Panama·January 27 - February 4 2023

Best of Panama Retreat

Experience the highlights of Panama on this curated boutique cultural experience split between the City's old town and the remote coastline!

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Overview

This is a retreat to immerse yourself in the absolute best that Panama has to offer with a completely curated 9 day + 8 night experience. Nestled between Costa Rica and Colombia, Panama is a literal and figurative bridge between North and South America. We'll start with 3 nights in our favorite boutique hotel in the heart of Casco Viejo, Panama City's hippest neighborhood. Then we'll head out to the coast to get away from it all with 5 nights in a private resort in a remote corner of western province of Chiriquí. Our coastal home is perched high above the jungle with amazing vistas of the Pacific Ocean and rivers valleys. Enjoy included excursions and meals such as biking tours and rooftop dinners in Panama City, followed by a hike to a remote waterfall and a lunch on a deserted island once we get out to the coast. Get away your day-to-day and into a new rhythm of a tropical Panamanian life. *Please note we are requiring proof of COVID vaccination AND a pre-retreat negative test for all 2023 retreat guests* - Group Size: 10-14 Guests - Luxury Score: 4 (out of 5) - Activity Score: 3 (out of 5) - Some Active Tours - Cuisine: Omnivore (some meat + fish offered) *Short on vacation time but still eager to visit Panama? Check out our 7 day / 6 night experience "Retreat to Coastal Panama: Feb 2023"

Highlights

City Life

City Life

Our Panama City boutique hotel is an all suites property and is in the heart of "old town" where wrought iron balconies covered in flowering vines overlook brick-paved streets. There are modern restaurants and roof top bars, but the pace is still relaxed and easy going. Then come back to relax in our shared courtyards or stunning balconies.

Coastal Villa

Coastal Villa

Our quiet, coastal venue is held is set on an expansive property with lush landscapes in every direction. Wake up to the sound of howler monkeys and practice yoga with 360 degree views of the breathtaking nature. Walk to the beach, sip a drink from the infinity pool as you look out at the ocean, or nap in a shady hammock.

Included Meals

Included Meals

In the city we'll share 3 curated group meals and you'll have plenty of time to enjoy other meals on your own (we'll provide recs!). Once on the coast, all your meals are included. From made-to-order breakfasts to lunch options like fresh caught fish tacos to extravagant candle-light dinners. You'll also enjoy local cuisine on two coastal excursions.

Biking Tour

Biking Tour

Get your bearings on our first full day together as we head out after breakfast with our local guide to explore Panama City on two wheels! We'll cruise down the wide shady bike lanes to see the modern skyline and cycle past fish markets in the old town. Our guide will give you lots of interesting info about your new home for the next 9 days!

Waterfall Hike

Waterfall Hike

Sure to be one of the highlights of your trip - our guided waterfall hike will take you deep into the jungle and through indigenous villages and up mountains. The journey is more than worth the views after our short, but steep descent to visit and swim in the waterfalls.

Island Exploration

Island Exploration

We'll spend a half day exploring local islands by boat. Enjoy plenty of time to swim in the crystal clear waters and an included local lunch on a deserted island that'll make you feel like you've been castaway to another world.

Wellness Focus

Wellness Focus

In the city you'll have time to enjoy meditations and journaling workshops in our private courtyard. While at the coast, wake up to invigorating morning yoga flow and wind down with afternoon yin or gentle classes in our thatched roof, open-air yoga shala. We ask that you bring your own mat if you'd like to participate, we can make suggestions on great travel mat and foldable options.

Optional Add Ons

Optional Add Ons

If you'd like even more exploration and adventures, we can set you up to take an incredible afternoon tour of the Panama Canal or go kayaking in the coastal mangroves. Feeling a slower pace of vacation - maybe a relaxing massage is more your speed! Extra activities or spa services are pay on your own.

Time to Beach It

Time to Beach It

Our coastal villa is just a 15 minute walk from a local and quiet beach area. There are lounge chairs and hammocks set up for the retreat guests, so it's the perfect place to relax on a free day. Take a swim in the bay or just watch the hermit crabs climb over the sand dunes at sunset. Natural beauty at its finest.

