You might be wondering…
Why Would You Go on a 1 Week Yoga Retreat?
If you live in a city like New York City, then you know what it means to be constantly rushing around, feeling overwhelmed by things to do, and even the things you didn’t do!
In July 2019, after being in the city for only 7 months, I really needed to recharge my energy and getaway. I searched online and found a too-good-to-be-true deal I couldn’t pass up, on a yoga retreat in Nicaragua. It was a little less than $600 for an all-inclusive 1 week yoga retreat at a yoga resort called Eden on the Chocolata.
& Why Nicaragua?
Nicaragua had everything I wanted; the beaches, the tropical weather, Spanish, dancing, and the stunning nature. It is truly heavenly. Not to mention how kind and hospitable people there are. Also, did I mention how budget-friendly this heavenly destination is?!!
Please note that Nicaragua is still going through some political unrest (do your research) and their economy really needs our support. I know what your next question is…
So . . . is Nicaragua safe for solo female travelers?
Good and important question!
I went on the 1 week yoga retreat in San Juan del Sur (SJDS), which is a beach town on Nicaragua’s southwest coast, solo and had no issues during my trip. I would be aware of the big cities, like Managua though.
You will most likely have to fly into Managua to get to San Juan Del Sur, and there is no reason to stay in the city for more than a layover. You can take a Chicken Bus to San Juan del Sur from Managua (read details below) or a taxi direct to the resort for $70.
If you decide to get to San Juan del Sur the adventurous way, AKA taking a Chicken Bus. These are old school buses that go throughout the country, mainly what the locals ride to travel around between cities. The bus rides cost about $5 for the 4 hours journey from Managua to SJDS.
Then How Do You Get The Chicken Buses in San Juan Del Sur?
In Managua, you will go to El Mercado Central (be really aware of your belongings here) and look for buses going to Rivas. At Rivas, you will take another Chicken Bus going to SJDS. Then finally a $5 taxi to your yoga resort at Eden on the Chocolata!
Program Breakdown & All the Deets
Duration: The retreat duration is 6 nights and 7 days (There is an option for a 3 days yoga retreat as well)
Price: $449/person (for dates below only) I paid closer to $600 in July
Accommodation Type: Shared eco-luxury bungalows with fans (no AC), private bathrooms in each bungalow and private porch with hammock. Private bungalows are also available for $899-$999.
Dates: 15 – 21 December 2019
12 – 18 January 2020
9 – 15 February 2020
15 – 21 March 2020
(Note that you can book this yoga retreat any time of the year but it will cost a little closer to $600 for the 1 week yoga retreat and will not include everything mentioned below.)
What’s included in the price?
- 2 daily yoga sessions (1 hr Vinyasa, Yin, and meditation classes)
- 1 Yoga sculpt session (a yoga class which incorporates high-intensity training)
- 6 nights eco-luxury accommodation
- Daily delicious vegetarian breakfast and dinner buffet, made with local fresh ingredients
- 1 day trip to Playa Hermosa, includes 1 surf lesson and transport
- 1-hour massage or Reiki treatment (one of the best massages I’ve had!!)
- Movie night
- Free time to enjoy San Juan Del Sur and the surf beaches around town
- Unlimited use of Wifi (works only in the main area), incredible swimming pool, yoga deck, and outdoors gym
- Unlimited coffee, tea and filtered water
- Small groups to ensure a great quality experience
- Free daily shuttle to and from San Juan del Sur town since the retreat is a bit further out
- Photo album from the retreat week
This is how your daily schedule will look like:
7 AM: Freshly brewed coffee & Tea
7:30 AM: Morning yoga class (1hr class)
9 AM: Breakfast (super filling and delicious!)
10:30 AM: Shuttle to SJDS town departs
(or free time from 9 am – 5 pm)
4:30 PM: Shuttle departs back to the retreat from town
5 PM: Evening yoga class (1hr class)
7 PM: Family-style dinner
Review of The Yoga Retreat Experience
This is the most bang for your buck type of retreat! For that price, this is a steal!
The resort is beyond gorgeous, you will instantly feel at peace when you step in. The air is very crisp and fresh. The pool overlooks the jungle and the bay. The view from your bungalow is green and luscious. You will wake up each day to the sounds of tropical birds and monkeys.
The bed is super comfy. The rooms are huge with closet space and a private bathroom with hot water and towels. I went in July so the weather was humid, hot and a bit rainy. Definitely keep that in mind because they do not have AC, all I had was a ceiling fan and a floor fan.
