Embark on an Unforgettable Family Adventure in Panama

Experience the Perfect Blend of Adventure, Relaxation, and Cultural Immersion


Adventure and Immersion

Dive deep into the heart of Panama and gift your family with an adventure that blends the thrill of jungle exploration, tranquil beach relaxation, and the magic of cultural immersion. From paddleboarding on serene lakes and surfing on pristine beaches to hiking invigorating volcanos and exploring enchanting waterfalls, every day presents a new adventure. And, if that wasn’t enough, immerse yourselves in the rich tapestry of Panamanian culture, from vibrant local markets and soul-soothing yoga sessions to spirited salsa dancing, engaging Spanish lessons, and transformative visits to indigenous villages.

Comfort and Rejuvenation

As each exhilarating day comes to a close, retreat to the luxurious comforts of your private, air-conditioned bungalow, nestled amidst the lush embrace of the rainforest, and a short walk to a gorgeous sand beach, complete with the luxury of a warm shower and broadband internet.

Culinary Delights

Indulge your senses with a symphony of flavors. Our chef, trained in the United States, crafts delectable, locally sourced meals that cater to every dietary need. From vegan to gluten-free and everything in between, we ensure that even the pickiest eaters look forward to every meal.

Intimate & Personal

With a commitment to offering a truly personalized experience, we host a maximum of 8 families at a time. This ensures not just the exclusivity of your stay, but also that every family gets the attention and care they so rightfully deserve.

Join the Istmo Family

We're not just offering a vacation, but an experience that will carve lasting memories into the tapestry of your family's story. Join us, and discover the magic of Panama as part of the Istmo family.

Sample Itinerary
(Note: Your group's actual itinerary may slightly differ)

Saturday:  Welcome to Istmo

 1:30 PM: Transfer from Panama City, with a memorable journey across the iconic Panama Canal.
Evening: A hearty welcome dinner and special activity to kick-start your unforgettable adventure.

Sunday: Beach Bliss and Relaxation

Morning: Embrace the tranquility of the beach with a leisurely stroll during a  beach walk scavenger hunt.

Evening: Unwind with an invigorating yoga session for adults while the kids engage in lively board games at the restaurant.

Monday: Mountain Lake Magic

Daytime: Paddle around the serene mountain lake on a Stand-Up Paddleboard, followed by a picturesque picnic amidst nature's beauty.
Evening: Parents can enjoy a relaxing moment or a delightful happy hour before a delicious dinner, while the kids engage in a Spanish immersion art activity.

Tuesday: Waterfall Wonders and Market Exploration

Daytime: Embark on an enchanting waterfall hike and picnic at the peak of an extinct volcano. After that, explore a local market at the center of a town nestled in the crater of the volcano. 
Evening: Parents can take a moment to relax or enjoy a pleasant happy hour before dinner, while the kids enjoy a Spanish immersion activity

Wednesday: Rest and Enjoyment

Morning: Kids can engage in a rejuvenating yoga session in the studio, while parents unwind at their own pace.
Evening: Experience a cozy movie night in the yoga studio after dinner, offering a perfect way to wind down while parents can indulge in relaxation or a soothing happy hour

Thursday: Surf's Up and Salsa Fever

Morning: Catch the waves during an exhilarating surfing session.
Evening: Savor the rhythm and energy of salsa dancing, an enthralling experience that adds a touch of excitement to your adventure.

Friday: Journey to an Embera Village

Day: A deep dive into the Embera culture – canoe rides, cultural talks, traditional dances, and more.
Evening: Bond over stories around a cozy bonfire.

Saturday: Farewell Istmo

After a hearty breakfast, we set out for Panama City, taking with us a treasure trove of memories.

Dates and Prices

2024 Family Adventure Camp Dates:

  • Saturday, June 8th - Saturday, June 15th
  • Saturday, July 27th - Saturday, August 3rd
  • Saturday, August 10th - Saturday, August 17th

As dates fill, we may add additional sessions. Send us an email to stay updated!

Camp Pricing and Special Offers:


USD$ 1,495.00 per person.


USD$ 300 off the 2nd and 3rd child!

early bird special

Sign up 6 months in Advance and receive $100 off your total!


Refer a family of three or more to the same Istmo Family Camp session as yours, and receive a $400 discount on your final payment after their full payment is confirmed.

Payment Details

? Reservation: Secure your spot with a $500 down payment per person through our encrypted credit card link.

? Final Payment: The remaining balance is due via an international bank transfer 30 days prior to the camp's start date.

⏰ Cancellation Policy:

  • The initial $500 deposit is non-refundable but transferable to a future camp date within the following calendar year if notified 30 days before the start date.
  • The balance paid 30 days prior to the start date is non-refundable and non-transferable.

Your Adventure Includes:

  • Airport/Panama City transfers to and from Istmo at specific times.
  • Lodging in serene bungalows.
  • 3 delectable meals a day plus a fresh fruit snack.
  • Daily engaging activities and excursions (excluding 1 optional excursion on the “down day”).
  • Drinking water, WiFi, and full access to our facilities.