Hosts

In addition to our owner and Chief Zen Officer Anna, each Above Yoga retreat has one or two additional certified yoga teachers or fitness instructors on-site who will lead a portion of the classes and support students in their practice. We find that an opportunity to participate in a variety of classes with various teaching styles adds to our guests’ overall retreat experience.

Anna Egleston, RYT 500, Retreat Leader

Anna Egleston, RYT 500, Retreat Leader

Anna is Above Yoga's Chief Zen Officer and lead yoga instructor. Anna handles all retreat planning and logistics on-site. She aims to hold space for others to experience personal growth, transformation and community through wellness travel. She loves to teach yin, slow flow and also moderately paced vinyasa flows focused on alignment that are accessible to every level of student but that offer challenges in an inclusive environment.

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Sonia Shultis, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, Co-Teacher

Sonia Shultis, E-RYT 200, RYT 500, Co-Teacher

Sonia is an executive producer of the Ahimsa Yoga & Music Festival held in the beautiful mountains of Upstate New York.  In her 20 year career she has owned and operated the first maternity spa in Washington, D.C., a yoga studio in New York, currently manages a holistic wellness center, and is now focusing on the Ahimsa Festival.  Her affinity for travel has led her through countless yoga teacher trainings, continuing education opportunities, festivals, as well as her new found love for retreats.  She is excited to be a part of the Panama retreat team and is honored to guide you through fun and relaxing yoga practices during your stay.

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Jen Reckmeyer, RYT  200, Co-Teacher

Jen Reckmeyer, RYT 200, Co-Teacher

Jen is a Panama expert! Having spent several months there over the last few years, she's one of the best people to guide you in the best ways to slow down and enjoy all this magical country has to offer! She'll be leading a few of the yoga classes during the coastal portion of this retreat. Expect thoughtful yoga classes with a mix of strength and softness (and some loving hands on assists if desired)! When she's not in Central America, Jen lives in Milwaukee and teaches at Empower Yoga Milwaukee. 

Schedule

Previous

Next

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DAY 1

Day 1 - Welcome to Panama!

Bienvenidos! Welcome to Panama! Our private airport transfer will pick you up from the Panama Tocumen International Airport (PTY) in the late afternoon and we'll have a relaxed check in. Join our informal first group gathering to do intros and get more information about our time together. Afterwards, we'll head to a group dinner at one of our favorite local spots! 

Included

Airport Transportation

Welcome Gathering

Dinner

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DAY 2

Day 2 - Exploring the City

After an optional morning meditation over our coffee, we'll head out for a group breakfast at one of our favorite local spots! Afterwards we'll meet up with our guide and hop on our bikes for a tour. For the next few hours, we'll pedal the wide bike lanes to check out Panama's more modern side, learn a bit about the country's complex history and stop for a drink at a local watering hole on the way home. The ride is about 5-6 miles total and almost totally flat - very accessible for those out of practice with being on two wheels. We'll be back at the hotel in the afternoon and the day is yours to explore, shop and dine on your own. 

Included

Morning Meditation

Breakfast

Guided Bike Tour

Not Included

Lunch

Dinner

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DAY 3

Day 3 - Go Your Own Way

By now, you'll be totally comfortable navigating the old town of Panama City and you'll probably feel like a local. So you'll have the day to make your own adventures. Whether you choose to sleep in, shop the local markets, sample Panamanian chocolate, or take a guided tour of the Panama Canal (we've got the best guide!), the options are endless. We'll gather together in the evening to enjoy a happy hour at one of our favorite spots and toast to an epic few days in one of the world's hidden gems of a city (and we'll do so with amazing skyline views in the background!)

Included

Morning Yoga

Evening Drinks + Apps

Not Included

Breakfast

Lunch

Additional Tours

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DAY 4

Day 4 - Off to the Coast!

