INTENTIONALLY INTEGRATING PRACTICES OF GRATITUDE, CONNECTION, REJUVENATION, AND personal growth during our time together as a community

NEW YEAR RETREAT

 
 

THE WHY

Looking for a solution for your New Year quandaries? Look no further. If anyone knows what a struggle it can be to lock down quality New Year's Eve plans, it's us. We've all participated in our fair share of NYE let downs, paid exorbitant amounts of money for the sheer privilege of getting inside somewhere (anywhere), and witnessed countless New Year's breakdowns from fellow revelers out on the cold streets of whatever city we happened to be in at the time... maybe even participated in said breakdowns ourselves...

If you don't know what on earth we're talking about here, consider yourself lucky. For the rest of you, you know this struggle all too well. Which is why we couldn't be more excited to offer you this solution.

Join us in Colombia, in the literal-middle-of-nowhere, for an epic 6 days of relaxing on the beach, exploring the jungle and doing some good in the community. If this sounds slightly familiar, alas, you are right.

Our August retreat was such a success that we were looking for an opportunity to do it again. Then, somehow everything fell into place and our friend Nina of Gitana del Mar (our home base for the retreat) reached out to say that they had a last minute cancelation over New Year 2020. The timing couldn't have been more perfect and we jumped at the chance to secure this idyllic place on the beach. We will have entire beach resort to ourselves to ring in 2020.

The start of a new year holds great significance for many. It’s an opportunity to consider what you have to be grateful for the year past, and reflect on what’s to come. What better time to focus on your own personal growth and transformation than at the end of one year and the beginning of another.

El Camino has always been about more than travel. We’re about making connections and making a difference. We’re about forging through the tough times and coming out the other end a better person. We all deserve a moment to depart from the overwhelming forces in our own lives and appreciate what is good in the world. What’s good in our world? Getting together with you, our people, in this restorative setting that is bursting with natural beauty and serenity.

In true El Camino form, we have created an itinerary that finds a balance between relaxation and adventure. We’ve selected extraordinary experiences that harness the power of the group dynamic that would be difficult to do with only a few people. But this trip has an important and meaningful twist: it was designed to incorporate intentional moments of gratitude, reflection and grounding as we seek out a source of rejuvenation and connection through the landscape that surrounds us. We’ll do these things together, as a community of travelers—not as individuals but as a whole.

THE WHERE

When we were presented with the opportunity to reserve the entire beach resort for a New Year celebration, we just knew that it was meant to be, and that this was the perfect place to ring in 2020. The Tayrona Region of Colombia is one of our favorite places on earth for a handful of reasons. We have always been struck by the calming forces of this magical place—maybe it is the four indigenous villages that serve as  the caretakers of this part of Colombia, or the sacred waterfalls surrounded by tranquil jungles. Whatever it is, this is the one place we have come back to time and time again to realign ourselves with what’s most important. As we close out 2019 and reflect on everything that we have accomplished and all that we have to be grateful for, this idyllic setting will serve as the perfect place for us to realign ourselves for what’s to come in 2020.

Venture to a coastline unlike any other in the world; Gitana del Mar Beach Resort which is nestled between the oldest colonial town in South America—Santa Marta—and the deserts of Guajira. It’s where the Sierra Nevada Mountains plunge into the Caribbean Sea, creating surreal and cerulean views of tropical lagoons at the base of snow-capped mountains.

Surround yourself in the endemic wildlife, which creates a bewildering array of colors. The fruit is ripe, the food is fresh and prepared with all the passion that only a few hundred years of tradition could provide.

Connect with fellow travelers and new friends over poolside chats, beachside yoga, floating down calm rivers, snorkeling in crystal clear waters, BBQs under star-lit skies, and visiting one of Colombia’s most majestic landscapes—Tayrona National Park. We’ll have plenty of free time to relax in whatever way suits us best, but we’ve also set aside some time each day to participate in uplifting exercises that tap into themes of gratitude, connection and vulnerability.


