Over the past decade or so, Central America has become a popular place to practice yoga. Traveler and yogi Manmohan Singh of the Rishikul Yogshalaa yoga school in Rishikesh, India lists his favorite yoga retreats in Central America.
There’s nothing more soothing than embracing the beauty of yoga in the realm of nature.
In recent years, Central America has become, it seems, an unofficial yoga center in the western hemisphere.
Yogis arrive from all over the world to practice or teach. The profuse natural vegetation and beauty of Central America provide a perfect home to some of the best yoga and wellness centers in the world.
Below, in no particular order, are my favorite yoga retreats in Central America.
Ocean views and pristine beaches are what Ak’Bol on Ambergris Caye, Belize is all about. Oh – and the yoga. Here you’ll find teachers from the US, Thailand, India and elsewhere running some of the best retreats in the region. Enjoy authentic yoga on the beach with the town of San Pedro a simple bicycle ride away.
Ka’Ana Resort & Spa, Belize
Out on the Western Highway, between San Ignacio and the Guatemalan border, this jungle lodge offers the best in Belizean eco-tourism. But its focus on deep relaxation also makes it the perfect yoga spot. Enjoy complimentary morning classes surrounded by nature or book a private class. And don’t forget to enjoy the spa, the highlight of Ka’Ana.
Waterfall Villas, Costa Rica
You’ll find the Waterfall Villas on the banks of the Rio Baru, outside the southern Pacific surf town of Dominical. The emphasis here is on delicious vegan food and wellness. This place is a pure retreat in the most specific sense and kundalini yoga is integral to the Waterfall Villas’ spirit. Join resident yogi Fatah for a wide range of retreat programs and packages.
Anamaya Resort, Costa Rica
Anamaya is one of the more prestigious wellness resorts in Costa Rica and an ideal center for classical yoga teacher-training in the country. The location is superb – on a mountain outside the pretty beach town of Montezuma near the tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. Anamaya offers various retreats and yoga teacher-training programs.
Balance Yoga Retreat, El Salvador
For yogis who surf, Central America is the Mecca. And the Great Mosque of that Mecca is El Salvador. Surf and yoga go hand in hand here on these powerful beaches. El Tunco is at the heart of El Salvador’s surf scene and Balance Yoga Retreat is in the heart of El Tunco. It marks the perfect balance of mindful yoga and exhilarating surf. Note: This place is currently closed for a refurb, but is accepting bookings, and will reopen in April, 2022.
Las Flores Resort, El Salvador
Another surf center with a side of yoga. The yoga deck at Las Flores is perfect for checking out the waves of El Cucu beach. Use the deck on your own or request your own classes with the resident yogi.
Villa Sumaya, Guatemala
On the shores of Lake Atitlan, Guatemala, in Santa Cruz La Laguna, Villa Sumaya celebrates the finest standards of yoga and meditation. This place is all about retreat hosting, both personal and group. If you’re looking to host a yoga or wellness retreat on the shore’s of the world’s most beautiful lake, Villa Sumaya is for you.
The Yoga Forest, Guatemala
In Guatemala, the town of San Marcos La Laguna on Lake Atitlán is famous for having a thriving yoga and wellness community. So it’s no surprise that The Yoga Forest, which describes itself as a “conscious living retreat” makes its home here. As befits its name, The Yoga Forest offers teacher training, various retreats, and drop-in classes. Yoga is a celebration at The Yoga Forest.
Isla Verde, Guatemala
Also on the Atitlán lakeshore, Isla Verde is popular for its personal retreats. Accessible only by boat, the nine cabins here allow you to live in a world of solitude. Retreats take place throughout the year, hosted by some of the best yogis in the world.
Paya Bay Resort, Honduras
Paya Bay sits on the East Side of the island of Roatán, Honduras. The spectacular 1,200 square-foot Ananda Yoga Pavillion looks out over the Caribbean and the Mesoamerican Barrier Reef.
Sansara Surf and Yoga Resort, Panama
Without a doubt the best yoga resort in Panama, Sansara sits at the bottom of the Azuero Peninsula, one of Central America’s most southern points. As so often in Central America, yoga here combines with surfing, although you can come for one and not the other. Daily classes take place and also year-round retreats with renowned guest teachers.
Istmo Yoga and Adventure Retreat, Panama
A short, easy drive down the Pan-American Highway from Panama City, Istmo is perfect for weekend healing breaks. You’ll stay in a simple, comfortable cabin here and reconnect with yourself. One of the owners takes the regular yoga classes while guest yogis arrive to host retreats.
From pristine beaches to cascading waterfalls and verdant jungles, Central America offers everything you need to practice yoga in a serene setting. What are your favorite yoga retreats in Central America?
Manmohan Singh manages the Rishikul Yogshala yoga school in Rishikesh, India. He is a passionate traveler.