Extras Available (not included):

  • Additional transport to and from Istmo outside specified times.
  • Massages to soothe the soul.
  • Delectable smoothies & drinks.
  • Gratitude tips for our dedicated staff.
  • Optional excursion to the Panama Canal and the old city on the “down day.”

Ready to Dive into the Adventure?

Joining our family camp is a simple as 1, 2, 3.

  1. Easy Registration: Click on the link below to access our simple Google Form. Choose your preferred dates and provide your contact information securely.
  2. Seamless Payment:  After your form submission, we'll send you an email within 48 hours. This email will include a secure link to make your deposit payment via credit card, ensuring your spot at the camp.
  3. Finalizing Your Adventure: Once registered, we’ll request some additional details about your family and travel arrangements, and an e-signature on our waiver for safety. Rest assured, your information is confidential and used solely to enhance your camp experience.

Note: Always ensure you're comfortable with any online transaction. Our team is available for any queries or concerns you may have.
WhatsApp - +507-6387-9855


What they say

Gannon wilson

Denver, Colorado

Our one-week stay at Istmo Retreat Center was absolutely amazing! My husband and I went there with our two kids, aged 9 and 14, and we had an incredible time. The tree-lined beach with black and white sand was just a short walk away, and we all loved swimming and playing there. We took a surfing lesson at a nearby beach that we enjoyed as much as our kids. We even got to see two really cool waterfalls nearby, which was super exciting.

The highlight of our trip was visiting the Embera village. We spent a day there, learned about their culture, and our kids played soccer with the local kids on their slippery mud “soccer field” – so much fun! The owners, Sean and Ayesha, were really nice and made our stay even better. They made sure we had delicious food and felt at home. The food is outstanding; even our 14-year-old, who is picky, loved the food. This was honestly the best family vacation we've ever had, and we're already planning to go back to Istmo because it was just that awesome!

FAQs and About us

Will I have to share accommodations with other families?

No, we limit the camp experience to 8 families (we have eight bungalows, 1 per family). Each family will stay in their private air-conditioned bungalow with hot water surrounded by the rainforest.

Connectivity - Will I be able to connect to Wi-Fi?

Although we encourage disconnecting when possible, all our bungalows have broadband internet that supports remote working.

What ages should participants be?

Due to the nature of the activities, we accept families with children between 7-18. Children younger than seven might find the hike and some of the water activities too challenging.

Can I send my teenager on their own?

No, this camp is designed to create a family bonding experience through unique adventure and cultural activities. In the future, we will be developing a teen adventure camp (but we are not there yet ?)

Are parents expected to participate in all activities?

That is up to the parent, but we are happy to have you participate in all activities. We offer “parent optional” activities throughout the week so parents can have some downtime or go to Happy hour.  Children 14 and older may go without their parents for the offsite activities. A parent should accompany children 13 and under.

Do kids have to participate in all activities?

All activities are optional, but we do encourage the kids to participate in all activities to get the most out of this unique experience.  

How strenuous are the hikes and water activities?

The hikes and water activities have been carefully selected to accommodate a range of age groups, where they are enjoyable and still a bit challenging for the kids. We also vary the hike depending on the overall makeup of the group. The minimum hike is 30 minutes each way, whereas, for a more athletic group, we choose a hike that is 1 hour each way. For trail selection, we consider that trails in Panama are less “groomed” and maintained than trails you would find in the US or Canada. Additionally, we factor in that we are hiking in the tropics, where it is hotter and more humid than most participants are accustomed to.  

Sample menu

At our retreat center, we take pride in crafting meals that feature a delightful blend of fresh, healthy, and locally sourced ingredients, ensuring a dining experience that caters to all, including our young guests, with various kid-friendly options. 

  • Breakfast- Coconut Quinoa with fresh fruit, banana muffin, hard-boiled eggs, cereal, and fresh passion fruit juice. Coffee and Tea for the adults

  • Lunch- Fish or Veggie burgers, rosemary potato wedges, green beans with roasted garlic

  • Dinner- Pasta and Veggies with a coconut pumpkin sauce or marinera sauce with or without turkey meatballs, green salad, banana cream pie or tamarind popsicle for dessert. 

Health and Safety

The Health and Safety of your family is our priority. Panama is a very safe country, especially in the rural areas around where we are located. If a health issue does arise we are prepared by

  • Onsite first aid kit as well as first aid kit taken on all excursions, and guides have had basic first aid training
  • The owner/ Host/ Guide is a former Emergency Medical Technician 
  • Private medical clinic (business hours) and pharmacy 5 minutes away 
  • 24-hour local hospital 10 minutes away
  • US-accredited private hospitals in Panama City 1.5 hrs away from Retreat Center.

Please check with your insurance provider for international coverage or purchase travel insurance when you are here.

Money and expenses while I am at Istmo.