 
 
 
 
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PRICE

FROM $1900-$2300 (40% deposit due up front-SEE BELOW FOR DETAILS)

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DATES

December 29, 2019 - January 3, 2020

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CITIES

Tayrona Region

 
 
 
 

 
 

WHAT OUR TRAVELERS THINK ABOUT EL CAMINO RETREATS

TESTIMONIALS

 
 
 
 

ITINERARY

 
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DAY ONE

Step off the jetway and onto the warm, Caribbean sands at Gitana del Mar, a stunning boutique hotel in tropical Tayrona Region of Colombia where snow capped mountains stand guard over crystal clear blue waters. Take a moment to appreciate the tough decisions of the day: How far can I walk along the secluded shores? How much time spent in the pool is too much time spent in the pool? Which hat goes best with this swimsuit?

If anyone has ever told you to never wear white to a BBQ, ignore the naysayers. Definitely come dressed in your Sunday Costeña* (best) to our traditional beach Parrilla (BBQ) where light, white linens are the dress of choice. Get to know your fellow travelers during our first evening together, as we set intentions for this trip and grill up the fresh catch of the day plus some of the world’s juiciest pineapples, Costeña Colombiana style. Come hungry—the catch is ginormous and will surely tide us over until the sun sets. As the moon rises so does the volume. We’ll spend the night dancing barefoot to the tunes of Champeta, Salsa, Cumbia, and, of course, Reggaeton. *Costeña is the name for anything cultural dealing with traditions from the Caribbean coast of Colombia.

Meals included: lunch and dinner

 
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DAY Two

The choice is yours: get up with the sun and partake in a morning yoga session reflecting on all the good things that happened to us in 2019, and what we have to look forward to in 2020. Alternatively, sleep in and recharge for the day’s big adventure.

You won’t want to miss this opportunity to explore one of Colombia’s most majestic landscapes—Tayrona National Park—where the Sierra Nevada Mountains barge their way into the Caribbean Sea, creating the highest coastal mountain in the world.

What do you get when tall mountains crash into the sea? Crystal clear water, immense biodiversity, lagoons, and colors you didn’t know your eyes could register. We’ll be whisked away by a private boat to visit majestic waters (which are perfect for snorkeling), admire quiet beaches and experience a wilderness so wild that it will make you completely forget about your worries back home. You won’t find this nautical adventure in any guidebooks. (We’ve said too much already).

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 
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day three

Greet the dawn with a morning session of beach side yoga to center yourself and prepare your intentions for the day. No music is needed as you’ll be privy to nature’s best soundtrack: the crashing ocean waves, providing the hypnotic rhythms needed to turn your focus inward.

On this day of service, we’ll have the opportunity to do our part and give back to the community that has been so gracious to host us by joining forces with La Sierra Artist Residency, a local non-profit organization that uses the power of art to impact lives and generate awareness and cultural exchange. By uniting art and nature as creative inspiration, La Sierra generates dynamic ideas around the fundamental values of sustainability, community, and well-being. Use this time to reflect on all that you have to be grateful for in your life as we work hand in hand with our friends at the non-profit.

We’ll have the rest of the afternoon to relax in whatever way you please (we highly recommend a massage from our friend Anita), before we come together right before dinner to participate in a short exercise that taps into the themes of community, connection, rejuvenation, and personal growth.

We’ll cap off 2019 together—far, far away from the boisterous crowds of New Year’s Eve revelers. As always, we’ll have this amazing place all to ourselves, and what better way to thank the year for what it has given us than with a heartfelt celebration on the beach. There’ll be music, delicious food and plenty of dancing, as we welcome the brand new year together under the dark, starry sky.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 
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DAY Four

Happy New Year! Set your intentions for the new year with a group yoga session. Focus on your goals, hopes and dreams for the coming days, weeks and months.

