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6 Days Surf Snorkel and Sun Salutes Yoga Retreat in Panama

  • Hotel Santa Catalina, Calle Hacia Playa el Estero, Calle Kenny, Santa Catalina, Veraguas, Panama

Overview

Yoga Retreat Panama

Join this incredible off-grid yoga retreat, just in time for the holiday season. You will be guided on a journey through introspection and fun play to cultivate a deep sense of equilibrium between the internal duality of Ida (Yin) and Pingala (Yang) nadi. This is the perfect retreat to find your center and invigorate your mind, body, and soul before the holiday season, with plenty of sunshine, salt water, sun salute, and super healthy delicious fresh food!

Highlights

  • Daily yoga practices
  • Daily meditation classes
  • Group mid-morning surf session
  • Group boat trip to Santa Catalina Island
  • Transfers to and from Panama City
  • Delicious breakfast and lunch
  • Welcome supper and drinks
  • 5 nights’ accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • Intermediate

  • Advanced

Group sizes

The maximum participants in the group is 15.

  • 4 days with instruction
  • English
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At Santa Catalina Retreats, your experience will be made as natural and comfortable as possible. It is believed that you can enjoy quality retreat accommodation without the high prices. That's why all the rooms have memory foam mattresses, plush pillows, and Egyptian cotton sheets. The rooms include fan, air conditioning, fridge, blow dryer, cable TV, and a locked storage area. The accommodation also features a hammock, an outdoor table, and chairs for the perfect relaxation spot.

All rooms have been built using natural sustainable materials including stone, slate rock, natural coal tile, and tropical hardwoods, preserving the environment while providing a blissful haven for you to unwind after a day of surf and yoga.

The accommodation is hosted at the picturesque Hotel Santa Catalina, owned by local surfer Kenny Meyers, only a 5 minute walk to Playa Estero and a 10 minute walk into town. Secluded and nestled into nature, the property backs onto the Pacific Ocean, giving you your own private beach at hide tide. It also offers the most spectacular view of the world famous surf break "the point" (la punta).

At high tide, you can also take the kayaks and stand up paddle boards out for a paddle. Wonderful islands surround Santa Catalina; it's worth exploring and it’s also a great workout!

The tranquil location makes it the perfect place to disconnect and take some time out. You can chill on a hammock with a good book, sprawl out on the spacious lawns, lounge by the pool overlooking the pacific ocean, or enjoy a sunset drink at the restaurant’s bar.

During the retreat, you will enjoy black sand, salty water, never ending sunshine, fresh smoothies, surfboards, hammocks and books, aloe vera, bare feet, coconut water, ocean showers, zero hair brushing, morning roosters, village horses, ocean fresh seafood, infinity pool, infinite yoga playground, bathing suits all day long, the brightest stars, and a lot more!

You will learn to cultivate a deep sense of equilibrium between the internal duality we all face of Ida (Yin) and Pingala (Yang) nadi. According to Tantric texts, these opposing energy channels are in a constant internal dance with one another, and for most people, one of these energies tends to become dominant at some point in their lives. This imbalance manifests through your personality, behavior, lifestyle, and even your health. Each day, you will join together for a slow-moving yoga practice and meditation with the early morning sun and end your days with a powerfully rigorous practice with the cooling energy of the moon.

Yoga

At Santa Catalina Retreats, the yoga style includes Hatha, integrated Vinyasa, and slow flow Vinyasa focusing on the breath and fundamental postures, and having fun playing with new challenges. All levels are welcome, as the instructors will adapt poses to suit your ability.

Yoga is also a perfect complement to surfing - developing your strength, flexibility, and balance. It is especially great for stretching out the shoulders and back and opening the hips after your surf session!

The yoga classes vary between one and two hours. You will be provided with your mat, props, and iced water for every class. Just bring some comfortable yoga gear and you are ready to go!

To embrace the natural beauty of Santa Catalina and ground your practice, often times a class during which you can get your feet in the sand, literally, is combined. Beach yoga is coupled with classes in the tranquil open-air tree top studio and breathtaking ocean view yoga deck. It is the perfect setting to quieten the mind and connect within the natural environment.

