In addition to surfing, scuba diving and fishing, Santa Catalina offers a world of other nature activities. There are numerous trails that lead to remote beaches and through the jungle that offer wildlife viewing andserene walks in nature. Most trails are unmarked and used by locals so asking the assistance of a local guide or having a portable gps unit is definitely a good idea.
Eco-tours of the area including day and overnight trips to Coiba Island are offered by a number of local businesses. One of the more interesting tours can be arranged by California transplant and owner of Casa Kenia, Javier Elizondo.
The newest addition to Santa Catalina is the team at Fluid Adventures Panama (FAP). Originally from Toronto Canada, these friendly Canuks offer a variety of activities including Guided Sea Kayak tours of Coiba (day trips, overnight trips and multi day expeditions) as well as Coastal Paddles in and around Santa Catalina. If you prefer to venture out on your own FAP will rent kayaks to experienced paddlers. They also offer Surf Lessons, Surf Board Rentals, Yoga Classes, and Thai Yoga Massage. Tours, Rentals and Activities can be arranged ahead of time online or just drop in on them at the FAP office down at the Santa Catalina Town Beach!
For birdwatchers, a large variety of birds inhabit the hills around Santa Catalina with flocks of parrots a regular sight.
Trips can also be arranged through local businesses to visit Coiba Island, which is the only remaining nesting site of the Scarlet Macaw in Panama. It also offers several species of birds found only on the island.
Santa Catalina is about an hour and a half drive South Southwest from Santiago. Whether you are coming from Panama City or David, you will travel through Santiago.
Santa Catalina is a five to six hour drive from Panama City's Tocumen International Airport and a four to five hour drive from David. The roads have recently been paved up to the edge of Santa Catalina, making 4 wheel drive no longer a requirement.
Using public transportation, buses can be ridden from Panama City or David to Santiago. In Santiago, change to the bus to Soná. In Soná, catch the Santa Catalina bus.
Visit our "Getting Here" page for more details.