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Relax and discover the exciting and beautiful country of Panama on this SUP and yoga retreat. Spend a week’s vacation at Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat - a beautiful rain-forest boutique hotel with luxurious accommodations steps away from an alluring tropical beach. Add SUP adventures, daily yoga classes, and delicious wholesome meals and you are in for an unforgettable experience!
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Nestled among the trees, each of the seven bungalows at Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat blend seamlessly into the natural backdrop of the jungle that surrounds the property. Each bungalow features balconies with seating and hammocks, pillow-top orthopedic mattresses, air-conditioning, ceiling fans, mini-refrigerators with complementary drinking water, luxurious linens, and private bathrooms with hot water showers.
The property has free Wi-Fi in a central gazebo with hammocks, a living room with air-conditioning, a walking meditation labyrinth, a roofed 80 square meters yoga studio, and an outdoor restaurant. You will be just a five-minute walk from the beautiful Playa Grande beach, and have the sounds of the forest lull you to sleep.
On this exciting retreat, you’ll get to explore some off the beaten track hidden gems of Panama: glide around a tropical mountain lagoon on your stand up paddle board; paddle through an exotic mangrove forest, hike through a cloud forest on the slopes of an extinct volcano, visit a colourful and vibrant local market, take a tour to an indigenous Embera village, and learn about their traditions and culture.
Additionally, you’ll have a yoga session every day which will help to calm and focus your mind and strengthen and tone your muscles, leaving you feeling peaceful and rejuvenated. Round it off by spending time on the secluded and pristine local beach, Playa Grande which is just a five-minute walk away from your captivating retreat center, nestled in the rainforest.
The expert instructors will adapt all of the sessions and lessons to suit your ability and level of experience. You will be provided with a daily breakfast and dinner to fuel your action packed days!
This retreat is designed for standup paddleboard (SUP) beginner to intermediate level and includes some intermediate level hikes in the cloud forest. The paddling is all done on flat water in picturesque locations and usually has a duration of one to one and a half hours on the water. For this retreat, you do not paddle in the open ocean or in areas where there are waves.
If you are a super athlete or advanced paddleboarder, there will be opportunities to continue on your own or at your pace, but know that you will be part of a group that is mainly beginner to intermediate paddlers and hikers.
This retreat is recommended for individuals that are fit and enjoy outdoor activities. It is hot in Panama so plan on sweating. The main hike you do is mostly shaded and uphill and crisscrosses a stream with several waterfalls. As it rains often in Panama, some parts of the trail can be a bit slippery. The peak can be reached in roughly an hour at a moderate pace. You return down the same path you took up.
The Hatha yoga classes are taught at a beginner to intermediate level. They are designed to help you reconnect with your breath and stay present amidst the activities and new experiences of your vacation. The hour-long daily classes include warm up exercises, sun salutations, an asana practice, and deep relaxation. Prepare to gently explore both your inner and outer bodies in a safe environment.
Ayesha was born in Bombay, India, and moved to the United States at the age of 13. Her love for travel and adventure led her to Panama. Yoga has been part of her life for over 25 years. She received her yoga teacher training in 2010, in traditional Hatha yoga at the Parmath Niketan Ashram in Rishikesh, India and has been teaching since. Her yoga classes are gentle, but invigorating and are designed specifically for beginner and intermediate students. Through breath, movement, and alignment, she works with the students to bring consciousness into their bodies, mind, and spirit.
Sean was born and raised in Galveston, Texas on the Gulf Coast. He spent his life he has living close to the ocean and feels a special connection with it. He has traveled extensively around the world and has lived in Chile, Colombia, and Panama. For the past seven years, he has been a SUP practitioner and instructor, leading tours around the waterways of Panama. He attended cooking school in New Orleans, Louisiana. Additionally, he is also a former beach lifeguard and an emergency medical technician.
Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat is a boutique hotel and a retreat center. Located two hours away from Panama City, it is a slice of paradise situated in the jungle and a few steps away from a secluded beach - perfect for a healthy and quiet retreat. Its central location allows you to discover various tropical ecosystems without traveling too far.
Breakfast and dinner are included in the retreat package. Lunches out will be at your expense. Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat will select local restaurants that can cater to different dietary needs.
Istmo's menu has been lovingly crafted by owner and chef, Sean Davis, a graduate of a prominent cooking school in New Orleans, Louisiana. They offer a tropical fusion cuisine that blends influences from Latin America, Caribbean, India, Middle East, the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Far East, South East Asia, Cajun, Southern US, and the Pacific Rim Islands.
Their meals are grown organically and supplemented by what they can purchase locally. They make every effort to maintain a light carbon footprint and support local farmers and fisherman. Most of the meals are vegetarian or fish and seafood based meals, however, they can easily accommodate guests who are glute-free, vegan, or require substitutions because of food allergies.
The retreat includes plenty of activities and its itinerary is full. If you plan on staying longer or arriving early for this retreat, you can spend your free time on the beautiful beach, lying on the black and white sand, swimming in the waves, taking long walks, or touring on a SUP board. You can also rest on the hammocks with a book, get a massage, sip on a smoothie, or soak in the nature and warmth that surrounds you.
There are so many ways to give back. Speak to the organizers about incorporating a community service activity into your retreat.
On special request from former guests, chef and owner, Sean Davis, can guide your group through some of the most requested Istmo recipes.
Drum circles are available on special request for your group.
Please book your flight to arrive at Tocumen International Airport (PTY). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat will pick you up from the airport. Transfer from and to this airport is also available upon request, should you miss the organized pick-up. Prices range from 100 USD to 140 USD, depending on the time of day and time of year.
You can also take a taxi from the airport to the Albrook Terminal for around 50 USD. From the Albrook Terminal, take a bus to Chame or Anton to Coronado for around 4 USD. Buses leave every 15 minutes. From Coronado, take a taxi to Istmo for around 10 USD.
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