Paradise in Panama Wellness Retreat

Destination: Bocas del Toro, Panama City

| Activities: Snorkeling, Kayaking, Wildlife, Culture

Treat yourself to an active and adventurous mid-winter reset at a remote eco-lodge in the beautiful archipelago of Bocas del Toro. Panama is a hidden gem with more bird species than the entire continental USA and miles of pristine protected coastline. It receives fewer visitors than neighboring countries, thus it is possible to truly get off the beaten track while still being easy and exciting to explore. This trip offers a variety of land and water-based active adventures, while also allowing ample time and guided experiences for rejuvenation and relaxation. Awaken your senses with a combination of water activities, hiking, yoga, and massage; with a side of healthy and delicious food and incredible wildlife and culture. Maximum: 16

Highlights

  • Visit an incredibly beautiful and eco diverse country that is still off the mass tourism radar
  • Refresh your body and soul with healthy local food, fresh fruit smoothies, waterfront yoga, and massage
  • Snorkel, swim, and paddle among colorful coral reefs and pristine mangroves
  • Experience the rejuvenating properties of local ingredients through a Cacao ceremony and organic facial-scrub making session
  • Keep your eyes peeled for dart frogs, sloths, and monkeys while hiking lush jungle trails

Departures and Prices

December 01 to December 09, 2024
$5295.00 - Available
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Inclusions

  • An Adventures in Good Company guide and local guides
  • Eight nights double occupancy lodging with some single supplements available for an additional fee
  • All activities specified on the itinerary, kayaking, snorkeling, stand up paddle boarding, yoga, 1 massage, and hiking
  • All transportation within Panama, including internal flights
  • Meals as specified on the itinerary
  • Gratuities for drivers and day guides
Not included:Travel to Panama city; AGC guide gratuities; alcoholic beverages; extra massage (1 included)

Trip Info

This trip is rated both a 1 and a 2 and is an excellent choice for women who enjoy being active and trying lots of different activities, and who want to experience the incredible diversity of culture and natural history that Panama offers. Because we will be staying in one place, all activities while at Casa Cayuco are optional, hence the rating of a 1 is also appropriate. No previous experience in any of the activities is necessary.Rating: 1 [2] 3 4 5.A rating of 2 is suitable for any woman who regularly walks at a brisk pace 3 to 4 days a week for 35 - 45 minutes. These trips typically involve 3 to 5 hours of daily activity.

This trip includes swimming, snorkeling, hiking, yoga, cultural sightseeing, kayaking, paddle boarding and relaxing. No experience is necessary in any of them - your guides will teach you everything you need to know.

We stay the first two nights and the last night at a modern hotel in Panama City. The rest of the time we will be staying at a private eco-resort, Casa Cayuco. This stunning resort is right on the coast, nestled against a dense backdrop of verdant jungle. Each spacious accommodation offers an en suite bathroom, organic soap and haircare products, memory foam mattresses and high thread count linens so you can sleep comfortably as you enjoy the tropical breeze through your room. We'll have the entire resort to ourselves, with 3 to 4 people per cabin with two single supplements available.

Below is the proposed itinerary for the trip. As is true on any adventure travel trip, plans for any specific day may be modified due to weather considerations, unforeseen circumstances, new opportunities, and group interests.

