We were in Santa Catalina for 3 days. Having witnessed heavy rain in the Caribbean side, Santa Catalina provided a welcome break. We lodged at Oasis, it's one of 2 hotels/ hostels by the sea. Other hotels are a lot inward so you have to walk 15 mins to get to the beach.
Santa Catalina is a surfers paradise, for sure. I had recently got my Scuba certification from Roatan, Honduras, and was told diving in Coiba National Park is a charm. We booked with Panama Dive Center. It was a 90 minute boat ride and we did 3 dives throughout the day. Maximum depth we went to was 81 feet. Throughout the day we saw sharks (about 30 of these), turtles swimming across, moray eagles, mantra rays and lots of marine life. Water was blue and crystal clear. We stopped for lunch at Coiba island and the beach is amazing- white sandy beach with blue water. Was a whole day trip, we set off at 8.30 and was back by 4pm. Definitely worth it and recommend it- although it is a bit pricey at $170 per person, but lunch, gear and transportation is included.
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