After breakfast, grab your swimsuit, sunscreen, and the most widely-brimmed hat you can find for a short hike to a jungle river. Hop into your inner-tube and prepare for total relaxation as you float down this gentle river, rollin’ 20-deep with your new travel crew. Observe the endemic wildlife (monkeys are the easiest to spot), and end nature’s ride on an isolated, wild beach where the delta caresses the Caribbean sea. EL CAMINO PROTIP: You will probably pass the occasional local fisherman or member of an indigenous community who use this river on a daily basis. Always say “hola” to them—you’re likely to receive a smile and an “hola” back!

The rest of the day is free to relax and be grateful for all that this beautiful place has given us.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 
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DAY FIVE

By now, you’re more concerned about syncing with nature and less about syncing your phone. Rise with the sun and head to the beach for another beach side yoga session to prepare for a day of spiritual rejuvenation. There’s a memorable day ahead, full of cultural, natural and spiritual significance, so take this time to get into the right head space. Does this sound too woo woo for you? Remember: you are in a sacred region of Colombia. A region which is revered as the heart of the world by four local indigenous communities because of the immense biodiversity that surrounds them. To fully immerse yourself in the local culture, we ask that you be open to today’s itinerary, while welcoming challenges and exercising thoughtfulness.

After breakfast, we will head out for a late morning hike to a sacred waterfall and its accompanying swimming holes long adored by the Kogi Mamo, one of the local indigenous groups. The sanctity here is real. Our local guide will walk us through the spiritual significance of this location before we bathe under the serene waterfall and jump off its rocks.

We will wrap up the day which was spent in such an exceptional place, by participating in a truly special event all together. A member of the Kogi community has agreed to lead us in a cleansing ceremony where we will learn that what has been taken from Pachamama (Mother Earth) must be given back. We will leave nothing behind but the promise of paying it forward in 2020.

Finally, we will end the retreat with a surprise and unique activity in the evening that will allow us to deeply reflect on our goals and intentions that we have set for this brand new year, a year full of endless possibilities and potential. Together we will wrap up these inspiring days that we spent as a community in paradise.

Meals included: breakfast, lunch, and dinner

 
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DAY six

Day Five

There’s no need for sad goodbyes. We will partake in one more gratitude session before we head our separate ways. Take everything from this time together with you, knowing that your actions inspired by the trip were felt and shared by all. Take your new-found energy and friends as you welcome and succeed in whatever is next for you in 2020.


Meals included: breakfast

 
 
 

 

New Year Retreat

TRIP details

 

WHO IS THIS TRIP FOR?

Your know exactly who you are. This retreat is for the individual who wants to start the new year off on the right foot by intentionally integrating daily practices of gratitude, personal growth and rejuvenation. This retreat is for someone seeking a restorative vacation of sorts. Simply put: you are eager to create genuine connections and bonds with other travelers who actually give a damn, while striding into the new year on a positive and productive note.

No divas/divos, no drama. This is all about supporting our community and each other in whatever way that may be, while getting to explore a part of the world that is still very much under the radar. Very few people have truly experienced this place which is one of the many reasons that we are so excited to bring you here.

This is the El Camino way. We have spent many-a-week roaming the shores of this sacred part of the world, so in true El Camino form, we have created an itinerary that finds a balance between relaxation and adventure. We’ve selected extraordinary experiences that take advantage and harness the power of the group dynamic which would be much harder to do with only a few people.

And in even truer El Camino form, this trip is not simply about having an experience, it is about creating community through a shared experience.

 

Host + Group Photographer

We have a roster of well qualified hosts and creative photographers that we work with. Prior to your trip, you will receive a welcome packet that will inform you on who will be guiding and documenting your adventure.

 

Accommodations

We will call the stunning Gitana del Mar Beach Resort home for the next five days. It will be our place of refuge where we will do some serious nourishing of the soul as a group. Gitana is made up of eco-chic bungalows and glamping tents. Below are the rooms you can choose from.