The currency in Panama is the US dollar. Each family will run a tab with us during your stay. Any smoothies, massages, extra expenses will be added to your tab, which you will pay at the end of your stay. Payment can be made via credit card or cash.


Temperatures in our area tend to average 88 F during sunlight hours and about 78 F after sunset/before sunrise year round. The green season is between May and December, and the dry season is between Jan and April. Both seasons are wonderful times to visit Panama. The Dry season has warm sunny days and strong tradewinds blowing across the country during the North American Winter. The Green season is more lush and vibrant, with afternoon showers cooling things off.

What to bring?

Other than what you would typically bring for a week of traveling- A valid Passport, clothes, swimsuits, flip flops or sandals, toiletries, chargers, etc. 

  • Comfortable hiking shoes (running shoes will also work, but hiking shoes are preferred) 
  • Water shoes (optional) 
  • Flashlight or headlamp 
  • Sunscreen and sun hat 
  • Bug repellant 
  • Small backpack for day trips
  • A light rainjacket or poncho 
  • Water bottle
  • snack food items*** 
  • Allergy medication, pain relief medication, and any other medication you may need 
  • Books to read.  Each room has a small book exchange section.  
  • If you are traveling from Europe - pack an adaptor to charge your electronics.  

* Each room has a combination safe to store your valuables safely.

**Please note the Istmo Retreat Center provides basic yoga mats, but we recommend bringing your own if you want a thick mat or a specific texture. 

***If you are not used to a vegetarian or low-meat diet or are prone to getting snack-ish during the day, you may want to bring some items, just in case!  Each room has a refrigerator. On the way up from Panama City the shuttle will stop by a local grocery store for individuals to buy snacks.

The currency in Panama is the US dollar. Each family will run a tab with us during your stay. Any smoothies, massages, extra expenses will be added to your tab, which you will pay at the end of your stay. Payment can be made via credit card or cash.

What if I forget something (toiletries, phone charger, repellant, sunscreen, etc.)?

A 25-minute walk will take you to our local commercial center, where you can find most basic items. We also have a messenger service to buy the item(s) for you for an additional $5 fee.

Laundry Service.

We offer a laundry service at Istmo for $10 a load with a 24-hour turnaround.


Surprisingly to most, mosquitos and other biting insects are not a major problem in our area. This is especially true during the dry season (mid-December to May). During the green season, they are more prevalent, but mainly during dawn and dusk. During these hours, it is advisable to wear long pants or repellant.  In the middle of the day or after dark, mosquitos and biting insects are not a problem.

Which airport should I fly to?

Tocumen International Airport in Panama City - PTY.

Distance from the airport.

With no traffic, we are 1 hour and 45 minutes from the International airport. We are about 1 hour and 20 minutes from the center of Panama City. Rush hour work traffic from Panama City can be heavy and add time to the journey. It is always best to arrive and depart during off-peak hours. 

What if my flight does not make the arrival or departure time for the shuttle?

We are happy to arrange a pickup or drop-off shuttle on the date/time you choose for an additional fee. During regular hours, a shuttle to/ from the airport or a Panama City central location costs $125 for one person and $15 for each additional person. The cost will be added to your family’s bill, which you can pay at the end of the retreat.  

What if we want to arrive early or stay after?

 If you are traveling all the way to Panama, why not see more of Panama?  It is an amazing country with so much to see and do if you have extra time you should see more of the country. Reach out to us, and depending on your time frame and interest, we can make some recommendations.

Tipping the Staff.

Tips for the staff are not included and are always appreciated. At the end of the retreat, we put out a tip jar for the staff. The tips are divided equally amongst the housekeepers, kitchen staff, and the gardener/maintenance staff. As a business, we have an educational fund that supports the families that work at Istmo to help cover their yearly educational expenses. A percentage of your payment goes to this educational fund.

Has Istmo thought of everything?

Yes ;-)

About US.

Your host and camp creator, Sean Davis, brings a rich background to the table, having served as an elementary and middle school teacher for several years before earning his master's degree in Educational Administration. He was the director of an international school before leaving his school career to follow another dream. Building upon his experience, Sean and his wife Ayesha established Istmo 10 years ago, a thriving retreat center nestled in the rainforest near a picturesque beach at the foot of an extinct volcano. Their two children, aged 10 and 12, have been fortunate to grow up in this tropical paradise.

As a family, they have thoroughly explored and led tours across the region's beaches, mountains, and waterways, cultivating an intimate familiarity with the surroundings. This naturally led them to the realization that offering family retreats during the summer months would be the next remarkable chapter. These retreats invite families seeking extraordinary adventures and cultural experiences in a tropical setting to come and share in the wonders of this diverse region of Panama.

? Embark on a Pre-Adventure Journey with Us!
To immerse yourself in the sights, sounds, and stories of our family camp ahead of your trip, be sure to connect with us on Instagram. It's the perfect way to get a sneak peek and familiarize yourself with the magic that awaits. Let's share this journey together, every step of the way! ? 

Need more information?  Contact Us


Playa Grande, San Carlos, Panama Oeste, Panama