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    Soul Adventures with Tanya | The Retreat | Vilcabamba, Ecuador | 1-7 May 2019

    Soul Adventures with Tanya | The Retreat | Vilcabamba, Ecuador |  1-7 May 2019

    The Valley of Longevity is calling me again. 


    It’s got that hypnotic power over me and my soul which longs for adventure. 


    Luckily, my parents just so happen to live in this magical corner of the world called Vilcabamba, Ecuador. So if the need for purification awakens, I only need to get on a plane.


    This incredible village is known as the valley of longevity, the playground to the Inca and the capital of raw food.


    It is entirely surrounded by mountains.



    It runs on super charged living spring waters, provides the most healing organic produce, supplies exceptional air quality and has the potential to transform you forever. 


    The vibrational frequencies of its sacred land are very high and not everybody is ready.


    If you feel drawn to experience a complete rejuvenation of your soul, body, mind and spirit, then I believe Vilcabamba has spoken to you. 


    I know that it has spoken to me to invite you this year. 


    And, I couldn’t be more honoured and thrilled for the opportunity.



    But, you don’t need a local in order to experience the true essence of what pulls so many enlightened beings here. 


    You do need a local (and a well informed one at that) to introduce you to the best spots, take you on mind blowing hikes up the majestic mountains, or wild water swimming in the Amazonian jungle, to lead a ceremonial steam bath in a Sweat Lodge, to introduce you to meditation secrets that shamans and healers practice, and to show you how to re-balance and rejuvenate with the power of locally grown highly-vibrational raw foods, yoga and sound healing massage. 


    Over the years, we’ve handpicked just the locals that have devoted their life to mastering a certain practice, and they will share it with you.



    Well not only do I already have flights booked for myself and the kids, but I want to offer an intimate group this life changing experience too!! 


    THIS YEAR, THIS MAY 1st-7th … 


    My parents and I are officially hosting another retreat in paradise.


    It’s happening!!!!!!!  Applications are now open>>



    Hi, I'm Tanya Maher, a wellness coach, chef, author, Reiki do Satori master healer, and a leading pioneer in the world of ultra-nutritious and energising plant-based foods for the whole family.


    I co-founded 'Tanya's,’ a high-end raw cafe in 2014 and merged it with my established wellness company 'Better Raw' in 2017.


    I'm the creator of the Amazon #1 best selling DVD 'Raw Food 101' and author of Hay House's 'The Uncook Book'.


    I was born in Russia, raised in New Zealand and now raising my own family in London, where Vogue, The Daily Mail and Women's Health have hailed my work to be top of gourmet raw food.


    This ‘Soul Adventure’s with Tanya’ Retreat is my life’s work.


    I can’t wait to share the experience with you too.



    If you’ve followed me for some time, you already know my standards, you’ve probably made my recipes and perhaps even tasted my raw gourmet organic meals, elixirs and desserts at Tanya's.


    Now this is your opportunity to indulge guilt-free and thrive not only on some of my favourite dishes for a full week, but have them all prepared from local, fresh, organic and most nutrient dense ingredients available to us on the planet. 


    As you cleanse your palette and your level of consciousness begins to lift, your taste buds won’t know what hit them.


    What’s more is that Elena, my super talented mama and creator of 'Sungate 11:11' Raw Living Restaurant will be preparing some of her most raved about living food meals for you to experience...



    I say ‘experience’, because we will guide you to get food working for you, your digestion and any physical or spiritual ailment you may have, as well as excite and satisfy all five of your senses: sight, sound, smell, touch and taste.


    I’ll also teach you how to prepare some of my best recipes and email you recipes of all our meals to enjoy forever.



    You'll be staying at El Descanso del Toro Hosteriais, the village's most prestigious resort.


    It also happens to be authentically Ecuadorian, when it comes to nature, peace, creativity and beauty.


    I believe there is always a need for a little luxury in your life, however expect to be spending more time with the land, than in your room all day long and then retreat to your cosy nest for the evening.



