With the popularity of yoga rising, so too is the demand for yoga retreats in Central and South America. For anyone looking to add a little R&R to their year, one of the best places to do so is in the countries listed below.
Yoga is not just for people who want to get fit or lose weight. Yoga is a practice that can help you deepen your sense of connection to the world, find inner focus, and connect with a deeper part of who you are. Your mind, body, and spirit will all be better off for having done some yoga.
3,000 miles away from yoga’s center in India, the practice has arrived to Central and South America. From the beaches of Costa Rica to the crystal-clear waters of Panama, this is your guide to the beautiful yoga retreats and ways to overcome the challenges of finding a yoga retreat to enjoy.Central and South America, with its pristine nature and the deep spiritual traditions of the Maya and Inca civilizations, is an ideal place for a spiritual journey. These 10 yoga retreats combine modern luxury with eco-friendly practices to create the perfect environment for your next yoga adventure.
1. Aqua Wellness Resort, Tola, Nicaragua
Aqua proves that you don’t have to be tough to be green. Their treetop bungalows are the epitome of luxury, with foam beds and private pools. They have thought about the layout of the station down to the smallest detail, which greatly benefits their yoga clients. One class on the yoga terrace overlooking the ocean and you wonder if you can take a class anywhere else.
2. Willka T’ika Guest House, Peru
This retreat is located in the Sacred Valley, between Cusco and Machu Picchu. Besides intensive yoga retreats, Willka T’ika also offers various healing therapies and traditional Andean ceremonies, performed by ritual counselors from the remote Q’ero region of Peru. Her retreats offer a unique and authentic spiritual experience.
3. The Island Experience, Ilha Grande, Brazil
The Island Experience describes itself as an adventure spa, and with a holistic fitness program that includes yoga, sea kayaking, snorkeling and hiking, it lives up to its name. This island retreat near Rio de Janeiro offers a 7-day detox program infused with the spirit of adventure and vibrant Brazilian culture.
4. Blue Wasp, Playa Tamales, Costa Rica
Photo credits: BlueOsa
Blue Osa is about nature, consciousness and community, which guests experience by waking up to the sun, enjoying farm-fresh food and sharing meals with family. A trip to Blue Osa will free you from unnecessary worries (literally, they are powered by a self-sustaining micro-grid!) and allow you to experience true peace that will deepen your yoga practice.
5. Wendy Green Yoga, Honduras
Wendy Green Yoga has a mantra: 99% practice, 1% theory. This means that the retreat offers an intensive practice for yogis who want to overcome their physical and mental limitations – regardless of their experience level. Specializing in Ashtanga yoga, this retreat asks guests to bring only two things: an open mind and a willingness to take action.
6. Villa Sumaya, Guatemala
Photos: Stephanie Richardson (VillaSumaya)
Villa Sumaya lies on the shores of Lake Atitlan, which Aldous Huxley once proclaimed the most beautiful lake in the world. Deepen your yoga practice or even become a yoga teacher at this luxurious yet modest eco-resort in the shadow of Lake Atitlan’s three legendary volcanoes.
7. Retiro Maya, Tulum, Mexico
If you’re looking for a vacation destination with white sand beaches and deep spiritual connections, pay attention. This paradise in Yucatan was founded with the goal of becoming the epicenter of consciousness awakening, and it fulfills this mission through its world-class yoga, shamanism and energy healing workshops. The Cocoa Bliss ceremony is not to be missed.
8. Cancion del Corazon, Ecuador
Cancion del Corazón immerses its guests in eternal culture, a way of life in harmony with responsibility to the earth and spiritual growth. Her retreats focus on living off the beaten path, organic food and mindfulness through yoga and meditation. The group practice takes place in a beautiful sanctuary of light, which includes an outdoor pavilion with breathtaking views of the surrounding Andes.
9. Ak’bol Maya Yoga Retreat, Ambergris Caye, Belize
Ak’bol means the heart of the village in Mayan. This eco-resort on an idyllic Caribbean island will transport you to an ancient Mayan village, with the benefit of very modern accommodation. Their beautiful thatched-roof yoga studio is the definition of paradise, and the Mesoamerican Reef, just a few hundred yards off shore, makes their underwater adventures unsurpassable.
10. Canal Om, Valparaiso, Chile
There are so many things to see and do in Canal Om that it’s hard to pick just one reason why you should visit. Nestled between the peaks of the Andes and the shores of the South Pacific, this retreat has it all: a picturesque location, great facilities and a unique range of activities (even archery!).
Best of all, Canal Om’s talented teachers will inspire you to change your life through yoga, as founder Gustavo Ponce did when he was diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma in 2003. Despite being told he had only six years to live, Mr. Ponce dedicated his life to wellness through yoga and Ayurveda. Today he still thrives as a teacher at Canal Om, a testament to the transformative power of yoga.
These are just a few of the many wonderful retreats in Central and South America. Which one would you most like to visit? (Our answer: all of them!) If you have suggestions for other vacation spots in the area, please share them below!
Photo credits: Villa SoumayaYoga is an ancient practice that originated in India thousands of years ago. It is considered by many to be one of the healthiest acts you can do for yourself and others. There are many different types of yoga practices, which can be practiced alone or in a group setting, ranging from a few minutes a day to weeks of practice.. Read more about aqua wellness resort, tola, nicaragua and let us know what you think.
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