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7 days Surf Spanish Qigong Yoga in Panama

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

Overview

Waves Flow Fluency Yoga Retreat Panama

Always wanted to try surfing? Wish you could master survival Spanish? Curious about the ancient art of Qigong and Tai Chi? This retreat was designed for open-minded inquisitive adventure travelers like you, seeking authentic and distinctive experiences, no matter your age or background. This retreat combines the magic of Qigong and Tai Chi, the invigoration of surfing, the charm of the Spanish language, and the tranquility that comes with mindfulness.

Highlights

  • 3 mindfulness practices
  • 5 Spanish conversation lessons, one each day
  • 5 Qigong and Tai Chi practice, one each morning
  • 3 surf lessons, board, rash guard, filtered water, and fresh fruit included
  • Welcome drinks and supper at the water-front restaurant
  • Private return transfer to and from Panama City
  • Delicious healthy breakfast and lunch
  • 6 nights' accommodation

Skill level

  • Beginner

  • 5 days with instruction
  • English, Spanish
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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 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 five 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).

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.

Enliven your senses and enrich your soul with Santa Catalina Retreats’ six-night surfing, Spanish lessons, Qigong, Tai Chi, and yoga retreat in Panama. Experience these soul enriching practices in beautiful Santa Catalina, Panama - a destination far away from home but super close to nature. Providing peace and quiet for the mind, and refreshing energy for the body.

Retreat schedule

Day 1

  • Santa Catalina Retreats will pick you up from Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in Panama City, at 12:00 to 12:30 at noon, in front of the American Trade Hotel in Casco Viejo, if you're already in Panama City.
  • You'll make a stop for food and refreshments on the way!
  • Arrive into Santa Catalina around 18:00 to check into your rooms, re-fresh, and join for welcome supper and drinks under the stars

Day 2 to 6

  • Daily early morning Qigong or Tai Chi practice (five days)
  • Mid-morning surf session (three days)
  • Daily delicious healthy breakfast and lunch
  • Daily afternoon Spanish classes
  • Evening mindfulness practice (three days)
  • Dinner and drinks - Santa Catalina Retreats will suggest great local places each night for you to try!

Day 7

  • Santa Catalina Retreats will take you back to Panama City at 10:00 in the morning, arriving around 16:00, so you can make an evening flight home.

Qigong and Tai Chi

Qigong is a form of gentle exercises, composed of breathing, stretches, flowing movements, and meditation. Qigong invigorates the body, calms the mind, and builds an awareness of your movement through space. The movements are often repeated a number of times, which is one of the major differences between Qigong and Tai Chi.

Tai Chi originated as a martial arts form for self-defense, but has evolved over the years into an effective means of alleviating stress and anxiety. Tai Chi is often considered to be a form of 'meditation in motion' because of its benefits in promoting serenity and inner peace.

A definition of mindfulness

After taking several courses in teaching mindfulness to students, teachers, and adults in general, Brenda’s favorite definition of mindfulness is from Dr. Amy Saltzman: “Mindfulness is paying attention here and now, with kindness and curiosity, so that we can choose our behavior.”

No matter what age group or profession Brenda is working with, it all comes down to the basic concepts of being in the present moment, being kind to yourself and others, and learning when to pause and take a step back.

Surfing in Santa Catalina

Surfing is special here because beaches offer the most rewarding conditions, for beginner to advanced surfing in Panama. Playa Estero is a stunning, often secluded long beach break with gentle waves for learners on the south side, and more challenging waves to the north. And as a beach break, there is a soft and gentle sand bottom. Couple this with patient, encouraging, knowledgeable, and super fun instructors, and you’ll up on the board your first day!

Spanish classes

When you can talk with locals, you immediately begin to feel more connected to the community and your travel experience takes on a whole new meaning. Join Brenda on this immersive five-day course to get you feeling more confident in basic Spanish conversation and take your travel experience to a whole new level. You will be asked to complete a short evaluation before your retreat start date, so Santa Catalina Retreats can access your level and assign your class.

  • Brenda Lyons

    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 and feeling of well-being.

About a five-hour drive southwest 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 70s.

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 in the 70s. Quiet and serene beaches back onto lush forest, 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

Delicious healthy breakfast and lunch are included for each or your activity days. You will be dining at water-front restaurant, as well as at the best local restaurants in the village, providing a deliciously unique and immersive experience. Vegetarian and gluten free options are also available.

At high tide, you can take the kayaks and stand up paddle boards out for a paddle. Wonderful islands surround Santa Catalina that are worth exploring and it’s also a great workout! You will also have plenty of time to take to the beach, snorkel, dive, horse ride, enjoy a private yoga class or a massage, or simply kick back in a hammock.

During your free time, you may enjoy a pampering massage, for an additional price.

  • 3 mindfulness practices
  • 3 surf lessons at Playa Estero, including your board, rash guard, filtered water, and fresh fruit to hydrate
  • 5 Qigong or Tai Chi practice (one each morning)
  • 5 Spanish conversation lessons (one each day)
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • Complimentary pure Panama oils - organic, cold pressed, locally produced, and sustainably harvested - pure heaven
  • Delicious healthy breakfast and lunch for each or your activity days
  • Private return transfer to and from Panama City or from Tocumen International Airport (PTY)
  • Welcome drinks and supper at the waterfront restaurant, under the stars
  • Breakfast on your departure day
  • Evening meals on your activity days
  • Massages
  • Meals and refreshments during the transfer
  • Private yoga classes

Arrival by airplane

Please book your flight to arrive at Tocumen International Airport (PTY). Santa Catalina Retreats will pick you up from the airport. The pick-up is included in the price.

If you would like to join the transfer to Santa Catalina, please be at the arrivals gate of the airport no later then 12:00 at noon, on your retreat start date. Book your return flight for 18:00 on-wards on your final retreat day - the transfer will arrive into Panama City around 16:00.

If you are already in Panama City, Santa Catalina Retreats will pick you up in front of the American Trade Hotel in cask viejo at 12:30.

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 --

7 days / 6 nights

Availability

Arrival: Sunday January 22, 2017
Departure: Saturday January 28, 2017

Custom dates

This vacation is also available on other dates, please select an arrival date below.

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