with Sonia Azad and Chelsey Charbeneau
July 15-22, 2018
If nature, science, or wildlife inspires you, there is no better place to be than the unparalleled Galapagos Islands. This 7 night, 8 day trip-of-a-lifetime includes naturalist-guided trips to the Charles Darwin station, Bartolome Island, and North Seymour Island. With a small, private group, enjoy kayaking on Tortuga Bay, snorkeling, swimming, a tour of the highlands (pit craters, lava tunnels, and a cloud forest), yoga classes, nature-inspired accommodations on Santa Cruz Island, and most meals. The star of this retreat is the rich biodiversity of the protected native wildlife, many of whom are unafraid of humans. Swim with sea lions and sharks, spot Galapagos penguins and flamingos, and watch the dance of marine iguanas and blue footed boobies on volcanic rocks. This truly unique UNESCO World Heritage Site offers the perfect melding of yoga and an unblemished example of a wild and natural world.
A little more about the Galapagos Islands:
Situated in the Pacific Ocean some 1,000 km from the South American continent, these 19 islands and the surrounding marine reserve have been called “a living museum and showcase of evolution.” Located at the confluence of three ocean currents, the Galapagos are a melting pot of marine species. Ongoing seismic and volcanic activity reflects the processes that formed the islands. These processes, together with the extreme isolation of the islands, led to the development of unusual animal life such as the land iguana, the giant tortoise, and the many types of finch that inspired Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution by natural selection following his visit in 1835. The Galapagos Islands are home to some of the highest levels of endemism (species found nowhere else on earth) than anywhere on the planet. About 80% of the land birds, 97% of the reptiles and land mammals, and more than 30% of the plants you will see are endemic. More than 20% of the marine species in Galapagos are found nowhere else on earth. Favorites include the giant Galapagos tortoise, marine iguana, flightless cormorant, and the Galapagos penguin—the only penguin species to be found in the Northern Hemisphere. To learn more about the islands, history, species, and conservation, visit The Galapagos Conservancy (www.galapagos.org).
More about our Itinerary:
Our trip will begin as we’ll meet in Baltra the the morning of Sunday, July 15th. Some will arrive via Guayguil, Ecuador, some via Quito, Ecuador. Some may need an overnight in one of these cities to hop the smaller plane to Baltra the morning of the 15th, and some may choose to spend an extra night or two in charming town of Quito. From Baltra, we will be transferred to our home away from home–Semilla Verde. You can review the excellent Trip Advisor Reviews of this property HERE.
Set in the highlands just 15 minutes from town, we’ll sleep like babies listening to the birds in the morning and watching the giant tortoises that roam the property. Semilla Verde is private, quiet, and fully equipped with a beautiful yoga room and terraces with views to the coast. Each morning, we’ll enjoy breakfast together and then begin our daily explorations!
Some places we’ll visit:
A day trip to Bartolome Island, the crown jewel of Galapagos. Some features include Pinnacle Rock, crescent beaches, Galapagos penguins, white tipped reef sharks, sea turtles, guided snorkeling, and hiking. Lunch is served on board our tour boat, and we’ll return to Semilla Verde for evening yoga and dinner.
A day trip to North Seymour Island, where we might see great frigate birds, blue-footed boobies, land iguanas, sea lions during our guided snorkeling and naturalist-guided hiking excursions.
An excursion to Tortuga Bay where we can kayak, snorkel, and hang out with the marine iguanas.
The Charles Darwin Station Lunch in Puerto Ayora where we have the option to shop for souvenirs, visit the Chi Spa, and have drink in the red mangrove patio with the iguanas and sea lions.
A Santa Cruz highland tour where we can explore the lava tunnels, a cloud forest, and Los Gamelos (two giant craters that were formed when the magma chamber underground emptied and the land caved in).
A morning at Garrapatero Beach for snorkeling, swimming, exploring, beach yoga, and relaxing.
A visit to the South Plazas Islands, home to one of the largest sea lion colonies in Galapagos as well as red-billed tropical birds, swallow-tailed gulls, and more endemic wildlife. We’ll have some morning yoga, evening yoga, and beach meditations depending on the day’s itinerary.