    When you spend time at the resort, you will be treated to privacy, clean and spacious bedrooms, tasteful decor, your own bathroom, and outdoor lit up swimming pool, revitalising sauna, relaxing spa and the most stunning vast natural walks and gardens for resting, walking and bringing out your inner Yogi.


    You'll be staying just a 5 minute stroll away from town square and a 10 minute stroll away from my parents' citrus garden where plentiful lunches will be held.



    Every day as you slowly rise to bird song, you will have the opportunity to rejoice in Yoga.


    Your beautiful teacher has a true gift to glide through a group and help each individual appreciate Yoga for the immense pleasure, rather than a chore (if you’re in this space currently).


    You do not need to be flexible or experienced, we simply ask that you come open minded towards what movement and breathwork can do for your soul.


    If you are a long time Yogie, you will fall in love with the teacher's style and energy.


    And that’s only a start! Your days will be filled with nature walks, picturesque hikes and wild swimming.



    By now you may have gathered that your week in Vilcabamba won’t be short of meditation.


    It is a big part of my family’s spiritual journey and we will introduce you to various techniques, so that you can choose what works best for you and feel inspired to include it in to your regular regime for many years to come.


    The Valley of Longevity is home to many gurus and healers, and I’ve invited some very special guests to treat you to their incredible talents.



    I ran a survey of what may interest you the most in a destination retreat and from the hundreds of people who’ve responded, a trend was more than obvious.


    You are a nature loving spirit and you want all the mountain hiking, trail exploring, wild plant foraging, local veggie market visits and water fall trips, which Vilcabamba has to offer.


    I promised you an opportunity to create your ideal retreat, so we’re including all of the listed excursions to our week together. 


    Get ready for the most adventurous fun, while you satisfy your inner child’s cravings for joy and freedom.



    This is a retreat that requires investment in you.


    Anyone can visit Ecuador and enjoy its many resources at any time, but I insist that you are not here looking for a quick fix to your health concerns and that you apply only if you are truly willing to make the effort, are serious about getting involved and keep an open mind to new ideas.


    There is an application process, because it is very important to me that I choose the right group of individuals, not for me, but for you.


    If you are game, here’s what you need to know…


    We have arranged a special rate for any additional nights that you may decide to stay. 


    We recommend that you arrive on Monday 29th April and spend two nights on your own, adjusting to Vilcabamba’s energies. The retreat will kick off at 4PM Wednesday 1st May and conclude at 11AM Tuesday 7th May.



    Your investment for the week:

    1. Own private deluxe room with en suite | £1,350 after 1st April | Early bird £1,147  
    2. Shared double deluxe room with en suite | £1,150 after 1st April | Early bird £997pp 
    3. Shared twin deluxe room with en suite | £1,150 after 1st April | Early bird £997pp

    Pricing is in GBP and all rates are per person

    (Please note the Ecuadorian currency is USD)


    The package includes:

    6 Nights lush accommodation
    (1, 2, 3, 4, 5 and 6 May)

    6 Daily buffet hotel breakfasts including freshly made smoothies, local organic fruits, free range eggs and homemade cheese.

    6 Gourmet three course lunches, including multi layered lasagna, marinated and pesto stuffed mushrooms, creamy soups with onion bread, gazpacho with garden picked vegetables and fermented sauerkraut, sun burgers, energising snacks, decadent chocolate cakes and digestion aiding green smoothies.

    (Please note that dinner is your free time to explore Vilcabamba’s cafes and restaurants, which all have raw food offerings on their menus. This is a key time for you to soak in the day’s activities and learnings, as well as digest the vitamin rich foods that you won’t try any where else. Many people prefer to skip dinner and meditate, rest, sauna or enjoy a pampering session, while others take the opportunity to order a cooked vegetarian meal, so not to experience detox symptoms on their holiday.) 

    2 Days of Tanya Maher Academy with some of my top recipes.

    60 min combination massage including shiatsu, old Slavic therapy, conscious touch, Tuning Folks, deep tissue, Tibetan bowls and sound therapy.

    Road trip to Podocarpus, a waterfall at the border of the Amazonian jungle, with stopovers at authentically Ecuadorian food markets.

    Sweat Lodge ceremony.