Take it slow as you enjoy breakfast on your own and do some last minute shopping. Then we'll get ready to hop on a short afternoon flight from Panama City to David in western Panama (about an hour). In the late afternoon, you'll be greeted outside the Enrique Malek International Airport (in David - DAV) by your private transfer and enjoy an hour long scenic journey to the villa. Enjoy a leisurely check-in and get settled into your new home! Soak up the sunset views as our private chef prepares our first delicious dinner. To prepare our bodies and minds for our time in this magical space, we will have an optional grounding and gentle yoga practice after dinner. You'll have to take just a few steps back to your comfy beds to sleep the night away. 

Included

Airport Transportation

Welcome Gathering

Private Chef Dinner

Yoga Class

Not Included

Flight from PTY to DAV

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DAY 5

Day 5 - Let's Take it Easy

We'll wake up to have an invigorating morning yoga flow class followed by a gourmet made-to-order breakfast. Join for an optional guided walk to our nearby beach area. The day is yours to relax and enjoy the scenery. Feel free to hang at the beach in a hammock, take a swim in the Pacific or sit by the pool and dive into a new book. Lunch can be ordered poolside at your leisure. We'll gather in the early evening for an optional journaling workshop followed by a restorative and meditative yoga class. Then it's another chef group dinner (maybe the fresh catch straight from the ocean) while overlooking our villa's infinity pool. You could get used to this life, right?

Included

Morning Vinyasa Yoga

Breakfast

Intro Beach Walk

Lunch

Journaling Workshop

Evening Yoga

Dinner

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DAY 6

Day 6 - Waterfall Hike

After our morning yoga class, enjoy another specialty breakfast dish + tropical fruit and local coffee. We'll head out late morning for an adventurous drive to the next province and deep into the jungle and small indigenous villages. We'll meet up with our hiking guide who will help us descend deeper and deeper into the valley. The hike is short (less than a mile) but extremely steep. The views are more than worth it! After traversing behind the falls, you'll be able to swim in their cool, clear pools. We'll return to one of the local villages to enjoy a traditional Panamanian lunch in an open air restaurant. Once we're back at the villa in the late afternoon you can hop in the pool until it's time for another delicious group dinner.

Included

Morning Yoga Class

Breakfast

Guided Waterfall Hike

Lunch

Dinner

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DAY 7

Day 7 - Soak It Up

Enjoy our sunrise flow morning yoga class and breakfast (it wouldn't be one of our sand + sea retreats without this blissful combo!) and then join us for another journaling workshop or head to the beach to soak up some more sun! You'll still have plenty of time to enjoy a free afternoon before a yin evening yoga class and another mouthwatering dining experience like local prawns with a tropical sauce at the villa this evening.

Included

Morning Yoga

Breakfast

Journaling Workshop

Lunch

Evening Yoga

Dinner

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DAY 8

Day 8 - Island Day!

Enjoy our favorite combo of amazing outdoor morning yoga + strong coffee + a breakfast of tropical fruits, yogurt and homemade granola.  After breakfast we'll head out for a 30 minute drive to the nearby town to board a boat for our island day! We'll explore a local island that's white sand beach and tropical palm trees -- a castaway's dream. There's a small local restaurant tucked into the shoreline where we will enjoy a local lunch such as a whole fried fish with the usual Panamanian sides! Grab a frozen beverage and float in the ocean afterwards. We'll be back to the villa by late afternoon time, so we suggest you grab spot by the pool to watch the sun go down before another amazing group dinner by the pool. 

Included

Morning Yoga

Breakfast

Boat / Island Excursion

Lunch on Island

Evening Yoga

Dinner

Not Included

Alcoholic Drinks

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DAY 9

Day 9 - Departures

Parting is such sweet sorrow! After your final tropical breakfast and last cup of delicious Panamanian coffee, we'll head out as a group in the morning back to the airport in David for your flights to Panama City and onward to your final destination. But you're a part of the Above Yoga family for life and we know we will see you on another retreat soon!

