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Oasis Surf Camp
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Reviews (128)
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Reviewed March 23, 2012

This is a very cool spot right on the best beach! We camped one night and stayed in the rooms one night and it was totally fine. Find Rod for a surf lesson! The restaurant has the best Italian food and the portions are huge.

  • Stayed: February 2012, traveled with friends
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Thank Mandy858
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed February 16, 2012

If you are looking for some place out the way, this is the place for you. There is a cool little bar/restaurant directly across a little stream. The cabins seemed a little over priced during the off season, but still a cool place to stay. If you like to surf, this is a great little spot where you can always find a wave and room for you and your board on and off the water.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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Thank Dan R
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 13, 2012

Getting to Santa Catalina is a little tough, 5 hours from Panama City. The first 2+ hours is on a nice portion of the Panamerican Highway, the last on a construction site (as of Jan 2012). This turns out to be a plus, keeping a barrier up for whiny tourists.

Santa Catalina is a tiny surf/watersports village with 1.5 stores, no pharmacy, several restaurants and places to stay.

Oasis is the only spot we saw which is actually on the beach, and you have to cross a river on foot or in a 4x4 to get to it. Its got ~10 bungalows under the trees on a long and wide beach break next to a small river that comes out of the jungle. The bungalows are simple, comfortable enough for 15-20 USD/person/night. Decent beds, ceiling fans, hot water, clean sheets. At high tide, you sleep 15-20m from the break, with a steady breeze and sound of the waves coming through the windows. They also have tents available with air mattresses and clean sheets.

The family that runs the place is nice and accommodating, as long as you understand that its a surf camp, not an Intercontinental. If you get snotty, they'll politely ignore you.

The food was surprisingly good, seafood and pasta, langustina and clam spaghetti (al dente) was very good and reasonably priced. Decent breakfast too.

Since the place is remote, expect them to not have everything you want all the time. In fact, in the village, they often have nothing at all - except eggs, beer and rum. Bring what you think you will need, including medications. They have trucks that come through 1-2 times a week with fruits and vegetables, make sure to get a supply if you see something you like. The closest real store is an hour away. Otherwise, go local and eat what's in the menu for 5-10 USD per meal.

BTW, the local Abuelo rum is highly recommended. Buy it at the liquor store/bar just off the main intersection. 10usd/liter there, 7usd in the city. The locals like to get smashed in the evening, so if you need to get something done, get it done before dark.

The surf was tiny, 1-3ft. But if you are there to surf, ask around for the good spots.

The atmosphere around the camp was a little lame, everybody was too worried about impressing each other on how cool they were, how YOU are the tourist and they are somebody else. Few hellos and smiles. Maybe we were unlucky.

We made our own party, enjoyed it thoroughly.

One other place worth checking out - Rancho Estero, a bit more comfort and a bit more adult. Amazing ocean view and great owners.

  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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1  Thank archikyiv
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 12, 2012

My girlfriend and I stayed at Oasis in early January for two nights. It is absolutely gorgeous there. surf breaks were quite small, but ideal for beginners. The owner was very friendly and accommodating (he drove us into town to meet the bus upon departure) and the Italian cuisine was delicious enough to drown out the whining child. The only draw back was the lack of drinking water, they had small water bottles for sale. They didn't have an eco-filter to purify the tap water, and no one in town sells water. Our second day there, the bottled water delivery arrived with larger bottles, but I prefer to make less waste and they should too if their going to operate a business in a remote setting. Travelers and hotel operators have a responsibility to be green-minded and limit their footprint even if the local population doesn't.

Room Tip: we opted for no AC and used the fan instead. It saved us $10 a night and we slept great.
  • Stayed: January 2012, traveled as a couple
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Thank denis m
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Reviewed January 9, 2012

Lost reservation, no water, no electricity, hot water burning skin from body. Restaurant had almost nothing on the menu. Allowed cars with 20 loud speakers to park next to cabanas for a few extra bucks - blasting til 4 AM. Way to expensive for the value. Felt like a hostel at $12 but priced at $55.

The Italian, the Bartoletti's I think, family running it was very rude and lazy. Happy to be out of there. Will not come back, EVER.

  • Stayed: November 2011, traveled solo
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Thank eddie45678
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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