HOST YOUR OWN RETREAT
ISTMO Yoga and Adventure Retreat was designed specifically for heart-based entrepreneurs and travel professionals looking to create a custom-crafted, life-changing retreat experience for their clients.
We will personally provide the support and care necessary to help you bring about transformation in your clients/students.
For full details regarding availability, retreat sizes, and pricing on our customizable retreat and teacher training options, please fill our retreat request form.
Why is ISTMO the ideal place for my destination retreat?
- Istmo is located in Playa Grande, a rural beach community on the western edge of the Panama Province in the Republic of Panama. We are 1 hr 15 minutes from Panama City and 10 minutes from the town of Coronado.
- We are secluded but not isolated. If there is anything that you forgot from home it can probably be found in Coronado where you will find supermarkets, pharmacies, shops, as well as a modern clinic with English speaking doctors.
- We are a 5-minute walk to a secluded beautiful beach. As you approach the beach, the last 2 minutes of the walk are through a jungle trail with the warm tropical Pacific Ocean waiting for you. The beach is a great swimming beach and almost always calm except on the rare occasion when storms can produce a powerful shore-break. If you wake up early you can see the sunrise over the ocean and the local fisherman and lobster fisherman bringing in the catch of the day. The beach is also a nesting ground for marine turtles that come to these shores once a year to lay their eggs.
- We are 30 minutes away from El Valle a picturesque town nestled in the crater of an extinct volcano. In El Valle, there are some beautiful hikes in the cloud forest, hot springs, horseback riding, a butterfly farm, a zip line, and an artisan and fruit/vegetable market, amongst other attractions. A trip to El Valle can be included in your retreat package for an additional price or may be offered to the participants as an optional activity.
- Istmo is located on 4 acres of land, an acre of which is intact rainforest. You can enjoy the wilderness by taking a stroll on our short walking trail to a natural pond on the property. The pond, home to a family of dwarf caiman, flows into a creek that runs through the property and around the yoga studio, eventually working its way to the beach.
- Our property hosts a variety of fruit trees, some were recently planted and many already producing. Fruit trees include 3 varieties of mangoes, cashew nut, orange, mandarin, grapefruit, star fruit, guava, soursop, rambutan, avocado, tropical plums, custard apple, sapodilla, jobo, hicaco, dragon fruit and two varieties of limes. We proudly serve these fruits to our guests and have incorporated them into our menu.
- Besides our two children and boxers, we share our property with other wildlife including, tamarin monkeys, iguanas, colorful toucans, motmots, Crimson back tanagers, yellow-bellied flycatchers and blue tanagers, dwarf caiman, amongst others. We are also in close proximity to a private forest reserve that is home to deer, jaguarundis (small rainforest cat), coatis, sloths, agoutis, and other wildlife. You will be awakened in the morning by flocks of parakeets flying overhead and go to sleep to the sound of frogs singing from the creek. Honestly, we think it’s the best place on earth! Come see for yourself.
- Accommodations – At Istmo we provide luxury air-conditioned accommodations in an idyllic setting surrounded by nature.
- Yoga Studio – Our retreat center features a beautiful 860 square foot yoga studio. The studio is surrounded by nature, has a jungle stream running around it, features beautiful tropical hardwood floors, and is filled with love. Our studio is fully equipped with yoga mats, yoga blankets, straps, blocks, yoga chairs, and bolsters.
- SUP Boards – We have a fleet of SUP boards to accommodate your Stand-up-paddle boarding needs. Our boards are perfect for beginners and experienced paddlers and are “all around boards” made to tour the open ocean, practice on flat water lagoons, explore mangroves, lakes and practice SUP yoga. As part of your week-long Retreat Packages, you may choose to include an Introductory SUP class at the Playa Grande Beach, and unlimited use of the SUP boards, at no additional charge, during your groups stay with us. You can also include an additional SUP tour or offer it as an optional activity for your group.
- Family Dining Area – Our family dining area with an adjoining bar overlooks the property. You feel like you are eating your meals on the tree tops – surrounded by nature.
- Common Room – our air-conditioned Common Room is perfect to escape the heat of the day. It features a large and comfortable room with sofas, books, board games, and a pool table. Great place to relax and bond with your fellow travels or members of your retreat group. The Common Room can also be set up for small group meetings and presentations, depending on the needs of the group.
- Hammock, Meditation and Relaxation areas – Our property is dotted with areas, including our main Rancho, that is perfect to relax or meditate in silence. These areas are always open to our guests. The main Rancho, has wi-fi access.
- Humanity Trail – our property has a short hiking trail through the forest and around the spring fed pond that is home to a family of dwarf caimans. The trail winds through 7 different stations with inspirational quotes about tolerance and compassion. Ideas that the owners embrace.
- Labyrinth – Labyrinth walking is an ancient practice used by many different faiths for contemplation, prayer, and spiritual centering. Entering the serpentine path of a labyrinth, the Walker walks slowly while quieting their mind and focusing on a spiritual question or prayer. We encourage the retreat leaders to incorporate the labyrinth into their retreat activities.
- Massage – Retreat leaders and participants have the option of including a pampering massage to their retreat package.
