Yoga Eco Retreat at Isla Tortuga Turtle Sanctuary, Nicaragua

with No Comments

Yoga_Eco_Retreat.pdfPrintable version of this page
Click here to download PDF file

Yoga Eco Retreat

at Isla Tortuga Turtle Sanctuary

Nicaragua

7 full days, 8 nights

Nov 24-Dec 2, 2018; Dec 6-14, 2018

PURPOSE: Empower participants to find harmony and balance in their lives through yoga, meditation, reflection, and interaction with nature and each other in the retreat sanctuary. The retreat will also provide opportunities to exchange conversation and skills with local residents coming away with a sense of the Nicaraguan culture and people.

 

VALUES:

  • Leave the smallest footprint possible on the environment
  • Leave Turtle Island in a better way by supporting the Turtle Sanctuary and providing local employment that supports the retreat
  • Show respect for Nicaraguans and their way of life in our interactions with them
  • Leave a positive impression of “Americans” from the United States
  • Eat foods that are produced locally and experience “Nica” dishes
  • Provide a setting where participants can feel in tune with nature
  • Value the skills, talents, knowledge and insights of each retreat participant and staff member
  • Meet each participant where she or he is and provide an experience where she or he may grow and benefit others
  • Understand that not all participants need the same activities and experiences, thus allowing for individuality within the setting of the retreat
  • Provide an environment for participants to feel comfortable expressing their authentic self
  • Provide a holistic and mindful setting that promotes various paths and options for participants to further balance and create peace in their lives
  • Encourage reflection on current mindfulness practices and provide inspiration for additional practices that can be continued at home


Retreat Summary

The intention of this retreat is to provide a time and space for the renewal and balancing of one’s energy/prana/chi through both group and individual activities. Besides participating in group yoga, qigong, and meditation sessions, participants will be empowered to engage in some individual practices such as creating a personal talisman and infusing it with an intention generated from the retreat experience. There will be a Harmony Table, or “Mesa de Harmonia”, always available throughout the retreat with a number of options for personal activities for meditation and reflection including meditation and affirmation cards. If you would like to bring something to share at the “Mesa de Harmonia”, feel free to bring a book/activity/cards, etc.  Participants will be encouraged to share some of their own practices throughout the retreat if interested. The group will design a Yin Yang Tapestry at the opening of the retreat to be displayed for reflection purposes throughout the week. Participants will be encouraged to bring a journal and be given a daily topic for reflective journal writing. Periodic bonfires will provide a time for participants to have the option to share insights and reflections from the day’s activities and their own reflection time. Participants are also encouraged to share any musical talents during the bonfires! No activity will be mandatory. We understand that participants have individual needs and may at any time need to do something different from the group. We just ask that safety be a primary consideration and that group organizers are informed of participants’ whereabouts and alternative plans.

 

Yoga Retreat Staff

Retreat Owner & Organizer – Truda Roper

 

Truda Roper is the owner of the Eco-Casita and provides property for the turtle sanctuary. She has organized the retreats. Truda will be ensuring that all participants are benefiting from the planned itinerary and that individual needs are met where possible. Truda is from Roanoke, Virginia and is a “tree hugging hippy” and “Latina at heart.” She grew up on 55 acres on the side of a mountain outside of Blacksburg, Virginia. She has lived overseas for 20 years in 11 countries and visited many more which has influenced her life greatly and the way she has raised her children. She speaks Portuguese, Spanish, and bits and pieces of other languages. However, the peace and connection to nature that she grew up experiencing in the Appalachian mountains has never left her. At age 56, she finds herself returning to those roots on a secluded beach in Nicaragua. She now practices yoga, tai chi, meditation and qigong and teaches Qigong to friends and retreat participants. She is happy to share her practices with retreat participants.

Other retreat staff will consist of the Yoga instructor, Nicaraguan Logistics Coordinator, and the Nicaraguan cooks as well as Nicaraguan drivers, horse ride leader, and surf instructor. There will also be a massage therapist available for individual appointments.

