gaia sagrada spiritual retreat center spiritual retreat center

gaia sagrada


When the going gets tough, sit down and look at the clouds, stars or nature in general, and you will feel better able to handle the more difficult moments in life.


gaia sagrada


Being a spiritual seeker is an illusion. You are already whole, already a master, and all you have to do is drop the self identification as a struggling human. Be the master you already are.


gaia sagrada


What To Bring
In order to make sure your stay at Gaia Sagrada is perfect, here are some suggestions on what to bring and what not to bring.

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  • sunscreen
  • sunglasses
  • wide brimmed hat - to keep the strong Ecuadorian sun off your face and neck
  • T-shirts
  • shorts
  • pants
  • sweater
  • VERY warm jacket for chilly Andes mountain nights
  • 7 changes of clothes (laundry available once per week)
  • flashlight - hand cranked or solar types are best, no battery-run flashlights please unless they are rechargeable batteries and you bring your own charger. We cannot charge batteries for you.
  • rechargeable batteries & charger
  • Clip on light or headlamp for reading books at night when your roomate is asleep
  • flip flops or sandals to wear in shower, sauna and around hot tubs
  • bathrobe for bathrooms, showers and spa facilities
  • Sarong or wrap for entering sweat lodge
  • sturdy shoes with good tread for hiking & dirt walking paths
  • MP3 player (for listening to meditations, music, or talks)
  • flash drive - if you need to transfer files from your laptop to another computer or vice versa
  • alarm clock
  • medicines you need for as long as you need them. You might not be able to get everything here in Ecuador, and if it's a prescription you would have to pay a doctor to prescribe it for you, IF he or she would be willing to without a full on physical check up process. If you can't get enough for your stay, try bringing your prescription, although that is iffy as to whether it will work or not.
  • Vitamins & Supplements - there are very few places, if any, to get organic non-commercial vitamins or supplements in Ecuador. There is not the selection you might be used to. Occasionally there is something organic, but it is not dependable in any sense of the word.
  • umbrella / raincoat - or you can buy that in Ecuador if you want to save room in your suitcase
  • books if you like to read (there are not a lot of sources for English books in Ecuador)
  • notebook and pen for exercises, journaling, and notes during workshops
  • bio-degradable soap, shampoo and natural toothpaste
  • camera - lots of cool stuff to take pictures or video of! Cameras and recording devices are not allowed in meetings though
  • laptop or netbook - if you need to transfer documents for hi speed access in the city, bring flash drive with you so you can transfer documents to the local computers in the city
  • bandanna, hair bands - especially work exchangers who work in the kitchen, it is required
  • bug spray - there are very few mosquitos, but once in a while it is needed, especially if you travel to the coastal or jungle parts of Ecuador. Lemon / eucalyptus oil is a good natural choice
  • spending money for day trips, excursions and shopping for souvenirs
  • towels & wash cloth, or use ours with $25 deposit fee (so we don't lose all our towels, sorry!)
  • yoga mat - good yoga mats are hard to find in Ecuador (We would love to buy your yoga mat from you when you leave if it isn't too expensive. Of course we accept donations too!)
  • chair back or back jack - for sitting on the floor comfortably with your back supported. Chair backs and back jacks are not available in Ecuador. (If you bring one, we would love to buy it from you when you leave if it isn't too expensive. Of course we accept donations too!)
  • ear plugs - in case someone snores
  • day pack, duffel bag, or shoulder bag - for carrying around your notebook, raincoat, umbrella, water, or whatever else you might want to take from your room
  • musical instrument - we have lots of spontaneous music by the campfires, so bring your guitar, drum, flute or other musical instruments if you want to have some campfire fun! We also have talent nights where people share their songs and poetry.
  • $500 for medical emergencies - no insurance will work here from your home country

Layers is the best strategy for clothing since the climate ranges in temperature from hot T-shirt weather to cold mountain evenings where you need a very warm jacket and long pants.

Bring Extra Money for...