Included

Breakfast

Airport Transportation

What's Included

What's Included

All roundtrip airport to hotel transfers (both cities)

Six (6) Breakfasts

Four (4) Lunches

Seven (7) Dinners

Guided biking tour of Panama City

Boat excursion + island lunch experience

Guided waterfall hike

Built in free time for shopping (city) or beach/pool (coast)

Curated yoga classes (at least 8)

Meditation + journaling workshops

Assistance with booking additional tours

A detailed itinerary, packing list and constant support leading up to and during the retreat

A pre-retreat Zoom meeting and private Facebook group

A mobile-friendly secure web app for use on retreat

Airfare (to Panama City + David, Panama)

Meals not mentioned above

Additional excursions or spa services

Alcoholic beverages

Optional tips for villa staff

Accommodation

Shared Sleeping Accommodations

Shared Sleeping Accommodations

Shared sleeping in a queen or king bed. , Please see "trip tips" for more information.

Shared sleeping in a queen or king bed.

Please see "trip tips" for more information.

FROM$3,210.00/pp

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Solo Sleeping in Shared Accommodations

Solo Sleeping in Shared Accommodations

Your own bed (queen or twin) within shared accommodations. , Please see "trip tips" for more information.

Your own bed (queen or twin) within shared accommodations.

Please see "trip tips" for more information.

FROM$3,610.00/pp

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Trip Tips

City Accomodations

City Accomodations

Our city hotel combines the largest suites in the city with the services of a luxury boutique hotel. We will share several two bedroom suites which are 1200 sq. ft. each and include two queen bedrooms, two en-suite bathrooms, a large living room and full kitchen. All suites open on to large balconies overlooking the internal courtyard or the charming brick streets of Casco Viejo (the old town neighborhood of Panama City). If you choose the "shared sleeping accommodations" price point, then for the city portion, you will share a queen sized bed / bedroom and bathroom with your travel partner (or another solo traveler). If you choose the "solo sleeping shared accommodations" price point, you will have your own queen bedroom and bathroom while on the city portion of the retreat. Regardless, everyone will share the living room and kitchen area of your suite with a maximum of 2 other guests.

Coastal Accomodations

Coastal Accomodations

This is a wonderful, private boutique resort hotel on an expansive piece of lush property. Given the limited number of rooms and bed configurations, there is no option to have your own room on this portion. However, the rooms themselves are extremely large. If you choose the "shared sleeping accommodations" price point, then for the coastal portion, you will share a queen or king sized bed with your travel partner or (or another solo traveler) and potentially have one other same gender guest in your room (in a separate bed). If you choose the "solo sleeping shared accommodations" price point, you will have your own queen or twin bed within shared accommodations. For couples or friends who want a private room, please reach out after booking, those will be first come, first served and may incur an additional cost.

Getting There

Getting There

For the first portion of this retreat, you will need to fly into Panama's main airport - Panama City Tocumen Airport (PTY) landing after 1 pm on Jan 27. Then on Jan 30, we will all fly together from PTY to Enrique Malek International Airport (DAV) in David, Panama. In order to use the retreat transfer service you should plan to take the Copa Airlines 3:45 pm flight from PTY to DAV on the afternoon of Jan 30 and the 9:30 am flight from DAV to PTY on the morning of Feb 4. It's a one hour drive to the retreat center from the airport. You may choose to book the smaller within country flights separately from your international flight into PTY (as American, Delta and other major carriers have good deals from major US cities into PTY).

Tropical Environment

Tropical Environment

Average weather for Panama in January + February is: highs in the upper 80s (sometimes low 90s) and lows in the 70s. Expect ample sunshine (pack your sunscreen) and humidity. As with any tropical destination, there is a small chance or passing rainstorms and of course - bugs! While there are few mosquitos there are "no see ums," so make sure to bring your bug repellant (more so for the coastal portion, as it's less of an issue in town).

Remote Destination

Remote Destination

Our coastal venue (last 5 nights) is a remote area of Panama, so the nearest towns, and small shops or restaurants are more than 30 min - 1 hour away. Please also keep this in mind if you have pre-existing health concerns as the nearest hospitals and medical facilities are a great distance away. We highly recommend you take out travel health insurance.

Panamanian Currency

Panamanian Currency

While Panama has its own currency - the Balboa, it's tied directly to the US dollar. So US dollars are accepted everywhere within Panama - a great perk for easy travel! For small purchases at corner stores and tips for guides the USD is the best way to pay. Plan to take out money at your local bank before the trip. Major credit cards are also accepted at most establishments.