The Turtle Sanctuary shares the retreat site. This turtle sanctuary has been active for 3 nesting seasons. The first year 10,000 eggs were collected and saved from being consumed by locals. In 2016, 17,000 eggs and in 2017, 23,000 were incubated. The organizer pays locals a higher price for the eggs than what would have been paid in town. There was an excellent hatch rate both years, with a majority of the eggs producing baby loggerhead turtles. Participants will observe on a daily basis the accumulation of eggs and the process for preparing them for incubation. Each day, we will post how many eggs were collected the night before and prepared for incubation. Participants may assist caretaker in helping the turtles out of the sand after they have hatched in the afternoons. A portion of profits generated from the retreat will go to support the sanctuary.

Retreat Location

 “We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, & private: & therefore starved for meditation & true friendship.” (C.S. Lewis)

The Yoga Eco Retreat takes place on a remote, virgin beach about an hour from Leon, Nicaragua.  Here you can be on the beach by yourself most of the time where loggerhead and a few leatherback turtles lay their eggs  from September to December. There are a dozen houses on this stretch of the beach and only four families live on the beach full time. One of these families runs the turtle sanctuary under the supervision of the Nicaraguan Department of Wildlife and Fisheries. The turtle sanctuary shares the site of the fully solar beach Eco-Casita which will be the home base of the yoga retreat.  The retreat location is on a lovely large beach front property with trees that are natural to the area and draped with numerous hammocks.  Both lots on either side of the property are currently vacant which gives the Eco-Casita an even more secluded feel. We will also be using the Ocean Villa for lodging options and possible other activities.

The beach is made of shiny, smooth, dark volcanic sand. The warm waters in this area stay shallow for a good distance into the ocean, which makes it perfect for surfing. There are occasional currents in the ocean so participants are asked to swim in groups of two or more and preferably enter the ocean with a boogie board or other flotation device. (Remember if you do get caught in a current, swim parallel to the shore until you are out of the current). Pelicans and other nautical birds accompany the high tide as they dive in to capture their dinner. Fishermen frequent these waters due to an abundance of fish. The fish cooked at the retreat will be locally caught.

The yoga spaces are a “rancho” (large wooden pavilion) and possibly even the beach itself. The yoga locations offer a lovely ocean breeze, view of the ocean, and views several volcanoes. The rancho is also a space where retreat guests can meditate and use for personal practice throughout the day.

The Eco-Casita is fully solar-powered and fully screened to help minimize mosquitoes indoors. There are not many mosquitoes at this beach during September and October and the ocean breeze also helps to keep them at away.​ The Eco-Casita is naturally air-conditioned with open air flowing through in the upper areas of the ceiling, large windows and double doors that open to the front porch and a spectacular view of the ocean, not that you will spend much time indoors!

The expansive living/dining/kitchen space is open air with barred windows and shades that roll down but no glass windows to separate from the outdoors. The living area has a sofa that can convert into a trundle bed supplying two comfortable oversized twin beds. There are also two single beds and a queen size bed in the bedroom. Participants can choose between sleeping indoors, in tents on the front porch or in hammocks. Mosquito nets are available for indoor beds and bedding set up on the front porch. There are several standing solar fans available for use in the house and front porch. It is important to note that this is a rustic retreat.

One bathroom inside has running water to a toilet, sink, and shower. There is also an outhouse and an additional rustic outdoor shower. Water is more difficult to come by here so participants are encouraged to get wet, turn off water, soap up and then turn on water to rinse off.

Transportation

The Eco-Casita is located down a very rough road through the salt flats approximately 3.5 kilometers from the Salinas Grandes main road, which is a gravel road. We will be transported by way of double cab pick-up trucks to and from the site and to and from excursions. For short excursions down the back dirt roads to the local villages, some will ride in the back of the pick-up truck.

