One of the questions I get asked all the time by guests staying here at Sol y Mar is which beach they should go to.This post will hopefully tell you all you need to know about the two beautiful beaches we have here at Santa Catalina.They are the village or Santa Catalina beach and the Estero beach
on this post will talk about the village beach,my next one will be about the Estero beach
Santa Catalina Beach is the one right at the village,its the closest to Hotel Sol y Mar,the dive shops,etc.
When you arrive to Santa Catalina and if you drive all the way down the main street,the road will end at the village or Santa Catalina beach,where if you look straight ahead you will be able to see the small Santa Catalina Island,just a short boat ride away(any local fisherman will cross you and your group and drop you off at this beautiful island for about $20 both ways,its a white sand beach and there is no one there).The village beach is,as most Beaches on the Pacific coast of Panama, a black sand beach(of volcanic origin).At first,when you get there,doesn´t seem like much,specially if the tide is high,but look again:to the left,in the distance see the famous Santa Catalina surfing point,and past it the islands Cébaco and Gobernadora.To the right,the half hidden river mouth where most fishermen keep their boats.To see this river mouth you will actually have to walk the beach as a rocky point hides the river from being seen from the road.Once you do this you will see that the village beach is much nicer then you thought at first sight,as right past the river it gets bigger,and a coconut grove that you don´t see from the road either makes it look like the tropical paradise as you imagined it.
If you are getting on a tour to Coiba or getting on a boat to go fishing,surfing,diving or snorkeling ,all the boats leave from the village beach,or if you want to see what the fishermen caught that day this is the place where you should hang out.The kids learn how to surf here,the teenagers play soccer on this beach at low tide and you can watch it all having a meal or a drink at Pinguinos cafe,a thatched roof joint right on the beach that serves good pastas,fish and sea-food straight from the ocean.Whole local families will come to this beach in the afternoons to watch the activity or chat a bit with the neighbours while the kids play in sand and surf.The waves here are usually smaller then any other beach in the area so its a safe,relaxed beach for kids
one way or another,when you visit Santa Catalina you will come to the village beach and succumb to its charm
on my next post,Estero beach