    6  Invigorating and enlivening Yoga sessions.

    90 min taxi transfer to and from Loja airport.

    (Please note that this is covered if you arrive no more than 2 days before your retreat and depart no more than 2 days after. Outside of these days the taxi is an additional $40 each way)

    Local fees and adventure excursions.

    Numerous simple, yet life changing techniques.

    Hanging out and creating lifelong friendships.

    …as you can see- it’s everything except your flights to Loja, Ecuador!



    Ready for a Soul Adventure?




    Got more questions? Here are some answers>>



    FAQs | Soul Adventures with Tanya | Ecuador Retreat 2019

    FAQs | Soul Adventures with Tanya | Ecuador Retreat 2019

    Here are the frequently asked questions for this year’s Soul Adventures with Tanya Retreat, happening Wednesday 1st May – Tuesday 7th May.


    If there’s something I haven’t yet covered, please ask in the comments below and I’ll make sure to add your query to the post. Check in for an updated version from time to time :) 




    Vilcabamba is a small village in the southern region of Ecuador in South America. Its nearest town is Loja (45km/28mi away) and it’s nearest airport is LOH: Ciudad de Catamyo Airport, formerly known as Camilo Ponce Enríquez Airport (80km/50mi away). However small the village is, it is surrounded by majestic mountains, such as Mandango, known to protect against natural disaster. Vilcabamba is often referred to as ‘The playground of the Inca’, ‘Raw Food capital of the world’ and ‘The Valley of Longevity’.


    Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 22.17.56 Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 22.16.33 Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 22.16.03

    2. How do I get to Vilcabamba?

    It may be a long way from home, but luckily it is so frequently visited by tourists and health explores, that getting there is now easier than ever. There are two main airports in Ecuador: Quito and Guayaquil. When looking up international flights, you'll be booking for one of these destinations. From there, look up return flights to Loja. Loja is the nearest town and the airport in the Loja province, flights from either Quito or Guayaquil take 45 minutes and can be purchased via www.tame.com.ec Then, it's a 1.5 hour taxi ride to Vilcabamba. The taxis need a spacial licence to operate from the airport, so they are usually reliable and respectable. If you are arriving upto 2 days before the retreat and leaving no longer than 2 days after the retreat, we will organise a local Vilcabamba driver to pick you up.

    Screen Shot 2014-07-13 at 22.20.20

    3. How much do flights to Vilcabamba cost?

    It all depends on where you are coming from and when you are booking. I recommend that you sign up for price alerts on www.kayak.com or www.skyscanner.net to get the best deal. I've flown to both Guayaquil and Quito for under GBP£600 return from London before and for under US$500 return from New York, but the price can vary. Generally, the earlier you book, the better your chances are for a good price. Return flights from Quito/Guayaquil to Loja can be anywhere from US$80 to $200. Do check www.tame.com.ec for those domestic flights simultaneously to checking international flights, as you might find that leaving from Guayaquil is not an option with their limited weekly schedule. The taxi from Loja (LOH: Ciudad de Catamyo) Airport is US$40 one way. This taxi is provided for you free of charge if you arrive upto 2 days before the retreat and depart no longer than 2 days after the retreat, however flights are your responsibility. We'll do everything we can to look after you as soon as you get to Loja!


    4. When I land in Loja, is there a special taxi to look out for? 

    Yes. We will be sending our local taxi drivers from Vilcabamba to pick you up from LOH. The driver will wait inside the airport (it is tiiiny, don't worry) with your name on a sign, please look around for a driver and check that they do indeed have a record of your name. Closer to the retreat, please double check that we have your correct arrival times in the Retreat Facebook group.


    5. Is the taxi fare from Loja prepaid or is it paid on arrival in Vilcabamba?

    The taxi fare is included in your retreat fee and we're paying the drivers on your behalf. Please note that we will arrange everything for you if you arrive/depart upto 2 days on either side of the retreat. If you choose to arrive/depart more than 2 days outside of the retreat, the taxi fee and booking will become your responsibility.


