Last updated on August 4th, 2021 at 10:20 pm
My name is Frank and I run a travel agency in Bogota, Colombia. Have fun while reading!
Are you ready for a journey of self-discovery?
La Casa de Loto
Location: Guatapé, Antioquia
Capacity: 8 visitors
Accommodation type: Private or shared holiday home
Activities: Buddhist meditation in silence, Hatha yoga, massages
Just 5 minutes from the center of Guatapé, a town in Antioquia, is Casa de Loto, one of the best places for a spiritual retreat in Colombia. Guatapé is about a 2-hour drive from Medellín and is a popular destination for locals and tourists, especially on the weekends.
The Lotus House is run by Karma Pema Tsering, who is a yoga master and follower of Tibetan Buddhism. The main goal of this organization is that while visiting this place you can forget about problems and stress, enjoying an atmosphere of full tranquility.
The facility is very beautiful, surrounded by nature and with a great view. There is a wide variety of vegetation inside the house so it is the ideal place to meditate in silence. For a better experience, only 8 visitors are allowed per week. So, it is recommended to reserve in advance. You can stay at the Lotus House from Friday to Monday or all week. Access to the meditation center is only possible on Fridays.
Why do a retreat at Casa de Loto?
In the Casa de Loto, you are surrounded by a beautiful green landscape with a wonderful view. During your stay, you can do various activities that improve your mental and physical health.
The techniques Samatha and Vipassana are practiced. The Samatha technique aims to achieve the highest level of concentration and relaxation while focusing on one thing. On the other hand, the Vipassana technique aims to make you aware of what is happening in your environment while you are meditating.
In addition to meditation, the Lotus House practices Hatha Yoga, a technique that focuses on breathing and creates an understanding of how to take care of the body. During the hours of meditation, the practice of noble silence is used. Taking a retreat at the Lotus House is an experience of self-discovery, so silence will be a great ally.
Casa de Loto is not just about meditation, there are also rooms for physical care. This meditation center offers Thai and Chinese massages with the aim of relieving discomfort or stress. An Ayurvedic diet will be served based on the Hindu belief in maintaining the balance between body and mind. These are natural and vegetarian meals that are tailored to the physical constitution, character, and natural element (air, fire, or earth) of each person.
Accommodation in Casa de Loto
As already mentioned, you can stay there for a few days or for the whole week. There is the option of a private or shared room.
Prices (2021), per person:
- Private room (for the whole week): $ 2,900,000
- Shared room (for the whole week): $ 1,800,000
- Private room (Friday to Monday): $ 1,800,000
- Shared room (Friday to Monday): $ 950,000
The price includes:
- Daily yoga class
- Daily meditation class
- Personal guide
- Three Ayurvedic meals (Indian food) daily
- Chinese massage: $ 180,000
- Thai Massage: $ 180,000
- Transportation from JMC Airport (Rionegro Airport, Medellin): $ 160,000
Location: Via Silvania km 28, Granada, Cundinamarca
Type of accommodation: Cabins, bhumis, camping
Activities: Hatha yoga, meditation, volunteering, organic farming, oriental philosophy and art, Hare Krishna temple.
Just over an hour from Bogotá, in the municipality of Granada, is the eco-village of Varsana, which is characterized by its incredible green spaces and is one of the best places to take a spiritual retreat.
The Varsana Ecovillage was founded in 1980. The people living there have a way of life with the greatest respect for nature. Since an environment full of streams surrounds this place, mountains and green spaces, the various activities always try to teach visitors different methods of protecting the environment. The instructors and residents of the ecovillage practice hatha yoga, which is based on breathing, spiritual cleansing, and meditation.
Why do a retreat at Varsana Ecovillage?
Living in an ecovillage is a different experience, this place is not just yoga or meditation but a connection with nature and understanding the importance of water. You have the opportunity to produce and grow your own food and also understand the importance of the land. You can stay up to 15 days in the ecovillage Varsana. There is also a volunteer plan (which we will explain below).
Hatha yoga is practiced daily. Other activities such as taking care of the planet, oriental philosophy, cinema and meditation courses are also offered. A special feature of the ecovillage is an imposing Hare Krishna temple (Hindu temple). There are also various festivals throughout the year, some with Hindu origins and others for cultural and artistic purposes.
One example is the Chaski Festival, which has no specific date. This festival brings together artists from all over the world who promote love for Mother Earth, faith, vegetarianism, and other values.
