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Before Your Panama Retreat: A Guide to Activities in the Area

Are you coming to Panama for a retreat or training? If so, congratulations! You're in for a fantastic time. But if you're arriving a few days before your retreat starts, what should you do? Here are a few recommendations of things to do in Panama City and the surrounding areas before your training begins. You do not need to rent a car to enjoy these activities, as most tour organizers offer transportation or can be reached using Uber.

First off, if you are spending a few nights in Panama City before heading out to the retreat center, we recommend staying in the Old City - Caso Antiguo or Casco Viejo. There's no better place to stay than Casco Antiguo. With its rich cultural history and diverse range of restaurants, there are plenty of things to do while you're here. Make sure to contact the hotel to organize your airport pickup.

Casco Viejo

Credit: VisitPanama.com

While staying in Casco Antiguo, enjoy the nightlife and have a drink on one of the roof-top bars. Also, take a walk around Plaza de Francia and visit the Panama Canal Museum. You can also visit some local artisan markets to pick up some souvenirs.  Casco Antiguo is a very pedestrian-friendly area, and you will enjoy exploring the sites on foot. 

And, if you come to Panama, your visit is not complete with a trip to the Panama Canal. The canal is a man-made marvel that's been in use for over 100 years. It's definitely worth the visit!

If you're looking for something a little more outdoorsy, we recommend hiking in Soberania National Park. The park has miles of trails, so you can find one that fits your level of fitness and experience. There are plenty of animals to see, including monkeys and sloths!

Did you know that the rainforest around Panama City is one of the world's densest rainforests? The country depends on this urban rainforest to generate the rain needed to run the Panama Canal.

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If you're looking for an indigenous cultural experience, have a sense of adventure, and don't need all the creature comforts, we recommend spending one or two nights in Guna Yala (San Blas Islands). You can stay in a traditional Kuna village, sleep in a hammock, and experience life as the Kuna people do. 

It's a fantastic experience that you won't soon forget! A gem of Panama with 365 islands, San Blas, also known as the Guna Yala Indigenous Reservation, is genuinely one of Panama's most unique and beautiful experiences. Make sure you book a package that includes transport from the city and day tours to the surrounding islands.  We are currently not in a position to recommend a tour/accommodations provider, but a google search of San Blas Islands will give you enough fodder to plan a great trip there.   


The above recommendations are a perfect way to get a taste of Panama before heading to your retreat center for your transformational retreat experience.

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Most retreat centers, including Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat, offer additional activities, including surf lessons, Stand-up-paddleboard excursions, and hikes that you can enjoy during your training downtime. 

Please get in touch with your retreat organizer retreat organizer to see what activities they have included in their retreat package and when you will have downtime to add optional activities to your retreat. 

We hope you have a fantastic time in Panama! These are just a few of the many activities available in the area. Whatever you do, make sure to have fun! And don't forget to pack your sunscreen!

Please check out THIS page for all the relevant information you will need to prepare for your retreat at Istmo.  

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