    6. What weather should I pack for?

    May is usually the end of a rainy season in Vilcabamba, and even though it is mostly nights that get rainfall, while days are sunny, it isn't uncommon for there to be periodic rain throughout the day. Night temperature could drop down to 10degrees C, while day temperature stays close to 25degrees C or higher. Double check that you've packed light clothing, yoga or easy movement clothing, long sleeve shirts and long leg trousers (mossies love newbies), a warm top, a rain jacket, swimmers, a sun hat and comfortable walking/hiking shoes. Just think of what would make you most comfortable if you were to walk up a hill and take a seat on the ground.


    7. Are there many bugs and should I bring a mosquito repellent?

    Definitely and definitely! Please bring your favourite mosquito repellent. I would refrain from chemical use if possible and bring essential oils. Mossies despise aromas of Lavender, Eucalyptus, Lemongrass, Cedarwood, and various oil blends, which you can read about here. If you happen to forget, there is a shop in Vilcabamba called Juice Factory, which sells pretty much anything a raw foodie might need, I'm sure you'll find a natural mossie repellent there.


    8. Since dinner is our own free time and we may like to arrive to Vilcabamba before the retreat, can you give us restaurant recommendation?

    Vilcabamba is a small village and has nearly all of its cafes located in the Central Square. I will print a map for everyone on arrival, but to give you an idea of distances- my parents' house where lunches and workshops are to be held is a 10 minute walk away from your hotel, while the main square is a 5 minute walk away. There you'll find Juice Factory (mentioned above), which is a well known 'gringo' hangout and you can get fresh juices, smoothies, snacks, lunches and raw food options. It's a good spot to meet other expats, who have made Vilcabamba their home. A big restaurant favourite of ours within the square is called Sambuca Cafe. There is always a choice of freshly made juices and smoothies, yummy salads and some great vegan options. Friends Cafe and French Cafe have salad and vegan options and Vilcabamba Pizza Factory serves amazing raw food pizza on Sundays only. Please note that Vilcabamba is ever evolving and these cafes change hands, menus and event plans all the time. We will have an updated list for you upon arrival, which may still change over your visit. It's all about staying flexible and welcoming change as it happens- such a creative and natural place as the 'Playground to the Inca' demands nothing less.


    9. If I stay extra nights outside of the retreat, does the special accommodation price ($55/single or $85/couple) include any meals?

    The usual hotel rates are $65/single and $95/couple and include a basic buffet breakfast of fruit, juice, coffee, fresh local cheese and eggs. This breakfast will be available for you over the retreat and outside of your retreat dates, as any hotel guest, even though you'll benefit from discounted accommodation. No other meals are included in this price, but the resort has a restaurant should you wish to eat there. Only during the retreat, a three course organic gourmet lunch will also be included, but dinner is your free time to explore, enjoy Vilca evenings and its offerings from local cafes.


    10. Should I be getting any travel injections and which do you recommend?

    Ecuador is one of the few Central+South American destinations, which does not require vaccination proof when you enter. I suggest that you do your own investigation and see your GP for your own peace of mind, especially if you are travelling to other countries at this time. I've never had vaccinations for Ecuador and I know that in Vilcabamba they are rather frowned upon. Your personal choice though, we don't judge!


    11. Do I need a visa for Ecuador?

    No, you can stay in Ecuador for up to 3 months without a visa. HOWEVER a majority of you are travelling via USA, where a visa waiver is required or you won't be able to fly. You must also apply for ESTA at least 72 hours before flying. The application is very straight forward and costs only about £25, so do this ASAP if you are going via USA: http://www.virgin-atlantic.com/gb/en/travel-information/getting-into-the-country/us-visa.html


    12. Are there any pre-requisites, prior knowledge or yoga ability levels required to attend?

    Absolutely not. It is also upto you to decide on how much you'd like to take part in. I called it a Soul Adventures Retreat, because it will be both full of adventure for your spirit, meditation for your soul and raw food for your wellbeing. There will be hiking, sound meditations, sweat lodges, raw food classes, road trips for wild waterfall swimming and much more. It is all pre-paid and included in your retreat, however you will be free to choose whether you'd rather relax by the resort pool or join in the adventure.