Varsana Ecovillage plans
Price: $ 50,000
This plan is ideal for day visits. This includes:
- Yoga class
- 1 to 3 days: $ 32,000 COP per night.
- From 4 to 14 days: $ 27,000 COP per night.
- From 15 days to a maximum of 1 month: $ 22,000 COP per night.
During a stay, you learn topics such as organic agriculture, yoga, oriental art, etc. You can also carry out various activities, such as meditating, helping to build eco-constructions, painting therapies, stone carving, and other things.
This plan includes benefits such as:
- Shared accommodation
- Hot water
- 3 vegetarian meals a day
- Yoga classes
- Bakery workshops
- Patisserie workshops
- Art with recycling
Plan el Temazcal
Price: $ 120,000
The ecovillage offers walks and different types of experiences. One of the most curious is the temazcal, an archaic steam bath practiced by the indigenous cultures of Mesoamerica (modern-day Central America). These groups used it for therapeutic and spiritual rituals.
The plan includes:
- Baths with special essences.
- Auric purification.
- Gourmet lunch.
Note: Further plans can be found on the website.
There are 3 types of accommodation in the ecovillage:
Price: $ 85,000 per day
This is the standard accommodation in the ecovillage. It is located near the meditation hall and the vegetable garden.
Price: $ 130,000 per day
This is the ecovillage’s VIP accommodation. It’s a cozy cabin with a living room and a nice fireplace. This property is near a creek.
- Vegetarian food from the restaurant
- Yoga class
- Aromatic drinks
Price: $ 50,000 per day
- Vegetarian food
- Yoga class
Location: San Antonio del Tequendama, Cundinamarca
Accommodation type: Accommodation in a retreat house, single room, shared room.
Activities: Buddhist meditation with noble silence, Anapana meditation, video instruction by the master of the Vipassanā technique, Śrī Satya Narayan Goenka.
90 minutes from Bogotá, in the municipality of San Antonio del Tequendama, is Dhamma Nandanavana, one of the most curious and interesting meditation centers in Colombia.
In this center, the Indian type of meditation called Vipassana is practiced, which has been practiced for more than 2,500 years. This technique is based on the healing of human suffering, which is why during the sessions the aim is to get rid of all kinds of mental impurities. The Dhamma Nandanavana retreat lasts 10 days and is known to be very strict.
Why Dhamma Nandanavana?
Participating in the Dhamma Nandanavana Retreat guarantees that you can connect with nature for 10 days while you can reflect on life and everything that happens around you.
There is noble silence during the course, which means that you have to be quiet for 9 of the 10 days and focus on the meditation. This is done so that one can have an experience of self-awareness and reflect on one’s life.
Another advantage is that this course is completely free as Dhamma Nandanavana lives on donations from former students. Even the teachers are not paid. However, for some people, this retreat can be difficult as the rules are very strict.
There are also 1-day courses for children and adolescents, in which the Anapana meditation, which is based on breathing, is taught.
Dhamma Nandanavana rules
During the 10 days of the course, you have to follow a very strict code of discipline, which includes 5 commandments.
- Do not kill living beings.
- Do not steal.
- Refrain from any sexual activity.
- Do not lie.
- Do not consume any kind of alcoholic or psychoactive substances or tobacco.
There is also gender segregation.
- If you have to leave the course before the 10 days are up, you can only do so with the approval of the course instructor. Nobody is allowed to leave on the 10th day.
- You do not have to belong to any religion to attend the course.
- Vegetarian food is offered during the stay. It is not allowed to bring your own food.
Location: Barichara, Santander – Cachipay, Cundinamarca – Villa de Leyva, Boyacá
Type of accommodation: Single room with private bathroom.
Activities: Zazen meditation
In Zen, one practices the Buddhist meditation technique known as Zazen, which aims to gain a greater understanding of the body through a posture that one learns there and through special breathing.
In addition, reflection is in the foreground. For this purpose, there are several retreats spread over the year, where one is advised by masters of this technique. The retreat begins at 3 a.m.
Why do a retreat at the Zen Foundation?
This type of retreat offers a journey of self-discovery. In their own words, it is about the participants “taking an interest in themselves, not just getting carried away by the conditioning they have received in the course of their lives, being interested in what happens in their body, in their mind and in their breathing”.
Rooms full of nature are available for this, in which you can rest and think in peace. In the various towns and villages in which this retreat is offered, you can stay in a single room with a private bathroom.
