Things to do in Santa Catalina
Diving and Snorkeling
Diving in the waters of the Gulf of Chiriqui or in Coiba National Park, located just an hour away from Santa Catalina by boat, can only be described as spectacular and is often compared to diving in the Galapagos Islands. Encounters with whitetip reef sharks and a variety of rays and turtles is quite normal, as is swimming with schools of sturgeon, butterflyfish, angelfish, barracudas, Pacific spadefish, jacks and tuna. Also, sightings of humpback and pilot whales, orcas, dolphins and whale sharks are possible at certain times of the year. Even those guests interested in staying at the surface of our pristine waters with snorkel gear will be privy to the incredible underwater wildlife. Our preferred provider of SCUBA diving and snorkeling located close to the beach in downtown Santa Catalina. Check out their website here!
Kept secret for years by Panama’s surfing elite, Santa Catalina was introduced to the world in 2010 as that year´s location for the ISA World Masters Surfing Championship. With warm water all year round and a consistent and very powerful surf break, these waves will not disappoint. Playa Estero, located a short walk from Santa Catalina Inn, is a perfect ¨beginners’ beach¨ for those interested in surfing lessons and don´t worry about bringing your board; we have plenty for rent!
Fishing near Santa Catalina is unrivaled both in abundance and by the quality of the catch. Variety ranges from bottom fishing reef-dwellers such as snapper and grouper to trolling for deep water species such as world record marlin, roosterfish and sailfish. Also available is spearfishing, a local favorite!
Santa Catalina is one of Panama´s very few villages located directly on a sandy beach. In a country where ¨hammocking¨ is a sport, visitors can spend their days relaxing with a good book on the beach or enjoying the breeze from a hammock.
A large variety of birds inhabit the hills around Santa Catalina with flocks of parrots being a regular sight, making the area a birdwatcher´s delight. Coiba Island is Panama´s only remaining nesting site of the Scarlet Macaw and many other species of birds can be found on the island, such as the crested eagle. Also to be seen are agouti, possum, howler monkeys, white-headed capuchin monkeys, loggerhead turtles, crocodiles and much more.
Try yoga on the beach or in a studio amidst the tree-tops just minutes from your room at Santa Catalina Inn.
Choose from many water sports, such as water skiing, wakeboarding, sailing, river-rafting and sea kayaking.
Ride through our quaint fishing village and up and down our beautiful beaches on well-trained trail-horses. Imagine getting back to nature during a sunset ride with a backdrop of the islands in the Gulf of Chiriqui.
Bicycle rentals are available for your cruising pleasure. Ride around town and take in the views of Santa Catalina from atop two wheels.