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Panama Surf & Serve 2024

Published: Wed Sep 20, 2023

Category: Surf & Serve

Trip/Event Date:
Thu May 9, 2024 - Fri May 17, 2024


Join this all male Surf and Serve to Santa Catalina, Panama and help bring the Gospel to a beautiful and rapidly growing small fishing village on the Pacific coast, a few hours away from one of the largest financial hubs in the Americas, Panama City. On this trip, you will be serving the local community in a variety of ways, beach engagement and outreach, construction projects, or possible dental/medical outreach – all while growing deeper in your faith and in community with other men living life on mission.

After an overnight just outside the Airport in Panama City the team will set off on a 4-6 hour drive (depending on traffic) to Santa Catalina. Staying in hostel style bunk-rooms with A/C, kitchens, working toilets and WIFI, the accommodations are very suitable for those with limited travel experience. The waves on offer at the main point, La Punta (just a short walk from the hostel), are large open ocean right handers geared towards those with a more advanced surf ability, often breaking in the 6 ft + range and over – although there are beach breaks and other waves in the area that cater more to intermediate and beginner surf abilities. Make sure to bring your paddle arms for this point break as one previous team member counted upwards of 700 paddle strokes to get to the main take off spot at the point!


We are so stoked that you are interested in joining us on a trip!
Take a look below at some of our frequently asked questions about our trips.

What will the typical day on this trip look like?

Santa Catalina is a very tide dependent wave, so every day will be based around the appropriate tides to surf the point. Most days we will wake up and surf for a few hours before returning to the accommodations to eat breakfast. If the tide’s not right first thing in the morning we will wake up and eat breakfast first then surf. Mornings are a bit of surf/free time (if you don’t want to surf) until around lunch. We will eat lunch and then have some group time together. Towards mid afternoon as school gets out we will head to our service for the day. That could be beach clean up, sunset outreach, beach time with the locals, etc. We will eat dinner at a local Panamanian restaurant and finish up the day with group time with the local crew, followed by bed.

What are the waves like and what skill level should I be?

Santa Catalina is a right point break that can get pretty heavy. The paddle out is long but through a channel so it’s not terribly difficult. Suggested surf level is intermediate to advanced at the Point. Don’t worry though, within walking distance is town beach which caters towards beginner surfers and also a different beach break, Estero, that caters more to beginner to advanced surfers.  Swell this time of year can be 2-3 ft all the way up to 8+ ft.

What if I can’t surf or the waves are flat, is there something else I can participate in?

If the waves aren’t working at the point there are plentiful options that we will explore within driving distance. Santa Catalina is a growing community with some really beautiful areas to explore all within walking distance. Almost every afternoon there is also a beach soccer and beach volleyball game that takes places at town beach.

What are the sleeping accommodations like?

Our first night in Panama City is at an airport hotel/hostel where we will be sharing beds. Once in Santa Catalina we will be staying in bunk style rooms so everyone will have their own beds, some may be on top bunk though.

When will registration open? How much will the trip cost?


What does the registration fee include and not include?

Registration fee includes all ground costs once we are together in Panama City. That includes transportation, accommodations, food, gas, water, and outreach. DOES NOT include airfare, board/gear rentals, souvenirs, extra snacks or food, surf photos from locals. ALL TRIP PARTICIPANTS MUST ARRIVE INTO PANAMA CITY (PTY) on May 9. We will leave to drive out to Santa Catalina first thing in the morning on May 10.

What if I can’t make it last minute, do I get a refund?

There is a non refundable $300 deposit, the remainder may be refunded up until one month prior to the trip leaving. Due to planning and reservations needing to be made and booked ahead of time, a full refund is not available within the last month.

Any other specifics about this trip that I should know?

Fresh water is only to be consumed from bottles or through our filter system, this includes brushing teeth. Tap water should not be drank. Like much of central america, this area is on septic systems and nothing extra should be flushed down the toilet, this includes used toilet paper.

What about food?

Breakfasts will consist of grab and go snacks, fruit, oatmeal, eggs, but mostly pancakes. Lunch will be minimal as often ‘breakfast’ usually ends up being more at brunch/lunch time. Dinners are out at a local Panamanian restaurant, most commonly consisting of a whole fried fish, rice, beans, plantains, and juice.

What about amenities?

Wifi is available at both locations we will be overnighting, as well as flushing toilets, showers and AC. We will have drinking water t provide, tap water is not to be drunk. It is VERY common for extended power outages in Santa Catalina that can prevent WiFi and AC from working.

Will we meet prior to the trip over zoom? 

We will have a Team meet up over zoom around a month prior to the trip, once you have registered, one of the leaders will contact you via the provided email.

Still need more information? Please feel free to reach out and get connected with one of our team leaders who can help answer any additional questions you may have.

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