Yoga Retreat in Mindo, Ecuador
Reconnect with mind, body and spirit in the lush natural surroundings of Mindo, Ecuador located almost right on the Equator. Imagine yourself practising Yoga daily in a studio in the cloud forests alongside a rushing river. Our nine days together will weave a daily Yoga practice, both morning and again late afternoon with a daily meditation practice and a variety of wonderful activities to explore authentic small village Ecuadorian culture and other activities to reconnect with nature in this beautiful environment.
We will begin our week together with a guided walking tour of the historic centre of UNESCO World Heritage Site, capital city Quito, where we will stay overnight upon arrival in the country. Then while en route to Mindo – our home for the week – we will make a stop at the Equator to do some fun experiments at a open-air museum there. Our week together will also include an evening frog concert, an empenada-making class, and a tour of an artisanal chocolate factory (that includes the opportunity to learn how to roast chocolate over a fire). We will also visit a butterfly garden, an orchid garden, do a coffee tour, a nature hike to a set of gorgeous waterfalls, visit EarthTreks’ reforestation project where we may plant a tree or two, and one of the highlights of the week will be a guided tour of a private nature reserve that has 32 species of hummingbirds lined up at the feeders – like very few places on Earth! With a beautiful village located amidst incredible biodiversity, this get away offers experiences you’d be hard-pressed to find anywhere else.
EarthTreks’ founder, Alison Braun, invites you into her home in the magical surroundings of Mindo for the retreat, where she has the pleasure of spoiling retreat participants in her corner of paradise, surrounded by local friends and family – allowing you to feel safe and at home, while experiencing the culture very intimately.
Yoga instructor, Cat O’Connor, brings her experiences as a teacher and owner of Nourish Yoga & Wellness Studio in Orillia, ON, as well as hosting yoga retreats throughout the world to the village of Mindo, an area she had the opportunity to get to know well in early 2020. Cat has sat several Vipassana Meditation courses – which, combined with writing and simply living a life with a curious and open mind, have led her to the realization that it’s really ALL yoga. Our life is our practice.
Cat and Alison are very excited to share in this incredibly transformative experience with you! This is going to be a beautiful week of relaxation, learning, Yoga, meditation, mindfulness, nature, culture, pleasures for all of the senses, and fun. To find out about more about this retreat, we encourage you to please CONTACT US directly at your convenience, so that we can answer your specific questions.
Childcare is something we would be happy to arrange for an additional fee (on or off site).
Dress CodeCasual, comfortable clothing, A comprehensive packing list will be provided.
Day 1: Arrive in Quito (-/-/-)
Day 2: Tour Historic Quito, Pululahua, the Equator & Travel to Mindo (B/L/D)
Day 3: Introduction to Retreat ~ Yoga ~ Empenada-making Lesson (B, L, D)
Day 4: Yoga ~ Deep Nature Hike & Reforestation ~ Yoga (B/L/D)
Day 5: Yoga ~ Butterfly Tour ~ Yoga (B/L/D)
Day 6: Yoga ~ Double Chocolate Tour ~ Yoga (B/-/D)
Day 7: Yoga ~ Coffee Tour ~ Yoga ~ Frog Concert (B/L/-)
Day 8: Yoga ~ Orchid Tour ~ Yoga ~ Traditional Cooking Class (B/-/D)
Day 9: Return to Quito for your Flight Home
About the Village of Mindo, its Climate and our AccommodationsMindo is a small village of approximately 3,000 people, located in a valley in the foothills of the Ecuadorian Andes. It is best known for BIRDS, BUTTERFLIES, ORCHIDS and CHOCOLATE (and was recently named "The Route of Chocolate"). This was the first Important Bird Area (IBA) established in all of South America, and has built its reputation as an ecotourism destination greatly upon its notoriety for excellent birding and biodiversity more broadly. There exists a tremendous amount of fresh water in the area, from a few major rivers to endless numbers of streams and waterfalls.
Mindo is a safe, small village that boasts what many describe as the ‘perfect climate’ – a subtropical climate that is warm year-found and rarely climbs above the mid-20s (C) or below the mid-teens (at night). The rainfall is significant, with precipitation throughout the year and an average annual rainfall of well over 2,000 mm, which is more highly concentrated during rainy season (January to May). The rain is quite predictable, however, generally not starting until mid to late afternoon, so it is easy to plan our daily activities around staying dry.
Mindo is located in a cloud forest, and as such, is green and lush, offering the ideal climate for mosses, orchids, and ferns to thrive. As it is located right on the Equator (which we will cross a few times), the sun sets and rises just after 6:00 a.m. & p.m. all year round. Because Mindo’s livelihood is centered on tourism, there exists an abundance of great souvenir shops, excellent restaurants, tourist activities, health services, ATMs, and a great pharmacy for anything you may have forgotten at home. Our accommodations are at Alison’s home, Casa Canchupi, named after the river that rushes beside the property. The simple yet comfortable lodgings are quite removed from the village’s hustle and bustle, even though it is only a short walk (just a few minutes) to the village’s central park.
Wildlife abounds on the property, including varieties of hummingbirds at the feeders, different species of tanagers hanging out in the fruit trees, occasional Mountain Toucans, geckos, and a resident family of guatusas (beaver-like mammals with a tiny tail). The outdoor yoga studio is right on site, as well as the restaurant where we will eat a delicious breakfast daily. Everyone says the same thing about this place – ‘it’s paradise’.
We will provide a comprehensive packing list that is easy to print, and are happy to answer questions any time about any aspect of the retreat, logistics or otherwise. From EarthTreks' Founder, Alison Braun: I welcome you to stay in home away from home in the natural paradise of Mindo, Ecuador - a cloud forest oasis located just two hours from the capital city of Quito, Ecuador. This will provide a wonderful way to catch up with each other again in both safety and comfort, while being spoiled with delicious food and planning experiences that are just right for every individual in your group. Get in touch to start planning your sustainable, customized reunion retreat. Together I can work with your group to help build exactly what you want to see, do, eat, and experience, all catered to your exact group at no extra cost. Your only neighbours are the local artisanal chocolate factory and lots of birds! Get in touch however easiest, at your convenience. It will be my genuine pleasure to personalize this experience in my village and home to make it the best possible week for your group! ~ Alison (email@example.com / 705-999-1000)