Vegetarian food is offered, such as Guen Mai, a brown rice soup with vegetables known as the soup of the Zen monks.
Zen Foundation retreats
The foundation organizes retreats in:
- Barichara: a historic town in the Santander department, about 3 hours from Bucaramanga.
- Cachipay: a municipality in Cundinamarca, which is about 2 hours from Bogotá.
- Villa de Leyva: a historic town about 4 hours from Bogotá.
Places are limited. So if you are interested, make a reservation in advance.
Om & Flow Yoga
Location: Palomino, La Guajira
Accommodation type: Shared or private cabin.
Activities: Yoga, meditation, massage
Rivers and the Caribbean Sea surround Palomino. This makes it a perfect place for a retreat where you can relax while enjoying the great outdoors. We also have a blog about Palomino on our website.
There are several yoga providers in Palomino. Om & Flow Yoga offers an interesting 5-day plan.
- Sunrise and sunset yoga
- 3 vegetarian meals a day
- Temazcal bath
In the retreat, you live in the eco-lodge called La Sirena, which is located in front of a Caribbean beach near the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. The lodge has a vegetarian restaurant, yoga studio, and spa. You can rent a shared or private cabin.
Why do the Om & Flow yoga retreat?
This retreat does not have strict rules and participants do not need any prior experience. Classes and activities are tailored to the knowledge and skills of the participants. Palomino also offers many other tourist activities such as tubbing on the local rivers or surfing in the sea.
Gambhira Eco Yoga Village
Location: El Curval, Santa Marta
Type of accommodation: Ecological cabins, single or shared, camping
Activities: Inbound yoga, meditation, volunteering, organic farming, philosophy, and oriental arts
Just 45 minutes from the city of Santa Marta, in the Magdalena department, is the eco-village of Gambhira. Thanks to its beautiful and lush vegetation, it is ideal for a spiritual retreat.
The inhabitants of the ecovillage live according to a philosophy based on respect and love for the environment. Therefore, there are several workshops based on ecological activities.
In Gambhira, there is a school of yoga and meditation that teaches yoga inbound, a technique that involves accepting and appreciating the beautiful inside and the beautiful outside, the appreciation of all living beings.
Why do a retreat at Gambhira Eco Yoga Village?
As we mentioned earlier, staying in an ecovillage is not just any experience. In Gambhira, you learn to love the environment in a practical way. There are opportunities to grow your own food, swim in natural pools, and go on ecological hikes. There are daily activities such as yoga, meditation, and courses in Eastern philosophy.
Also, there is a volunteer program that requires certain work time and includes learning opportunities on vegetarian cuisine, eco-construction, and indigenous wisdom.
The Gambhira Eco Yoga Village receives mostly positive reviews. However, there are also some criticisms that are important to mention. Some visitors were disappointed and said that there was too much emphasis on the Hare Krishna religion.
The following plans are offered in this ecovillage:
Rates (2021): Low Season: $ 48,000 per person
High Season: $ 60,000 per person
- Vegetarian lunch
- Tour guides
- Ecological hike
- Yoga class
- Meditation class
Price: 15 nights: $ 450,000
30 nights: $ 900,000
3 vegetarian meals are offered during the stay in Gambhira. Accommodation can be in a cabin ($ 35,000) or camping ($ 30,000).
Rules during the volunteer program:
- Do not bring any food from outside, the vegetarian diet must be respected.
- No smoking, no alcoholic beverages.
- No sexual relationships.
- Violent acts of any kind are prohibited.
- No gambling of any kind.
- Tour guides
- 3 vegetarian meals a day
- Yoga classes
- Meditation classes
- Ecological walk
Location: Tayrona National Park and other international destinations
Accommodation type: Shared eco-cabin
Activities: Walks, campfires, guided activities to improve different areas of personal life.
Tayrona National Park and its surroundings are considered to be one of the most beautiful areas of Colombia, which is due to the beautiful beaches and incredible green spaces.
In addition to its undeniable beauty, Tayrona is considered sacred territory by the various indigenous cultures that inhabit the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta. For all of these reasons, this destination is without a doubt an ideal place to retreat.
One of the most interesting retreats for many women is the Tribu Femenina, which is designed by and for women and aims to promote personal growth, heal emotional wounds, find oneself or achieve a specific goal.
Why should you attend a Tribu Femenina retreat?
We all go through a difficult period at some point in our lives, we feel like things are not going well, we don’t find meaning in life, or we feel like something is missing. That is why there are trained instructors in this retreat who know how to help you and are provided with tools to grow personally with.
