It is a fishing village which existed in quiet seclusion until discovered by adventurous surfers in the 1970s. Protecting their hidden world-class surf, Santa Catalina was kept secret by the surfers for quite some time.<br />
Today, Santa Catalina offers a smattering of surf camps, low-cost hotels, and a few eating establishments. Still fairly secluded, the closest town with ATM, grocery, other basic services is Soná which is about an hour away.<br />
Literally a tropical paradise, Santa Catalina offers some of the best surf in Panama, the closest access point to Isla Coiba with its world-class diving, great local dives and fishing and quiet charm for relaxing. It's beautiful beaches, lush forest and friendly people make it a great stop for travelers wanting to enjoy some of the best of Panama's natural beauty and local flair on a minimal budget.