Villa Coco


Encounter the Splendor of Humpback Whales on Coiba Island, Panama!

They arrived! Prepare for an extraordinary adventure on Coiba Island, Panama, where the annual arrival of humpback whales offers a spectacle! These gentle giants migrate thousands of miles from the cold waters of the Antarctic to the warm waters of Coiba to give birth and raise their young.

As you set sail on your whale-watching expedition, keep your eyes peeled for the acrobatics of these majestic creatures. Witness their remarkable breaches, where they leap out of the water before crashing back into the deep waters.

Coiba Island’s crystal-clear waters provide the ideal backdrop for this mesmerizing encounter. Whether you’re an adventure seeker or a nature enthusiast, this is an experience you’ll treasure forever.

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of this incredible journey, connecting with nature in its purest form. Secure your spot at our hotel now and embark on an unforgettable whale-watching expedition on Coiba Island!

What to do in Santa Catalina?

10 Exciting Activities to Experience in Santa Catalina, Panama!

Nestled along Panama’s stunning coastline, Santa Catalina is a paradise waiting to be explored. Here are 10 fantastic activities that will make your stay unforgettable:

  1. Surfing: Catch some waves on world-class breaks at Playa Estero. Perfect for both beginners and experienced surfers. You can also take a lesson from one of the local surfers and get tumbled around in salt water like in a washing machine. If you’re more advanced, take your board to La Punta, one of Central America’s most famous waves, and enjoy the clean and strong wave with other athletes.
  2. Coiba Island: Embark on a boat adventure to Coiba National Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site. Snorkel, dive and discover vibrant marine life. You will see turtles, sharks, mantas, crocodiles, dolphins, and a million colorful fish and corals. The beaches and water could be confused by the Caribbean!
  3. Whale Watching: Witness the awe-inspiring migration of humpback whales (July to October) or whale sharks (December to March) as they make their way to these warm waters. This memory will last you forever…
  4. Santa Catalina Island: Take a Kayak or SUP to “La Islita”, a little island with pristine clear water, white beaches, coconuts, shells, and a little hiking trail that leads to a view of the wide Pacific Ocean. The island lies just in front of the Town Beach, reachable within 30 mins of paddling, making it a perfect half day trip.
  5. Hiking and Beach Hunting: Hike to Punta Brava, a little secluded beach with some nice left and right waves. The trail starts at the far left of the town beach and takes you about one hour to go and come back. Hike to La Coquita, the beach just after Playa Estero, and get mesmerized by the wide stretch that reflects all the colors of the sky. The best time to go is low tide as you need to cross some rocks. Punta Brava is the rocky beach right after La Coquita, perfect to catch some waves all alone or hunt some natural pools during low tide.
  6. Beach Relaxation: Lounge on Playa Estero, soak up the sun, and relish the tranquil vibes while watching surfers catch some waves. The water cools you down when taking a dip and hopping some waves or, cool down with a beer or juice from Oasis Beach Bar. You might see some locals playing soccer or volleyball, and they are always happy to welcome more players to their game!
  7. Local Cuisine: Savor fresh seafood and local delicacies at local restaurants, such as Ai Mamita for a delicate filet of the catch of the day, a typical local dish in a Fonda in town, or some seafood pasta in Chillin Guito.
  8. Horseback Riding: Gallop along the shoreline on horseback for an authentic experience.
  9. Party: Try the local beer “Balboa” or how the locals say “Un rojo” and socialize with other tourists or the local community. Every Saturday there’s a Party and Wednesday a Karaoke in Oasis Beach Bar, or try some of the other bars in town.
  10. Explore the taste of Panama: Head down to the Fruteria in town and buy some local and seasonal fruits and vegetables. Some you might have never tasted! You can try to make Patacones with some green plantain bananas or experiment with Yuca, one of the basic carbs locals use in their kitchen.
Santa Catalina offers an array of unforgettable experiences for every traveler. Find our activities for more information here. Book your stay with us and embark on a journey of adventure, relaxation, and natural beauty!

Where to Eat in Santa Catalina Panama

These are our favorite places to eat or drink in Santa Catalina!

1. Ai Mamita

Step into the culinary haven of Ai Mamita, our in-house Panamanian restaurant. Our chefs take great pride in creating dishes emphasizing the best locally sourced and fresh ingredients. Prepare to be delighted by our elevated gastronomic journey with a daily-changing dinner menu that showcases the local vegetables and fruits of each season with the freshest catches from the sea.

For lunch, savor a delightful set menu featuring a rotating dish of the day, and for breakfast, indulge in fresh fruits, eggs, oats, and loaded sandwiches.

We also have a vegetarian option available.

2. Chillin Guito

Managed by a passionate Costa Rican woman, here you can find the best pasta in town. Our favorites are the pasta Camarones or the vegetarian pasta, paired with a good glass of red wine.

3. Los Pibes

Expect an Argentinian adventure. Here you can find burgers, meats, and some seafood prepared with love and passion for Argentina. We recommend pairing your dish with a sangria, which they make each day freshly by hand.

4. Jammin Pizza

Here, you can find the biggest selection of Pizzas in Panama, featuring everything from ham, salami tuna up to various vegetarian pizzas. They have a big stone oven, giving the pizzas a delicious thin crisp.

5. Fonda La Arena

For a more local experience, visit Fonda La Arena, where you can find delicious plates for no more than 5 dollars. Expect to find fried fish, chicken, Camarones, or langoustes, accompanied by patacones, salads, or yuca!

6. Iguanito

Run by a French Spanish couple, Iguanito is a good spot to indulge in some Spanish tapas or fresh fish from Santa Catalina. They also have a big cocktail menu; try out the Coco Loco!

7. La Moncheria

For an afternoon snack, pass by La Moncheria. They make the most delicious homemade ice cream, changing flavors regularly.

8. Café Panachocolat

For an indulgent breakfast or an afternoon coffee break, Cafe Panachocolat is the place to be. Our personal favorite is the banana peanut smoothie bowl with fresh coconut. Talk about heaven…

9. Caricaco

Caricaco is a good spot to breakfast or to order yourself a picnic to go. Expect sandwiches, waffles, juices, poke bowls, hummus, and falafel.

10. Oasis Beach Bar

This bar is a perfect spot for an after-surf smoothie, sunset cocktail, or late-night beer. Placed right on the beach, you can watch the waves with your bare feet in the sand. Wednesdays and Saturdays they usually have a karaoke or party where locals and tourists mingle and dance.

Surfing in Santa Catalina

Surf’s Up in Santa Catalina, Panama: Ride the Waves at Playa Estero and La Punta!

Get ready for an unforgettable surfing escapade in Santa Catalina, Panama! Beginners and seasoned surfers alike join at Playa Estero, a haven for wave lovers. Newcomers can catch their first waves in gentle swells under expert guidance, making it a fantastic spot for learning.

For the daring and experienced, La Punta attracts with its fame. This legendary wave draws professional surfers from across the globe, showcasing their expertise as they conquer towering waves. Feel the adrenaline as you witness these pros shredding the colossal waves, a sight that will leave you in awe.

After an exhilarating day on the waves, our hotel provides a cozy haven to unwind, with stunning views of the surf and sunset. Ready to ride the waves? Book your stay with us and dive into the heart-pounding world of Santa Catalina’s surf scene!

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Villa Coco is a small family-run boutique hotel in Santa Catalina, an oasis dedicated to relaxation and serenity.


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