Panama·February 18 - 24 2024
A curated wellness, cultural + culinary experience on Panama's sparsely populated Pacific coast. Quiet, remote + totally authentic Panama!
This is a retreat to truly get away from it all. Panama is nestled between Costa Rica and Colombia and has many of the best elements of both. We'll spend our time in a private resort in a remote corner of the world in the western province of Chiriquí, Panama. Our home for the week is perched on the edge of a cliff with amazing vistas of lush jungle, the Pacific Ocean and rivers valleys. Together we'll get off the tourist path and hike remote waterfalls, have lunch on a deserted island, wake up to the sound of howler monkeys and practice yoga with 360 degree views of the breathtaking landscape. Get away your day-to-day and into a new rhythm of a tropical Panamanian life.
*Please note we reserve the right to require proof of COVID vaccination (including at least one booster) AND a pre-retreat negative test for all 2024 retreat guests*
- Price Range: $2620 - $3120 per person
- Group Size: 12-14 Guests
- Luxury Score: 3.5 (out of 5)
- Activity Score: 2.5 (out of 5) - Some Active Tours
- Adventure Score: 3.5 (out of 5) - Remote location, Off-the-beaten path tours
- Cuisine: Omnivore (meat + fish offered), Vegetarian / GF avail upon request
Our quiet, remote retreat venue is held exclusively for Above Yoga Retreat guests and is set on an expansive property with lush landscapes in every direction. Sip a drink from the infinity pool as you look out at the ocean or nap in a shady hammock. Get back to your true self as you re-ground into nature.
All your delicious, healthy meals are included. From made-to-order local breakfasts to plated candlelit dinners, you'll remember the food on this retreat long after your last bite. Seafood, meat and vegetarian options are available. You'll also enjoy local cuisine on two excursions.
Enjoy invigorating lovingly cultivated yoga classes 1-2x a day in our thatched roof, open-air yoga shala just steps from the main building. Class types range from vinyasa, to slow flow, to yin and gentle. The shala is open to you outside of class times if you'd like to do additional movement or meditation practices.
Our villa is just a 20 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.
A retreat is meant to be a sanctuary and a withdrawal from the every day stressors of life. You'll have plenty of time and space to journal, read, nap or just enjoy nature across several outdoor sitting and lounge areas on the property. There's lots of room to spread out mentally and physically in our Panamanian refuge.
We'll spend a half day exploring local islands by boat. Enjoy plenty of time to swim in the crystal clear waters, an included local lunch at a beach restaurant on a deserted island that'll make you feel like you've been castaway to another world. Swim, explore, just relax -- this beach + boat day can be as adventurous or as laid back as you want!
Sure to be one of the highlights of your trip - our guided waterfall hike and full day adventure will take you deep into the jungle, through indigenous villages and up mountain roads in 4x4 vehicles. The exciting journey is more than worth it - because the views after our short, but steep hike to descend to the base of the waterfalls is absolutely breathtaking.
In addition to our retreat leaders (who often also teach the yoga), every retreat will have an additional certified yoga teacher or fitness instructor 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.
Jen's intention as a teacher is lead students to listen to their own bodies, to recognize what's happening under the surface and to notice powerful shifts. She teachers inspiring flow classes that combine stretch and strength and help you leave the outside world behind. Jen's additional training in Thai bodywork is evident in her loving hands on assists (always optional). She currently teaches at Empower Yoga in Milwaukee, WI. Jen is also our resident Panama expert - having traveled to the country 10+ times and having led several of her own retreats to the area.
Meghan, or "Trainer Meg," as those in the know call her, is a NASM-Certified Personal Trainer and a Certified Yoga Instructor based in St. Paul, MN. She has more than a dozen years experience in leading movement modalities and specializes in helping people get strong, gain confidence and feel alive in their bodies. She believes movement should be fun, challenging and most importantly, something that makes you feel good, no matter your age, size or shape. Meg has been on retreat with us previously to Morocco and to Panama and is excited to co-lead this retreat.
