WELCOME TO OUR NEW BLOG, PALM TREES & COCONUTS.
WE LOVE #ADVENTURE AND #TRAVEL, #EXPLORING HIDDEN PARADISES & MEETING NEW PEOPLE. THE CEACEA SWIMWEAR TEAM HAVE BEEN TRAVELING TO EXOTIC LOCATIONS, IMMERSING THEMSELVES IN NEW CULTURES & TESTING THE CEACEA SWIMWEAR TO THE LIMIT!
WHERE WILL YOU FIND US? SOMEWHERE WHERE THERE'S PALM TREES & COCONUTS :)
WE CANT WAIT TO SHARE OUR EXPERIENCES WITH YOU.....
First stop....The Pacific Coast of #Panama.
From Panama City it was a 8 hour drive to the West of the country to a very small town called Santa Catalina. We were on the hunt for some lesser known surf spots than the hugely popular region of Bocas Del Toro on the East coast. We had been told of a world class wave which was also next to a world class dive location and we were excited to see if it lived up to the hype!
The main wave in Santa Catalina is called La Punta and it turns out its ranked in the top 60 waves in the world. It is also a right hand reef break, and for us regular footers that was a little gem. The surf guide was correct, the wave was incredible. The paddle out starts at the wall with graffiti on and can be a little tricky at first as you have to know where the rocks are to avoid them, but once you have done it a few times it's fine.
When the big swells came into town, so did the pro surfers and the cameras. The waves can be huge and produced double over head stand up barrels. On those days I was out the water, watching on from one of the incredible viewing platforms on the cliff. There was some incredible surfers out there and the wave can get busy as everyone takes off from a very small take off area. On regular days the waves would be head high - head and a half and it was a great wave to get more confident on bigger waves.
Being a reef break the wave always broke in the same spot so you could sit on the shoulder of the wave and avoid getting them on the head all the time. You can only surf this wave three hours either side of high tide as the water gets too low and the rocks come out, which is why it can get busy at times.
Santa catalina also has a beach break, further down the road with many surf schools on it. Its a fun and safe place to learn with no rock and the potential to get a pretty long wave once you have learnt how to stand up.
With plenty of small islands surrounding Santa Catalina you can pay a fisherman to take you on a boat trip to explore some idilic deserted beaches and if you get lucky you can find a little wave as well. We spent the day amongst the palm trees drinking fresh coconut juice and enjoying the peaceful paradise.
We ended up spending six weeks in Santa Catalina and actually volunteered in a hotel there, so we could spend a lot of time surfing and learning Spanish with the hotel staff. We found this job through #workaway.
If the swell isn’t working then there are still things to do! Only an hours boat ride away is the untouched marine park of Coiba island. It's definitely worth getting out there, although on the little local wooden boats it can sometimes be a bit of a bumpy ride. It's home to some of the best diving in the world and even snorkeling you feel like you are in an aquarium. Our fellow volunteer did his open water diving course in Santa Catalina. After only six dives, he had already seen turtles, reef sharks, manta rays and whale sharks!
A guest in the hotel commented that he had been diving for 15 years and not been lucky enough to see that! You also get treated to seeing dolphins and humpback whales on the boat ride out there. Its a truly magical place.
The population of the town is only a couple of 1000 people and with limited internet it felt like a time warp where the backpacker/traveler infrastructure had yet to hit. I hope it stays that way as it adds to the charm of the town.
There are plenty of accommodation options from backpacker hostels to nicer bungalows. There's one local store in town and a vegetable truck that comes through a couple of times a week. You can also buy fresh fish and lobster on the beach as the fishermen come in. So far there are no ATMs so it's good to come prepared with cash and food before you get here. The next main town is 3 hours away on the bus!
If you are a #digitalnomad, the internet might not be great but the office view is fantastic :)
After a great time getting to know the villagers of #SantaCatalina it was time to move on. We had met lots of other surfers in Santa Catalina that had told us #PlayaVenoa was worth a visit. Therefore we packed up and got ready for our next PALM TREES & COCONUTS location.
Have you been to Santa Catalina? What were you thoughts? Tips?
Let us know below in the comments xxx
Our #CEACEASWIMWEAR outfit picks for this trip were:
Light weight, fast drying and perfectly packable.