Santa Catalina is about an hour and a half drive South Southwest from Santiago. Whether you are coming from Panama City or David, you will travel through Santiago. Santa Catalina is a five to six hour drive from Panama City’s Tocumen International Airport and a four to five hour drive from David. The roads have recently been paved up to the edge of Santa Catalina, making 4 wheel drive no longer a requirement.If you are driving to Santa Catalina, the most difficult part is making the correct turns in Santiago. The guide books are inaccurate and signage is poor off of the Transamerica highway. For the best information available, see the Santa Catalina Beach website. It includes pictures of the signs and landmarks for the turns.Using public transportation, buses can be taken from Panama City or David to Santiago. In Santiago, change to the bus to SonÃ¡. In SonÃ¡, catch the Santa Catalina bus. Using public transportation is very safe and reliable. Buses can be taken from Panama City or David to Santiago. In Santiago, change to the bus to Sona. In Sona, catch the Santa Catalina bus or you can take a taxi from Sona for around $30.
Another option is to arrange for a driver from Panama City to Santa Catalina or from Santa Catalina back to Panama City.
Please also download and save our travel info sheet containing all the information you need to get yourself to Santa Catalina.