Thursday, April 25, 2013

Santa Catalina - Surfer's Paradise

Our plan was to bus it to Santa Catalina from Boca Brava, which is easily an 8 hour day (or more) of travel, on several different buses.  We got word of Brad, the owner at Hotel Boca Brava, heading to Santa Catalina that day, so we were lucky enough to hitch a ride, along with the Polish couple we met on the island.  All five of us crammed into Brad's station wagon, with 2 of our bags tied up on the top racks with some lumber he was transporting.  We stopped in Santiago, at a hardware store, and dropped off the Polish couple, as they were to stay with some friends in Santiago for the night.  We helped Brad tie some new patio chairs onto the top of the car, and we were off towards the beach.  We ended up staying at his other hotel in Santa Catalina that night, called Surfside Inn, that was really nice as well.  Only problem, was our room had no screen on the window, and hoards of mosquitoes were coming in.  We survived the night, and enjoyed cooking in the kitchen he had there.  We headed up the road a little ways, and spent the next four nights at Surfer's Paradise, where we camped right on the cliff for only $5 a night.  The view was spectacular.

We are not surfers, but Santa Catalina is a gorgeous place to visit, and very relaxing.  Keep in mind, that it's fairly undeveloped, and the only stores are 2 small markets, with minimal selections.  Also, there's no ATM in town, so keep that in mind!  There are several dive shops in town, and island trips are popular to book through here as well.  Glad we visited!

Our campsite on the cliff at "Surfer's Paradise" Hostel

The view from "Pinguino's" restaurant