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Expert tip: This is one of the most popular yoga retreats offered in Panama.
Imagine a yoga and surf retreat in a tranquil, remote, unspoiled, and authentic surf town. Connect with the genuine friendly locals and enjoy delicious healthy meals of local fresh fruits and local organic seafood each day. The place is where nature and wildlife are in abundance and people warmly greet you as you stroll, skate, or bike through town. There, you’ll immerse yourself in daily yoga classes, a daily surf session, and super healthy fresh foods. Return home with a sun-kissed glow, stronger surfing skills, and a reinvigorated yoga practice. Santa Catalina is the ultimate location to unplug, slow down, and enjoy the beauty of nature. All you have to do is enjoy, be looked after, and do some fantastic yoga and surf.
Hotel Santa Catalina's beachfront accommodation offers an infinity pool, restaurant and 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.
Yoga Alliance E-RYT 500
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.
Cydney Tucker is a world traveler, certified yoga instructor and passionate New York based journalist with an M.A in Journalism from Columbia University. She received her E-RYT 200 HR Certification in (New York City, 2016) and has been an avid instructor ever since teaching at NYC studios including, The Studio, Shakktibarre and Yoga for the People. Eager to help others develop a mindfulness practice, Cydney is also the founder and CEO of Colors of Ohm, a non-profit organization working to bridge the gap between people of color and wellness opportunities through mindfulness workshops and yoga.
Eva´s spiritual journey began in 2000 after completing her university degree in History of Art. This took her to India, where she fell deeper into this practice leading her to take her Training at the Satyananda Ashram, where she not only mastered her yoga practice but also deepened into meditation and a yogic lifestyle. Coming from the Satyananda tradition, Eva facilitates eclectic Yoga classes, a blend of different styles depending on the experience level and needs of students. Hatha Yoga, Yin, Pranayamas, Dance, Meditations, Laughter yoga, Thai-Yoga and Yoga Nidra are part of the journey.
Born in Brazil, Fabi spent part of her childhood in South Africa & India. Fabi has always been drawn by the elements of Nature to heal her body and nourish her soul which allowed her to develop great body awareness and understanding. Fabi is a bilingual Holistic Therapist, Functional Sports Nutritionist, Naturopath and Mindfulness facilitator with over a decade of experience in yoga, mindfulness & wellbeing. Fabi is RYT 200hr trained in Ashtanga Vinyasa, Hatha and Yin and is currently undergoing further training in New York (ISHTA Yoga) for her advanced 500RYT.
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 its 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 high 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. Get ready to enjoy delicious healthy family style meals with a local flare.
Breakfasts include a mix of local fresh fruit salads, yogurt, granola, eggs or omelets, pancakes, whole wheat toast and fresh bread from the local bakery, gluten-free vegan breakfast muffins, tea, coffee, juices, and fruit smoothies.
Lunches and dinners are primarily seafood given the abundance of fresh local organic seafood available including red snapper, sea bass, tuna, mahi-mahi, lobster, clams, and shrimp, all served up by local resident chefs in their own unique and flavorsome way. Meals are served with a variety of healthy sides including rice, plantains, yucca, various salads and soups, quinoa, beans, and fruit.
A delicious variety of vegetarian, vegan, dairy-free, and gluten-free meal plans are readily available. Meats and chicken are also available on request. Beverages include natural fruit smoothies with breakfast, natural fruit juices with lunch (all using local tropical fruits). They serve Argentinian and Chilean wines or local beer (one serving per person) with your evening meal, as well as fruit-infused sparkling water.
For any additional food, drinks, smoothies, juices, and others you would like to enjoy beyond what is served at each meal, you are welcome to order and pay directly at the restaurant bar at any time throughout the day. The restaurant is open from 7:00 am to 11:00 pm every day. Local Boquete coffee and a variety of teas and milk are served every day. There is a chilled filtered water station for you to re-fill on the go.
Tocumen International Airport
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 8:00 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 9:30 a.m. Please book your return flight at 6:00 p.m. onwards on your final retreat day because the transfer will arrive into Panama City around 4:00 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 onboard 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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