This rustic, Italian-owned lodge is right on Playa Santa Catalina, amid the coconut palms and mere steps from the surf. Most rooms are basically cement boxes with beds, a fan, and a bathroom. All have a/c, but you'll pay an extra $10 per day if you chose to use it. It's definitely worth it in these climes. You can hear the waves and the rustling of palm fronds at night, and when you step out your door you're on the beach. An adjoining open-air restaurant ($–$$) serves
three meals a day and becomes the town's go-to place in the evening. Surfing lessons are given on the nearby beach break—the only place in Santa Catalina where novices can surf without risking their lives.
Playa Catalina, Playa Santa Catalina, Panama