7 Days Invigorating Surf and Yoga Retreat in Veraguas, Panama

  • Santa Catalina Retreats, Calle Playa El Estero, Calle Kenny, Santa Catalina, Veraguas, Panama

7 Days Invigorating Surf and Yoga Retreat in Veraguas, Panama

  • Santa Catalina Retreats, Calle Playa El Estero, Calle Kenny, Santa Catalina, Veraguas, Panama

Rejuvenating Yoga Retreat in Panama

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.

Highlights

  • 1-2 daily yoga classes
  • Daily surf lessons with surf board and rash guard
  • Use of bikes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, snorkels, body and surf boards
  • A range of local beers, Argentinean and Chilean wines with your evening meal
  • Welcome cocktail and supper at the oceanfront restaurant
  • Delicious breakfasts, lunches, and dinners every day
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • Airport transfers
  • 6 days with instruction
  • English
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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

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.

Surf lesson

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.

Itinerary

Day 1

  • Santa Catalina Retreats will pick you up at around 11:00 at a central meeting place in Panama City.
  • You will make a stop for food and refreshments on the way.
  • You will arrive into Santa Catalina at around 15:00 to check into your rooms, refresh and join for a sunset welcome cocktail as well as dinner.

Day 2 to 6

  • You will have AM or PM yoga classes (styles include Hatha and Vinyasa) and mid-morning surf sessions.
  • You will have delicious healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners daily (you will enjoy dining at Santa Catalina Retreats' waterfront restaurant as well as some of the best local restaurants in the village).
  • You will have free time and you may take it to the beach, snorkeling, horse riding, kayaking, SUP, massage or just chill in a hammock.
  • You can have optional mid-week day trip to Coiba Island for diving or snorkeling, horseback riding, take a guided hike or enjoy a heavenly massage

Day 7

  • Santa Catalina Retreats will make out way back to Panama City at 10:00 arriving at around 16:00 so you can make an evening flight home.

Other information

  • If the surf conditions are not ideal for one or more days, the lessons will be rearranged for a different day or time. Alternatively, Santa Catalina Retreats may conduct a surf fitness class and surf theory lesson.
  • If you cancel a surf or yoga lesson, Santa Catalina Retreats is not responsible for an extra lesson on a different day or time.
  • Santa Catalina Retreats reserves the right to change yoga and surf instructors without prior notice.
  • 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 as well as the feeling of well-being.

  • 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.

  • Aurora Brenes

    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.

Nearby places

  • Town - 10 minutes on foot
  • Playa Estero - 5 minutes on foot
  • Soná - 1 hour

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.

  • Aromatherapy
  • Birdwatching
  • Casco Viejo visit
  • Coiba National Park snorkeling (80 USD per person) and diving (150 USD for a two-tank dive)
  • Coiba Island guided tour
  • Guided hiking
  • Horseriding
  • Kayaking
  • Reiki and massage treatment
  • Stand up paddle boarding
  • Trigger point therapy
  • 1-2 yoga classes each day
  • 6 nights' accommodation
  • A range of local beers, Argentinean and Chilean wines with your evening meal
  • Complimentary (moderate speed) Wi-Fi in the restaurant social area
  • Daily surf lesson including your board, rash guard, chilled filtered water and fresh fruit to hydrate after your sessions
  • Delicious healthy breakfasts, lunches and dinners every day
  • Private round trip transfer to and from Panama City
  • Unlimited use of bikes, kayaks, stand up paddle boards, snorkels, body and surf boards at your leisure
  • Welcome cocktail and supper at the oceanfront restaurant underneath the stars
  • 10% tax
  • Any gratuities offered to the hotel and restaurant staff at the end of your stay
  • Flight
  • Meals and refreshments during the transfer to and from Panama City
  • Travel insurance

Arrival by airplane

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.

Arrival by taxi

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.

  • A reservation requires a deposit of 20% of the total price.
  • The deposit is fully refundable if the booking is cancelled up to 56 days before the arrival date.
  • The rest of the payment should be paid 7 days before arrival.

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

Veraguas, Panama

Santa Catalina Retreats provides wellness as well as yoga retreats to a new untapped destination in a tranquil authentic beach village and hidden gem of Central America.

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7 days / 6 nights

Select arrival date:
Departure:
Saturday November 25, 2017
Departure:
Saturday November 25, 2017
(7 days / 6 nights)

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