Header Notice

Winter is here! Check out the winter wonderlands at these 5 amazing winter destinations in Montana

10 Awesome Things To Do In Santa Catalina, Panama


Modified: December 28, 2023

by Abigail Vickers


Santa Catalina, located in the idyllic country of Panama, is a hidden gem waiting to be explored. Nestled along the stunning Pacific coast, this charming town offers a myriad of activities and experiences that are sure to captivate any traveler’s heart. From its pristine beaches and world-class surfing spots to its abundant marine life and breathtaking natural beauty, there are countless reasons why Santa Catalina should be on every adventurer’s bucket list. Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-pumping water sports, tranquil moments surrounded by nature, or delicious local cuisine, there’s something for everyone in this coastal paradise. In this article, we will uncover 10 awesome things to do in Santa Catalina, Panama, ensuring that your visit to this enchanting destination is nothing short of extraordinary.

Surf the Legendary Waves

Santa Catalina is renowned for its world-class surfing conditions, attracting wave enthusiasts from all over the globe. Whether you are a seasoned pro or a beginner looking to catch your first wave, the pristine beaches offer consistent swells that guarantee an exhilarating ride. With several surf schools and experienced instructors available, you can learn the art of riding the waves while soaking in the breathtaking coastal scenery.

Explore Coiba National Park

Embark on an unforgettable journey to Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site located just off the coast of Santa Catalina. This stunning archipelago comprises 38 islands, featuring diverse marine life, vibrant coral reefs, and pristine white-sand beaches. Take a boat tour or go snorkeling to witness the beauty of this protected marine paradise, home to sea turtles, dolphins, rays, and an array of colorful tropical fish.

Dive into Underwater Wonderlands

Discover the vibrant underwater world of Santa Catalina by immersing yourself in memorable diving experiences. With its proximity to Coiba National Park, the area boasts a plethora of dive sites teeming with marine biodiversity. Swim alongside hammerhead sharks, humpback whales, and manta rays as you explore the rich coral formations and submerged volcanic rock formations that make this area a diver’s paradise.

Hike to the Enchanting Santa Catalina Waterfalls

Embark on a scenic hike through lush jungles and rugged terrains to reach the picturesque Santa Catalina Waterfalls. Immerse yourself in nature as you trek through the dense tropical foliage, listening to the symphony of birds and cascading water. Take a refreshing dip in the crystal-clear pools beneath the waterfalls, surrounded by the tranquility of the natural surroundings.

Indulge in Fresh Seafood Delights

Treat your taste buds to a culinary adventure by savoring the freshest seafood delights that Santa Catalina has to offer. From mouthwatering ceviche and grilled lobster to delectable shrimp dishes, the local restaurants and eateries take pride in serving up flavorsome dishes made from the daily catches of the local fishermen. Pair your meal with a cold, refreshing drink, and enjoy the ocean breeze as you dine with a view.

Experience the Thrill of Deep-Sea Fishing

For avid anglers, Santa Catalina is the perfect destination to embark on an exciting deep-sea fishing expedition. Charter a boat with experienced local guides and head out into the Pacific Ocean in search of trophy fish such as marlin, sailfish, tuna, and mahi-mahi. Feel the adrenaline rush as you battle with these powerful creatures of the sea, creating memories that will last a lifetime.

Go Snorkeling in Playa Estero

Explore the underwater beauty of Playa Estero, a stunning beach that is popular for its clear turquoise waters and vibrant marine life. Grab a snorkel and mask and dive into the calm waters, where you can admire colorful coral formations, tropical fish, and even spot sea turtles. The peaceful ambiance of Playa Estero makes it an ideal spot to relax, unwind, and connect with nature.

Embark on a Horseback Riding Adventure

Saddle up and embark on a thrilling horseback riding adventure through the scenic landscapes of Santa Catalina. Explore the rugged trails, meandering rivers, and stunning beaches as you enjoy the company of these magnificent creatures. Whether you are a seasoned rider or a beginner, there are horseback riding tours available for all levels of experience, offering a unique way to explore the beauty of Santa Catalina.

Witness Breathtaking Sunsets

As the day draws to a close, make your way to one of the stunning viewpoints in Santa Catalina to witness breathtaking sunsets. The vibrant colors painted across the sky create a mesmerizing backdrop, casting a golden glow over the landscape. Whether you choose to enjoy the sunset from the beach, a hilltop, or a rooftop bar, the experience is sure to leave you in awe of nature’s beauty.

Connect with Nature at Santa Catalina Wildlife Refuge

Visit the Santa Catalina Wildlife Refuge and immerse yourself in the incredible biodiversity of the region. Take a guided tour through the refuge and spot a variety of wildlife, including monkeys, sloths, iguanas, and an array of bird species. Learn about the importance of conservation and preservation efforts in this fragile ecosystem, and appreciate the wonders of nature up close.

Experience the beauty and adventure that await in Santa Catalina, Panama. Whether you are seeking thrilling water sports, serene natural landscapes, or cultural encounters, this hidden gem offers something for every traveler. Explore the “10 Awesome Things To Do In Santa Catalina, Panama” and create unforgettable memories in this tropical paradise.


In conclusion, Santa Catalina, Panama is a hidden gem that offers a myriad of exciting activities for travelers. From its stunning beaches and world-class surfing spots to its lush nature reserves and vibrant marine life, there is something for everyone in this tropical paradise. Whether you’re an adventure enthusiast looking to catch some big waves or a nature lover eager to explore the diverse ecosystem, Santa Catalina has it all.

With its laid-back atmosphere, friendly locals, and breathtaking scenery, Santa Catalina is an ideal destination for those seeking a unique and off-the-beaten-path experience. So, pack your bags, grab your surfboard, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure in Santa Catalina, Panama.


1. What are the best surfing spots in Santa Catalina?

Santa Catalina is renowned for its world-class surfing spots. Some of the best ones include La Punta, El Estero, and Playa Santa Catalina.

2. Are there any dive centers in Santa Catalina?

Yes, there are several dive centers in Santa Catalina that offer both beginner and advanced diving courses. You can explore the vibrant marine life and discover fascinating underwater landscapes.

3. Is Santa Catalina suitable for families?

Absolutely! Santa Catalina is a great destination for families. The calm beaches, surfing schools, and outdoor activities cater to all age groups. Kids can enjoy building sandcastles, while parents can relax and soak up the sun.

4. Are there hiking trails in Santa Catalina?

Yes, there are hiking trails in Santa Catalina that lead to beautiful viewpoints and hidden coves. You can explore the lush nature reserves and witness stunning panoramic views of the coastline.

5. How can I reach Santa Catalina?

You can reach Santa Catalina by taking a domestic flight to Enrique Malek International Airport in David and then traveling by road. Buses and private taxis are available from David to Santa Catalina.