We took the bus to Albrook and from Albrook to Santiago then we changed bus again to Soná. The last bus drove from Soná to Santa Catalina. I cannot remember the exact prices, for sure the bus in panama city costs 0.25$ per ride (with the 3 in 1 bus card). As far as I remember in total maximum 20$. Finally we arrived in the centre of Santa Catalina if I am allowed to call it that way. We were really tired from the journey and we wanted to find quickly a place to stay. Suddenly we started to speak with a local guy and he told us that he has a hotel room for us three (with AC and private shower). Firstly, we were kind of sceptical but we gave it a try and he showed us his hotel. Anyway we took the room and the prices was not that bad (35$ per night for 3 persons). In the end we were happy that we didn’t have to walk a long distance to the next hostel or hotel.
Next day we went on a snorkelling trip next to the island de Coiba. For me it was really really astonishing because it was my very first snorkelling trip in the sea. We stopped at three snorkelling spots and the view was breath taking. Holy shit, anyway I saw a lot of sea creatures from sea turtle to manta ray, dolphins and last but not least a SHARK!!! For this segment I will post some photos from the nice view underwater. Because a picture is worth a thousand words. In total the snorkelling trip cost 50 or 55 $ plus 20$ for the fee on the island of Coiba. Included were a water bottle, a can of beer and a small lunch and of course the snorkelling gear (goggles, snorkel and the fins). For the guys I recommend to take a small snack and more water with you. Also I recommend you to try the fresh coconuts from the palm tree. Before we drove back to Santa Catalina we stopped on a bigger island and our captain organised a really long tool to harvest the coconuts. So he harvested for us fresh green coconuts. Hmmm that was delicious, really really fresh coconut milk. Also we took two coconuts with us for “cocoloco”, (coconut water, lemo and lemon). They called the fresh green coconut special and I cannot remember, maybe you know the name of it and can tell me the name of it.
In the evening we granted us a nice pizza from an Italian owner (La Panaderia Vieja). The pizza was delicious and the prices were around 10$. Next day we took our relaxing day and also changed the place. We went to the Jammin Hostel y Pizzeria. Yeah you read right, y Pizzeria, again J. On that night we ate another pizza. Anyway during the day we went to the other beach (next to the oasis surf camp). The beach was not that spectacular but if you are surfer I think you found your paradise. The beach does not provide shade and therefore not suitable for swimming and sunbathing. At this evening I tried my first time the cocoloco and it was really delicious. Rum, coconut milk, lemon. That was it. Ah wait and of course a straw.
After the night at the Jammin hotel we took the first bus in the morning 6:00 am to Soná. Our day goal was to reach the islands of Bocas del Toro. If you are interested in the Bocas del Toro part then click here.
Santa Catalina Facts:
Snorekling trip with gear and lunch around 50/55$ plus 20$ fee for the national park (Coiba), the house where we booked was on the main street to the beach. The house was yellow and on the left side of the road.
There are two pizzerias one at the beginning of Santa Catalina an the other a little bit in the “east”
La Panaderia Vieja good pizza
Jammin Pizzeria very good pizza, my inner Italian part recommends you this pizzeria also the gelateria was delicious.
Panama City to Santa Catalina is around 6 hours and 20$. You should go early because the last bus from Soná to Santa Catlina is around 2 pm or 3 pm.
American Hotel (above of the dream diving panama), three room with private shower with AC, 35$
Jammin Hostel 12$ ( as far as I remember) for a bed in a four dorm room