Surfing

The surf lesson is held in the warm waters of Playa Estero, one of the best beach breaks in Central America for beginner and intermediate surfers. IT is a quiet, fun, and un-crowded beach with a gentle soft sand bottom, breaking left and right, offering smaller more gentle waves for beginners on the south side and more challenging waves on the north.

Classes are one hour each day. The water is warm all year round, so no need for a wetsuit, but you will be provided with a rash vest for comfort and extra protection from the sun. A range of soft and hard boards is available, so you can feel confident you will have the right board for your level.

Class time each day will vary depending on the tides, but generally you will be out in the early morning. And if the tides are in our favor, you will also enjoy a spectacular sunset session!

A great surf instructor can make all the difference. At Santa Catalina Retreats, the experienced local instructors have been surfing and teaching at Santa Catalina beaches for many years. The instructors are very familiar with the breaks, so you can feel confident you are in safe hands with the most experienced and skillfull instructors.

Patient, encouraging, and most of all fun! Whether you are here to learn to stand up for the first time or start to perfect that bottom turn, the instructors will help you achieve your goals.

Daily sample schedule

Day 1 - December 15, 2016

You will be picked up from from Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama CIty at 14:00 or 14:30 at a central meeting place in the city if you are already in Panama City. The group will make a stop for food and refreshments on the way. You will arrive into Santa Catalina around 20:00 to check into your room and join for a welcome supper and drinks under the stars.

Day 2 to Day 5 - December 16, 2016 to December 19, 2016

You will a enjoy daily morning slow flow yoga and meditation class, one mid-morning surf session, a daily powerful evening yoga class, and plenty of free time to rest or enjoy local activities and trips to the beach.

Day 6 - December 20, 2016

On your final day, you will make your way back to Panama City at 10:00, stopping off for refreshments and snacks, arriving around 16:00 so you can make an evening flight home.

The retreat includes one group boat trip to the beautiful secluded white sand beach of Santa Catalina Island for an island yoga class with Alex, stand up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and a delicious picnic breakfast.

  • Alex Canepa

    Alex is a long-time practitioner of yoga with specialized mindful resilience yoga training. With a background in gymnastics and dance, Alex has always loved playing with strength building movements, creative flows and exploring the full potential of the anatomical body. As her practice grew, she began to appreciate the healing effects of slower flowing classes coupled with pranayama techniques, working to stretch and strengthen the musculoskeletal system while relaxing the nervous system. Alex dedicates herself to creating a safe space for people to find both comfort and confidence.

About a five hour drive southwest of Panama City on the Pacific Coast lies Santa Catalina. With it's remote location, the village remains fairly undeveloped since being discovered by adventurous surfers in the 70's.

With a handful of small, locally owned hotels, restaurants and bars, and with cows and horses roaming the nearby fields and streets, you'll instantly feel the laid-back vibe that has made Santa Catalina a haven for surfers, adventure travelers, and dedicated relaxation seekers.

Santa Catalina is a hidden gem of Central America - a natural paradise still relatively untouched since being discovered by adventurous surfers in the 70s. Quiet and serene beaches back onto lush forest, l while local surfers and fisherman stroll the main street. A place where the locals still warmly greet you. Embrace the slow pace and simple lifestyle that embodies this beautiful and remote community!

Nearby places

  • Panama City - 5 hours' drive
  • Playa Estero Beach - 5 minutes’ walk
  • Santa Catalina - 10 minutes’ walk
Activities
  • Boating
  • Diving nearby
  • Fishing nearby
  • Horse riding / rental
  • Kayaking
  • Massage
  • Sailing
  • Shopping nearby
  • Snorkeling nearby
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Stargazing
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Bar
  • Beach nearby
  • Hammock
  • Kitchen
  • Lounge
  • Restaurant
  • Special menu request
  • Studio
  • Yoga deck
Services
  • Board rental
  • Free bicycle
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Local market
  • Parking lot
  • Tour assistance

The retreat includes a welcome supper and drinks at the ocean front restaurant, delicious healthy breakfasts and lunches for each of your four activity days, as well at dining at waterfront restaurant and at the best local restaurants in the village providing a deliciously unique and immersive experience. Vegetarian and gluten-free options are available.

