Secluded but not Isolated
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 8-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. Something that attracted the owners to the area is the miles of black and white sand beach that has plenty of natural shade from the rainforest that grows close to the water’s edge. The beach is a great swimming beach and almost always calm except on the rare occasion when storms can produce a powerful shorebreak. If you wake up early you can see the sunrise over the ocean and the local fisherman and lobster fishermen bringing in the catch of the day. You may run into the Istmo staff buying your afternoon lunch. 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.
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 it’s 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! Host a Retreat at Istmo, book a retreat (most of our week-long retreat include transportation) with us, or Reserve your hotel stay!
The main street to Playa Grande off the highway is between kilometer markers 97 and 98 and has an arch over it that says “Playa Grande”. The entrance to the property is 1.2 Km from the main highway. On the Playa Grande road, stay to the left at the fork in the road, the entrance to our property will be to your left, in-between two small speed bumps on the road. A sign that says “Istmo” will be on the far fence of the entrance. Please leave your car in the parking lot at the top of the hill, and walk down to the reception.
In Spanish – La calle principal a Playa Grande desde la autopista está entre los marcadores de kilómetro 97 y 98 y tiene un gran arco que dice “Playa Grande”. La entrada a nuestra propiedad es a 1,2km de la autopista. En la calle principal a Playa Grande, manténgase del lado izquierdo en la bifurcación, luego la entrada a la propiedad también está a la izquierda, entre medio de dos pequeños resaltos para reducir la velocidad que se encuentran en la calle. Un cartel que dice “Istmo” estará en la valla de la entrada.
From the airport take either a bus or a taxi to the Albrook Bus Terminal. From the Albrook Terminal, you can take a bus to Chame or Anton (they leave every 15 minutes), and tell the bus driver you want to get off in Coronado. This is will a 1.5-hour bus ride. Coronado is a good place to stop and pick up some snacks for your room (we do have refrigerators in our rooms), and any things you may have forgotten at home. From Coronado, you will take a taxi to Istmo (around $10) – give the taxi driver the above directions in Spanish.
Once here, ask that Taxi driver to park at the top of the hill at the designated parking area, and walk down to the reception – we will be there to greet you!
From the airport take a taxi to the Albrook Bus Terminal. From the Albrook Terminal you can take a bus to Anton or Penenome (they leave every 15 minutes), and tell the bus driver you want to get off at Las Uvas where the turn-off to El Valle is located – there is a big Delta Gas Station there. This will be a 1-hour 45-minute bus ride. From the bus stop, you can cross the Inter American highway using the pedestrian overpass and make a right (away from Panama City) on the shoulder of the Inter American highway towards the entrance to Playa Grande. Turn into the entrance to Playa Grande – it will be your first left – and walk down the street (staying to your left at the fork in the road) for around 15 minutes. The entrance to our property will be to your left, in-between two small speed bumps on the road. A sign that says “Istmo” will be on the far fence of the entrance. Walk down to the reception and we will be there to greet you!