Travel, Additional Information, and FAQ’s
Your final destination airport on the Galapagos Islands is Baltra (GPS). All flights stop on mainland Ecuador before arriving on the islands. This necessary stop will include an additional baggage screening with SICGAL (which will cost $10 US in cash) to ensure that any food or animals that may be of danger to the Galapagos ecosystem stay well away from the islands. After the screening, your bags will be zip-tied locked and you will be allowed to check in for your final flight to Galapagos.
Depending on your origination location, you may be required (due to airline routing/timing) to stay a night in either Guayaquil (GYE) or Quito (UIO). If you have extra time we recommend an extended stop in Quito to stroll around and explore this colonial South American gem. If your time is limited, you are better off flying into Guayaquil just for the evening. Guayaquil is closer to the islands but does not have the easy charm of Quito.
If you arrive into Guayaquil late we recommend the Holiday Inn or Mariott at the Guayaquil airport. It is only a few minutes travel from your terminal. There are only a few flights from Quito and Guayaquil to the islands per day. LAN and Tame will get you where you need to go and any of their flight times to the islands are open and OK to book. These flights can be booked on most travel booking sites.
A more detailed document was created for this group about booking travel CLICK HERE.
All yogis will be met at the Baltra airport and escorted to a short boat taxi ride across the channel to Santa Cruz Island and a private taxi ride from the desert to the highlands where you will soon be nestled in your home for the week.
The Ins and Outs:
Ecuador and the islands may seem worlds away, and will absolutely feel like that when you arrive, but there are a few ease-of-travel things that we want you to know. Ecuador and the islands use the US dollar, so for many of us, no money-changing is necessary. There are ATMs in the airports in Ecuador and Puerto Ayora on the islands, but we do recommend that you bring about $300 in cash. There is a fee required to enter the Galapagos National Park. Once you disembark at Baltra you will go through a combination passport control/park fee collection point. You must pay the fee, which is $100 US on you in cash when you arrive on the islands. There is no visa needed for US citizens to visit Ecudaor. You simply need to ensure that your passport is valid for at least 6 months from your date of arrival. Citizens of all other countries should check with their consulates as to their visa requirements, if any.
What to Pack:
Dress is casual on the islands so there is little stress packing. You’ll spend the majority of your time either in the yoga studio or out adventuring on the islands, so your best bet is clothing that you can layer, sweat in, and hang dry quickly.
A few packing suggestions:
- Light rain jacket
- Lightweight layers for sun protection
- Yoga clothes (and more yoga clothes)
- Sturdy walking shoes
- Travel binoculars (if you want them!)
- Small backpack for day trips
- Water bottle
- Bathing suit
- Snorkeling gear (gear is provided by the boat so this is only if you don’t want to use shared equipment)
- Did we mention sunscreen?
The Galapagos Islands are equatorial so the sun can be VERY strong and you can catch rays even on cloudy, rainy days (very sneaky). Be sure to pack a hat, strong sunscreen, long layering pieces that offer sun protection, and a bottle of aloe, just in case you missed a spot.
Your Teacher & Guide
An Emmy-award winning journalist, Sonia is a Dallas-based health & wellness television reporter for ABC-affiliate WFAA.
Additionally, Sonia is a certified yoga instructor who has been practicing for more than 15 years. Her introduction came during her time in the dance department at The University of Texas at Austin. Since then, Sonia has experienced various disciplines of yoga around the world—from Nicaragua, to France, Mexico and The Netherlands. Most recently, Sonia led a New Year’s retreat with One Yoga Global to North Iceland.
Sonia’s passion is guiding beginners through their discovery of movement. A trained dancer and marathon runner, Sonia’s gentle, alignment-based Vinyasa flow classes are the perfect cross-training grounds for athletes who may just be stepping into yoga classes for the first time. Her classes are designed not to further aggravate the body, but instead to foster grounds for healing and opening — in the body and the mind. She believes that through a consistent practice, students can translate the gifts discovered on the mat into living with more presence, patience, gratitude and courage off the mat.
Sonia holds advanced degrees from Northwestern University’s law school and Medill School of Journalism. She has merged her love of healthy living, adventure travel, yoga & storytelling to offer a dynamic and mindful series of classes for this retreat.
