Episode 21: Panama's Pacific Coast

Trip Start Mar 14, 2004
Trip End Ongoing

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Where I stayed
Oasis Surf Camp

Flag of Panama  , Veraguas,
Thursday, February 24, 2011

Paid to Play Episode 21:  the one where the author takes his passengers to a Pacific coast surf camp.  Who cares if we can surf or not.  This place is awesome. 

  Santa Catalina.  This place is simply amazing and one of my favorite places in all of Central America. Discovered by surfers in the 1970's, this hidden gem is paradise and way off the beaten path of tourism.  It's slowly getting discovered and the guy that had the foresight to buy property here years ago and build the surf camp has a crystal ball ... and I want to have a look!

Santa Catalina was recently host to a major international surf competition so it's a secret no more.  It's still hard to get to though.  Buses run irregularly, the road to get here is part asphalt, part moon scape, and if you arrive to the hotel at high tide, the river next to the camp floods, meaning you have to walk through chest deep water with your backpack over your shoulder just to get to your room! Those who are vertically challenged (aka short people) will be swimming across the river like an African water buffalo on migration.   Not many places can boast coolness like that.  Imagine the look on my passengers faces when I tell them they should have swimwear on just to arrive to the hotel.  Most consider this an adventure... the rest, well, they should have stayed at home and watched it on the Discovery Channel.  That's the most frustrating part of the job...hearing people say I can't (shut up, yes you can), I don't want to (shut up, yes you do), and worst of all... I won't (shut up and get your ass moving).  

Once settled into our rooms, we can really start to enjoy the place.  But the best of Santa Catalina remains 90 minutes away by boat.  This is also the best starting point to visit Parque Nacional Isla Coiba.  That entry is next...
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Brent on

Very cool Jeff!

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