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5 Days "Off-Grid" Yoga Surf Retreat in Panama

  • Hotel Santa Catalina, Calle El Estero, Santa Catalina, Veraguas, Panama

Yoga and Surf Holiday in Panama

Living life in the big city, everyone needs a chance to step aside from the fast pace and hustle. So if you're craving the beach, nature and wide-open spaces, join this retreat in beautiful Panama. You will have time and space to disconnect, reset, plus have some fun! You'll enjoy yoga and surf in the remote and authentic surf village of Santa Catalina and be nourished in the goodness of super healthy fresh foods and local organic seafood each day. Come home with a sun-kissed glow, stronger surfing skills, a reinvigorated yoga practice, and feeling more relaxed and refreshed then you've ever been!

Highlights

  • 1 daily surf lesson
  • 2 daily yoga classes
  • Boat trip for beach yoga class and SUP
  • 4 nights accommodation
  • Healthy, local meals
  • Airport transfers
  • 3 days with instruction
  • English
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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. Each room has their own hammock, table and chairs outside. 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 yoga and surf.

Day 1 - Arrival

  • A luxury shuttle from Santa Catalina Retreats will pick you up from Tocumen International Airport (PTY) at 12:00, and 13.00 in front of the American Trade Hotel in Casco Viejo if you've arrived to Panama City the evening prior or earlier in the day.
  • Enjoy a break stop on the way for a meal and refreshments. Arrival into Santa Catalina around 21:30.
  • You will join for a welcome drink and fresh fruits under the starts at the waterfront restaurant of the hotel.

Day 2 - 4

  • Integrated Vinyasa yoga class in the morning;
  • Surf session;
  • Delicious healthy breakfast and lunch with a local flare - you will dine at the hotels waterfront restaurant, as well as other restaurants in the village providing a unique and immersive experience.
  • Free time in the afternoon; relax at the beach or by the pool, go snorkeling, horseback riding, bike riding, kayaking, stand up paddle, enjoy a massage, or just chill in a hammock.
  • Early evening restorative yoga class;

Day 5 - Departure

  • A luxury shuttle from Santa Catalina Retreats will depart from the hotel at 9:30 in the morning, making a lunch stop on the way and returning you back into Panama City or Tocumen International Airport (PTY) at around 16:00.
  • Michelle Barge

    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.

Santa Catalina Hotel

The picturesque Santa Catalina Hotel, owned by local surfer Kenny Meyers. Secluded and nestled into nature, the property backs onto the Pacific ocean giving you your own private beach access at hide tide and a spectacular view of the world-class surf break 'The Point'.

The tranquil location makes it the perfect place to take some time out and reset. You can relax by the infinity pool and sun deck, or the waterfront restaurant. Chill on a hammock with a good book, or sprawl out on the spacious lawns.

Santa Catalina

Santa Catalina is about a five-hour drive south west of Panama City on the Pacific Coast. With its remote location, the village remains fairly undeveloped 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.

Nearby places

  • Playa Estero - 5-minute walk
  • Santa Catalina Town - 10-minute walk
Activities
  • Diving
  • Fishing nearby
  • Hiking
  • Horse riding / rental
  • Kayaking
  • Massage
  • Scuba diving
  • Snorkeling
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Surfing
  • Swimming
  • Swimming pool
General
  • Air-conditioned rooms
  • Beach
  • Beach nearby
  • Dining area
  • Environmentally friendly
  • Hammock
  • In-room safe
  • Restaurant
  • Yoga studio
Services
  • Board rental
  • Convenience / grocery store nearby
  • Free Wi-Fi
  • Laundry
  • Tour assistance

You will enjoy delicious healthy breakfasts and lunches with a local flare. You will also have welcome drinks and fresh fruit on your first night of the retreat.

Exclusions

Dinners on your 3 activity days are not included, as well as your last day breakfast and meals/refreshments during your break stops on the complimentary transfer. You will be provided with information on the local restaurants in town and suggestions on places to dine each evening.

Bird watching

A large variety of birds inhabit the tropical rainforest surrounding Santa Catalina. You can take your own stroll, and catch some stunning sights, or you can arrange a guided walking tour with one of Santa Catalina's local guides. Coiba Island is an especially superb area for a guided tour.

Diving and snorkeling

Coiba Island is one of Panamas most beautiful places, one and a half-hour boat ride from Playa Santa Catalina. The island is still relatively undeveloped with over 80% of its natural habitat intact. The beaches are exquisite and the island and surrounding areas offer spectacular diving and snorkeling. Santa Catalina has three PADI certified dive centers with trips going out most days, so you can dive or snorkel into your retreat week.

Horse-back riding

Local horseman Pedro and his family can take you on a laid-back or exhilarating ride through the lush forest and beach side, you set the pace. Pedro's horses are very well looked after, and are very friendly. You'll often find one or two taking a solo stroll through the streets of Santa Catalina.

Kayak and stand up paddle boarding

You can have free use of the retreats kayaks and SUP boards with your retreat stay. You can take off right out back of the accommodation, catch some waves or paddle out to one of the surrounding islands. If it's your first time for SUP, you can arrange a class with a local instructor. Both kayaking and SUP are great for upper body and core strength and a lot of fun.

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 shiatsu. Michelle combines these styles to create a healing massage to suit your specific needs.

  • 3 breakfasts
  • 3 lunches
  • 4 night accommodation
  • Boat trip to Santa Catalina Island for beach yoga, SUP, snorkel, and picnic breakfast
  • Complimentary City/Airport transfers
  • Complimentary access to bikes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, snorkels, and surf boards.
  • Complimentary moderate speed WiFi in the Hotel's restaurant area.
  • Daily surf lessons
  • Twice Daily yoga sessions
  • Welcome drinks and fresh fruit.
  • Breakfast on your final departure day
  • Dinners on your 3 activity days
  • Plane ticket

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.

Alternatively, if you would like to make your own way to/from Santa Catalina, Santa Catalina Retreats are happy to provide you with directions for taking the bus and taxi's, or if you plan to drive there (there is secure on-site parking as well).

Verified BookSurfCamps.com reviews

  • 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 website, edited

  • Review by A traveler from United States
    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 website, edited

  • Review by Meghan Godhin from United States
    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 website, edited

  • Review by Elle Carr from United States
    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 website, edited

  • Review by Sara McCormick from 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 website, edited

  • Review by Simon Kreymerman from United States
    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 website, edited

Testimonials

  • Review by Victoria Gordon from 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 United States
    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
    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 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 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 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 Jena Jay 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 Facebook page, edited

  • Review by Jena Hare from United States

    "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 Deanne Constantine from United States

    "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 United States

    "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 United States

    "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 United States

    "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 Canada

    "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 Australia

    "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 Washington, USA

    "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

    "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 United States

    "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