Soul Renewal. Energetic Replenishment. Freedom to choose what feels aligned. Connection to the Mystery and your Self.
All of this is what the Renewal Retreat on La Finca offers. It takes place in one of the most biodiverse countries in the world, on a natural reserve of native cloud forest in the central Colombian Andes, over five luscious days of re-learning what alignment feels like and how to let it lead you through the day. The Finca is over 200 acres of pastures and forests that are calling you to wander, to discover them and, through them your Self and your connection to All That Is. And when you want to play, there’s creek beds to wade in, calves to feed, horses to ride, and so much more – all in unparalleled safety because this unique location has no dangerous predators, reptiles or insects.
I know, it sounds amazing! But you have questions and hopefully here you’ll find your answers.
When is it taking place?
February 16 – 20, 2019
Arrival is expected on February 15th, and departure on the 21st.
Where is it?
La Finca is a natural reserve about an hour northwest of Bogotá, on the central Andes range at an elevation of close to 9,000 feet. It consists of over 200 acres of forest and pastures and is a working dairy farm (but a far cry from industrial ag, seeking sustainable living that conserves native forests). It is part of a chain of natural areas that supports Bogotá’s main water sources. A recent scientific study carried out there revealed various new species of plants and amphibians. You can see a topographical map of the area here.
What’s a Spiritual Retreat?
A spiritual retreat takes place in a place and time outside regular daily life, where you can connect deeply with your Self, with Nature and the Mystery (you may call that God, the Divine, Life, or something else). Ideally, that means you come with a relatively clear sense of intention about what you want to experience or learn through the retreat (something I will help with before we even start out). A retreat is an invitation, and this one’s is to sit with real freedom and possibility- an invitation to step into a sacred and aligned “yes,” of listening for what truly feels right for you.
Who is participating?
Participants are up to 10 women of all ages, who are seeking a deep connection with Nature and themselves.
What’s the weather there?
La Finca is in the tropics, but high in the mountains. That means that it’s cool during the day, ranging between 55°F and 65°F– perfect wintering weather! At night, it can be cold, about 30°F, so coats and heavy blankets are preferred. It’s great weather for being active. But be prepared to be active in the rain, because there may be some of that, too!
What are the accommodations like?
The accommodations were not built with a retreat in mind. There are no private bathrooms and sleeping rooms are shared. There is insufficient free closet space, so you will probably be living out of your suitcase. It is essentially a rough experience, with some creature comforts.
The houses are comfortable for spending time indoors, with spacious public areas and large picture windows, but they are also very basic, without a central heating system other than the fireplace, no telephone connection and spotty Internet (plan to make this a basically unplugged experience, with just enough connection to let your loved ones know you arrived well). They do have electric lighting and running water. Hot water comes from small tanks, so long showers can run suddenly cold! If that is the case, there is always a porch or a terrace to warm up on with the noonday sun! To get a better sense of what they are like, watch the video on this page.
What will I do when I am there?
What you do each day depends on the intention that you bring, but in the overarching, mystical sense, the retreat is about practicing feeling into what is the aligned thing to do, as much as it is about being in and with nature. Nature is a great place of reflection, in the sense of mirroring ourselves but also of allowing deep awarenesses. Going on this retreat is an agreement to step into the willingness to be touched by Mystery: the interaction between your Self and Nature and the deeper mystery of your interconnectedness with All and who you really are.
In a physical sense, what you might be doing would look something like this:
Each day begins in silence with an opportunity to reconnect with your initial intention and adjust it for the new day. After breakfast and lunch, I will offer some guidance about an intentional activity that can deepen your experience of the agreement I just referenced. Some examples might be instructions for communing with a specific tree, seeking out birds, or creating something with natural materials.
But you are always free to choose something different, such as following a creek, wandering in the cloud forest, riding horseback, or staying in the houses by the fireplace. You could also participate in some of the daily work on La Finca, such as feeding the calves or going milking. Also, you may decide you want to be gone for the whole day, in which case you’d pack a lunch and take off.
Of course, there will be other participants at the retreat and there will be community time in the late afternoon and evenings, when people can share their reflections or plan for an outing together the next day.
On Sunday, if you want to go on a guided tour to Bogotá, breakfast will be on the road and you will visit the city center, museums, a restaurant for lunch, as well as a small town off the road to La Finca.
What does the fee cover?
All of the above is included in the $1,000 cost, as as well as transportation to and from the airport, a tour of the capital city, and tasty, nourishing meals for your enjoyment and learning. The vegetarian menu is specially created by Cristina Consuegra from ancestral recipes and local food sources, considering not only participants’ health and wellness, but also that of the land. That means three full meals and hearty snacks that are substantial enough to replace a meal if you choose to wander all day!
The tour of the capital city, Bogotá, includes a stop in a small town on the way, breakfast and lunch, and visits to world class museums. It is optional for participants at no additional cost, so you can choose whether you will do it or not as late as the day before.
The pricing is all-inclusive, so you don’t need to bring any extra money, other than for souvenirs or snacks at the airport. The only additional purchase you would need to make is your ticket to travel February 15th, 2019 to Bogotá and return home on February 21, 2019 (or, if you decide to arrive earlier or remain longer, make your own arrangements).
Is it safe?
La Finca is found in a beautiful, quiet part of Colombia, in the vicinity of the capital, where it is safe to visit. Still, it is important that you are aware that Colombia has been regarded a dangerous place, and in some difficult-to-reach areas still continues to be. Nonetheless, as I said earlier, the region where La Finca is located has been historically safe for locals as well as for foreigners. A travel warning issued by the State Department in June 2018 singles out specific areas of the country. La Finca is not located in any mentioned area (it is in Cundinamarca).
Some areas of Bogotá continue to be unsafe for unaware passersby who may be pickpocketed or robbed, as is the case in any other large, urban area. Colombia is a destination to enjoy, just bring the common sense you would need to travel anywhere! You can read the Lonely Planet’s glowing recommendation of Colombia in their on-line guide: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/colombia.
La Finca is located in the mountains, at an altitude of approximately 9000 feet. Most healthy people have no issues with the altitude, but some may be prone to altitude sickness, especially when coming from sea-level (Chicago is sea-level). If this is the case, you may require a day or so of not exerting yourself physically, in order for your body to acclimate to the altitude. If you have a history of circulatory or respiratory conditions, you should consult your doctor before signing up, but if you are healthy and moderately physically active, you should be fine.
Do I need a visa?
Not if you are traveling with a valid US Passport. For other nationalities, check here.
What about flights?
You need to purchase your own tickets for departure February 15, 2019 and return on February 21, 2019. When you are ready, I will make recommendations and give you more guidance on what to keep in mind as you are purchasing your tickets.
How long do I have to make my decision?
There is room for only 10 women can participate on this unparalleled retreat. That says it all! Above that, if you sign up before December 30, you will get a free follow-up coaching session to help you extend the gifts of the retreat into your regular life upon your return. (Plus, remember airfare gets more expensive as your travel date nears!)
Are you ready to gift yourself with an experience of freedom and the renewing power of nature?
Contact me and I will guide you through the next steps!