You are in the middle of nature so it goes without saying that there will be bugs. Lots of bugs and mosquitos. Keep your bed net secured in place, wear bug spray at night and you’ll be just fine.
The yoga classes are interactive and restorative. Kelly who leads the morning class will incorporate some yoga philosophy, spiritual readings, and reiki with essential oils in her yoga classes.
When I was at the retreat I had a couple of amazing teachers, Danny and Renata, they pushed what I thought to be my limits or physical and mental boundaries in yoga and helped me sit longer with my “discomfort”.
Not going to lie but the food might have been my favorite part about this yoga retreat. Every single meal is cooked by the owners or their staff in their kitchen made only from the best and freshest ingredients with LOADS of love!
They serve the food family style so it will be a great opportunity for you to socialize and meet new people. Breakfast includes eggs, plantain fries, rice and beans, and smoothies or smoothie bowls. Dinner was always a different cuisine each day, dessert included!
Finally, something to keep in mind that this is a family-friendly and animal-friendly resort so you will be around kids and cute animals.
What Can You Do in Your Free Time in San Juan Del Sur?
The Town Vibe
San Juan Del Sur is a small and colorful beach town with a beach right in town, appropriately called San Juan Del Sur beach. This beach is lined with seafood restaurants and bars with really great happy hours. Check out Beach House for their 2 for $5 drinks and $3 appetizers.
Wander around and you will come across many artisanal shops that sell the cutest handmade art. I got these tiny paintings done on feathers from one of the shops.
There are many beaches around San Juan Del Sur—they’re mainly surf beaches. Playa Maderas is beautiful and a great place to learn how to surf. There are also two more secluded beaches right by Eden on the Chocolata; Nacascolo Bay, a 10 min walk and Mixcal Beach, a 20 min walk.
To get to the beaches, you can take the free shuttle from the yoga resort into town and look for Casa Oro Hostel. They have shuttle service going to different beaches daily, starting at $5.
The town itself is filled with cheap local eateries (check out El Mercado) and health food cafes. I recommend Simon Says for $4 smoothies, Ding Repair Cafe for yummy smoothie bowls and healthy bites, and Art Warehouse for fresh and HUGE salads bowls. Save room for dinner at Eden!
Interested in learning Spanish in San Juan Del Sur?
This was a two birds, one stone situation. I took advantage of the free shuttle going into town from the yoga resort and took up daily Spanish classes by the beach at Lago Azul Restuarant and Spanish School. My teacher Cony was funny, very patient and pushed me to have more conversations in Spanish. I believe my Spanish improved just by taking 2 hrs of classes a day. And guess what? The cost per hour was $10!
What Did I Learn from My 1 Week Yoga Retreat?
When I got back to New York City, people who met me post-retreat said I was glowing. People were asking me what I did differently. They sensed new energy vibrating from me. I felt less stressed out–I was really burned-out from my job and the city before the retreat. The little things that annoyed me every day, for example on my daily subway commute, did not bother me as much. Or, maybe I was simply able to breathe and let go of these little annoyances.
I also developed a solid morning routine because of this retreat and my amazing teachers. I now wake up much earlier, meditate for 5-10 mins, journal and start my day at a slower pace similar to what I experienced at the yoga retreat.
This retreat was a physical and mental reset for me. I learned to be okay with moments of silence, to be “bored” or simply do nothing on the weekend, to breathe and just enjoy the good food and language barriers. I even went a whole week without my daily cup of coffee!
I still do that.
Is This 1 Week Yoga Retreat for You?
If you are in a place in your life where you feel unbalanced, need mental clarity or the courage to redirect your life, then traveling to Nicaragua and doing a yoga retreat might help you out a lot. I highly recommend taking a different type of vacation if you are in a rut.
Where Can You Book This Incredible 1 Week Yoga Retreat in San Juan Del Sur?
You can book directly on Eden on the Chocolata’s website. Or email Remy and Kelly, they will help facilitate the bookings and answer any questions you may have! Let them know I sent you for good karma!
You can also book nightly stays the yoga resort without doing the retreat here.
Eden on the Chocolata contact info:
If you want to know how to pack for this 1 week yoga retreat, then you will need this ultimate packing guide to travel light!
Thanks for reading. Happy traveling and remember to take a DEEP breath!