DAY 1
Welcome to Panama! Plan to arrive at Tocumen International Airport (PTY) by 4PM for the 4:30PM group shuttle to the hotel. We’ll have our first group meeting in the hotel lobby at 5:30, followed by a delicious group welcome dinner. (D) Overnight: Radisson Hotel Panama Canal or similar
DAY 2
Panama is best known for the Panama Canal, so it's fitting that our first full day here should be spent learning about it. After breakfast we drive a short distance to the town of Gamboa, the geographic center of the Panama Canal to start our kayaking adventure on Lake Gatun. The lake was created by flooding the area now contained in Sobernia and Chagres National Parks, turning many mountain tops into islands and creating an amazing kayaking resource with endless channels to explore. At its time, Lake Gatun was the largest manmade lake in the world, designed to feed the locks of the Panama Canal for the large vessels traveling through. The ships aren't the only interesting thing to see here though. The islands and shoreline of the lake are teeming with wildlife; we may see monkeys (including Capuchin (white-faces), howling, spider, and titi), sloths, and toucans among other animals. In the afternoon we’ll venture to the historical area of Casco Antiguo, a Unesco World Heritage Site. The charming historic district of Panama City is full of history and amazing architecture. Dating back to 1673, the vibrant plazas, the old Colonial Churches and the French influenced architecture of many buildings offer great photo and learning opportunities. We will dine as a group at a local restaurant. (B, L, D) Overnight: Radisson Hotel Panama Canal or similar
DAY 3
This morning we will catch a domestic flight to Bocas, gateway to the Caribbean. The Bocas del Toro area of northwest Panama, is a place that looks exactly like a picture postcard of paradise. Pristine white sand beaches, brilliant blue waters, and small islands that seem as if they were made by the hand of a talented designer all add up to immediate relaxation. The archipelago contains 68 different islands, and all of them are open for exploring, bird watching, swimming, or just enjoying as you sit on the sand and soak up the sun. Upon arrival, we will take a water taxi to our home for the next few days, a truly unique self-sustaining ecolodge, Casa Cayuco. After an organic lunch, we'll settle into our home for the week, and offer some time to relax and take your first dip into the tempting Caribbean waters. If time allows, we'll have an opportunity to stretch our legs and explore the property and its many friendly tropical inhabitants with a hike on the Casa Cayuco Sendero, a loop through the jungle surrounding the lodge. After a full day of travel and adventure, we’ll be ready for a healthy and hearty meal...and thankfully, we’re in the right place! Casa Cayuco receives rave reviews for their food and each day we’ll enjoy a chef-prepared breakfast, lunch, and 3-course dinner utilizing local ingredients and primarily plant-based cuisine with the addition of locally caught fresh fish. (B, L, D) Overnight: Casa Cayuco
DAY 4
This morning (after an opportunity to grab some coffee of course), we’ll ease our tired traveling muscles with a restorative yoga class on the Casa Cayuco dock. Yoga will be provided for all levels, and taught by a local certified instructor. A morning stretch surrounded by miles of turquoise Caribbean water as far as the eye can see? Yes please! After a delicious breakfast we’ll depart on a short boat ride to two nearby uninhabited islands surrounded by coral reef, Isla Zapatillas. These are considered to be the best conserved coral reefs in the Caribbean coastline. Experience this magnificent national marine park and its sandy beaches, clear turquoise water and abundant fish activity up close while snorkeling. Be on the lookout for angelfish, groupers, parrot fish, butterfly fish, lobsters and moray eels. Upon our return the afternoon is yours to read, relax, and enjoy the calm waters in front of the lodge where you are invited to swim, paddle, and snorkel to your heart’s content. Happy hour at Casa Cayuco means time to enjoy a daily healthy tropical smoothie and afternoon snack on AGC. We’ll also sprinkle a complimentary massage for each participant throughout the week - perhaps this afternoon will be your turn! (B, L, D) Overnight: Casa Cayuco
DAY 5
Today we’ll spend a half day exploring the rugged and beautiful Pelicano Trail. Following breakfast we will start with a walk through Salt Creek, an indigenous village that is home to all of the ecolodge's employees and their families. A visit to the Salt Creek village is one of the most exciting and important aspects of Casa Cayuco's eco-experience and we will make sure the group has an opportunity to explore this special place before heading into the rainforest terrain with our local guide. We’ll hike up and over a hill to reach the gorgeous Los Pelicanos beach on the eastern coast of Isla Bastimentos, and have the opportunity to go for a swim before continuing along the beach trail to complete the loop back to Casa Cayuco. It wouldn’t be a trip to paradise without spending a generous amount of time each day in the water, so after lunch we will round out the afternoon with an AGC guided paddling lesson on the calm waters in front of Casa Cayuco. Choose your vessel - Casa Cayuco offers a variety of kayaks and paddleboards and with the lodge to ourselves, they’re all ours! (B, L, D) Overnight: Casa Cayuco
DAY 6
It’s another beautiful day in paradise, and today we’ll embark on a unique snorkeling adventure - this time to a pristine mangrove ecosystem only 25 minutes from the lodge. We will spend the morning snorkeling through this colorful reef filled with beautiful soft corals and sponges. We may see octopus, crabs, starfish and many varieties of fish while in this underwater garden. Keep a lookout for pods of dolphins on the boat ride back to the lodge! After almost a week of travel and exercise on both water and land, this evening we’ll treat ourselves to some creativity and pampering! We’ll enjoy a glass of wine or healthy non-alcoholic tonic while creating our own organic facial scrubs using local botanical ingredients. Casa Cayuco will provide the materials, containers, and a demonstration and we’ll be left with a unique souvenir to take home with us from our travels. (B, L, D) Overnight: Casa Cayuco
DAY 7
We’ll start our last full day in Bocas with a second morning yoga class out on the dock. Is there anything better than sun salutations as the sun itself rises over the Caribbean? After breakfast you’ll have some time in the morning to choose your own adventure. Perhaps a deck chair is calling your name, one last snorkel in front of the lodge, or a guided excursion to the legendary bat caves of Bastimentos. This tour is not for the faint of heart as it involves spelunking, or cave exploration. You may be wading through water up to your waist (depending on your height!) and climbing up and over boulders, all while lighting your way with a headlamp under your helmet. You'll be accompanied by your AGC guide and a local team of guides the whole way. In the afternoon we’ll celebrate our time at Casa Cayuco with everyone’s favorite tropical ingredient…chocolate! We will reconvene for a Cacao ceremony where we will learn how to prepare ceremonial cacao, how to cook with cacao, and how to use chocolate as a superfood. Bean to bar taste-testing required in this multi-sensory experience! We’ll end the day with another delicious community meal. (B, L, D) Overnight: Casa Cayuco
DAY 8
It’s our last chance for a yoga class or snorkel and beach activities before packing up for an afternoon flight back to the capital. Sigh, our time in this sandy paradise is coming to an end. After a last delicious meal at the ecolodge, we'll boat back to Bocas and then hop on our domestic flight. Once settled back in our hotel in Panama City, we'll gather together for a farewell dinner, toasting our accomplishments, the beauty of Panama, and the fun we had together. (B, L, D) Overnight: Bristol Hotel or similar
DAY 9
This morning we bid a fond farewell to Panama. Fly out anytime after 12PM, with one group shuttle included at 9:30AM. (B)