Meals

Meals will be prepared as much as possible with fresh locally grown fruits and vegetables, beans, rice, and locally caught fish, eggs, and dairy products. Fresh fruit and/or juice will be served with every meal. This retreat can easily be modified to also be a detox for you as we will not be serving any meat other than fish and no processed foods. Special dietary considerations can be shared in advance so that we can cater to your dietary needs. Red beans and rice, (“gallopinto”), will be served each day for the staple of at least one meal as customary in Nicaragua.

Yoga Eco Retreat Upscale Accommodations – Ocean Villa

You may choose a room in Tres Volcanes Ocean Villa, three houses down the beach, where we have reserved accommodations for this retreat. Each of the three bedrooms have their own en-suite bathroom. Each room has three twin beds that can be left separate or put together to form a king bed as well as a third bed. The downstairs room has A/C but no balcony. The two upstairs bedrooms open up to a shared ocean front balcony and have access to a balcony overlooking Momotombo and Cerro Negro volcanoes inland.  Additional amenities include: ocean side pool, solar powered hot water (not consistent), third story roof top patio (incredible for stargazing), Wifi, surfboard available for rent, outdoor shower to rinse off, daily maid service, laundry service for a nominal fee, and massage therapy and fascial stretch available upon request in your room. The home is built specifically to take advantage of the cross breezes of the Pacific, therefore A/C is not used unless you specifically request the room with A/C.

Cost of Retreat

November 24 – December 2

Group size: 9-12

Tent with air mattresses: $850

Double occupancy room in Eco-Casita (queen and single bed, perfect for couple): $1000

Double occupancy (single beds) in main room, Eco-Casita: $950

Triple occupancy air conditioned room Ocean Villa $1300

Triple occupancy ocean balcony Ocean Villa $1400

Double occupancy for air conditioned or ocean balcony $1500

 

December 6-14

Group size: 6-8

Double occupancy large tent with air mattresses: $800

Double occupancy main room in Eco-Casita: $900

Triple occupancy room (3 single beds) or double occupancy (queen) for couple: $1000

 

Day Prior Excursion with hotel stay Best Western double occupancy (Masaya volcano, Masaya handicraft market, Laguna de Apoyo & Colonial town of Granada): $150

 

The Retreat cost includes:
  • All meals (except for one lunch in Leon and one dinner at beachside restaurant)
  • Daily yoga & meditation sessions
  • One horseback riding session
  • One surf lesson
  • Boat excursion in the Ecological Reserve: Isla de San Juan Venado
  • City excursion to Leon
  • All on-site activities and transportation from and to the airport (Only two transfers will be scheduled each way to and from airport/beach so be prepared to wait at airport or enjoy a drink poolside at the Best Western across the street from the airport. The last departure from the beach on the last day will be 9 am to the airport).
  • If there are later departures, an additional excursion can be arranged with one of our drivers to fill your time.  An add-on sightseeing trip at the beginning of the trip can be requested for $150. This includes transfer to Best Western Hotel, hotel room the night prior to the beginning of the retreat and a full day excursion to Masaya Volcano, Masaya handicraft market, Laguna de Apoyo and Grenada (meals not included).

 

Items not covered by retreat cost are:
  • Airfare
  • $10 visa cost
  • Trip insurance
  • Additional horseback riding or surf lessons
  • Additional days of surfboard rental
  • Massage
  • Lunch in Leon & one dinner at beachside restaurant
  • Souvenir purchases and other individual purchases
  • Additional days and tours

 

To reserve your spot in the retreat, a non-refundable payment of $250 should be made. The remaining amount is due by 2 months prior to the retreat. Payments are made preferably by Venmo to Truda Roper.  For questions and more information, contact Truda at tru.trullc@gmail.com or call her at 540-521-8403.