- ISTMO’s menu has been lovingly crafted by owner and Chef Sean Davis, a graduate of a prominent cooking school in New Orleans, Louisiana. We offer a tropical fusion cuisine that blends influences from Latin America, Caribbean, India, Middle East, the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Far East, South East Asia, Cajun, Southern US, and the Pacific Rim Islands.
- As part of your retreat package, you may choose to include a cooking class for the retreat additional, at no additional charge.
- Most of our meals are vegetarian or fish and seafood based; however, we can easily accommodate our guests who are gluten free, vegan or require substitutions because of food allergies.
- Our meals are created from what we have grown organically, and supplemented by what we can purchase locally. We make every effort to maintain a light carbon footprint and support local farmers and fisherman, buying the high majority of our produce and seafood within a 20 mile radius.
- We are proudly a family owned and operated business! The owners Sean and Ayesha will personally work with you to make sure that you and your guests are comfortable and taken care of.
- As the retreat leader, all you have to do is show up and share your gifts with your clients. We take care of all the nitty-gritty details, making sure both you and your retreaters are comfortable and taken care of. This allows you to focus on providing your retreaters with a transformational journey and awesome retreat experience!
- If you decide to host a retreat that is open to all participants, we support you with your marketing efforts, using our platforms to spread the word about your retreat, and promote you as a teacher.
- We have successfully hosted more than 35 retreats in the last two years. Many of our past retreat leaders are so happy with our services, that they return to host subsequent retreats at our center.
Interested in Hosting your own retreat at ISTMO? Please contact us and we are happy to provide you with pricing and more details:
What Retreat Leaders are saying about their experience at ISTMO.
“Awakening Goddesses at a quite Perfect place!”
Istmo is a magical find in Panama. About 2 hours from Panama City and away from the noise and craziness of the gorgeous and BUSY city, I found a picturesque and beautiful hidden gem in San Carlos at Playa Grande. Istmo is owned by the sweet Ayesha and talented Sean, who is also the chef. From negotiating our stay, to directions to get there and arranging transportation, Istmo was the BEST choice for one of my Retreats. All of my retreaters were completely satisfied with the accommodations and the beauty of the space. The cabanas were quite adorable and well located (not easy access for wheelchair, keep that in mind). Actually, the beds were the most comfortable I have slept in, and natural sounds a lullaby to sleep to. The Beach has somewhat easy access (asphalt gets eroded by rains) and one of most beautiful black (with diamonds in it, I swear) beach I have ever been too and completely “empty” and private. It also offers SUP and the Ocean is quite easy to practice it. The sunset is breathtaking and so is the sunrise. Also, Sean and Ayesha know the area well and suggested great outings. The Food was quite exquisite and prepared with LOVE. An explosion of delicious flavors prepared by Sean himself who prides himself to give a “Cajun”, New Orleans, kick to it. The servers and staff were delightful and super friendly. Even the dogs, Luna, Mia, and Sunny were a pleasure to be around (they get locked in case guests don’t really care for their presence). The Yoga room is encrusted among gorgeous trees making our practices a FULL retreat by itself. If I could, I would give it 10 stars. DEF coming back!!! –Cristiana Machado
“A great place for hosting yoga retreats in Panama”
We had an amazing experience organising a yoga retreat at Itsmo. Sean and Ayesha are amazing hosts and everything runs smoothly. Food is fantastic and they were very flexible to accommodate the menu to various requests, including vegan and gluten free options. The studio is built under the trees so it is always fresh and peaceful – and well equipped. For anyone looking for a place to host retreats or getaway session with a large group of people this is the place for you. We are looking forward to organise our next Iyengar yoga retreat there soon!! –Ale Trossero
“For a small, reasonably priced retreat center at a tropical beach, I can’t recommend Istmo enough.”
I led a weekend Qigong Retreat at Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat Center in San Carlos, Panama in April 2016. The experience with the owners, Ayesha and Sean, was extremely positive from beginning to end. Although I dealt with Ayesha mainly through SKYPE and email, I was immediately impressed by her warmth and willingness to troubleshoot any problems that arose. Her help started with setting up a Facebook page to advertise the retreat and continued with suggestions on prices and advertising. Over the weeks leading up to the retreat, Ayesha continued to gently offer suggestions in a timely manner.
Being only an hour and 30 minutes from Panama City, Istmo is conveniently located both for people living in Panama and those flying in from abroad, making it an ideal location for retreats. The center has modern cabins which can accommodate about 20 participants as well as the retreat leader.
The area for classes is a screened-in room surrounded by greenery and well supplied with yoga mats, chairs, blocks, and 4 ceiling fans.
I asked for vegetarian meals for the participants, but the option of fish and seafood is also available. The meals are cooked by Sean and are served buffet-style at a long wooden table where the participants and group leader can get to know each other and share experiences. I was impressed by the fact that Sean so easily adapted to the gluten and sugar-free requirements of a couple of the participants. What’s more, the most frequently repeated word during the meals was “delicious”.
Sean and Ayesha offer a professional experience with a personal touch. –Brenda Lyons