    13. How do you pick from all the applications?

    It's not an easy task and each time there more than 100 applications for an 18 person retreat. This year, I want to make it even more special and intimate, so make sure that you apply here right away. Generally, it's first in/ first served, however I make sure that I tune in and read your application carefully to check how you fit into the group vibe, how we can best serve you and how ready you are for Vilcabamba. You might've noticed that I don't ask for age/ gender/ nationality on the form, because none of that matters in the Valley of Longevity. All that matters is that you answer everything truthfully from your heart and if you need to join us, you most certainly will.


    14. Where are others travelling from?

    Some of you may like to connect ahead of time and even arrive together or share a taxi upon arrival. That's why there is a Facebook group for every retreat. I'll be sending you an invite upon confirmation of booking. Please join the group for your retreat and don't be shy posting questions or sharing your queries, insights and plans there :)


    15. What power adapters do we need?

    Prepare for USA. Everything from USD as currency and US power plugs.


    16. Do we need a yoga mat?

    The yoga mats will be provided, however you are very welcome to bring your own. I know what it's like when you have a favourite personal mat, so it's entirely your call.


    17. Do you have a suggestion for a short layover in Quito?

    For some the stopover is only a few hours long, so you may prefer to wait at the airport. It is brand new and very clean, but doesn't look like there is a lounge. Some travellers have taken the punt to sleep on the floor. I'll leave that one up to you, but you might like to have a read of everyone's comments>> If you prefer to stay in a hotel, it's always a good idea to ask at the airport helpdesk, they can arrange transfers and accommodation for you. And cost-wise there isn't much difference booking ahead of time or on the day.

    If you prefer to book ahead, here are four different places to stay near new Quito airport as recommended by readers of expat forum http://www.gringotree.com


    Bed & Breakfast Tumbaco, La Ceramica

    Lovely personal home in a gated community about 15 minutes from the new Quito Airport, with 3 or 4 “cabins” for guests. Each has its own bathroom and kitchenette. Breakfast is served in the home’s large kitchen and dining area. The grounds are gorgeous with a pool area, volleyball court, a large vegetable and fruit garden, tropical birds, and wonderful flora. Hotel will arrange for personal pickup at the airport (we needed 2 taxis due to all our suitcases!), and also arrange for taxi back to airport when you are flying elsewhere. We loved the gorgeous flowers and shrubs all around the huge complex and the owners were so friendly and welcoming to us. We will return.

    Contact: 1-855-662-5048


    Recommended by Sarah Canez, sarahgcanez@yahoo.com


    Su Merced Casa de Hacienda near Quito Airport

    First-class Quito accommodation 10 minutes from new airport. If you are looking for a really really nice place to stay after arriving from the U.S. and waiting for a flight the next day this may be the place for you. The owners and their totally renovated Hacienda are truly first class (but with a reasonable price). They will meet you upon arrival and return you to the airport. Accommodation and facilities are totally renovated with Ecuadorian antiques in a beautiful secured quite comfortable setting very close to the airport.

    Along with other friends in Cuenca we totally recommend Rafsel, his family staff, and their hacienda as a great hotel that is really convenient to the new Quito airport.

    Contact: Rafael Andrade, 098-536-0545, rafael@sumerced.com,www.sumerced.com Calle Julio Tobar Donoso Casa @12 Puembo

    Recommended by Bob Pirtle, repirtle@gmail.com.


    Quito Airport Suites

    We tried it. Pleasant surprise. Beautiful very clean new units 5 minutes from the new Quito airport. Single $49, double $55, with breakfast. 24-hour airport transportation $7-$8. (If you take a taxi, write down address; no sign on building.) Quiet, walled in location. We loved it. Young owner Dominic will treat you royally.

    Make reservations at quitoairportsuites@gmail.com.


    Hostería San Carlos, Quito Airport

    For a great place to stay if you’re flying out of Quito and don’t want the hour-plus ride into the city, try Hostería San Carlos in Tababela, just 7- 10 minutes from the new airport. It is clean, comfortable, and reasonable, and the owners/staff are helpful and considerate. When we found out our flight was delayed, they let us stay onsite for the entire afternoon and served a delicious lunch. They also provide a free shuttle Service from the airport (even at midnight when the flight from Houston gets in).

