Las Tablas is the capital of the Panamanian province of Los Santos, as well as a district. Located on the Azuero peninsula a few kilometers from Pacific Ocean beaches and 3.5 hours from Panama City, Las Tablas is the cradle of Panamanian folk culture, from traditional dress, dance, music, food, Spanish architecture, festivals and more. This interior region of the country, referred to as el interior, is also famous for its´ friendly and welcoming people, slower-paced lifestyle and exceptional weather.
The heart of Carnival tradition, the four-day celebration before Ash Wednesday celebrated each year in Panama, is lived out both day and night in Las Tablas through parades, music, street food, fireworks, concerts, contests, decorations and more. Most emblematic of Panamanian culture, the nighttime activities include parades of Panama’s national dance and dress, including the pollera, a coming-of-age dress for Panamanian women embroidered on finely woven fabric with brightly colored designs. Artisans from the region, specifically from Las Tablas and Los Santos region, can spend over a year to complete a pollera. Parade participants and audience join in to dance and sing to the region’s music, called típico, a mix of indigenous, Spanish and African tones that form a strong part of the culture of el interior.
The Church of la Santa Librada in this capital town’s main square is also a main attraction. A patron saint of Las Tablas, a pilgrimage is made in her honor every year in July. Annually on July 22, there is a festival held to commemorate the prized pollera called Festival Nacional de la Pollera, a contest of music, dance and merriment to highlight the most beautiful polleras in the country.