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Testimonials and Reviews

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Perfect stay as we became yoga teachers

My wife and I stayed at Istmo for a 24-day yoga teacher training. The training was intense and at times really physically and emotionally demanding. I cannot thank everyone at Istmo for their work to make us feel safe and well taken care of.
We had the double room. The beds were very comfortable, AC worked awesome and had a timer (which was perfect to get back to a nice cool room after dinner), clean and comfortable sheets, water pressure was perfect. I heard hot water was slow to arrive, but who needs that in Panama! Seriously.
The yoga studio is beautiful and we spent many hours doing yoga and meditating with the sounds of crickets and other wonderful insects.
The place is a bit rustic and that was perfect for our experience. Not having wifi reach our room was also very welcome way to disconnect.
This is still nature so there are insects and all kinds of sounds, although surprisingly almost no mosquitos.
We were there Aug-Sep and there was rain many days, but mostly a lot of grumbling from the sky 🙂
The food as other reviewers say is fantastic.
Aisha and Sean are nice to talk to about many topics and it was wonderful to get to know them. I wish you lots of continued success with the retreat <3

Jorge EC

I stayed with 9 other women in this gorgeous natural setting for a 5 day Yoga Retreat. The owners are so welcoming and created a wonderful and peaceful week for us. The excursions were exciting - climbing a volcano and visiting the fish market were my highlights. The setting for morning and evening Yoga was stunning - amongst the trees with a cool breeze. The food and rooms were perfect. Definitely will return again and recommend this for small teams, intimate retreat experiences and week-long stays.

Kristi Stubbs - @kirstistubbs

I have just returned from Istmo after running a small vegan yoga retreat here. From the first email I received from Ayesha last year, to the moment we said goodbye to her wonderful husband and co-host Sean, I cannot be more grateful to have found this place and its caring owners. The space has clearly been built with love and intention, and from the comfortable cabañas to the well kept yoga shala, everything is very well maintained and exceptionally clean. The beds are so comfy!
We had requested a 100% vegan menu for our stay and I was very impressed with the quality of the food, the variety and the attention to detail to cater for everybody's needs at all times.
Istmo is located a few minutes walk from the beach, and it is safe and easy to get there, even on your own. A few people did the excursion to El Valle and they really enjoyed their experience too (I stayed behind enjoying some peaceful time in the hammock - bliss).

By far the highlight for me from our stay was the personal touch provided by Sean and Ayesha. They are wonderful human beings, and exceptional hosts: you will be in the best hands with them.

Miriam - Owner Apoyo Lodge, Nicaragua

In May 2022, we hosted a week long Trauma-Informed Yoga Teacher Training and Women's Retreat at Istmo! We had an incredible experience working with Ayesha, Sean, and the rest of the team. They went above and beyond to make sure we were happy and supported throughout our stay. Ayesha is an incredible host and paid attention to every detail to make sure our retreat went smoothly. Sean is an extremely gifted chef and also took our group on some epic adventures, including paddle boarding. The retreat center is beautiful and is just a short walk to amazing blue water beaches. I would highly recommend Istmo for all retreat leaders and attendees! Thank you so much for everything!

Brooke Alexander - School Yoga Institute - Teacher

I stayed at Istmo at the end of February 2019 and had an incredible experience all around. Istmo is the perfect intersection of natural simplicity and comfort--you're surrounded by gorgeous Panamanian rain forest vegetation, less than 10 minutes walk to the beach, nature walks, and meditation labyrinth on site, and yet you stay in air-conditioned bungalows (with daily housekeeping visits) complete with really nice showers. The food is fantastic--at my yoga retreat, we ate mostly vegetarian with fish as an optional add-on; everything was straightforward home-cooking style, clean and simple, everything we hoped for, from fresh fruit, eggs, and potatoes in the morning, to coconut rice, root vegetable stew, roasted eggplant, black beans, plantains and beyond. The hosts, Sean and Ayesha, are second to none--friendly, responsive, communicative, always actively seeking feedback on how things are going, and educational about the area, the people of Panama, and all the activities in which we had the opportunity to participate. I also admit a big soft spot for the hosts' dogs--they are so well-behaved and loving, we had the very best time getting to see them every day. We thoroughly enjoyed speaking with other guests of the retreat center while we were there, as well. Istmo is run by great people, and I think they attract great guests! I would absolutely stay at Istmo again and would recommend it to anyone.

