Along the Sulcis coast stretch the Santa Caterina lagoon, the Sant'Antioco saltpans, and the wetlands of Porto Botte, Porto Baiocco and Porto Pino, the Santa Caterina lagoon lies in the north of the Golfo di Palmas. The isthmus linking the island of Sant'Antioco to mainland Sardinia, built in 1939, for 40 years thereafter had no outlet to the sea, blocking water exchange and reducing its fish population.

The lagoon is fed by two streams, rio Palmas and rio Sassu, and lies close to the Sant'Antioco saltpans, created in 1969. The marshes of Porto Botte and Baiocco are more to the south. They have no emissaries and are connected to the sea by a man-made opening.

To the south are the wetlands of Porto Pino (including the marshes of Maestrale, Corvo, Is Brebeis and Foxi), separated from one another by sandbars. These salt marshes teem with grey mullet and eel, harvested by a fishermen's coop. Deeper water ponds, such as the Maestrale, are home to the great cormorant, black-necked grebe and yellow-legged gull, while shallow waters are favoured by coot and grey heron.

The lagoon borders on SS 126 linking Carbonia to Sant'Antioco.

Close to the lagoon there are several hotels and bars/restaurants.