Disconnect to Reconnect at Sansara Resort

By: Kara Patrick We stood on the edge of the world over looking the vast Pacific Ocean. Large rocks smoothed by the ebb and flow of salt water, littered the coastline. There was an undeniable rawness to the untouched jungle that surrounded us.

We had arrived at Sansara, a lifestyle resort offering yoga and surf retreats on the picturesque shores of Cambutal, Los Santos. Carved from the natural landscape the resort fit seamlessly into it’s surrounding. Effortlessly, it encourages us to do the same.  

Our senses seem enhanced by the vibrant colors of the lush tropical landscape, textures of rich wood, and the inviting smell of eucalyptus. Everything and everyone here works together to make the rejuvenating experience absolutely divine.

It doesn’t seem to matter whether you intend to practice yoga, surf, or simply relax and enjoy the natural beauty. Sansara offers it’s guest the opportunity to look inwards and get reconnected to something greater than wireless Internet. While wifi is available throughout the resort, guests are encouraged to spend time daily disconnected from technology, to get connected with the beauty around them.

Sansara is a Sanskrit word meaning continual flow, an element present in every detail of the area, the people behind Sansara and the architecture of the resort itself.  Owners Mike and Janel moved to Panama 3 years ago from Canada. As soon as they arrived in Cambutal, they knew it was the prefect place to find inspiration, create, and grow. Over the next few years the determined couple would create an authentic space, from which to share yoga, surf & light with visitors and the community of Cambutal.  

While you might feel like you’ve stepped into another world, Sansara is incredibly connected to Panama, specifically Cambutal. By offering their staff community yoga classes weekly, they have created space for a group of local women to connect; yoga has become time these women cherish. Sansara also gives back to the local community through their apparel brand Cambutal Surf Co., the profits from the company help fund community projects. Recently a concrete floor was poured for a local family; the smallest actions can make a world of difference.

Sansara uses 100% all natural, locally made products.  An organic skincare line, Nativo, has handcrafted the soaps and shampoos in each room. These products are made right here in Panama, with no toxic chemicals, synthetic preservatives, artificial fragrances, or unnatural constituents. The thoughtfulness in Nativo products resembles Sansara’s approach to most, from design to food.

Anything that can be sourced locally is, from wood to bananas, everything is made in house and it is always made fresh. Recently Sanara brought on in house chef Sophie, opening up a full restaurant exclusively for guests.  In my opinion it is worth staying just for the gastronomical experience. Freshly baked banana bread French toast, and a breath taking view, is a phenomenal start to any day. With a full menu for breakfast, lunch and dinner, each stocked with fresh organic ingredients sourced from local farms.  There is no shortage of fantastic meals and creative drinks & smoothies to choose from.

With such a strong focus on fresh food, a greenhouse is naturally also in the plans. The growth shows no signs of slowing at Sansara, as ground has already been broken on a Spa expansion, and an exciting new retail space.

The beautiful thing about Sansara is you can shape your itinerary to suit you. Join a retreat and connect with others, while indulging in daily yoga practices on a gorgeous hardwood platform over looking the Pacific Ocean. Access a variety of waves, from advanced to beginner, and learn to surf or take your surfing to the next level. Sansara instructors offer a new approach to learning, creating a safe and comfortable environment that is enjoyable, never intimidating or judgmental. You don’t have to be a yogi or a surfer; this is a place where trying something new comes naturally.

There are plenty of other activities to experience on land and in water. From guided and un-guided hikes, waterfall visits, snorkeling, to kayaking and deep-sea fishing expeditions. At the end of the day kick back poolside and enjoy a freshly blended smoothie. For more info on retreats & nightly rates contact the Sansara team by email at reservations@sansararesort.com or phone at 507-6322-9358.  

Getting there

Taking a bus is the most economically friendly option. For approximately $15 the bus will take you from the Albrook Bus Terminal to Las Tablas (4 hours), from there you will transfer buses to head to Cambutal via Tonosi (2 hours).

Driving Directions

When heading to Sansara by car, you can expect the trip to take you approximately 4 hours from Coronado or 5 hours from Panama City.  You begin by heading towards the interior of the country; you will exit the Pan-American Highway at Divisa. Heading towards, and then passing through both Chitre and Las Tablas.  From Las Tablas you will take an hour-long picturesque drive on the road to Valle Rico leading to Tonosi.  The beach town of Cambutal is located 20 minutes from Tonosi.