7 Days Tropical Surf Camp in Santa Catalina, Panama
Rancho Estero, Playa Estero, Santa Catalina, Veraguas, Panama
Secluded Panama Surf Camp
Instruction in English
Learn how to surf and stay in one of the charming cabins overlooking the amazing beach of Santa Catalina. Santa Catalina is the perfect spot to catch your first waves and advance your skills. With its beautiful black sand beaches and excellent surfing conditions, experience the fantastic ocean adventures! We do require a minimum of 2 persons per Booking to have a better experience!
You will stay at Rancho Estero that offers a series of 6 cabanas for you to enjoy all year round. Rancho Estero provides fresh water, electricity and free internet access. Each cabana has comfortable beds, clean sheets, pillows, fresh towels, and a tiki-tropical flavor you deserve when basking in this paradise. There is a central shared kitchen for your enjoyment. Rancho Estero also has a great patio area with hammocks and a wonderful deck overlooking the Pacific Ocean and Playa Estero. We require a minimum of 2 persons per room booking.
This surf camp will take place in Santa Catalina, Panama. Santa Catalina is located on the Chiriqui Gulf in the state of Veraguas. It is a fishing village which existed in seclusion until it's discovered by surfers in the 1970s. Santa Catalina was kept secret by the surfers for almost 10 years.
Santa Catalina offers a few surf camps, low cost hotels, and a few places that serve food. Still fairly secluded, the closest town with ATM, grocery, and other basic services is Soná, which is about an hour away by car.
A tropical paradise, Santa Catalina offers some of the best surfs in Central America. Santa Catalina is the closest access point to Isla Coiba, which is famous for world class and great local diving, fishing, or just for relaxing. Santa Catalina's beautiful beaches, tropical forest, and friendly people make it a great stop for all adventurers wanting to enjoy some of the best of Panama's natural beauty and local flora on any budget.
Please note that you can choose this package either with no meals included, with daily breakfast included or with daily breakfast and lunch included. The prices vary for each package.
Things to do (optional)
Besides surfing, there are a lot of other activities available: snorkeling or diving tours to the national park Coiba, yoga, SUP tours, horseback riding, and more.
4 full-day surf board rentals
4 surf lessons of one hour and a half per day
6 nights accommodation for 2 persons
Experienced surf teachers
How to get there
Driving directions from Panama City
From Panama City, you will head to Santiago first. Panama City to Santiago is a pretty easy drive in the Highway 1, known as the Pan American Highway.
The hardest part of the trip is finding the turn for Soná. It involves several turns through Santiago. The first turn is to the left, just before a gas station about half way through the town on to Avenida Central.
Avenida Central will take you through the main shopping area and run directly into the big white Cathedral.
At the Cathedral, turn right and immediately back to the left, following the side street of the Cathedral.
In one block (at the back of the Cathedral), turn right.
Continue for 2 more blocks and turn left where a small sign points to Soná.
The road to Soná is a two lane highway and is bumpier than the Pan American Highway, but in decent condition. Usually, it takes about 45 minutes.
Shortly before entering Soná, there is an intersection with a gas station on the corner and a large number of signs. The gas station is where you turn left.
This puts you on the road to Santa Catalina. If you need money, bottled water, gas, food, or supplies, you should stop here or drive short into Soná because here, you will have what you need to bring to Santa Catalina.
About half way to Santa Catalina, you will make a left turn at a well-marked intersection.
From Soná to Santa Catalina will take you about one hour.
Once you are in the downtown of Santa Catalina, there is only one main intersection where you turn left and follow the road for roughly 3 minutes, then you will see the entrance of Rancho Estero on the right side.
Arrival by bus
From the Albrook bus terminal in Panama City you can take a direct bus to Soná (or one to Santiago and from there to Soná). If you leave early in the morning (around 8 a.m.), you will arrive in time for the afternoon bus to Santa Catalina that leaves at 1:35 p.m. from Sona. The last bus leaves at 4:45 p.m. (but sometimes it leaves early if it is full already). From Soná there are 6 buses a day: 5:30 a.m., 8:40 a.m. (not on Sundays), 11:20 a.m., 1:35 p.m., 2:40 p.m. (not on Sundays), and 4:45 p.m. (on Sundays, it leaves at 4:30 p.m.). But, you can also take a taxi from Soná to Santa Catalina (around 40 USD).
A reservation requires a deposit of 50% of the total price.
The deposit is non-refundable, if the booking is cancelled.
The rest of the payment should be paid on arrival.