    Recommended by Greg, gregboydcaveart@gmail.com


     18. Did I read somewhere that your parents' spiritual home is for sale?

    You did indeed. This could very well be my final retreat in Ecuador! The energy portal, the AirBnB property, the 100's of fruit trees and crops, the purpose-built family home with stunning views... it's all for sale.  Here's more info on the property if you're interested: https://tanyasliving.com/blogs/tanyas-blog/for-sale-spiritual-home-in-the-valley-of-longevity-ecuador


    Got another question? I'd love to answer it. Just add it to the comments below...


    Ready to join us? Apply here>>

    FOR SALE: the most magical home in Vilcabamba, Ecuador

    FOR SALE: the most magical home in Vilcabamba, Ecuador

    better-raw-vilcabamba-retreat-8 53-1

    For the past 7 years, my parents have devoted the most insane amount of energy, divine love and care to a land which now gives back over 100 edible fruits, vegetables and plants.

    People have turned up at their door step not knowing why they were guided there, only to discover that a very rare and sacred meditation portal on their land called them in to heal.

    Mum and dad hosted numerous raw food lunches on their property, I held multiple retreats and workshops there too, which attracted people from all over the world and SOLD OUT within days.

    This magical place is located in Vilcabamba, Ecuador. It’s known as The Valley of Longevity.

    Now my parents are off onto new adventures and to be closer to their beloved granddaughter, so another very very lucky family can enjoy the fruits of their labour.

    The house, the guest house (rental) and the land are officially for sale!

    vilcabamba 1111 home for sale

      Take a look:

    If the video above doesn't work, check it out on Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BRC8ZQKN78I&feature=youtu.be



    Immaculate Home & Income property for sale USD 370K.

    With only a 5 minute walk to town center, this picture-perfect hidden gem is the essence of Vilcabamba, aka The Valley of Longevity. The stunning organic orchard houses an immaculate double-store property, a charming guest-house and a healing energy portal, which have all been developed with retreats in mind.

    Main house (240 m2): High ceilings, 4 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (1 en suite with a jet Jacuzzi tub), mezzanine floor could be used as a library or an extra bedroom, big open plan kitchen and lounge, huge wrap-around balcony, large size porch which gets the morning sun, family sized sauna, 2 storage closets. Two of the rooms have built-in wardrobes and the master has a walk in wardrobe.

    Guest house (70 m2): High ceilings, 1 bedroom, 1 bathroom, mezzanine floor upstairs is currently used as an extra lofted bedroom. Open plan kitchen/dining/lounge, a porch which gets the afternoon sun and a separate street entrance. This lovely standalone property currently receives up to $1,500/ month in AirBnB income.

    Land features (flat section 2000 m2): Fully fenced and secure, this land is also flat. An impressive sun-gate numbered 11:11 is a welcoming statement to this magical property. The organic orchard has over 100 assorted fruit trees (citruses, avocados, guayabana, black and white sapotes, macadamia, cashew, almond, pomegranate, pitahaya, persimmons, papayas, apples, pears, apricots, guavas, mulberries, coffee, cacao, figs and more), separate herb gardens, a beautiful flower garden, and a green house full of year-round crop. Water well comes complete with a storage tank and a pump. There are 2 covered workshop places and a paved parking for at least 3 cars.

    The highlight of this land however is the energy Portal: A meditation circle of 10 stones with the special meaning symbols, bordered off by a beautiful hedge garden for a peaceful and powerful connection experience, ideal for spiritual meditation and healing ceremonies.

    Lifestyle: Self-sustainable, peaceful lifestyle. Grow your own organic sustenance, heal, relax and connect with Mother Earth.

      44-1 26-1 17-1 6-1 5-1

    To see more pictures of the property, I made this public album on Facebook, here>>

    To find out more about the location and how to get there, these FAQ's I wrote for retreat attendees might help>>

    For more info, email Elena and Vladimir on vladimiralekseev@ymail.com