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5 Unusual Places in North & Central America for a Yoga Retreat
5 Unusual Places in North & Central America for a Yoga Retreat

If you are a yoga teacher, coach, or leader in your field you might be interested in taking your clients and students into more intimate and deep experiences, such as a retreat. If you're a student who enjoys yoga retreat vacations in beautiful places around the world, or have always wanted to treat yourself to one, there are so many benefits for these kinds of getaways. 

Retreats are amazing because you get the opportunity to really dive deep and really connect with people. They can be however you want them to be, from super intense, workshop heavy, 8-hour per day session retreats, to relaxed, go with the flow, do whatever you want style of retreats with delicious food and wine. 

The cool thing about hosting retreats is as the host, you get to be the creator of every aspect, and as the retreat-goer, you get to choose what kind of retreat you want to experience.

As the host, you get to decide the schedule, the curriculum, and what the flow is going to look like. And, you will get paid for your time organizing and curating the event! If you’re a leader and looking to either begin hosting retreats or you’re an experienced retreat leader and you’re looking for some new destination ideas, here are some of the best places in North and Central America to host or enjoy your next retreat. 

Nicaragua

I put this at the top of my list because I’ve recently fallen in love with this country. It’s absolutely beautiful, with beaches and jungles that compete with those in Indonesia and Hawaii. But unlike Hawaii and Bali, Nicaragua is still totally untapped. Unfortunately for Nicaragua, they got a bad reputation back in 2018 during a short period of political unrest. Even though now the country is now very safe, the conflicts which occurred years ago are still making some hesitant to go to this magical country.

In a way, it’s lucky for us who are visiting as tourists. We get the opportunity to visit one of the most stunning countries in the world while there’s still minimal tourism, which likely won’t last for long. So definitely get down to this country while it’s still quiet and charming!

If you’re looking for jungle and gorgeous beach and surf vibes, I recommend staying at Treecasa. They’re nestled in the trees of San Juan del Sur -- with close and easy access to some of the best beaches in the world. If you’re looking for rustic, mountainous vibes, I recommend Nimaya Institute

Guatemala

Just north of Nicaragua, Guatemala comes in with a close second place. Guatemala, like Nicaragua, is still very much untapped. While there is a coast with beaches in Guatemala, I recommend taking your retreat up into the stunning volcanoes, nestled upon beaches on the giant and gorgeous lake, Lake Atitilan. 

This has been an up-and-coming place to host yoga retreats and for good reason. The lake is absolutely stunning and is surrounded by magnificent volcanoes. Those who have been here will agree that there’s just something about it. You can’t quite put your finger on it, but the energy feels electrifying, in the best of ways. 

There are multiple places to host your next retreat. Eagles Nest is large and beautiful -- perfect for hosting larger retreats. If you’re looking for something more quaint and mystical -- definitely check out The Mystical Yoga Farm. It’s charming and absolutely magical. 

Costa Rica

While there’s nothing unconventional about hosting your yoga retreat in Costa Rica, but there are some specific spaces that are super unconventional, which is why I included them in this list. 

It’s nestled at the very most southern point of Costa Rica, two hours south of the closest airport, only accessible from a very rocky, dirt road at a place called The Yoga Farm. The farm itself is only accessible by 4 wheel drive, (four-wheeler preferred!) as it sits at the top of a steep, crumbling hill. 

Sounds treacherous? Well, it’s quite the mission to get here, but once you do, you’re nestled in the most magical and rich jungle you’ve ever seen. The Yoga Farm is a permaculture farm and community living space that accommodates volunteers who want to learn more about permaculture, communal living, yoga, and oh yeah -- did I forget to mention there are some of the best waves in the world out front? 

I’ve spent the last couple of years teaching yoga in this space and while it’s an absolute mission to get here -- it’s totally worth it. If you’re open-minded to a more rustic style of living with things like compost toilets and all sorts of jungle creatures -- this place is for you.  

Mazunte, Mexico

The desert meets the ocean. Imagine cactus and desert flowers on white-sand beaches, with the most turquoise water you’ve ever seen. It’s absolutely stunning and unique sight to see. 

Settled down south in the southern state of Oaxaca, Mazunte is a magical, small little town nestled on some of the most gorgeous beaches I’ve ever seen. 

The town only has a couple of roads with shops and restaurants, and this desert coastal town is still very much undiscovered. While there’s no surfing here, there are gorgeous hikes, beaches, and vistas for you and your retreat guests to feel absolutely inspired by. 

I can recommend hosting your retreat at Hridaya. Here they are built to host retreats -- and they do all the time! They also offer really cool events, yoga teacher trainings, and accommodation for people who want to live and stay in a yogic atmosphere. 

Southern Utah

Last, I’ll list Southern Utah because it’s my home, and it’s absolutely stunning and definitely unconventional. While Utah has been growing a lot over the last 5 years, it’s still one of those states where people go “Utah? What’s there?”. 

Utah (specifically southern!) is absolutely stunning -- it’s a dry, red desert with red rock canyons, bright blue skies, desert sage, and plenty of outdoor activities to partake in through their 255 sunshine-filled days a year. With stunning National Parks such as Zion, Bryce Canyon, and Arches, there’s plenty of reason to take a visit to Southern Utah. 

Your yoga retreat could include various activities such as canyoneering, mountain biking, hiking, rock climbing, or practicing yoga overlooking incredible desert vistas. 

I 100% recommend hosting your retreat with Nama-stay. They’ve got beautiful accomodation close to Zion National Park, and they’re also an experienced guiding company, so if you want to do any tours within the park -- they’re your guys. 

By Brooke Nally

Brooke Nally (@brookenally) is a traveling yogi and writer currently based in Bali. She is the community manager for www.YogaTrade.com, with her personal goal being to help yoga teachers find their dream yoga jobs around the world.

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