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Visiting Santa Catalina, Panama – The Hidden Gem Of The Pacific Coast

Find out more about visiting Santa Catalina, Panama, including how to get there, where to stay and what there is to do.

How To Get To Santa Catalina, Panama

From Boquete, I travelled five hours by bus to Santa Catalina – a tiny beach town on the pacific coast of Panama. The town is home to around 300 residents, but is frequented by surfers and watersports lovers! The day I arrived was beautifully sunny, so we headed straight down to the beach. It was nothing like the beaches I had been to on the Caribbean coast. If anything, it reminded me of the huge stretches of beach in Cornwall or Devon. It was rough, a bit desolate and there was a lot of dark sand to cross to get anywhere near the water. Thankfully the water was warm and worth the effort!

Wanderlust Chloe Santa Catalina Beach Sun
Wanderlust Chloe Santa Catalina Beach Rock

Things To Do In Santa Catalina

The next day, it rained… and rained and rained. What do you do in Santa Catalina in the rain? Find a hammock under cover, pour a strong cup of coffee and get stuck into a good book. There really isn’t much else in this town to occupy your time. We had breakfast at the bakery in the centre which was delicious and the service was very friendly.

We were split between two accommodations, but spent most of our time at Sherlley Cabanas – a complex of colour-themed rooms with kitchenettes and hammocks. I loved the atmosphere here, and owner Shelley and her sidekick Ollie (who runs paddle-boarding lessons) made for great hosts. During a rare break from the rain, I managed a walk all the way along the beach, clambering over rocks and watching the waves crashing down. Crabs darted in front of me, frantically trying to get back to their holes in the sand before I got closer!

Wanderlust Chloe Santa Catalina Beach

Once night falls in Santa Catalina, it gets really really dark! The stars and moon are extra bright, but even brighter are the hundreds of fireflies that lined my walk through the town. The soundtrack of crickets and birds was heightened every now and then by a ‘bloo bloo’ sound made by the resident toads living in the grass. At least they seemed to be enjoying the wet weather!

Wanderlust Chloe Santa Catalina Toad

Wanderlust Chloe Santa Catalina Beach 2


With a passion for food, fun and adventure, Chloe is the content creator behind one of the UK's top travel blogs Wanderlust Chloe. From volcano boarding in Nicaragua, to sailing around Sicily and eating her way around Japan, her travels have taken her to some of the coolest spots on the planet. Named Travel Influencer of the Year in 2022, Chloe regularly works with a number of tourism boards, producing inspirational travel content across multiple platforms. Find out more about Chloe here.

2 thoughts on “Visiting Santa Catalina, Panama – The Hidden Gem Of The Pacific Coast”

  1. Hi there! I am planning a trip to Panama this year and love all your tips and pictures! Do you have any more tips you could share with me? My husband and i will be going for two weeks! Maybe you could email me?


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