Quick Facts

Camp opening Year-round
Suitable for Solotravelers, Couples, Students,
Water temperature 25–30°C
Additional offers WiFi, waves on your doorstep, snorkeling

Overview

Surfing, relaxing, snorkelling, diving, boat ingesting and much more – the formerly small fishing village of Santa Catalina on Panama’s Pacific coast has become a popular holiday destination for surfers and divers over the past few years. The perfect wave can be found for both new surfers and absolute pros. If you want to explore a breathtaking underwater world for a change, you can go on a snorkelling or diving trip to Coiba Island, a nature reserve that is about an hour away by boat.

In Santa Catalina itself there are two small supermarkets, some local restaurants and various internationally oriented restaurants: be it Italian pizza, Spanish tapas or Argentinian grilled meat. The nightlife is limited to a few small bars for a cozy sunset drink.

4 REASONS FOR A SUDDEN RUSH SURF TRIP TO SANTA CATALINA:

  1. Cheap accommodation directly on the sea and with a view of the waves
  2. Surf spots for all levels, with “La Punta” even one of the best waves in Latin America!
  3. Optimal coaching/guiding thanks to private 1:1 lessons
  4. Relaxed surfer village, surrounded by a paradisiacal flora & fauna

Accommodation

Santa Catalina Surfcamp is located right in front of the beach break on Playa Estero beach. The perfect location to keep a good eye on the waves. The camp has 4 lovingly furnished bamboo huts, including double bed huts and shared cabins, all with shared bathrooms and a self-catering kitchen. For an extra charge, accommodation is also possible in a bamboo hut with private kitchen and private bathroom or in a comfortable wooden hut with private bathroom. Otherwise, there is a large common area in the camp with free WiFi, a sun deck with perfect views and cozy hammocks everywhere. There is enough space to relax and watch waves. Breakfast is included in the package price, for the rest of the day, you can either eat yourself in the communal kitchen or visit one of the restaurants in the immediate vicinity.

Surf

Depending on the level of surfing, there are different surf spots in Santa Catalina – there is something for everyone: from absolute newcomers to advanced surfers. Beginners and only some experienced surfers are in good hands at the Beachbreak “Playa Estero”. Advanced surfers will find an excellent wave with a world-class level at the Reefbreak “La Punta”. The course packages are determined according to the level at which the courses or the guiding are held.

From the surf camp, the beach break is always in sight and is only a few steps away. The access point to the Reefbreak can be reached on foot in a few minutes. Surfing season is in Santa Catalina all year round. In addition, the water temperatures are always warm enough to surf without a wetsuit.

Prices

Santa Catalina Surf Camp’s package includes beginner and advanced surf lessons, surf guiding and free surf packages, each with accommodation including breakfast. The surf course packages also include the surf equipment in the price. The courses and guiding are held in English or Spanish. During the entire stay, the Surfcamp team will be happy to provide advice and assistance.

Surf course package
The surf course packages are suitable for beginners who want to surf their first waves, or surfers with a little experience who want to improve their skills under professional instruction. The package price includes 7 nights including breakfast, 4 surf lessons of 2 hours, surfboards during the stay (6 days).

Surf Course Package | Prices per person per week
Double-bed caba'a for 2 people (for larger groups there are also multi-bed cabanas available)
Holiday home with private bathroom and kitchen or wooden hut with private bathroom (min. 2 people)
Double-bed caba'a for 2 people (for larger groups there are also multi-bed cabanas available)
CHF 735
EUR 652
Surf course package for solo travellers with private single surfing course | Prices per person per week
Private Caba'a with a double bed
Accommodation in the multi-bed Cabana (with 3 beds)
Private Caba'a with a double bed
CHF 940
EUR 832

Surfguiding Package For all surfers who no longer need a course, but like to have a guide with them at the session, who will show them where the best waves are and give useful tips. The package includes 7 nights including breakfast, 4 surf sessions with a guide of 2 hours. The surfboard is not included in the price, but can be rented on site at the surf camp for extra cost.

Material rental The board rental costs USD 15 per day / USD 10 for 4 hours (payable on site).

