Santa Catalina Panama
The delight of the international surfing community is located on the Pacific Coast of Panama; and until fairly recently was a very well kept secret. It was only in the 1970s that Santa Catalina was really discovered as the surfing hotspot it is today – subsequent development of the area has not overtaken the beauty and ambience of this venue.
Santa Catalina was predominantly a fishing village, and the fishing boats are still around anchored at the end of the only road in this village, which ends at the actual beach. There are numerous camps and low cost hotels scattered about the area with a few local restaurants. The area has a wonderful tropical climate and ranges between 30 to 34 degrees Celsius throughout the year. The location of Santa Catalina makes it the closest access point to Isla Coiba, which offers the snorkel and scuba diving fraternity an unforgettable treat. The sports fisherman has access to the Pacific Oceans bounty with plenty of opportunity of deep sea fishing from this and surrounding beaches.
The two most famous beaches at Santa Catalina is the Playa Santa Catalina and the Playa Estero. There are beautiful islands close to this area that can be easily accessed by boat, these islands include Coiba, Cabaco, Cativo, Octavia and Pelonas. The largest being Coiba with the Coiba National Park, which was left undisturbed due to being used as a penal colony, which has subsequently closed down. There are many varieties of birds, wildlife and flora that are considered endemic to this island, which has resulted in UNESCO declaring the region a World Heritage Site in July of 2005. This national park encompasses 37 other surrounding islands and is a definite must for any tourist.
Santa Catalina still offers a rare undeveloped region to explore in Panama, and the vivid blue of the Pacific ocean crashing against the rugged shores of this area, everybody is bound to view and experience an incredible journey.