THE OTHER PANAMA FAQ
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the currency in Panama ?
The currency in Panama is the US dollar ($) it is best to bring small denominations no bigger then $20 if possible as it can be hard to get change outside of big cities and near impossible in remote villages.
There is NO ATM in Santa Catalina.
The closest ATM to us is in the town of Sona, this is a hour drive from us or on the bus sometimes two hours.
It is advisable to bring the money you need with you but some locations in Santa Catalina accept Credit Cards and if its not to close to Payday for locals (15th &30th) you can even get cash back but be prepared to be charged between a 7% and 10%
Do we accept Credit Cards?
We can accept Credit cards but will charge a 9% charge. Cash is much preferred due to above mentioned reasons of us needing to pay crew, fuel and other logistics in cash ourselves.
We accept Paypal and Payoneer also but charges apply.
How do I get to you ?
To reach Santa Catalina you must travel to the city of Santiago and then catch a bus from there to Sona. These leave every 30 mins.
There are six buses from Sona to Santa Catalina.
Monday to Saturday, on Sunday there are only Four.
The last leaving Sona is 1630 and the last leaving Santa Catalina is 1530.
Can I drink the water ?
The water from the taps in Santa Catalina and the surrounding villages is fine to drink. Bottled water is unnecessary.
Whats the climate like ?
The hottest time of year is the dry season this runs from December/January to March/April/May. June to November varies but is a mixture of rain and sun.
What about Tropical illnesses ?
This is not a Malaria area. There has been the rare case of Dengue Fever but it is nothing to worry about.
What about Hospitals & Doctors ?
The nearest Hospital and Doctor is in Sona.
Your guide is a Emergency First Response Instructor and will carry a first aid kit on each trip.
If you are staying in Santa Catalina there is a wide variety of accommodation available ranging from a $12 dorm beds to $150 Private Rooms.
We are happy to advise you on the accommodation to best suit your budget.
From 2020 accomodation will also be available on the island where we are based.
Contact us for more information.
What about Mosquitoes/ Sand Flies ?
Due to the Coastal breeze the mosquitoes are not really a problem here but they do make an appearance for half an hour either side of sunset.
A day either side of full moon sand flies can appear but the rest of the time they are not noticeable.
What other activities are there to do ?
If your partner or other(s) your with does not like being on a boat, what else can she or he do?
In Santa Catalina there is Estero Beach for those that want to learn to surf on gentle beach break waves or just lie in the sun and drink a few cocktails.
Surf lessons are available as are board rentals.
For the more advanced surfer there is ‘the point’ a rocky surf break that has been the host of dozens of international Surf Competitions.
Other things to do in the area that can be arranged short notice are Sea Kayaking, Stand Up Paddle Boarding, Yoga and getting a massage.
With the sun shining and the waves breaking many people are quite content to simply do nothing.