The following meals are included:

  • Breakfast
  • Lunch

The following dietary requirements are served and/or catered for:

  • Gluten Free
  • Organic
  • Pescatarian
  • Regular (typically includes meat and fish)
  • Seafood
  • Vegan
  • Vegetarian
  • Other dietary requirements on request
(If you have special dietary requirements its a good idea to communicate it to the organiser when making a reservation)

You will have plenty of time to take to the beach, snorkel, horse ride, kayak, stand up paddle board, enjoy a massage , or simply kick back in a hammock

Completely unwind with certified massage therapist Michelle Miller. Offering a range of treatments including deep and connective tissue massage, Swedish massage, trigger point therapy, sports massage, Thai, and Ashiatsu (where she walks on you!), Michelle combines these style to create a healing massage to suit your specific needs.

  • 1 group surf lesson
  • 5 nights’ comfortable accommodation
  • Complimentary access to bikes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, snorkels, bodyboards, and surf boards
  • Daily guided meditation sessions
  • Daily morning and evening yoga classes
  • Delicious healthy breakfast and lunch for each or your four activity days
  • Group boat trip to the beautiful secluded white sand beach of Santa Catalina Island
  • Plush beach and pool, bathroom towels, sarong for beach yoga
  • Premium return transfer to and from Panama City
  • Welcome supper and drinks at the ocean front restaurant, gazing at the stars
  • Evening meals on your four activity days
  • Final day breakfast
  • Meals and refreshments during the transfer

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Tocumen International Airport (PTY). Transfer from and to the airport is included. The organizer will pick you up from the airport.

If you are coming from the US, Copa Airlines (Panama’s national airline) and United have direct flights from New York and Los Angeles, starting as little as 455 USD return. Santa Catalina Retreats recommends Copa Airlines as the service on board is always great and it includes a hot meal with wine, beer, spirits, and on board entertainment.

For information about the booking conditions, please send Santa Catalina Retreats an inquiry.
  • Review by Victoria Gordon from New York City, New York
    10 out of 10

    "I cannot speak highly enough about Santa Catalina Retreats. Earlier this spring my group and I (from NYC) were met with the open arms of Vickie and Sergio. Every part of the week was perfect— from the incredible surf instruction from legendary surf teacher/adventure guru, Lili, to stand up paddle boarding, to practicing yoga overlooking the lush and sprawling forests of Santa Catalina, and to sampling the local restaurants— this retreat was nothing short of amazing. Vickie and Sergio were “hosts with the mosts”, who made sure to go above and beyond in making us feel welcome and inspired. The magic of this place speaks for itself. Since returning from this rejuvenating, soul-reviving retreat, I have found a new passion in surfing, traveling, and spending as much time in nature as possible. You will not regret retreating with Santa Catalina!"

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Meghan Godin from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "I had an incredible time in Santa Catalina. The yoga and surf were revitalizing and the instructors were really wonderful. The food was fresh and made by the local Panamanians. The area is remote and very surf-like making it feel like a really special and authentic experience. Vickie was a lovely host and so well organized. She has such a positive energy! The other guests were really wonderful and made the trip really special. Loved it!"

