Panama Retreat Location Information | HotBikramRetreats
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Panama Retreat Location Information

We’ve put together some facts around the countries where we host our retreats. This factsheet is intended to help you to prepare for the retreat in terms of what to bring climate-wise, what the main currency and official language is, as well as information on how to get there.

In addition you can also read this brief article on ‘What to bring to a yoga retreat’.

 

Official LanguageSpanish. English widely spoken especially in the capital Panama City and touristic areas such as Bocas del Toro where our retreats are held.
CurrencyPanamanian Balboa (PAB) and the United States dollar (USD).
US dollars are accepted everywhere.

Please note that there is only ONE ATM on Bocas del Toro which sometimes can also be empty – so we recommend to bring sufficient cash as many places do NOT accept card payments.

Alternatively cash can also be obtained in the many Chinese-run supermarkets which provide cash payouts for major credit cards at 10% interest.
Main airport(s) relevant to our retreat locationBocas del Toro Airport (BOC) on Isla Colon.
Travel DocumentsFor most travellers (incl. US, CA, AU, UK, rest of Europe) only a valid passport is required. It is strongly recommended that the passport is still valid for another 6 months, apart from that there are no restrictions.

You will receive a 90-day tourist visa upon arrival. You can check here your visa requirements.
Getting there / airport transfersWe will arrange airport transfers from and to Bocas del Toro airport on the first and final day of the retreat.
Getting aroundBocas del Toro consists of several islands – the main island being Isla Colon with Bocas Town and the airport. Our retreat location Hotel Tierra Verde is on nearby Isla Carenero which requires a short boat ride – usually costing US$1/ride.
Check in / out timesCheck in into rooms is from 1pm, so in case you arrive prior you can grab a hammock, go to the beach or hang out on the private jetty until your room is ready.

Check out is from 11am, please make sure you have your bags ready and packed by that time.

You can leave them at Hotel Tierra Verde until your airport transfer on the final day.
What to bringAs it is very hot and humid in Bocas, please bring plenty of sunscreen, there is nothing worse than sitting in a hot yoga class with a sunburn!

Due to the climate, mosquitoes might come out at night and early morning, please bring a mosquito repellent, or otherwise coconut oil has helped as well in the past.

Tropical rain can occur so rain poncho/jacket can come in handy.

We also recommend bringing (or buying locally, it's a great souvenir!) a sarong for the beach. Towels are provided by the hotel as well – sarongs are a great alternative though as they are much lighter and dry very quickly.

Please also bring a bottle which can be refilled with water to minimize waste.

Please note: Tap water in Panama is NOT not drinkable – only use filtered water from provided water dispensers or purchased water!
Yoga facilitiesThere is no heated yoga room facility on Bocas but the climate which is very humid and hot does create great conditions for hot (Bikram) yoga. Classes are held at a beautiful yoga shala which is open to the front with waterfront views on Isla Colon. We provide boat transfers to and from the yoga facility for each class.

All Yoga mats and towels are provided.
LaundryYou can get laundry done at the hotel – please check with Ivan or Cookie for the cost.
InternetFree WIFI is available at the hotel – as well as many restaurants and bars throughout the islands. However, it should be noted that being still fairly remote islands – service can be intermittent and slow – as well as power cuts can occur affecting internet services.
TippingAs tipping is done in very different ways across the globe, please note that in Panama salaries are quite low we always suggest to tip in restaurants and bars for around 10% minimum – if service has not been included already. This is not an obligation but just a suggestion.
Useful linkshttp://wikitravel.org/en/Bocas_del_Toro
http://www.bocasdeltoro.com/
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