Reviews

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What a wonderful retreat! Above Yoga takes care of every detail making travel stress free and easy. Although I went for yoga, sun and relaxation, I came away grateful for the time spent with new friends exploring a new country. The nature walk and swim in the cenotes were the highlight of the trip.

Melissa, Downers Grove, IL (Dominican 2021 Retreat)

coastalmoroccopic2yoga

This is my 3rd retreat with Anna and Above Yoga and I can say that they have all been wonderful! Morocco was magical. It was so different from any other place I have ever been. I appreciate Anna's previous scouting to make sure the accommodations and location are a good fit for her retreat guests. I always love how these retreats are "have it your way" and there is no pressure to do all or any of the activities planned. I continued to be amazed at the connections I make during these retreats and this one was especially amazing.

Katie, Charlotte, NC (Coastal Morocco 2021 Retreat)

villacoffeeroof

Anna is prompt in communication. I really appreciated her keeping in contact with us during COVID. She was always open to being asked questions. The retreat venue felt like paradise. The staff we interacted with were very welcoming. I only attended one yoga class and never felt any type of pressure to do more. I can’t wait to go back.

Lori, Winston-Salem, NC (Mexico 2021 Retreat)

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The planning and organization were excellent - unlike any event I attended. The mobile app was great to have a quick glimpse of schedule multiple times a day.

Vijay, Northville, MI (Dominican 2021 Retreat)

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Above Yoga has changed my outlook on yoga retreats! Yoga retreats seemed inaccessible to a novice yogi. But that all changed from the moment I learned about the way Anna builds her retreats. There is yoga, and free time built, but also carefully curated excursions. There is no way you will regret gifting yourself the time away. I came home feeling refreshed, rested, and ready to dive back into my day-to-day.

Angela, Charlotte, NC (Mexico 2022 Retreat)

beachcrop

Anna's attention to every detail is beyond compare! From the moment we booked our retreat, her communication with us was timely and just the right amount. I felt comfortable upon arrival, at every excursion, to our departure. The schedule was clear and organized but also allowed for a lot of flexibility and spontaneity - a great balance for a retreat/vacation. Anna's calm energy was also super-appreciated. Truly excellent!

Sarah, Milwaukee, WI (Mexico 2021 Retreat)

yoga2allie

Villa was amazing, perfect space. The meals were amazing, the events organized as well. Anna you have a real niche for this. The experience was memorable. My wife and I already miss it.

Brandon, Los Angeles, CA (Mexico 2021 Retreat)

You'll Be Staying Here

Historic Boutique City Hotel

Historic Boutique City Hotel

Our hotel combines the largest suites in the city with the services of a luxury boutique hotel. Our two bedroom suites are 120 sqm (1200 sq. ft.) and include two queen bedrooms, two en-suite bathrooms, a large living room and full kitchen. All suites open on to large balconies overlooking the internal courtyard or the charming brick streets of Casco Viejo (the old town neighborhood of Panama City). If you choose the "shared sleeping accommodations" price point, you will share a queen sized bed and bedroom with your travel partner and share the bathroom with just the two of you. If you choose the "solo sleeping shared accommodations" price point, you will have your own queen bedroom and bathroom while on the city portion of the retreat, but will share the living room and kitchen area of your suite. Max 4 guests to a suite, most will have 2-3. 

Coastal Accomodations

Coastal Accomodations

This is a wonderful, private boutique resort hotel on an expansive piece of lush property. Given the limited number of rooms and bed configurations, there is no option to have your own room on this portion. However, the rooms themselves are extremely large. If you choose the "shared sleeping accommodations" price point, then for the coastal portion, you will share a queen or king sized bed with your travel partner or (or another solo traveler) and potentially have one other same gender guest in your room (in a separate bed). If you choose the "solo sleeping shared accommodations" price point, you will have your own queen or twin bed within shared accommodations. For couples or friends who want a private room, please reach out after booking, those will be first come, first served and may incur an additional cost.

Best of Panama Retreat

Panama·January 27 - February 4 2023·8 nights

FROM$3610/pp