Surfguiding Package for 2 or more people | Prices per person per week
Double-bed caba'a for 2 people (for larger groups there are also multi-bed cabanas available)
Holiday home with private bathroom and kitchen or wooden hut with private bathroom (min. 2 people)
Double-bed caba'a for 2 people (for larger groups there are also multi-bed cabanas available)
CHF 615
EUR 543
Surfguiding Package for Solo Travelers with Private Single Guiding | Prices per person per week
Private Caba'a with a double bed
Accommodation in the multi-bed Cabana (with 3 beds)
Private Caba'a with a double bed
CHF 820
EUR 724

Freesurf Package At Santa Catalina Surfcamp, packages without course or guidance can also be booked. The price includes 7 nights including breakfast. The surfboard is not included in the price, but can be rented on site at the surf camp for extra cost.

Material rental The board rental costs USD 15 per day / USD 10 for 4 hours (payable on site).

Freesurf Package | Prices per person per week
Double-bed caba'a for 2 people (for larger groups there are also multi-bed cabanas available)
Holiday home with private bathroom and kitchen or wooden hut with private bathroom (min. 2 people)
Double-bed caba'a for 2 people (for larger groups there are also multi-bed cabanas available)
CHF 395
EUR 351
Freesurf Package for Solo Travelers | Prices per person per week
Private Caba'a with a double bed
Accommodation in the multi-bed Cabana (with 3 beds)
Private Caba'a with a double bed
CHF 490
EUR 435

Arrival

Since most flights from Europe do not arrive until the afternoon at Tocumen Airport (PTY) in Panama City, it is recommended to stay one night in a hostel/hotel in the city. From the airport to the city, it is best to take a collective taxi (Colectivo) for USD 15 per person. Otherwise, there are many hotels in Panama City that offer an airport transfer. The next day we continue from the large Albrook bus station in the direction of Sono. The easiest way to do this is to take a direct bus to Sono (about 5 hours drive, price approx. USD 10). But it is also possible to drive first to Santiago and then from there to Sono. Daily buses depart from Sona to Santa Catalina: 5.30am, 8.40am (not on Sundays), 11.20am, 1.30pm and 2.40pm (not on Sundays) and 4.45pm (Sundays 4.30pm). The trip takes about 1.5 hours and costs about USD 5 and USD 1 for a surfboard.

Further information

Climate: There are only two seasons in Panama. The dry season is from mid/end of December to April , from May to December the rainy season takes place, the so-called “green time”. Both seasons have their charms. The dry season offers pure sunshine and almost never rain. The waves are rather small, but there are often perfectly formed waves due to the off-shore wind. The rainy season is usually not as bad as you imagine. It usually rains only late in the afternoon or at night. The rest of the day is rather looking sunny and beautiful. As a result, the landscape is particularly covered in a beautiful intense green. In addition, there are often swells with large waves during the rainy season. The air and water temperatures are above 25°C all year round. There is no need for wearing a wetsuit.
Flights: from 600 Euro e.g. with Condor, KLM (Amsterdam-Panama City direct), Airfrance, Delta-Airlines, Continental Airlines, Iberia
Boards: included in the course, board rental possible on site (15$/day)
Leisure activities: SUP, diving/snorkelling, horseback riding, fishing, boat trips, yoga, massages, table tennis, shopping trips to Santiago etc.
Health: Sunscreen with a high light protection factor, flashlight (power outages are not uncommon) and mosquito spray should definitely be in your luggage, malaria and yellow fever are only available on the Caribbean side
Best beginner months: all year
Best months for advanced skiers: Months March to January
Distance to the beach: 50 meters
Distance to next spot: 50 meters
Number/distance surrounding spots: approx. 3-4 spots / 50 meters to 1 kilometer
Distance/accessibility to the nearest city: Place with small supermarket about 1 kilometer / 15 minutes walk; next larger city with bank, supermarkets etc. about 65 kilometers / 1 hour by car or 1.5 hours by bus
Standard accommodation: Double bamboo hut or multi-bed bamboo hut (with shared bathrooms)
Upgrade accommodation: Wooden hut with private bathroom or bamboo hut with private bathroom and kitchen
Camp capacity: max. 28 people
Pool: No
Cooking facilities: Yes
Restaurants: Not in the camp, but right next door
Free WiFi/Internet Café: Yes
Instructor Ratio: max. 4 people per coach
Course Language: English, Spanish
Guided Tours: Yes
Airport transfer/airport: Extra charge / Panama City Tocumen Airport
Preferred day of arrival: Always
Meals: Breakfast
Rental car recommended: No
Special: Relaxed atmosphere, beautiful view, directly on the beach