Creative Escape Trip
An immersive women’s+ retreat to reconnect with your creative side—
- 7 days, 6 nights
- 4 nights at the Lago de San Pablo Villa, outside of Otavalo
- 2 nights at a bed and breakfast, in the Intag Cloudforest
- All Food: Three meals a day
- All transportation during the trip
- Make Your Own Hat Workshop (hat included)
- Make Your Own Leather Wallet Workshop (wallet included)
- Natural Dye Workshop
- Payment to our artisan partners
- Creativity focused journaling exercises and reflection
- Yoga & meditation
- Trip Insurance
$2500 all inclusive*
- Want to share a bed for a discount? ($150 off/person) depending on availability
- Apply for our inclusivity scholarship for a $500 discount
The Mission: Remember arts & crafts time as a kid? Finger painting? Choreographing your own dance moves? When was the last time you created something just for the heck of it? No end goal or competition, just enjoyment. Been a while? We hear you. Life is BUSY and finger painting doesn’t always take priority over work, dishes and exercise...
We believe creativity is one of our most precious resources. And good news— We’ve all got it. We just need the space and a bit of inspiration to let our creative spirits run free. Our trips are designed to remove you from your day-to-day routine and get your hands dirty. Pick up a hammer, crush some fruits for a natural dye, hand shape + design your own wool hat. There is incredible joy in creating this way. Unblocking our creativity allows us to show up more authentically in all the other corners of our lives.
This isn’t just a retreat. It’s a deep dive into tradition, connection to the earth and the far reaching impacts of sustainable craftsmanship. A unique opportunity to gather as a small group and enjoy the infinite possibilities of creativity and empowerment that come from new experiences with like-minded women.
100 out of 10 would recommend this trip to any woman looking to leave behind the trials and tribulations of every day life, and embrace a slower yet remarkably deliberate lifestyle. This was a 7 day therapy session, and EVERYTHING I needed and more. I was amazed and grateful to spend my days with such powerful and strong women, all of whom I grew to care deeply for in such a short time."
All week I felt like I was looking into a mirror that showed me parts of my deep self that I was not expecting to come across on a 'creative retreat.' I learned where I thrive and where I struggle, and how this is so deeply interwoven into my everyday life. To learn from a culture and society so drastically different from where most of us come from is a lifelong gift I will never forget. Thank you for curating the PERFECT trip."
Step into our favorite corner of the world...
Intag Region of Northern Ecuador! This is one of the world’s most bio diverse ecosystems. Rich rainforest, fertile farmland and thousands of plants and animals. Mostly farmers, artisans and indigenous communities live in this remote paradise. Days begin with birds chirping, afternoon sun and a thick blanket of clouds that linger along the mountain tops.
We'll also be spending time outside of the indigenous cities, Otavalo, Cotachochi and Lago de San Pablo all nestled between gorgeous mountain views and home to friendly locals.
A lil bit a city, lots of nature.
- Lago de San Pablo Villa (4 nights) - Close to a local, mountain village and just 15 minutes from the famous Otavalo market town. This space has lush gardens, beautiful views, a walking labyrinth and fireplace.
- A quaint Bed & Breakfast (2 nights) - A cute and quaint place that's deep within the Intag Cloudforest and set right on the river. This B&B supports tropical conservation education and surrounded by all the local flora and fauna.
It’s all about the process! Meet our makers and learn to create handcrafted goods from the experts themselves.
Make Your Own Wallet - An afternoon visit to our leathersmith’s home studio for a tour, wallet workshop and conversation surrounding the impacts of leather. And of course, an afternoon coffee.
Make Your Own Hat - We’ll stop by our fifth-generation hat partner’s home to understand how hats are made and to make one for ourselves.
Natural Dying - We’ll spend a few hours hanging out and working alongside our artisan partners to create our own batch of natural dyes. BYOT (bring your own t-shirt or fabric!)
Understand Our Process - You might have seen how much work goes into our plant-fiber bags; We’ll join our artisan partners on the cactus farm (with beautiful views!) to see how we create cabuya, the cactus fiber we use in our bags.
We’re divin’ in externally and internally
- Yoga, Meditation or Breathwork
- Journaling & Writing Prompts
- Waterfall Hike
- Hands-on Workshops
- Visit to the Famous Otavalo Market
Are you drooling? We’re drooling.
All meals are included! Some of the time we’ll be cooking from home with our private chef and other times we’ll be hitting the town for some local eats. Let us know if you have any dietary preferences or restrictions and we can accommodate.
Who are you people?
Emily Rathmanner - Emily spent 4 years solo traveling before she landed in Ecuador, connected with our artisan partners and started Minga. She is our connection to the local communities and street corn hook-ups. Learn more here.
Marlee Newman - For the past 7 years, Marlee has been designing and leading biking and hiking trips for Backroads all over the world. She’s led service trips through East Africa, studied yoga in India and is a certified breathwork facilitator Her superpowers are leaning into "type two fun" and sniffing out the best bakery in any city.
- Do I have to be an artist?
- No! To us, creativity is all about following your curiosities and experimenting. Whether this is crafting a delicious meal, provoking vulnerable conversations or painting a masterpiece… you, my friend, are a creative ;)
- Is everything included in the price?
- Yes m’am! Everything except alcohol, trip insurance and your flight out here.
- How many girls will be on the trip?
- We are keeping our group to 9 guests to create a more intimate, small group experience.
- Will you be offering any scholarships or discounts for people coming from Ecuador?
- Yes, we will be offering 1-2 $500 scholarships for those who identify as BIPOC or come from Ecuador descent. Please Apply Here.
- Will I have my own room?
- No. We stay in an adobe home which gives us the space to connect through family meals and hangouts — with this comes shared sleeping quarters + shared bathrooms. There is one opportunity to share a King bed with a pal for a $250 discount. All other rooms are shared between 2-3 people.
- Can I pay incrementally?
- Yes, we are offering a payment plan or you may pay in full.
- What's the closest airport to fly in and out of?
- Quito is the closest airport, about 1 hour from Otavalo.
- Do I need travel insurance?
- Yes, we require that all participants are signed up for travel insurance that covers personal injury, medical expenses and emergency evacuation expenses. Travel insurance typically costs between $50-$100 USD. We recommend the following options: World Nomads, USI or Allianz.
- Do you offer refunds?
- No, we do not, but you can always put the trip towards your friends' stay.
Have more questions?
THANKS TO OUR SPONSORS