 

Packing List

  • Craft and School Supplies (for the local children’s English Club)
  • Money for lunch in Leon and dinner out on beach and for purchase of souvenirs (meals $12 to $15) and massages at beach (currently $1 a minute)
  • Anything you would like to share or contribute to the “Mesa de Harmonia”!
  • Bathing suits and bathing suit cover up
  • Sunscreen
  • Bug spray
  • Hat/Sunglasses
  • Camera
  • Flashlight
  • Notebook/Journal/pens/pencils
  • Large insulated cup or bottle
  • Yoga mat and yoga equipment you generally use in your practice (We do have 7 yoga mats and some props available at the beach.)
  • Daypack for day excursions
  • Ziplock baggies for keeping personal items separated and safe from getting wet
  • Lightweight clothing
  • Comfortable clothing for yoga practice
  • Comfortable walking shoes
  • Snug water shoes or sandals
  • Health Insurance card and documentation for travel insurance
  • Passport and copy of passport page with photo
  • $10 cash to pay visa at Nicaraguan airport customs

 

Retreat Schedule

At Beach Side Turtle Sanctuary

7 Full Days and 8 Nights

The schedule is subject to change. Changes would likely be repositioning activities based on weather or other factors. All activities are optional. At any time, if a participant prefers to take personal time versus participate in group activities, this is completely acceptable. However, opting out of activities does not change the price of the retreat. We just ask that when swimming in ocean or horseback riding, always partner up with at least one other person.

Day 1, December 1

  • Arrival and pick-up at Managua airport
  • Transfer to Truda’s Eco Casita or Ocean Villa (2 transfers scheduled based on arrival times)
  • Dinner upon arrival for those arriving by 7 pm
  • Get settled

Day 2, December 2

  • 7:00 Yoga
  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30 Intro to Retreat
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • Afternoon
  • 3:00 True Colors Session
  • 4:30 Release baby turtles and sunset viewing
  • 6:30 Dinner
  • Evening Bonfire on Beach

Day 3, December 3

  • 7:00 Yoga and Meditation
  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • Morning service project in Salinas Grandes village
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • Collect items for talisman craft project
  • 3:00 Yoga and Meditation
  • 4:30 Release baby turtles and sunset viewing
  • 6:30 Dinner
  • Evening qigong & meditation

Day 4, December 4

  • 7:30 Yoga and Meditation
  • 9:00 Breakfast
  • 10:00 Horseback riding (groups of 2)
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • Horseback riding (groups of 2)
  • 5:00 Turtle release
  • 6:00 Dinner
  • 7:30 Latin dance class

Day 5, December 5

  • 7:00 Breakfast
  • 8:00 Transfer to Colonial City of Leon (visit cathedral & rooftop, central market & craft markets)
  • Lunch (Paid by participant) at El Sesto on Central Plaza
  • Transfer back to beach by 2 pm
  • 6:00 Dinner
  • 8:00 Yoga by Moonlight

Day 6, December 6

  • 7:00 Yoga and Meditation
  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • Surf lesson in pairs throughout day
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • 2:00 Construct personal talisman, set your intention for your talisman
  • 3:00 Surf lessons in pairs
  • 5:00 Turtle release and sunset viewing
  • 6:00 Dinner
  • 7:30 Evening qigong & meditation

Day 7, December 7

  • 7:00 Yoga and Meditation
  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • Massages scheduled this day (pay massage therapist directly)
  • 10:00 Personal Talisman Craft Session
  • 1:00 Lunch
  • Group Photo
  • 2:00 Depart for River Boat Excursion
  • Riverside Dinner

Day 8, December 8

  • 7:00 Yoga or Meditation
  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • 9:30 Wrap up retreat session
  • 12:00 Lunch
  • Scheduled massages throughout day (pay massage therapist directly)
  • 5:00 Turtle release and sunset viewing
  • 6:00 Dinner at Beachside Restaurant
  • Farewell Beach Bonfire

Day 9, December 9

  • Early breakfast for those departing early
  • 8:30 Breakfast
  • Transfers to airport (2 scheduled based on departures-be prepared for waiting at airport)

 

For more pictures of last year’s retreat, please click here.
For more information about the turtle sanctuary, please click here.

Yoga_Eco_Retreat.pdfPrintable version of this page
Click here to download PDF file