Chelsey is a certified yoga therapist with The International Association of Yoga Therapists and an experienced registered yoga teacher and continuing education provider with the national Yoga Alliance. She is certified in Thai yoga massage therapy and trained in prenatal yoga. Chelsey has shared her expertise at a physical rehabilitation center in Beverly Hills, with doctors at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center, Methodist Hospital, Medical City, and The Brain Performance Institute. She has helped to treat and manage many medical conditions and ailments such as chronic back and neck pain, headaches, heart conditions, anxiety, stress, rheumatoid issues, auto immune diseases, TBI’s and more.
Chelsey’s expertise has garnered her a web series with Marta Kauffman and appearances on FOX, NBC, WFAA, and Eye Opener Television. Her work has been circulated globally and she continues to lead teacher trainings, workshops, and seminars nationwide. Chelsey’s teachings have impacted lives from children to seniors, homeless to celebrities, trauma victims to veterans. With a deep commitment to science-driven health, her goal is always to provide an experience that is nurturing, personal, and safe.
There are 16 double occupancy spots available on this vacation. Each room has 1 or 2 beds and private bath. We will be staying at Semilla Verde. Click here to see the excellent Trip Advisor reviews of this property.
Prices are based on double occupancy.
Sky View Room – RESERVED
Ocean View Room – in the main building, top floor. Queen bed, large bath & private terrace. RESERVED
Forrest View Room – Main Building mid level, private terrace and great views. Queen bed plus twin can be added – RESERVED
Sunset Room – in the new Finch wing, a lovely room with terrace and a King or 2 twin beds – RESERVED
Sunrise Room – in the new Finch wing, a lovely room with terrace and 2 twin beds – RESERVED
Tortoise Pond (upstairs) – Main building room with 2 beds – RESERVED
Tortoise Pond (downstairs) – Downstairs room with 2 beds –RESERVED
Plantation View – AVAILABLE
Garden View Room – RESERVED
If you are interested in joining, please email firstname.lastname@example.org
- Accommodation on Santa Cruz Island, Galapagos
- Yoga most days (at teacher’s discretion on cruising adventure days)
- Three meals a day
- Naturalist-accompanied visit to the Charles Darwin Station
- Naturalist-accompanied day trips to Bartolomé, South Plazas, and North Seymour Islands
- Snorkeling and swimming on all day excursions
- Two dinners in Puerto Ayora
- Naturalist accompanied highland tour (pit craters, lava tunnels, and cloud forest, and wild tortoises)
- Sunrise yoga/meditation on the beach followed by a beach breakfast
- Kayaking on Tortuga Bay, with 12 acres of private walking paths to explore
- Evening fire pit and unlimited southern hemisphere star gazing
- Transfers to and from the airport (on arrival and departure days only)
What’s Not Included:
- Flights to Baltra, Ecuador (GPS)
- $10 US SICGAL inspection and migration card
- $100 US Galapagos National Park entrance fee (cash only)
- Alcohol or items of a personal nature / souvenirs
- Gratuities (at your discretion)
- Travel Insurance (recommended)
Refunds and Cancellations: Refund less deposit ($695) before January 15, 2018. No refunds after January 15, 2018. In case of cancellation, you may transfer your deposit or your reservation to another person as long as you notify One Yoga Global 21+ days in advance. Due to arrangements made with our vacation hosts, there can be no exceptions to this policy.
If you place a deposit, the balance due will be set to charge in equal installments starting the month after deposit through April, 2018, unless other arrangements are made.
In the unlikely case of cancellation by One Yoga Global due to insufficient enrollment or logistical problems (acts of God, war, strikes, etc.) that may impede trip operations, please refer to the policies outlined in the more detailed application and liability waiver provided upon reservation. Participants will be required to sign the application and liability waiver to participate on this trip.
We HIGHLY recommend that you consider purchasing Travel Insurance. Travel insurance companies like TRAVEL GUARD offer policies that insure your investment in case you need to cancel (including “cancel for any reason” coverages), coverages for expenses incurred due to to weather & travel delays, personal property loss and emergency travel medical. Please review policies carefully to choose the coverage you need.