Best hotels and hostels in Veraguas Province

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Santa Catalina

    La Buena Vida

    These lovely villas spill down a leafy hillside along the main road. Each is themed and decorated with colorful mosaics and tiles crafted by the American owners. With great service, they have ironed out every little detail here, from local tips to fast internet and quality lunchboxes for tours. There are popular yoga classes on a sprawling deck and professional massages. Cabins include a fridge, screened windows and air-conditioning. ‘Gecko’ is the most deluxe, while 'Butterfly' offers the delicious option of showering outdoors. 'Bird' has two floors. One larger group villa (Casa del Mar) features a kitchen and BBQ patio. La Buena Vida composts, recycles and sells local artisan goods.

  • Top ChoiceLodging in Santa Catalina

    Deseo Bamboo

    The crazy dream of a Neapolitan football player, these octagonal thatched huts are a tropical masterpiece. Bamboo huts feature traditional two-tier roofs that offer good ventilation. Rooms, including an attractive dorm, are spare but lovely. There's a congenial atmosphere, plus a yoga deck and a sushi bar, with weekly live music and events such as salsa dancing and movie nights. It's on a rural property in the process of reforestation. Though the turnoff comes 400m before Santa Catalina (to your left), the property has a hiking shortcut to Playa Estero that's a 10-minute walk. With a shuttle option.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Oasis Surf Camp

    This Italian-owned surf camp is a classic, and its beachfront setting is one of the best. Bright, colorful cabins overlooking the black-sand beach have hot showers and ample hammocks. The suite is a two-bedroom wooden house with wicker furniture, a kitchen and great balcony views. It’s on Playa Estero, just past a river guests must wade across to reach camp. Panamanian breakfast and authentic Italian dinner with fish, bruschetta and salads are served at the open-air restaurant. You can also rent a variety of surfboards (US$10 to US$15), and surfing lessons cost US$20 to US$30, depending on the number of learners. Also offers Santiago airport and Panama City transfers.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Hibiscus Garden

    On Playa Lagartero, 11km northeast of Santa Catalina, these relaxed lodgings, owned by an Oakland, California-based hip-hop artist, fuse modern with rustic, with stylish installations and minimal fuss. Rooms have recycled driftwood beds and private hammock terraces. There's a recording studio in the works and music festivals planned onsite. The 6km-long beach is calm, secluded and very swimmable. For some, the distance from town is a drawback, though a shuttle (one way US$5) is available. Hosts can organize horseback riding (US$25), stand-up paddleboarding (SUP), surf lessons and fishing trips. The Hibiscus Restaurant is a destination in itself (though guests also have use of a fully equipped communal kitchen).

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Cabañas Rolo

    One of Santa Catalina’s only hotels owned by lifelong locals, these friendly cabins are a favorite of surfers on a budget. Each has one to three good beds, a fan and a shared cold-water bathroom. Newer cabins include several with waterfront views and ample, more upscale rooms with air-conditioning and bathrooms with hot-water showers. Truck stop–quality coffee comes free in the morning and guests get use of an open-air kitchen. The owner, Rolo Ortega, speaks Spanish and English, offers surf lessons (US$30, one hour) and snorkeling (US$55), rents surfboards (US$15 per day), SUP (US$20) and kayaks (US$20), and can arrange surf trips to Isla Cébaco (from US$250 per group).

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Hotel Santa Catalina

    With manicured grounds strewn with hammocks and Spanish-tile roofs, this 11-room hotel is an excellent midrange option catering to the executive surfer. Tile rooms somewhat crowded with beds feature electric hot-water showers and individual lockers for gear. A big draw is the surf break of La Punta out front. Guests get free use of kayaks, bicycles and foam boards. There's an on-site restaurant, though the suites have their own kitchenettes. The mix of natural materials – stone, wood, thatch – is commendable and harmonious.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Sol y Mar

    Surrounded by greenery, these hilltop cabins have hammock porches, lovely wooden furniture, electric hot-water showers, satellite TV and air-con. Guests rave about the special attention that owner, Luis, showers upon them. About 100 steep stairs lead to cabins, with sea views at the highest level. It’s 650m to the town center. The thatched rancho with pool table and a lovely pool offers views of Coiba and the Cébaco islands.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Rancho Estero

    Perched on a hilltop with soaring ocean views, these family-friendly cabañas made of bamboo and thatch are among the most atmospheric places to stay in Santa Catalina. They are surrounded by gardens with decks strewn with hammocks and chaise lounges with the beach just below. Guests have kitchen use. There's quality surf instruction too. It's along the road down to Playa Estero.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Hostal Surfers Paradise

    You could watch the tubes roll in all day at this hilltop compound with a box seat to the waves. The eight rooms in a thatched block spread over two floors include two dorms with up to five beds. There is also a restaurant with views, as well as a large outdoor kitchen for self-caterers. With surf instruction and rentals. Rooms on the 2nd floor catch the ocean breeze.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Boarder’s Haven

    The ideal choice for those on a shoestring budget, this tiny guesthouse has just seven single beds in three rooms with real mattresses, shared bathrooms and a petite kitchen that’s fully equipped. The brightly colored (and named) rooms have air-con and a ceiling fan. It sits on the main road in the center of town.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Hotel Las Hamacas

    This new courtyard-motel-style lodging offers tiny spotless cabins with porch hammocks and kitchenettes. It's great value. Your host Carolina is a vivacious presence and the high-speed internet onsite is the fastest around. They also manage local properties for long-term stays.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Hostel Villa Vento Surf

    This branch of a Sunset Coast surf hostel occupies a two-story wooden house on the main road above a minimarket. It features six rooms set around a 2nd-floor veranda. Two are dorms with five and six beds; the rest are doubles and triples with air-conditioning and en-suite bathrooms. There's a very big kitchen and a pool. Offers tours.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Lodge Cool Inside

    On the main road in town, these funky, chilled lodgings offer decent value. Simple thatched bungalows sit out back. There's also dining at the in-house restaurant, which serves curries and chicken cordon bleu thanks to the French owner. At the time of writing it was in the process of building a new dorm.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Oceans Hotel

    Well-kept and strewn with plants, there's a certain amount of pride in this basic two-story hotel, run by owner Juvenal. It sits on a hilltop with its back to the river. There's eight rooms with flat-screen TVs and deck hammocks, plus access to a guest kitchen. Rents bikes and surfboards.

  • Lodging in Santa Catalina

    Aguas Verdes

    These brightly colored cabins lined up on a hill directly above the beach offer very conveniently located lodgings for surfers on a budget. Rooms have air-conditioning and wi-fi and there are kitchens too.