘mojadera’ (people get wet while dancing to music) to continue the party and cool off from the sun of the newly started summer.

Thousand Polleras

The Thousand Polleras Festival in Las Tablas is celebrated on the second Saturday of January. This festival started in 2013 and has grown in popularity. The streets of Las Tablas are filled to see the parade or to participate in it. It is not known exactly how many polleras fill the city, but it is estimated that more than 20 thousand. This typical Panamanian dress comes in several styles that can be seen. The men also dress in their typical costumes. It is a very family oriented celebration with more than 100 delegations. There are several food, drink and craft stalls within the framework of the Thousand Polleras Festival.


Azuero is the best place to celebrate Carnival in Panama. The Las Tablas Carnivals are the most famous, but they are also the most crowded. Getting a hotel in Las Tablas for Carnival requires months of advance notice. Chitre is a Carnival celebration that has been growing a lot due to having more space in the plaza. Those who want something quieter can go to the Carnival in Pedasi or Ocu. Other places to celebrate Carnival in Panama are Penonome, Aguadulce and Panama City.

The day before the start of the celebrations, the queens of the previous year are said goodbye in order to welcome the new queens. Each town is divided into two, with a queen from Calle Arriba (Up Street) and one from Calle Abajo (Down Street). Being Carnival queen is an honor for the woman and her family. Many of the queens become beauty pageant representatives or communicators. The queens are accompanied by their murgas and tunas with allegorical music.

Carnival days are hot, since it is summer, therefore participants must wear a swimsuit or clothing that can get wet for the famous culecos and mojaderas where tank cars spray participants with water. At the end, people usually rest to prepare for the night where the queen’s parades come out and then move on to the parties in the stage areas that are animated by national artists.

Holy Week

Panama is a very Catholic country where Holy Week is celebrated. Many people decide to come to the Azuero area to spend these days. During Lent it is customary to eat fish and there is no better place than our coasts. Fishing in Pedasi is considered one of the best in the world. Good Friday is a solemn day and it is believed that you should not go into the water, including the pool and beach, but you still see people spending the day sunbathing. This date is a day of national mourning where liquor is not sold, like January 9 and December 20.

The towns of Azuero are designed in the Spanish style with a central plaza that has its church. It is traditional to see processions (check the schedule with the local church) walking through the streets on Holy Thursday, Good Friday and Easter and Resurrection Sunday. Mass is also celebrated on those days, as is Palm Sunday before Holy Week where palms are blessed. Many restaurants in Pedasi and Playa Venao do family brunches on Easter Sunday where there are activities for children. Those who are not religious can take advantage of a few days of vacation in Azuero.

Corpus Christi

The Corpus Christi festival in Panama was recognized as Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO. It is celebrated 60 days after Good Friday. It is a beautiful celebration that is rarely visited by people who are not from the area. Corpus Christi has a calendar of events that you should review before planning your trip. The carpets made with colored sand are really beautiful and worth seeing. This holiday celebrates the fight between good and evil with dances of devils who search for souls and confront the archangel Gabriel who fights against the devil.

La Villa De los Santos and Parita are the two best places to see Corpus Christi in Panama. Visitors can stay in a hotel in Chitre or in a hotel in Las Tablas don’t have to drive as much. Those who want to combine their stay with the beach can stay in a hotel in Pedasi.

Santa Librada

The Patron Saint of Las Tablas is Saint Librada. This town was founded in 1671 by a group of Spaniards who were fleeing Panama City after being attacked by pirates. They were devoted to this saint and built her church, which was completed in 1725, in the plaza that is now known as Parque Porras. The patron saint days of Santa Librada are celebrated on July 19, 20 and 21 every year. The church is decorated so that devotees can pay tribute to Santa Librada. There are also masses and a procession.

National Pollera Day is celebrated on July 22, at the end of this festival. There are many folklore activities within the Santa Librada Festival. You can go to a typical music dance, see the Las Tablas Carnival queens, attend a bullfight, buy Panamanian food at fondas (local restaurants) or crafts or religious objects.

Mejorana Festival

The Mejorana Festival in Guarare began in 1949. This festival promotes Panamanian folklore and protects cultural traditions. Folk groups come from around the country to sing, parade and dance in the streets of this beautiful town of Los Santos. The ‘mejorana’ is a traditional Panamanian musical instrument, like a smaller guitar with five strings. Visitors can observe the Spanish influence in this celebration as there is a cart parade and a bullfight.

Visit the Mejorana Festival the last days of September, check for specific dates. There is a calendar of activities for the week. Those who want to go visit this festival should stay in a hotel in Pedasi or in a hotel in Las Tablas.

National Holidays (Fiestas Patrias)

The National Holidays (Fiestas Patrias) of Panama are celebrated on November 3, 4, 5, 10 and 28. It’s a bit confusing since Panama celebrates its independence from Spain and its separation from Colombia the same month. On November 3, the separation with Colombia is celebrated, while on the 5th was the separation in Colon, which was the last place where the Colombians remained. The national symbols and the flag are celebrated on November 4. While November 10 was the first cry for independence (of Spain) in La Villa of Los Santos, which is a special date for the Azuero area. And finally, on the 28th we became independent from Spain.

The entire interior of the country fills up during the first week of November. We recommend booking accommodation in advance. Most of the country holds patriotic day parades where you can see bands marching and playing music. People wearing typical costumes dance in the streets. It is a good time to enjoy typical Panamanian food in a local restaurant.

Comments are closed.