Before attending this retreat, one must write a letter explaining their motivation for participating in the experience. This letter is only read by the director and founder of Tribu Femenina.
Tribu Femenina also organizes retreats in other places such as the Amazon or the Tika National Park, which is located in the Peten Jungle in Guatemala. All of this is exclusive to women who have taken the Tayrona retreat.
Benefits of the Tribu Femenina Retreat
By paying $ 4,500,000 you will be able to enjoy the following benefits during the 5 days of the retreat:
- 5 specialized guides who will help you achieve the goal you set for yourself prior to the start of the retreat.
- Shared accommodation in an eco-hut, with a private bathroom.
- Total freedom, the facility in which the retreat takes place is made available exclusively for those taking part in this experience.
- Transport from the airport to the retreat facility.
- Hike through Tayrona Park
- Three meals and snacks daily
Note: Please note that Internet access will be limited during the retreat.
Location: Cartagena, Bolívar
Accommodation type: Single room with private bathroom, rooms for 2 and 4 people.
Capacity: 50 people
Activities: Silent prayers, workshops and courses to better face life.
The Jesuits, a religious group, run this house. Villa Claver is dedicated to Saint Peter Claver, a Spanish saint who devoted his life to protecting slaves during the Spanish Conquest. Villa Claver tries to connect you with the Catholic / Christian God.
Villa Claver is located 30 minutes from the historic center of Cartagena and is surrounded by nature and spaces that invite prayer and relaxation.
Why visit Villa Claver?
Villa Claver is a quiet place, surrounded by nature, where you can pray in peace or enjoy nature. An interesting attraction is the San Pedro Claver Museum, dedicated to the memory of the holy protector of slaves.
Individuals or groups can do retreats at Villa Claver as the house has 20 rooms with a capacity of 50 people. There is also a chapel and conference room on the premises. The retreats that take place here usually last between two and three days. During this time, you will learn various prayer techniques and ways of connecting with God.
In addition to prayer, there are also various workshops and courses that should help with personal and emotional growth, e.g. last year there was a conference on manipulation and avoiding manipulation.
Location: Vereda El Arenal, 7 kilometers from San Rafael Antioquia.
Type of accommodation: Family, couple, and multi-bed rooms (can also be booked for one person at an additional cost).
Activities: Karma yoga, meditation, massages, etc.
The Vanadurga Ashram is located in the mountains of San Rafael, a Colombian town that is part of the Antioquia department and is a 3-hour drive from Medellín. The people who work at the Vanadurga Ashram are characterized by a lifestyle based on respect for nature, yoga and meditation.
The center has huge green areas, two crystal clear rivers and two streams, as well as rooms that are used for meditation. The center prides itself on practicing Karma Yoga (selfless service), which means trying to teach in the best possible way anyone interested in their meditation techniques.
Why visit Vanadurga Ashram?
This center is ideal not only for meditation, but also for Ayurveda, which is defined as the science that aims to enable people to live without physical and mental problems. In Vanadurga Ashram you will not only practice yoga, but there are also rooms for physical relaxation.
The Ayurveda wellness center is interesting, a spa where the therapists (all yoga masters) offer different types of massages that help to alleviate physical problems or stress. All massages cost $ 90,000 (2021) and finish with delicious Ayurvedic tea.
Yoga and Ayurveda certifications are offered here, there are also retreats for children (which take place on weekends) and there are courses for pregnant women who try through meditation to experience the process of childbirth in a different way and also try to strengthen the couple bonds during this phase.
In addition to vacations and certifications, the Vanadurga Ashram offers multi-day retreats teaching meditation techniques. These retreats are published on the website and can be booked from there.
Accommodation at the Vanadurga Ashram
Price (2021): $ 580,000 per night
This room is suitable for groups of up to 4 people. It has a terrace and a private bathroom.
Rooms for couples
Price (2021): $ 315,000 per night
Ideal for engaged or married couples. The room has a terrace and a hammock. If you are traveling with a child, an additional single bed can be requested for $ 80,000.
Price (2021): Shared: $ 159,000 per person
Private: $ 249,000
This type of room can be shared with a friend or other visitor of the same sex. For a surcharge, the room can also be used individually. There is a terrace and a hammock.
- Yoga classes
- 3 vegetarian meals a day
- Satsang practice, a room dedicated to chanting, meditation or reading a text.
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