About Us

Tortugas Playa Venao, AKA Save The Turtles Playa Venao, is a Non-Profit (OBC -Organización con Base Comunitaria = Community Based Organization) registered in the Regional Offices of MIAMBIENTE in Las Tablas as “Tortugas Playa Venao” dedicated to helping revitalization, increasing the survival rate, and conservation of marine turtles – mostly Olive Ridleys (Lepidochelys olivacea). We achieve our results by developing community programs and outreach activities, involving local & international volunteers, in an effort to raise awareness of sea turtle conservation in Playa Venao, Panama and around the world.

Sea turtles play a key role in the marine ecosystem at global level, especially because some species exhibit a migratory pattern traversing the national boundaries of many countries. But, they are facing threats including: poachers, natural predators, pathogens, unsustainable coastal development, and climatic change. Worldwide low numbers indicate these species will not survive unless efforts are put in place to conserve the marine ecosystems, especially those considered as key habitats. It is our duty as guardians of nature to make a change and protect nature so that animals, plants and humankind may all live in harmony.

Tortugas Playa Venao was founded by Scott Crystal  at the end of 2020 with the aim to protect one of Panama’s most vital nesting sites for the Olive Ridley Sea Turtles. Over time, a group of local and international volunteers developed. We are committed to the care and conservation of sea turtles through protection initiatives, public education, and regenerative tourism. Over the past two years, we built three nurseries with over 300 nests relocated for a better chance to live. Ultimately, our dream is to increase the survival rate for these majestic creatures and ensure their return to this beach for all the years to come.

Take Action

Get Involved

Although sea turtle nesting is seasonal, our work with conservation, education, and community outreach is year-round. Click below to see ways you can get involved!




Visit Us

Getting Here

By Car

Playa Venao is about a 4.5 hour drive from Panama City. If you’re flying into Panama City’s Tocumen Airport you can rent a car for an easy drive. The closest major town is Pedasi. In Pedasi you can rent a car from AutosPanama.net +507-6662-4418

By Shuttle

Take Beach Break Shuttle from Panama City or or the airport and relax on the trip. Book your ride in advance by contacting ShuttleBeachBreak.com or +507-6927-9611

By Bus

Take a $10 bus from Panama City to Las Tablas from the Albrook bus terminal. The bus trip should take about 4.5 hours. In Las Tablas, either catch the 1:30PM bus to Playa Venao or take a taxi for $35-40.