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Pedro from Panama City, Panama
    10 out of 10

    "With the new ocean front restaurant / bar / pool over looking the main surf break this hotel has gone to another level. Along with very comfortable rooms and great service the hotel does offer great value for those looking for more than a hostel or B&B."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Aida C from Cincinnati, Ohio, United States
    10 out of 10

    "We were visiting from Cincinnati, Oh. Although I am from Panamanian, I had never been in Santa Catalina before. Took my family and we were a total of 8 individuals. Rooms are beautiful, very subtle but cozy, roomy, bathrooms were cleaned and spacious. One of our favorite things were the hamacas outside. Excellent to relax. The hotel is located close to a lot of small restaurants and the food was delicious. The walk at night was amazing. The pool with view of the ocean was amazing. And the service was the best. Everybody was very helpful and courteous. We are definitely coming back, we are even considering this hotel for our wedding !!!!!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Rsherman from Casco Viejo, Panama
    9 out of 10

    "Great place to stay in Santa Catalina. The rooms are clean and the grounds are maintained and well kept. Staff was very helpful. On our next business trip to Santa Catalina, we will surely return for another stay!"

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from Turin, Italy
    9 out of 10

    "We were two couples and even if, unfortunately, the hotel was full hand we have to stay all together in a four people room, we felt good: room clean and quite, charming ocean view from swimming pool just to better the food at restaurant."

    TripAdvisor website, edited

  • Review by Allie Ragusa
    10 out of 10

    "Santa Catalina Retreats was the perfect way to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the US and melt into the countryside of Panama. Vickie and Sergio were amazing hosts and everyone that I met along the way was equally as splendid. The people in the village truly are so carefree and friendly, which was a breath of fresh air! Our yoga instructor for the weekend, Michelle, was a great girl who gave us the space to create what we wanted for our yoga practice on the retreat. She also had amazing organic food for us! The surfing was held on a sandy beach which was great for beginners or the moderate level. The local boys who taught us were so patient and friendly! If you're an active person and are looking to get away, this is totally for you! I can't wait to visit again!"

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Amazing experience! Very well run, staff and instructors were personable and responsive. Perfect amount of organized activities and world class yoga instructor. Will be going again and again."

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by Meghan Godhin from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "I had an incredible time in Santa Catalina. The yoga and surf were revitalizing and the instructors were really wonderful. The food was fresh and made by the local Panamanians. The area is remote and very surf-like, making it feel like a really special and authentic experience."

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by Elle Carr from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "We had a wonderful surf and yoga retreat - and everything really was perfect. Great food, great accommodations and service, and great hosts too - all in a beautiful location! It was so worth the journey to disconnect and reconnect back into nature, yoga and surfing. We can't wait to go back!"

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by Sara McCormick from Vancouver, Canada
    10 out of 10

    "In a last minute search for a break from the big city, I stumbled across Santa Catalina Retreats and made a snap decision to join the Memorial Day retreat! So glad I did, as Vickie and the Santa Catalina crew made my first surf yoga getaway a truly memorable experience. The food, yoga, and scenery were fantastic, but it was the fun-loving dynamic of our group that made the trip complete. I came back feeling refreshed and warm from the inside out. Thanks Vickie, Michelle, and Sergio!"

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by Jena Hare from North Carolina, USA
    10 out of 10

    "My recent week with Santa Catalina Retreats was wonderful! Vickie and Sergio were the perfect hosts, and everything from the welcome reception to the transportation was well thought out and delightful. The food in Santa Catalina was fresh and the experts brought in for the lessons were great as well!"

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Simon Kreymerman from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "I recently joined Vickie and Sergio with Santa Catalina Retreats and had an overall fantastic time. They are wonderful, generous, gracious hosts and made me feel at ease from the first day. My time in Santa Catalina was filled with activity but while well scheduled (as a daily yoga and surf lesson require) was flexible enough to never feel rushed. The instruction in both yoga and surfing were excellent (thank you Michelle, Keone, and Sergio). Each of the meals I had at the various places in Santa Catalina was a delight - fresh ingredients and presentation combined to great effect. Mid-December was a great time of year to visit, soon after the rainy season in Panama, as the surroundings are green and lush. These and other aspects to my stay combined to create a wonderful, active, relaxing vacation."

    BookYogaRetreats.com website, edited

  • Review by Deanne Constantine from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "Santa Catalina Retreats is one of the most precious experiences you could ever give yourself as it gently reminds you to stop and smell the roses without you even knowing."

