Santa Catalina is about a 6-hour drive from Panama City’s Tocumen’s Airport and about 1.5 hours from Santiago.
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Getting To Santa Catalina
By Bus: you can take a direct bus from Panama City to Sona, which costs $8.00 and takes approx. 5 hours. These buses depart throughout the day and briefly stop in Santiago to drop off and pick up passengers before continuing on to Sona. From Sona, you can take a mini-bus to Santa Catalina, which takes approximately 1.5 hours and costs $5.00. Buses from Sona to Santa Catlina depart 4 times daily, 5:30, 11:15, 2:00, and 4:40. From Santa Catalina to Sona, buses depart at 7:00, 8:20, 1:15, and 4:00.
You can also take a bus from Panama City to Santiago (314-6230/998-3818), which takes appoximately 3.5 hours and costs $7.50. The buses that run between Panama City and Santiago tend to be larger and more comfortable than those which depart directly for Sona. From Santiago, you’ll need to catch a mini-bus to Sona, and from there another bus to Santa Catalina. Buses from Santiago to and from Sona depart every 30 minutes and cost just $2.00
By Car: The new road between Sona and Santa Catalina makes travel by car a delightful experience. As you leave Sona you’ll find the countryside of Panama majestic. You’ll pass cowboys working cattle, orchards as you wind your way among the mountains to the coast. From Panama City, turn left in Santiago at the Shell station (Ave. Central) Follow this street for approximately 2 miles, passing the church on the left side. At the second crossroad, turn right and continue until you reach the next Shell station, just before reaching Sona (approx. 25 miles). At this station, turn left and follow the sign to Santa Catalina. After approx. 28 miles, turn left in El Tigre de los Amarillos, following the sign for Santa Catalina, Lagartero. Continue along this road until you reach the intersection in, turn right and continue along this road until you reach Santa Catalina. The trip from Panama City to Santa Catalina takes approximately 6 hours.
By Private Shuttle:
We are happy to arrange a private shuttle service for you. Please contact us directly with your travel itinerary.
By Taxi: Travelers who decide to take a taxi from Santiago to Santa Catalina should expect to pay up to US$50, but the price may be negotiable—this is not a common trip, so there aren’t really established prices. Taxis between Santa Catalina and Soná are US$30. There are no resident taxis in Santa Catalina.