Bienvenidos! Welcome to Panama! In the late afternoon, you'll be greeted outside the Enrique Malek International Airport (in David) by your private transfer and sit back for a 1 hr 15 min 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. Sit back and kick your feet up as we prepare for our week together!
Private Chef Dinner
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 a restorative and meditative yoga class. Then it's another gourmet dinner (maybe the fresh catch straight from the ocean) while overlooking our villa's infinity pool. You could get used to this life, right?
Morning Vinyasa Yoga
Intro Beach Walk
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 (chicken or veggies with rice, beans and plantains).
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 such as local Mahi Mahi with tropical salad.
Morning Yoga Class
Guided Waterfall Hike
After another thoughtful yoga class in our private thatched roof shala, we will have an amazing villa breakfast. Today's a free day to slow down and soak up your surroundings by enjoying beach and pool time. Craving more adventures? You can sign up for an additional excursion such as a surfing lesson or kayaking tour. Today is also a great day for a deeply relaxing on-site massage.
Lunch is available mid day to order at your leisure. We'll join together for an early evening restful deep stretch yoga class and then have another incredible group dinner.
Optional Excursions or Spa Appts
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.
Boat / Island Excursion
Lunch on Island
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 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.
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!
Breakfast, lunch and dinner daily (all meals!)
Expertly curated yoga classes (1-2x daily)
Airport transportation to villa
Guided waterfall hike + lunch experience
Boat excursions + island lunch experience
Guided journaling workshop(s)
Ample free time for beach, pool, etc.
Unlimited filtered water, coffee and tea
Unlimited access to semi-private beach and private pool
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
Curated yoga classes (1-2x daily)
Airfare to David, Panama
Smoothies or alcoholic beverages
Additional excursions or spa services
Optional tips for villa staff
Large room with private bathroom, Either 2 guests per king /queen bed or solo sleeping in twin bed, Room holds 3-4 guests. Can be booked as individual spots
Large room with private bathroom
Either 2 guests per king /queen bed or solo sleeping in twin bed
Room holds 3-4 guests. Can be booked as individual spots
One room left with two spaces - must be booked as a unit, Large room with private bathroom, Shared sleeping accommodations in king bed: perfect for couples or close friends
One room left with two spaces - must be booked as a unit
Shared sleeping accommodations in king bed: perfect for couples or close friends
All guests must be fully vaccinated against COVID and have had at least one booster ahead of this retreat. We also reserve the right to require a pre-retreat PCR COVID test.
As of writing this (March 2023), there are no additional requirements to get into Panama or back into the U.S. but this could change, and will be at your own cost to adhere to any extra requirements as needed.
A 20% deposit is required to secure your booking. The remaining 80% can be paid at your leisure and in any increments, as long as it is paid off at least 90 days before the trip (reminders will be sent).
Please note our Terms & Conditions before booking for more information on cancellation policies and liability waiver, you will be asked to agree to them when checking out.
For this retreat, you will need to fly into a small airport in David, Panama called the Enrique Malek International Airport (DAV). The easiest way to do this is from Panama City Tocumem Airport (PTY) on Copa Airlines. We HIGHLY recommend that you come into Panama City at least a day earlier than necessary to take in the city and not miss your intra-Panama flight. In order to use the retreat transfer service you should plan to take the 3:45 pm flight from PTY to DAV on the afternoon of Feb 18 and the 9:30 am flight from DAV to PTY on the morning of Feb 24. More information and recommendations on where to stay, eat and explore for optional add ons to your trip will be sent upon booking.
Our retreat villa is a remote area of Panama, so the roads to get there are at times bumpy and windy. Also the nearest towns, and small shops or restaurants are more than 30 min - 1 hour away. This is meant to be a mental detox, so if constant stimulation or shopping is your preferred vacation style, this is likely not a good retreat for you. 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.
