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Permalink to Destination: Santa Catalina and Coiba Island

Destination: Santa Catalina and Coiba Island

Literally at the end of the road, the tiny fishing village of Santa Catalina in the Veraguas Province of Panama sits near some of the best surfing spots in the country, and is the closest port to Isla de Coiba, Panama’s top diving and fishing destination.

A quiet fishing village in seclusion until discovered by surfers in the 1970s. Protecting their hidden world class surf, Santa Catalina was kept secret by the surfers for quite sometime. For years, only adventurous surfers visited Santa Catalina who made the long trip here on rough roads and slept in rustic rooms for the pleasure of riding La Punta, a right point break. The roads and accommodations have improved, while still keeping a rustic charm. For the moment, Santa Catalina remains a quiet beach town with little to offer other than ocean views through the palm fronds, friendly locals, cheap seafood, and amazing surf and diving. Surf Spots include Santa Catalina, Punta Brava, Punta Roca, La Puntica and El Estero.

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Permalink to Destination: Gulf of Chiriqui Panama

Destination: Gulf of Chiriqui Panama

The Gulf of Chiriqui is located off the Chiriqui Province of Panama. To reach this destination you can either go by boat from the port of Pedregal (10 minutes from David) or car from the town of Boca Chica.

This area boasts a lower level of rain than the rest of Panama, making it a very attractive destination. Temperatures year round are fairly consistent, with daytime temperatures in the 80s and 90s and nighttime around 70s.

This area in the Pacific gulf of Panama has the second largest reef in the Pacific and innumerable small islands in many archipelago including Central America’s largest island, Coiba Island and Coiba National Marine Park. This area is home to the richest mangroves and rarest pelagic marine species in the world. Lonely Planet Panama calls the Gulf of Chiriqui an undisputed gem. It has a reputation as a world-class sport fishing destination, as evidenced by Saltwater Fisherman Magazine, which named it the best place in the world for catching the Black Marlin in their April 2009 issue. The Moon handbook on Panama says the Gulf of Chiriqui is so large and species-rich some consider it a small sea. Well known among insiders for its boating, sport fishing, surfing, scuba diving and snorkeling opportunities, the unspoiled and largely undiscovered coastal and marine environments in the area rival the best on the Pacific coasts of Central America and Mexico.

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