Santa Catalina - Panama
Due to its secluded location, this area is normally empty on weekdays and you can enjoy having the place to yourselves. However, it can get busier on weekends with up to 30 surfers in the water.
Directions to Santa Catalina
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Santa Catalina is one of the best surfing beaches in Panama and one of the most consistent rock bottom point breaks in Central America.
This secluded beach is located in Veraguas province in Santa Catalina town, southwest of Santiago via the road to Sona. There are a few restaurants and low budget accommodations in this small fishing town. However, make sure to have cash with you because the closest ATM is in Sona (an hour away).
Santa Catalina is famous for its powerful waves that are rarely under four feet and can reach up to 20 feet. The tides on this beach fluctuate up to 18 feet with high and low tides creating a strong tidal push that surfers and swimmers should be aware of.
Santa Catalina is best to surf at medium to high tide but if the swell is over eight feet you will be able to surf right through the low tide. The break here is a centre peak with both right and left breaks, but experienced surfers will say that the right breaks are better.
Take a look at the video and virtual tour for some footage of the beach and the water.