SHARED 2 PERSON BUNGALOW WITH PRIVATE BATHROOM (SOLD OUT): Eco-friendly and beautifully designed rooms that offer private outdoor showers and fans within a tropical aesthetic. Each room has WiFi, bathroom amenities and daily cleaning service.

  • This is priced at $2300 a person.

  • A deposit of $920 (40% of the total price) is needed to reserve your spot.

  • The 2 person bungalow is now SOLD OUT.

SHARED 3 PERSON BUNGALOW WITH PRIVATE BATHROOM (4 SPOTS LEFT): Eco-friendly and beautifully designed rooms that offer private outdoor showers and fans within a tropical aesthetic. Each room has WiFi, bathroom amenities and daily cleaning service.

  • This is priced at $2150 a person.

  • A deposit of $860 (40% of the total price) is needed to reserve your spot.

  • There are 4 (of 6) spots left in the 3 person bungalow.

SHARED 3 PERSON GLAMPING TENT WITH SHARED BATHROOM (3 SPOTS LEFT): The large Luxury Glamping Tents are completely set apart from the other Bungalows and nestled under mango and palm trees. These 20 square meter tents (215sqft) offer privacy, jungle views and their own wooden deck. They have access to shared bathrooms (4 bathrooms, 4 showers).

  • This is priced at $1900 a person.

  • A deposit of $760 (40% of the total price) is needed to reserve your spot.

  • There are 3 (of 6) spots left in the 3 person glamping tent.

Every day, we will indulge in a fresh menu that fuses healthy ingredients straight from their garden in a coastal themed, fusion-style menu mixing Colombian, Mediterranean and Asian flavors. In addition to local and regional fish and seafood, Gitana’s rotating menu features unique chicken, meat, vegetarian and vegan offerings. As this is an eco-lodge, there is no A/C, however the eco-friendly rooms were designed to stay naturally cool and are also equipped with fans.

 

Pricing & Payment

There are three pricing options for this retreat:

  • $2300 a person for a shared 2 person bungalow with private bathroom. A deposit of $920 (40% of the total price) is needed to reserve your spot.

  • $2150 a person for a shared 3 person bungalow with private bathroom. A deposit of $860 (40% of the total price) is needed to reserve your spot.

  • $1900 a person for a shared 3 person glamping tent with shared bathroom. A deposit of $760 (40% of the total price) is needed to reserve your spot.

Please note that there are limited spots available for each and it is first come, first served. To guarantee your reservation, you can pay your deposit by clicking here. A non-refundable 40% deposit is due at the time of booking. Final payment is due no later than 25 days prior to departure. Payments must be made by credit card. Please read our BOOKING TERMS AND CONDITIONS for more information about our cancellation policy.

 

What’s included

 

Included 

  • Group Photographer

  • 30 Edited images a day of the group + an additional batch of images 3 weeks after the trip ends

  • Accommodations

  • Transportation to and from the airport (on the first and last days of the trip)

  • All meals

  • Activities as mentioned above

  • Tips for drivers and activity hosts

Not Included

  • Airfare in and out of the country

  • Mandatory Travel Insurance

  • Incidental Expenses (extra snacks, spa treatments, or additional yoga classes that are not noted)

  • Alcohol except where noted

  • Tips for photographer and local host

 

NEED MORE visual INSPIRATION TO START DROOLING OVER THIS PART OF THE WORLD?

NEW YEAR RETREAT RESOURCES

 

This music video by Bomba Estereo (PSA one of our favorite Colombian groups), was filmed in the Tayrona National Park area. Lots of drone action happening here to get a full perspective of this magical place.

AN INSTAGRAM POST THAT SAYS IT ALL ABOUT WHY THIS AREA IS SO MAGICAL

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Keep checking back. We will be adding more inspiration and resources over the coming months….

 

NEW YEAR Retreat Questions?

You know the drill—enter your questions directly below and we'll get back to you soon!

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