ALL PRACTICAL INFO
Kindly, contact us directly if you have any questions about the retreat. Or for any of the following inquiries:
You would like to make a payment plan to spread the costs.
Questions about travel & advice on best flight routes to the destination.
A welcoming pack email will be sent to you once you book your place, with all the relevant information to know, so that you can have it by hand and prepare with time.
The retreat will be hosted on the north coast of the Dominican Republic, in a small fishing town called El Valle. The Lodge is just 50 meters away from El Valle Beach. The water temperature is just perfect to swim and do snorkel. The closest biggest city is an hour's drive. Keep in mind that we will be very much in contact with wild naked nature, away from pollution, cars, and big crowds. It is important that you bring your travel insurance. It is your responsibility. There are other Hostels and Lodges in the area that share the same principles as El Valle EcoLodge; which is to emphasize, care and promote the unspoiled virgin nature of the place, and the people that live there.
The wildlife of the Caribbean is mostly harmless, yet you may encounter tropical insects (mosquitos), beach dogs, birds, lizards, and small spiders. The Lodge itself has friendly cats and dogs running around freely. All the rooms are equipped with mosquito nets. But mosquitoes are a big part of life in the Dominican Republic, so we strongly recommend bringing mosquito repellent.
TRAVEL & FLIGHTS
There are different options for traveling to the DR from Europe. Sometimes connections are made through Germany, France or Spain, and also the USA. Please check your VISA requirements and rules, and also if you have a transfer in different countries. Europeans don’t need a visa to visit the DR, but they need to pay €10 (valid for 90 days) which most of the time is deducted when you buy your flight ticket, or is to be paid at the airport.
*** No flights nor insurances are included in the price of the retreat, this will need to be arranged and paid for yourself in addition to the retreat price.
*** It is your responsibility to check with your country of origin or your doctor if you need vaccines for traveling to the Caribbean.
AIRPORTS IN THE DR
There are several airports in the Dominican Republic, but we recommend arriving either to the main one called AILA (SDQ) in Santo Domingo city or to El Catey airport in Samana.
From the SDQ airport to the hotel is like 3.5 hrs by car, and from El Catey airport is approx. 1 hour. Transfers can be arranged as soon as we have the whole overview of who is coming and time slots. In that way, you’ll share the cost with other guests arriving at similar times. There is a possibility for public transportation but we strongly recommend sharing a cab due to Covid-19 restrictions and security. Nonehteless you’re welcome to contact us and we can guide you through if you wish to use public transport. The price for a cab ranges from EUR 100-180 to be shared between several participants.
The temperature on the island averages around 280C during the day and 22-250C at night during wintertime. There aren’t changing seasons, but there can be some rain showers during that time of the year, although they vanish very quickly and the sun shines strongly afterward. Luckily, hurricane season is not happening during wintertime. The temperature can be humid therefore making it feel a bit hotter. Nonetheless, close to the sea is different and there is always a nice breeze cooling the air. There are fans in all the cabins, but Jan-march has the best temperature on the island, and the evenings are mostly chill.
WHAT TO BRING
Mosquito repellent, sunscreen, swimsuit, long-sleeved sweater or top and trousers for protection from mosquitos during yoga & meditation. Your yoga mat and comfortable clothes to move. Tennis shoes to walk in the forest and sometimes in the mud. Flip flops, shorts, and light tank tops. A sweater or light scarf for the evenings. You should bring comfortable clothes to do yoga, short and long leggings, and light tops.
IMPORTANT TO REMEMBER
Repellent, sunscreen, sunglasses, beach towel, flashlight, cash (you can withdraw from ATMs at the airport or the closest city. Fees apply, there is also a limit of what you can withdraw per day, depending on your credit or debit card. Check with your bank), reusable water bottle, chargers, and plug converters.
MOVEMENT & ACTIVITIES
We will be moving through yoga and dance mostly every day, but you don’t need to be a yoga practitioner to join this retreat. Having some knowledge, however, can be very useful. We recommend that you join some vinyasa, yin, or any style yoga classes before the retreat. Let us know when you book your place what yoga experience you have and if you have special needs. You are responsible for setting and knowing your boundaries, and it is up to you how much you’d like to give in each of the sessions. The aim is that you know yourself and that you adapt what we do to your own body, mind, and soul.
We will be active not only while we do yoga but also while we go on adventures to explore the nature around. Activities include taking boats to reach virgin beaches where access is only through water, so we expect that you know how to swim although life vests will be distributed during these journeys.
You are most welcome to join this retreat even if you don’t wish to do any yoga at all, nonetheless reach out to us to talk.
The check-in at the hotel is on the 11th at noon. Unfortunately, before that, we are not able to accommodate you. You are welcome to book your accommodation before the start of the retreat either at the same Hotel or other hotels that are located in the area, or other cities along the north coast. You are also welcome to stay a few more days afterward. If you need recommendations reach out to us and we can gladly assist you.
There is wifi at the hotel although we strongly encourage using only when necessary. One of the aims of our retreat is to unplug from virtual life and connect with real-life and nature.
We will make a private Facebook or WhatsApp group closer to the time of the retreat to coordinate and discuss matters such as transportation, logistics, how to arrive, etc.
We are following up closely with the Covid-19 situation around the world. And we want to ensure safety and trust regarding your health and the health of others. Although the place where the retreat will be hosted is far away from the big cities and has been very low with COVID-19 infections, we want to ensure and emphasize our safety and mutual respect towards each other and the community. Therefore we are going to be following these guidelines:
-2 meters distance while doing physical activities such as yoga, dance, movement, or meditation.
- avoid physical contact, for example, hugs, kisses, handshakes.
- sneeze or cough on your elbow.
- please do not show up if you during the last 14 days have been in contact with a person contaminated with COVID-19, or if you have been contaminated. Contact us to discuss, if this is the case.