It's not a cliché to say that a Caribbean retreat yoga vacation is a small bit of paradise. Many Caribbean vacation spots specialize in decadent relaxation, granting visitors the luxury to focus simply on regaining wellness.
Planning Your Trip
Not all travelers consider "vacation" in the same way. Many people like to be active, try new things, and do a lot of sightseeing. Others won't move from the beach or cabana for five straight days.
Decide on your needs before selecting a Caribbean retreat yoga vacation.
- Do you want a yoga retreat to be an intensive workshop, or just have classes available on-site?
- Are you interested in attending other types of wellness or holistic programs?
- Will the lodging need to accommodate a special diet?
- Is this a minimalistic vacation centered exclusively on improving your yoga routine?
- Would you like to have the option of planned excursions or individual sightseeing?
- Do you want plush accommodations or are you interested in more down-to-earth living?
- Will an all-inclusive resort take the guesswork out of your stay?
Once you have a better idea of the type of getaway you desire, you can narrow down the locales. Popular Caribbean destinations include Aruba, the Bahamas, Barbados, Cancun, Curacao, the Cayman Islands, Jamaica, Martinique, Puerto Rico, St. Lucia, St. Maarten, St. Thomas, and the U.S. Virgin Islands.
Caribbean Retreat Yoga Vacation Possibilities
A popular Caribbean retreat yoga vacation is the Sivananda Ashram Yoga Retreat in Nassau, Bahamas. It is a mecca for specialized workshops, advanced yoga and meditation study, lessons in Ayurveda, and festivals. But a new yogi will also enjoy escaping to the ashram for a simple vacation steeped in yoga practice, detoxification, and vegetarian fare. Accommodations are simple, with shared bathroom facilities. Prices vary by time of the year, and include meals and yoga classes. Visit the website for rate information.
Samasati Nature Retreat is a delightful respite for anyone, but especially for yogis. The center offers seven-day yoga retreats, with twice-daily yoga practice, inclusive meals and additional excursions to the beach, through the jungle canopy, waterfall treks, and more. Accommodations vary between private bungalows and shared guesthouses. Visit the website for various package and pricing details.
For a no-thought, all-inclusive escape, try Strawberry Hill Resort. Twice in the fall, the resort offers a six-night yoga and fitness package. Certified instructors host yoga courses in a variety of natural settings, and many spa services are available. In addition to offering "New Jamaican" cuisine, the resort offers Aveda's Elemental Preferences on the menu for those who follow that plan. Accommodations range from studios to villas, and all are in the lush Blue Mountains. Rates vary considerably based on accommodations and meal plan, so review the website for more information.
The Casa Grande Mountain Retreat is a tropical yoga getaway two hours away from San Juan. It has a certified yoga instructor on-staff to lead individual or group practice, private cabins, and numerous attractions nearby. At press time, the retreat is also offering a work program exchange for people skilled in massage therapy, gardening, and vegetarian cooking. There are nightly stay rates and meal/accommodation packages.
The Caribbean Minute is Longer
You will be treated with the utmost courtesy throughout most of the Caribbean. However, remember that the island culture is not a "rush-rush, go-go" atmosphere. While you may request something right now, it may take longer than that before you get it. This is often referred to as the "Caribbean Minute."
To avoid jumping back into the stress zone you've worked so hard to release on your trip, remember the following:
- Plan ahead for airport transfers and allow additional time for luggage check-in.
- Make reservations for special restaurants and activities.
- When asking for assistance from resort staff, remember that you are not the only guest with a request. Or that it may be lunchtime.
- If you have very special requests, such as meal or room requirements, arrange everything in advance with management prior to your arrival.
Changes in Travel to the Caribbean
If you are a U.S. citizen preparing for your Caribbean retreat yoga vacation, don't forget to pack your passport. Security regulations require any American visitors to the Caribbean must have a valid U.S. passport for reentry into the United States as proof of identity and citizenship.
This has been a graduated rule since 2005, with travelers allowed to show a valid U.S. driver's license and birth certificate in most cases for crossing borders by air. However, as of January 31, 2008, a U.S. passport is the preferred option for crossing all borders: land, sea, and air.
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