Margaret-Ellen C - Retreat Participant

Incredible! Ayesha and Sean were so attentive, communicative and efficient. The property is secluded, beautiful, and quaint. The food was made with so much love. We felt nourished and supported while hosting our retreat at Istmo and we will definitely be back!

Jeanine Talento - School Yoga Institute - Teacher

Istmo far exceeded our expectations. The rooms were very well kept, clean, had comfortable beds and pillows, toiletries provided, and plenty of space. The food was amazing and the staff was very friendly and helpful. The grounds are beautiful and the beach is just a short walk away. All details were thought of and we had everything we could have needed. As a retreat leader, my job was so easy thanks to the amazing support at Istmo. I truly cannot recommend this place enough. I cannot wait to go back again!

Natalie Davidson - @naturallynourishedbynatalie

I loved every second at the Istmo retreat center. The hosts were so friendly and accommodating, the excursions were awesome, the food was excellent, and the grounds (including the bungalows and the yoga studio) were beautiful. I cannot wait to return!!!

Allana Arron - Retreat Participant

Istmo was the perfect spot for a yoga retreat. The studio was surrounded by nature, and the beach was only a moments walk away.Very relaxing experience! My group enjoyed their experience at Istmo. We will definitely return!

Tiffany Ketchmark - Yoga Teacher, Chicago USA

WOW! What an experience! Staying at Istmo was one of my greatest adventures! As a yoga teacher with experience leading retreats worldwide, Istmo met or exceeded all of my expectations. The accommodations were cozy, private, and comfortable. The food was out-of-this-world delicious! Plus, having dessert every night was a huge perk! The chef was able to create meals to meet everyone's specific dietary requirements AND learned everyone's names (16 people) at our very first meal. Excursions were thoughtfully planned and super fun. The only thing I hated about being at Istmo was having to leave 🙂 It takes a lot for a retreat center to wow me so much that I want to return, but I will be back and CANNOT WAIT! Thanks, Istmo, for a lifetime's worth of incredible memories!

I led a 6-day yoga retreat here, and it was perfect! The yoga studio is well outfitted, the best I’ve encountered in Central America. The food is nourishing and delicious, and they accommodate all diets and needs. Wonderfully, this can be done per person (so your whole group doesn’t have to be gluten-free if just one person is, for example). The rooms are well-appointed, the bed and pillows are great quality, with everything you need in a spacious cabin, complete with a hammock. The bathrooms are all ensuite and are themselves modern, clean, and roomy. Each is equipped with a large supply of shampoo, conditioner and body wash, so save some room in your luggage and leave yours at home. The rooms have a small mini-fridge that keeps your water cool. There is a safe in the room, but I felt no need to use mine. The best part is the warm, supportive, peaceful, fun, and welcoming spirit you receive from hosts, Sean and Ayesha. Their warm touch, inspired by their own connection to yoga practice, makes this a fantastic place to hold a retreat. I couldn’t recommend this place more highly.

ISTMO went above and beyond my expectations. I recently hosted a two-week-long Yoga immersion training course at ISTMO, and they treated our group like family. Their generous hospitality is unforgettable. In addition to great service, we enjoyed fresh food, locally sourced meals, and comfy and spacious boutique bungalows! ISTMO’s entire property is something special- from the main house to the Yoga studio, labyrinth, and hammock gazebo. Secluded but with easy access to a stunning, quiet beach (both black and white sand) and numerous waterfalls in the area. We felt we were truly enjoying an authentic experience in the Panamanian rainforest!!

I just spent a week with Sean and Ayesha at Istmo and they were great. The rooms were clean, beds super comfortable, food amazing, staff friendly, gorgeous beach, everything you can ask for!!! I definitely recommend I'd you're looking to host a yoga retreat!

Kate Goodyear - Retreat Participant

Leading a Yoga Retreat at Istmo Yoga and Adventure, was nice, comfortable, and very easy. They had everything pretty much covered, so I could focus on teaching my classes and workshops. knowing that they would handle everything in the best way.

Leslie Vaughn - @kaleyoga

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