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Allie Ragusa from Florida, USA
    10 out of 10

    "Santa Catalina Retreats was the perfect way to leave behind the hustle and bustle of the US and melt into the countryside of Panama. Vickie and Sergio were amazing hosts and everyone that I met along the way was equally as splendid. The people in the village truly are so carefree and friendly, which was a breath of fresh air! Our yoga instructor for the weekend, Michelle, was a great gal who gave us the space to create what we wanted for our yoga practice on the retreat. She also had amazing organic food for us! The surfing was held on a sandy beach which was great for beginners or the moderate level. The local boys who taught us were oh so patient and friendly! If you’re an active person and are looking to get away this is totally for you! I can’t wait to visit again!!"

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Cerissa Linegar from Los Angeles, USA
    10 out of 10

    "Everything was so great and well organized. Vickie and Sergio did an amazing job from the beginning to the end. All the instructors were all so helpful and encouraging. I came back to Los Angeles and went surfing. I got up right away because of their great teaching. The food was all so fresh and amazing. I was having so much fun; I could have definitely stayed longer. Wonderful time with amazing people!"

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Elle Car from New York, USA
    10 out of 10

    "We had a wonderful surf and yoga retreat - and everything really was perfect… Great food, great accommodations and service, and great hosts too, all in a beautiful location! It was so worth the journey to disconnect and reconnect back into nature, yoga, and surfing. We can’t wait to go back!"

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Sarah McCormick from Vancouver, Canada
    10 out of 10

    "In a last minute search for a break from the big city, I stumbled across Santa Catalina Retreats and made a snap decision to join the Memorial Day retreat! So glad I did, as Vickie and the Santa Catalina crew made my first surf yoga getaway a truly memorable experience. The food, yoga, and scenery was fantastic, but it was the fun-loving dynamic of our group that made the trip complete. I came back feeling refreshed and warm from the inside-out. Thanks Vickie, Michelle, and Sergio!"

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Rebecca Lay from Sydney, Australia
    10 out of 10

    "Amazing experience! Very well run, staff and instructors were personable and responsive. Perfect amount of organized activities and world class yoga instructor. Will be going again and again."

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Jean Becker from Seattle, Washington, USA
    10 out of 10

    "I'm a certified yoga instructor and studio owner from Seattle, Washington, so of course while on vacation in Santa Catalina, Panama, attending a yoga class was on my bucket list. Michelle Miller, yoga instructor and studio owner, is a talented teacher with a gentle soul who gets to live and practice in a breathtaking location. The class I took from her was a gentle Hatha flow in her beautifully appointed tree house studio overlooking the jungle, with a consistent breeze and ocean sounds. Michelle's style is very personal, precise, and clear and I found her to be a very knowledgeable instructor. She made what is typically a difficult practice for me seem easy. Thanks Michelle! As a professional yoga instructor, I would highly recommend Michelle and her studio to any level student and I hope to have the opportunity to work with her again someday in the future."

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by Taina JC
    10 out of 10

    "I've traveled a lot in the last few years doing yoga everywhere I go and Michelle is one of my most memorable yoga teachers. She has a laid back, yet appropriately challenging approach that allowed me to do pretty difficult poses for the very first time with ease. Her class follows a comfortable pace, is set among an amazing setting, has an incredible view, and she's just a gem! Truly one of my favorite teachers in the world and a must while in Santa Catalina."

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

  • Review by A. Figueroa from USA
    10 out of 10

    "Michelle is a teacher who knows her stuff well. The narrative of the class is humorous and grounding. It is a slow flow, alignment based Vinyasa class grounded in humor and real talk. She keeps class relevant without all the mushy gushy holier-than-thou yoga jargon."

    Santa Catalina Retreats website, edited

Santa Catalina, Panama

Santa Catalina Retreats provides retreats to a new untapped destination in a tranquil authentic beach village and hidden gem of Central America.

from --

6 days / 5 nights

Availability

Arrival: Thursday December 15, 2016
Departure: Tuesday December 20, 2016

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