More Scoop From Another Retreat Attendee

Today’s post comes from one of our dear attendees from the last Body + Soul Camp. Liz has since made some amazing lifestyle changes as she’s applied things we all learned together during that memorable week. It has been so fun to hear updates from these people we bonded with. 

To give you a little insight into this wonderful soul, she recently wrote us asking if we had need of any volunteers for this upcoming retreat. She said – “I had an incredible life changing experience and would love to come back as a volunteer and help out in any way possible (in the kitchen, running errands, as an assistant, or whatever help you might need). I would consider it a privilege to serve the attendees of the retreat as they make new self discoveries.” 

There’s still space for you and a loved one to come to the February Body + Soul Camp. Sign up here. If you’re lucky, Liz might be there making your stay that much more enjoyable.

Testimonial from Liz

Top five things I loved about the retreat. 

1. Ecuador
2. The Food
3. The other attendees
4. The classes
5. Mara, Danny, Alexandra, and Tony 
1. Ecuador
I had the chance to travel around Peru, Panama, and Ecuador for two weeks before the retreat started. While in Ecuador I was traveling alone and felt comfortable and safe the whole time. I spent my time in Puerto Lopez relaxing on the beach and visited the poor man’s Galapagos Island. I recommend spending some time in Ecuador before/after the retreat. 
2. The food
The raw food was delicious! I felt like the retreat helped to introduce me to so many new foods and gave me the confidence to make better food choices. Having the chance to fuel my body with healthy foods and detox from all the junk I had been eating was such a gift. I returned home and slowly integrated healthier choices into my life. My body feels more alive and I have the retreat to thank for that.
3. The other attendees
My favorite part about the retreat was meeting and getting to know the other attendees. It took an incredible amount of courage for each person to travel to Ecuador and attend the retreat with a group of strangers. I was blown away by all of their stories and life experiences. I will always cherish the many conversations I had with the other attendees. And a huge bonus was meeting my new life coach (thanks John)!
4. The classes
The classes were wonderful. Tony gave a class on how to juice at home. I loved this class because I learned more about juicing and eating raw. He went over all the kitchen equipment he uses and gave a load of tips on how to incorporate healthier eating when we got back home. I loved all the classes Mara and Danny taught. As a reader of the blog, I wondered what it would be like to meet Mara and Danny. Those two are so genuine and authentic. They really have such a powerful message to share and are such lovely people. 
5. Alexandra, Tony, Mara, and Danny.
I was so excited when I heard Mara and Danny were doing the retreat. I immediately signed up and was pumped about traveling to Ecuador, doing yoga, eating raw, and working on self-improvement. Alexandra, Tony, Mara, and Danny are just amazing people. They each brought such good energy to the retreat and it set the tone for a very special week. 
If you are thinking about going to the retreat my advice is to go for it! Sometimes doing new and foreign things can be scary. But I guarantee you it will be so worth it. It’s a new year and I know the retreat will help you in some way to accomplish your goals. It’s the perfect setting to take time away from from your busy schedule and work on improving yourself. 
Thank you, thank you Mara and Danny for doing these retreats!

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  1. Anonymous January 8, 2015 at 10:34 pm - Reply

    Thanks, Liz! It's great that you were able to turn this one-week retreat into something with long-term benefits. Would you mind sharing more information about your other travels in the region? Where else did you go in Ecuador and where would you recommend? Please also share more about what the "poor man's Galapagos" is, how you did that part of the trip and if you recommend it. Thank you!!!

    • mara January 12, 2015 at 4:15 pm - Reply

      Hi Anon! I thought I'd chime in, too. The Poor Man's Galapagos (also called Isla de la Plata) is a tiny island off the coast of Puerto Lopez. This was one hour from our last retreat. However it is much further from where we are holding the current retreat. But if you went, there is a GREAT little property in Puerto Lopez called Hosteria Mandala. They have a lush property with cute little bungalows to stay in. You can book a boat through them and ride out to Poor Man's Galapagos, which is about an hour off the coast. I think the boat fare was $40/person and included fruit and lunch as well as guides on the island. During certain parts of the year, you can also see whales on your way out to the island. On the island, you go on a hike around the whole thing and see AMAZING birds. Blue footed boobies and other birds. The scenery there is beautiful. And overall it was a fun little trip, especially considering it was so inexpensive. If you go to this area, also visit Los Frailles Beach, near Puerto Lopez, and Monticristi, a weaving town where Panama hats originated (you can visit some hat factories and buy a hand made hat.)

      Here are some recommendations closer to our current retreat:

      -Stay at Hacienda Rumi Loma in Quito for AMAZING food, scenery, service and over the top furnishings.

      -Visit the old town in Quito and see TONS of colonial architecture. Take the double decker bus tour.

      -Visit the hot springs in Papallacta (not too far from Quito.)

      -Visit Mindo for an unreal cloud forest experience. Highlights: A 7 Waterfall Hiking Loop, a chocolate factory, river tubing through the rainforest, BIRD WATCHING! a must! (it's world famous for this.) Overall, the area is gorgeous and lush and worth visiting.

      -Stay at La Mirage if you want a luxurious experience. It's a gorgeous property in Cotacachi, the leather town in Ecuador. You can also browse leather shops for bags, belts, coin purses, and shoes.

      -Visit Baños, a town full of various natural hot spring spas. They also have some amazing hikes in that area, horseback riding in the Andes, river tubing, and all kinds of outdoor activities.

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