  • tourist attractions in Cuenca and Ecuador
  • occasional specialty snacks or drinks at Gaia Sagrada
  • health and healing services from massage therapists, spiritual counselors, or alternative healers
  • souvenirs

ATM, Credit Cards, Travelers Checks and CASH

  • Your ATM card might not work here, so make sure you have enough money until you get it clear with your bank that it is you trying to withdraw money from the bank. Even telling your bank ahead of time that you are coming to Ecuador and will be using your ATM card doesn't always work and you might have to work out some glitches with your bank.
  • Travelers checks don't cash that easily without a 20 day wait if you can even find a place to cash them. It takes depositing them in an account to clear them, and it will be work to open a bank account just for that.
  • Credit cards don't work in many places and have high overseas fees if they do work. Only at expensive tourist hotels and locations will credit cards work.
  • Cash is King in Ecuador! You will need to have cash with you (called effectivo in Spanish). It is still a very cash driven society in this country.
  • Bring small bills with you because large bills above $10's are hard to change. Do NOT bring $50's or $100's with you unless you are staying for a long time and need to bring a lot (you are limited to $10,000 at the airport), as they are hard to turn into smaller bills unless you are a customer at a bank. The banks are reluctant to accept $50's and $100's without an account holder they can hold responsible if the bills turn out to be counterfeit, which there has been trouble with that in Ecuador. If you have to bring large bills or a lot of money, no larger than $20's is best.


What NOT to bring

NO disposable batteries: Disposing of batteries properly in Ecuador is very difficult. Bring solar powered, hand cranked or rechargeable battery flashlights with you. We cannot charge batteries for you so if you bring rechargeable batteries bring your charger that you can plug into the wall. Ecuador uses the same electricity that the USA does, so no adapters are needed if you are using USA electronics.

We must take care of our Mother Earth, and supporting antiquated ways of doing things is something we must do our best to avoid. We must do the smaller things that we can do in order to change the world. Refraining from using disposable batteries in a country where they cannot be refurbished or recharged is a good start in changing the world! Let's all do our part.

Cell Phone: Your cell phone is unlikely to work in Ecuador. You might want to check with your carrier to find out if your cell phone will work here. Sometimes they do, sometimes they don't. It depends on the technology of the phone and if it matches the same technology as cell towers here. However, it can be as much as $3 a minute with your cell phone carrier in your home country, so you are better off using Ecuador's cheaper methods of calling your home country.

If you want to have a cell phone for communicating with people in Ecuador, which many travelers do, you can buy a cheap cellular here for $40 - $50 and a phone number chip for $20. Then you buy minutes (saldo) and make your calls as you need them. You can even call overseas on these phones fairly inexpensively, and your loved ones will be able to call you too on an Ecuador cell phone. It will be cheaper for you than using your own phone from your country, most likely. When you leave Ecuador, you may be able to sell your phone and number chip to another incoming traveler, but no guarantees.

Phone calls to other countries are not expensive here in Ecuador. We have internet available at Gaia Sagrada so you can keep in touch by email, and if there is enough bandwidth you can make a skype call. If you want to call home to your country you can do so for a small fee from our lines at Gaia Sagrada or from internet and telephone cafes which are all over Ecuador.

Pets: There is no accommodation for pets.

High heeled shoes or fancy clothes: There will be absolutely nowhere you can walk to in high heeled shoes at Gaia Sagrada! Fancy clothing that needs to be dry cleaned is impractical. Gaia Sagrada is not fine dining or elegant dressing. This is more like camp for adults. You are getting close to nature here!

Other Information


Deposits for towels or books until returned

If you bring your own towel, you can avoid the $25 deposit fee. (You get your $25 deposit fee back when you give us our towel and washcloth upon leaving Gaia Sagrada.)

Unfortunately, hotels, resorts and retreat centers lose millions of dollars worth of towels per year, and we cannot afford to foot the bill for all the towels that go missing after retreats. We are sorry that we had to adopt this rule in order to keep the prices low at Gaia Sagrada, but quality towels in Ecuador are very expensive.

If you want to donate your towel to Gaia Sagrada, bring a used towel you don't care too much about and we would be grateful if you left it with us!

Donating Your Books?

If you bring English language books, bring some you might want to donate and leave behind, as there are not many places to buy English books in Ecuador, especially spiritually focused ones. Please feel free to bring a donation of a book or two for our library at Gaia Sagrada so that future visitors will have more choices in our reading room. Spanish language books are welcome as well. Unfortunately we cannot buy your books, but if you care to leave one or two, feel free. It would go to a good cause in our reading library that retreatants can enjoy.

There is a $25 deposit fee for checking out books from our library, but you receive it back upon returning all books you borrowed from our library. Borrowing books is free during your stay here at Gaia Sagrada.



Awaken now. You don't have to attain enlightenment. It is already yours. Simply awaken to the truth of who you are.


gaia sagrada


Peace is your natural state. To return to your natural state, stop the mind and be still. Only focus on what is in front of you in every moment.


gaia sagrada


You are a human be-ing. Be a human to the fullest potential that you can be. The purpose of life is to experience the beauty of being alive.


gaia sagrada


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