Questions to ask Retreat Centers, and yourself, before you commit to hosting a retreat.
We have included the answers for Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat.
Will I need a dedicated space for the transformational group work, yoga classes, and/or meditations that are part of my retreat? If so, is there a sacred space for this at the retreat center and does it have all the props etc. I will need it?
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, bolsters, and a life size anatomy skeleton for Yoga Teacher Trainings (YTTs).
Does the retreat center offer tours and activities that complement the retreat experience I want to provide for my clients?
Our location provides close access to Beaches, Jungles, Cloud Forests, Indigenous Tribes, Local Markets, Mangroves, Mountain Lakes, Tropical Waterfalls, Islands, even Panama City and the Panama Canal.
At Istmo you can do as little or as much as you desire. Use the time between your retreat classes to explore Panama or spend your time lounging under a tree on the beach, the choice is yours.
The owners will work with you to craft the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.
Check out just some of the activities you can include in your retreat on our Host a Retreat page.
Are all meals included in the retreat package? Do I want all meals to be included or do I want my guests to have the opportunity to wander and check out different local establishments?
Istmos location is secluded but not isolated. There are no restaurants in comfortable walking distance from Istmo, this is why we include all meals in our packages. However while you are out and about on excursions you will have the opportunity to try local fare if you so desire.
Will the venue adjust meals to my clients dietary restrictions and allergies?
YES WE WILL!
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 blending influences from Latin America, Caribbean, India, Middle East, the Mediterranean, North Africa, the Far East, Southeast Asia, Cajun, Southern US, and the Pacific Rim Islands.
Most of our meals are vegetarian or fish and seafood based; however, we can 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. During your morning walk, you may see us down at the beach on Playa Grande, buying the catch of the day for your dinner.
After arriving at the airport, how long will my guests have to travel to get to the retreat center?
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 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.
Is transportation to and from the airport included in the retreat package price?
YES IT IS!
Our standard Retreat Package pricing includes airport transfers from Tocumen Airport (PTY) for all participants arriving and departing at a set time on the beginning and ending days of the retreat.
Request our pricing and availability on our Host a Retreat Page.
How much is the average airline ticket per person to the closest airport to the retreat venue?
Panama has some of the most international flights leaving and arriving (connections or otherwise) in the world,
Panama has long been known as the “hub of the Americas”, and one of the most significant transportation and logistics countries in the world.
Direct flights to/from the U.S. include: Miami, Orlando, Fort Lauderdale, Boston, New York (JFK), Houston, Dallas/Fort Worth, Atlanta, Chicago O´Hare, Los Angeles, Washington Dulles and Las Vegas. Canadian cities Montreal and Toronto have direct flights to Panama City. The European cities of Frankfurt, Madrid, Paris and Amsterdam are also served directly.
Please consult the internet or a travel agent for best fares from your closest city to PTY.
Will we be able to spend all nights in the Retreat center or will we be required to stay at a city or airport hotel on the first and/or last night?
We are close enough to Panama City, that you can still make a day trip there, and not have to spend the night in the City if you do not want to.
Our unique location does not require you to spend the night in the city. We are in a 1.5 hour radius from Panama City, Beaches, Mountains, and all the amazing wonders of Panama.
How much do I have to deposit up-front to reserve the retreat center for my dates?
We require a deposit of $1,050 only to deposit the entire retreat center of 8 rooms for your 5 night or longer retreat.
We work hard to keep the initial deposit low as you start of marketing your retreat.
How many months before the retreat date does my deposit become non-transferable?
You can transfer your deposit to other dates up to three months before the start of your retreat.
We know plans change, and the world changes too! Retreat Leaders are our partners, we are here to work with you.
How many guests do I need before MY retreat package is completely free?
One teacher ALWAYS stays, eats, and plays for free!
Request pricing and availability to host a retreat at Istmo, and when you check pricing make sure you do NOT include yourself in the number of people - One (1) Retreat Leaders stays for FREE.
If I want everyone to have single accommodations, how many guests will I be able to have? How much will I have to pay the retreat center per person in this case?
Request pricing to host a retreat at Istmo. If you want everyone to have single occupancy your retreat will be limited to 7 people + you. Make sure to enter 7 under "adults" on the dynamic availalbity and pricing link we send you via email.
If I want everyone to have double accommodation, how many guests will I be able to have? How much will I have to pay the retreat center per person in this case?
For double and single occupancy, your retreat at Ismto can have 2 people in single occupancy + 12 people in double occupancy (13 people + you in single/double occupancy)
Request pricing to host a retreat at Istmo. If you want everyone to have double occupancy your retreat will be limited to 13 people + you. Make sure to enter 13 under "adults" on the dynamic availalbity and pricing link we send you via email.
What is the maximum number of people I can have if I fill every bed in the retreat center, how much will I have to pay the retreat center per person?
The room distribution at Istmo is:
- 2 bungalows each with two (2) full beds.
- 3 bungalows each with two bunk beds. Bottom bunk has a full bed and top bunk has a single bed - 4 beds in each bungalow.
- 1 ground level jungle studio apartment with two bunk beds and a kitchenette. Bottom bunk has a full bed and top bunk has a single bed - 4 beds in total.
- 2 bungalows each with one full bed and a kitchenette.
Does the Retreat Center hire locally, pay a living wage, and give back to the local community?
We pride our selves in doing so. Most of our staff has worked with us since we opened, we think that says a lot...
Read our commitment to Sustainability and Community.
Will my clients feel safe and comfortable at this retreat center venue?
It is our hope that they do...
We are blessed to live and run our business in a small safe rural/beach community. Our 3 friendly dogs are our 24-hour security. We have not felt the need to fence in our property or to hire a security guard. General security precautions, and cultural considerations, like not leaving valuables on the beach unattended, and single women not going down to the beach too early or too late are sensible measures we ask our guests to follow.
Does this venue fit well with my core values and the values of my clients?
Istmo Retreat is a family run retreat center surrounded by rainforest in a rural beach community of Panama. While our bungalows have all the comforts one may need, we understand we are not for everyone. Check in with our gut, or contact us to answer this question.
How excited am I about the venue?
Check in with your gut, it will tell you... And if Istmo feels like the right place for your next retreat we cannot wait to share our slice of paradise with you!
If you have not already, request pricing to host a retreat at Istmo.