4.6

(18 reviews)
4.4 Food
4 Lodging
4.5 Safety
5
(11)
4
(6)
3
(1)
2
(0)
1
(0)

*These are the unfiltered reviews of women who have been on this trip in answer to the question "What made this trip special for you?". We take reviews very seriously and often tweak itineraries based on feedback. Please feel free to contact us about any questions you have.

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Nola N.
3 months ago

Ronette K.
3 months ago

Casa Cayuco was indeed Paradise in every way.

Barbara B.
4 months ago

The location of the Casa Cayuco lodge was superb. The setting was pristine and beautiful, the lodge blended in nicely with the sea and the jungle and the staff members were attentive. The food was outrageously good! It was truly a wellness retreat with a good mix of activities and wonderful women to enjoy them with.

Elizabeth R.
4 months ago

Great company. Emily was an awesome and very patient guide. The part in Bocas del Toro was absolutely amazing and exceeded my expectations. Loved it.

Lori L.
4 months ago

Carolyn M.
4 months ago

The experience at the lodge was incredible! Morning yoga, delicious food, visiting Salt Creek, sloths, watching sea turtles hatch and head toward the sea, snorkeling, the bat cave, and just being near the ocean and away from the fast paced energy of the city.

Maryjane L.
4 months ago

Allison S.
2 years ago

Lainie was fantastic at every step of the way from helping us get checked in to helping me manage my anxiety during snorkeling.

Katharene S.
2 years ago

Our guide was fantastic and very attuned to the needs of the group and group dynamics. I loved CasaCayuco especially the accommodations, staff, and quality of the food. Snorkeling was wonderful and opportunities for kayaking on my own at CasaCayuco were my favorite.

Diana K.
2 years ago

The snorkeling was magnificent, the camaraderie of the group was super fun, and the vibe from the resort where we stayed was special.

Nancy N.
2 years ago

I especially enjoyed the Casa Cayuc eco lodge with excellent food and helpful staff.

Liz F.
2 years ago

Being among the many recent widows. We all looked out for each other.

Kim C.
2 years ago

Casa Cayuco Eco Lodge was really nice. All of the people there were great and the food was fantastic. It was cool to snorkel in the mangrove forest, it looked other worldly. It was also fun to see the Panama Canal and to kayak at Lake Gatun.

Gayla P.
2 years ago

The time on the island and the snorkeling.

Alaina W.
2 years ago

I really enjoyed getting to do this trip with my mother. Also, Laine Reisman was absolutely THE BEST guide I could ever have hoped for. Her patience, professionalism, and general can-do attitude was everything we needed and more.

Julia G.
2 years ago

The women, the trip leader and the snorkeling.

Judith B.
2 years ago

I thoroughly enjoyed this trip! I grew up in San Juan and being in Panama brought me back "home". The beautiful scenery and wonderful people of Panama were very special to me.

Catherine B.
2 years ago

A good variety of activities, the nature and wildlife, the remoteness of and very good accommodations at the eco-lodge, the healthy food, the awesome guide, Lainie, for AGC. Also, the diversity of interesting co-travelers. And, the history and culture, and local people. The local guide in the city was also very knowledgeable. Very much enjoyed kayaking and snorkeling.

  1. Where do we eat?

    While in Panama City, breakfasts will be at our hotel. Lunches and dinners will be either in the hotel, in local restaurants, or a picnic lunch. While at the eco-lodge, all of our delicious, locally sourced meals will be eaten on site
  2. What dietary preferences or restrictions can you accommodate on this trip?

    Vegetarian options for this trip are available but may be more limited than you are used to. If you are concerned about having enough protein during your trip, plan to bring some plant-based protein sources such as nut butter, instant dried hummus, or high-protein energy bars. If you cannot eat gluten or if you have other dietary restrictions i.e. vegan, you will need to bring some supplemental food with you.
  3. I have never kayaked or paddle boarded before, is this the right trip for me?

    This is the perfect trip for both new and experienced kayakers and paddle boarders. We will give detailed demonstrations and lessons so you feel comfortable during water activities.
  4. What is the weather like at this time of year?

    Delightful! Days are typically in the 70s and 80s.
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