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Living life in the big city, you might need a break from the pace, hustle and bustle. So if you are craving the rejuvenating powers of the beach, waves and a blissful surfer haven, join Santa Catalina Retreats in the beautiful Santa Catalina in Veraguas, Panama. You will return home with a sun-kissed glow, stronger surfing skills and a reinvigorated yoga practice.
Hotel Santa Catalina's beachfront accommodation offers an infinity pool, restaurant / bar, yoga shala, and yoga deck. 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.
Santa Catalina Retreats wants to make your experience as natural and comfortable as possible. They believe you can enjoy quality retreat accommodation without the high prices. That's why all of the rooms have memory foam mattresses, plush pillows, and Egyptian cotton sheets. The rooms include fan, air conditioner, fridge, blow dryer, cable TV and a locked storage area.
There is also a hammock and outdoor table and chairs for the perfect relaxation spot. You can chill on the 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 bar.
Yoga is a perfect complement to surfing that will develop your strength, flexibility and balance. It is especially great for stretching out the shoulders, back and opening the hips after your surf session. All levels are welcome as the instructors will adapt poses to suit your ability. To embrace the natural beauty of Santa Catalina and ground your practice, Santa Catalina Retreats often combines a class where you can get your feet in the sand, literally.
Santa Catalina Retreats will couple beach yoga with classes in their tranquil open-air yoga shala with ocean views and the waterfront yoga deck. You will experience your yoga classes listening to the calming sounds of the ocean and the abundant sounds of wildlife all around you.
Your daily surf lessons will be held at the warm waters of Playa Estero. It is one of the best beach breaks in Central America for beginner and intermediate surfers. Playa Estero is a quiet, fun and uncrowded beach with a gentle soft sand bottom which breaking left and right, offering smaller more gentle waves for beginners on the south side as well as more challenging waves on the north. The classes are one hour each day.
The water is warm all year round so no need for a wetsuit, but Santa Catalina Retreats will provide you with a rash vest for comfort and extra protection from the sun. Santa Catalina Retreats has a range of soft and hard boards, so you can feel confident because will you have the right board for your level. The class time each day will vary depending on the tides but generally, you will be out in the early morning. If the tides are in the 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 skillful 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.
Brenda has been involved in the world of health and wellness since she was a teen. During her 30 years of teaching in international schools, Brenda has taught Qigong, yoga, mindfulness and Tai Chi to all age levels. She has also published articles internationally in area of health and well-being. Her aim in all of her teachings is to inspire and empower people through physical movement to talk into the healing energy within, for better health as well as the feeling of well-being.
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500 (Yoga)
Michelle Barge has been practicing yoga since 1996 following a life dedicated to classical ballet and teaching yoga and leading global retreats since 2008. Her style fuses her training in traditional Hatha yoga schools, Iyengar, and Ashtanga with her training in core strength Vinyasa flow. Michelle brings a deep meditation practice to her classes through her knowledge of many forms of Buddhist and Hindu meditation. Michelle's passions and knowledge for polo, horseback riding, travel, fine foods and wine make her the perfect yoga teacher for this retreat.
Aurora is a Panamanian certified Vinyasa yoga instructor with a deep practice in both Ashtanga and Vinyasa yoga. Aurora embodies a deep respect for the tradition and lineage of Yoga, which is experienced through her classes. Her classes are a blend of alignment based asana practice, spirituality, energy work, and meditation. Aurora has been able to share her knowledge in the US and Panama; in studios, private classes, public events, workshops, and retreats.
Santa Catalina in Veraguas, Panama is an ideal location to unplug, slow down and enjoy the beauty of nature. All you have to do here is enjoy, be looked after as well as do some fantastic yoga and surf. About a five-hour drive south west 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.
Being fairly secluded, the closest town with ATM, pharmacy and large grocery is in Soná, about an hour away. There are 2 local stores with the basics, and a local fruit and vegetable truck that passes through every other day.
Santa Catalina Retreats' accommodation is hosted at the picturesque Hotel Santa Catalina that is owned by local surfer Kenny Meyers. Only a five-minute walk to Playa Estero and a ten-minute walk into town. Being secluded and nestled into nature, the property backs onto the pacific ocean, giving you your own private beach at hide tide. The accommodation also offers the most spectacular view of the world famous surf break "the point" (La Punta).
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 bar.
You will be served daily delicious healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day. You will be dining at the waterfront restaurant as well as the best local restaurants in the village that will offer you a deliciously unique and immersive experience. Vegetarian, vegan and gluten free options are available. You will also enjoy a range of local beers, Argentinean and Chilean wines with your evening meal. Your daily surf lesson will also include chilled filtered water and fresh fruit to hydrate after your sessions.
A welcome cocktail and supper at the oceanfront restaurant upon your arrival will also be provided. Dining in Santa Catalina is relaxed, inexpensive and delicious. All restaurants are open air and the food is homemade as well as super fresh. Seafood caught daily by the fisherman includes red snapper, lobster, tuna, mahi-mahi, wahoo, crab and jumbo shrimp. They all served up in the local restaurants in their own unique and flavorsome way. Santa Catalina Retreats' favorite is the red snapper ceviche and lobster tacos which are incredible.
In addition to seafood, there is also tasty wood fired pizza, Italian, Argentinean and authentic Panamanian food. Santa Catalina Retreats will give you all the tips for dining out during your welcome dinner. You can also buy seafood directly from the fisherman in tow and cook up on your own. There are two local stores with the basics and a local fruit as well as a vegetable truck that passes through every other day. You will hear the horn blowing and know when it is coming. You may want to have some loose change ready. A bag of bananas is just 1 USD.
Please book your flight to arrive at Tocumen International Airport (PTY). Transfer from and to the airport is included. Santa Catalina Retreats will pick you up from the airport.
If you would like to join the transfer from Panama City to Santa Catalina, please be at the arrivals gate of Tocumen International Airport (PTY) no later then 9 a.m. on your retreat start date. If you are already in Panama City, Santa Catalina Retreats will pick you up at a central meeting point in Panama City before or at 11 a.m. Please book your return flight at 6 p.m. onwards on your final retreat day because the transfer will arrive into Panama City around 4 p.m.
The closest international airport is Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City. If you are coming from the USA, Copa Airlines (Panama’s national airline) and United have direct flights from New York and Los Angeles and starting as little as 455 USD (return). Santa Catalina Retreats loves Copa Airlines as the service on board is always great and it includes a hot meal with wine, beer, spirits as well as on board entertainment.
Getting to Santa Catalina from Panama City can be tricky for your first visit as you need to navigate the local bus systems. For this reason, Santa Catalina Retreats include premium transfers to and from Panama City to ensure your journey is completely stress-free. The shuttles are super comfy and equipped with Wi-Fi, air conditioner and water. You will make a stop at a local supermarket on the way so you can stock up on anything you need for the week. To join the transfer, please kindly observe Santa Catalina Retreats' pick up times and see planning your trip.
Taxis are easy, safe and abundant. There is an authorized taxi stand outside the main exit of the airport. If traveling alone, you will expect to pay up to 35 USD to Casco Viejo. You can also agree to wait for other passengers and split the fare to make to make it cheaper. The drive into town is about 30 minutes, give or take some traffic.
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