This is a wonderfully, family owned boutique hotel that also operates as a retreat venue. Given the limited number of rooms and bed configurations, there is no option to have your own room on this retreat. The rooms themselves are extremely large, and there's an option to have your own bed in shared accommodations as desired. There is also plenty of space across the grounds to spread out during the day for alone time!
Average weather for Panama in February is: highs in the upper 80s 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!
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.
I didn’t know I wanted to go to Panama until I saw this retreat on the Above Yoga website. The moment I read about this retreat I knew I needed to go. I was nervous about being a solo traveler in a group. I didn’t need to be. I was nervous about sharing a room with people I just met. I didn’t need to be. From the moment I booked to the post-retreat survey, the attention to detail, communication and offerings were top-notch. I knew this trip was going to be amazing, but it was so much more. I can’t even put it into words...
Becky, Milwaukee, WI (Panama 2023 Retreat)
Everything about this trip worked for me. The pre-trip communication was sufficient without being excessive. The airport pickup was smooth and painless. The yoga was perfect for me. I attended every class but knew I had the option to skip. The retreat property was beautiful, the owners and staff members were delightful, the food was delicious and all of the coastal excursions were great. It was just the right balance of activity and relaxation with cool new friends!
Anne, Greenwich, CT (Panama 2023 Retreat)
I felt incredibly well prepared from all of the pre- trip communication and reminders. The resort exceeded my expectations- everything was perfect and the staff was so accommodating. Loved every single meal and the excursions were exactly my style. To me, the biggest value was that everything was taken care of so I could relax, reflect and absorb more than I have in many years.
Carley, Raleigh, NC (Panama 2023 Retreat)
I wasn’t sure I’d ever be one to enjoy group travel—I enjoy planning travel and even love traveling solo, but after my first retreat with Above Yoga to Morocco in 2021, I was a firm believer! Retreats with Above Yoga truly feel like a VACATION. You get the flexibility of personal travel with the worry-free benefits of group travel—plus a brand new group of friends! Coastal Panama was the perfect mix of adventure: hiking to a remote waterfall, taking a boat ride to secluded beaches, surfing and downtime—morning and evening yoga, eating delicious food, reading by the pool, strolling the quiet beach nearby. The retreat location was stunning too. This was my second retreat with Above Yoga, and I’m already looking forward to the next one!
Erin, Salt Lake City, UT (Panama 2023 Retreat)
Adventure travel with Above Yoga is exactly the right amount of adventure, travel and yoga. All the planning is done for you with options to customize the experience, like summer camp for grown ups! Communication within our cohort was excellent from the beginning, so much so that I recognized another retreat participant in the airport! Within the first day of arriving, I had nine new friends. I especially loved all the excursions that took us off the beaten path and expanded my awareness of a new corner of the world. My expectations were blown out of the water repeatedly, from the accommodations to the hospitality and sincerity of local guides and surprises, big and little all along the way. Still smiling…
Susan, Wilmette, IL (Panama 2023 Retreat)
The most amazing part of going on an Above Yoga retreat was how safe and cared for we were. You can tell by how well all the guests got along that we all felt comfortable and at ease that this was true! The impeccable attention to detail is clear at every step. And I never once felt out of place, left out, or judged for not participating in any of the yoga! I will definitely book another Above Yoga retreat.
Sonia, Oneonta, NY (Panama 2023 Retreat)
Thank you for a retreat that exceeded my expectations in every way. You were so helpful and efficient, from my very first inquiry to your on-site coordination. No hiccup could phase you, your communication was wonderful and greatly appreciated, especially the web-based app! Once in remote Panama, there are not enough words to describe this amazing place! Each local tour guide, was beyond outstanding. Our drivers also deserve a shout-out. The resort that we stayed out was spectacular. And everyone, from the owners to each member of staff, made us feel so welcome and comfortable. Anna, you created a once-in-a-lifetime experience that I will never forget. Thanks again, it was a truly remarkable retreat!
Angela, Charlotte, NC (Panama 2023 Retreat)
Panama·February 18 - 24 2024·6 nights
Join the waiting list and we will let you know if a spot becomes available.