my vision for vista cañas…
I had no interest in building just another place for people to hang out and sleep on their vacation.
My vision is to create a retreat that will feed souls—with three primary focuses:
Even if you never left the private Vista Cañas community, unofficially known as Madroño, your nature bucket would be overflowing.
This is just a partial list of the natural treasures in the immediate vicinity:
- Sweeping views of the Pacific Ocean, farmland and mountains
- Stunning sunsets
- A jungle visited by monkeys and other wildlife
- One vast and stunning beach with sea caves
- One secluded surf spot
- A natural estuary
And, if you come at just the right time, breeching whales and nesting sea turtles.
As amazing as the “neighborhood” is, you won’t want to miss what’s just outside of it:
- Isla de Cañas (home to mangroves and nesting sea turtles)
- Hiking trails to vistas and waterfalls
- Picturesque and uncrowded beaches
- Hectares of farmland and jungle
- A tiny tropical island called Isla Iguana with (you guessed it) lots and lots of iguanas (and more)
- A (warm) ocean to surf, snorkel and/or scuba in
- Prime deep sea fishing on the “Tuna Coast”
If nature is what you’re looking for, you’ll definitely find it here.
When I was a young girl, my small town library, and the books I borrowed from it, were my sanctuary. When I was an overworked college student, and later a harried mom, time to read became one of my most precious commodities.
Today, books bring the feeling of Christmas to me on a daily basis—and they are behind the massive amount of bravery I am tapping into to build Vista Cañas.
That’s why in addition to being a nature retreat, Vista Cañas will also be a book retreat offering guests:
- A well-stocked library of books (available to local readers too!)
- Complimentary pre-loaded Kindles
- Strategically placed hammocks and patio chairs
- Hidden reading spots
Vista Cañas is the future headquarters of Tribe XX—a community of women supporting women founded by my daughter and I in the Fall of 2019.
I’ve always been extremely passionate about connecting with women. It wasn’t until my necessary midlife transition that I was able to find women who desired the kind of connection I was looking for—intimate, raw, real and positive.
We founded Tribe XX to boost up women—and be boosted ourselves.
I am ecstatic for the day when I can tell every member that they have a place—to rest and rejuvenate, to heal after being hit by a curveball, to re-balance when things have gotten out of whack, to regain footing after a divorce, death, empty nest or (fill in the blank).
I’m a born again self carer. It took me WAY too long to grasp that taking care of myself was not selfish—and now I’m a passionate preacher.
And, there’s more…
For those looking for adventure, there are plenty of opportunities to get your adrenaline going here.
If you haven’t been the adventurous type, this is a fantastic place to tip toe out of your comfort zone. Here are just some of the things to do in the area:
- Horseback riding
- Snorkeling & scuba diving
- Zip lining
- Permaculture & farm tours
- Ocean fishing
- A visit to a tropical island
- Surfing (body, board, kite), surf lessons, and stand up paddle boarding
For those looking for romance, imagine this…
You wake up to the sound of waves crashing on the beach. After preparing a simple breakfast and local coffee together in the kitchen, you walk out to the communal terrace or back to your private deck and savor the stunning view of the Pacific Ocean and Isla de Cañas along with your meal.
Then, you pack up a picnic lunch and beach supplies and trek down to the practically private beach where you explore, relax and swim in the warm ocean together.
When you get back to your room or casita, the hammocks remind you that it’s time for an afternoon siesta. You awake refreshed to the sound of howler monkeys who tempt you into a short walk before the sun sets behind the mountains in the distance.
If you’re lucky, you’ll fall asleep to the sound of rain falling outside.
The sights, sounds and smells of nature—and, hopefully, the simple beauty of Vista Cañas itself—will combine to create a space that has the power to bring forth everyone’s inner artist and inspire great works from the seasoned painters, writers, musicians, photographers.
In addition to our #OPERATIONEXPAT blog, I also plan on being available for hands-on help to anyone considering Panamá as an expat destination—my brain will be available to pick, the realities of our expat life will not be sugar coated, and our reputable connections will be shared.
I’ve wandered to many places in this world and I am certain that Vista Cañas will be a perfect place to relax, meditate, soak up the solitude—and just be.
if all goes well…
Although I’m chomping at the bit to get started building my book and nature retreat, I won’t be making the move to Playa Venao until my girl graduates university.
The move date is set—January 15, 2021.
My architect—Harmodio Barrios of Barrios & Associates—have completed the design of the main house and are working on the casitas now.
I’ll choose my builder when I am down there and, if all goes smoothly (ha ha), I expect the Vista Cañas book & nature retreat to open in late 2021.
But, hey, it’s Panamá, so who the heck knows???