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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.
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.
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.
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 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!
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 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!
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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.
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.