The Caribbean Coast of Colombia overflows with contagious RHYTHM and deep ROOTS. What makes this slice of the coast so unique from the majority of Latin countries, is its dazzling mix of people, not only are they of indigenous and Hispanic, but African descent. These diverse roots, along with the landscape, have played a major role in composing unparalleled flavors of rhythm in the region. In Cartagena, a city with a kaleidoscope of colors and old world charm, the nature of Colombian culture is felt pulsing through the steamy streets. And the waves of the sea, which flow right up to the city’s edges, seem to inform it. It’s energetic, chaotic, expressive, passionate – all seemingly ordered within a slower pace of life. Bougainvilleas cascade over balconies and carts of coconuts roll through swells of folks talking, shopping, singing, eating, LIVING. The locals possess a zest of life, and the city never seems to sleep. Beats booming & live music playing in the streets create the conditions for the surge of sensual dance. Salsa, cumbia, vallenato, champeta, & reggaeton, to name a few, is what bring the people together – both music and dance are a large part of Colombia’s national identity.
Palomino, by contrast, is a retreat from the raucous rhythm and heavy heat of Cartagena. This seaside town, hugged by two rivers at the foot of the Sierra Nevadas, the tallest coastal mountain range in the world, is blessed with a special cadence. It’s said that the first rhythm we are introduced to is our mother’s heartbeat, and journeying to this sacred land, named the “The Heart of the World” by the tribes who dwell there, feels like a pilgrimage to reconnect with Mother Nature’s heartbeat. The deeply rooted spiritual power of these indigenous tribes, the Kogi & Arhuaco, who have lived there for over 500 years, has preserved a purity and created an energy that soothes the soul and slows down the pulse to the pace of nature. The rhythm of the rough & wild ocean has saved this portion of the coast from Western development, and so on the beach it often feels like it’s just you and the natural world. However, within the town, although only holding 4,000 people, the relentless pulse of Colombian culture can be felt: from the fruits and wares hanging in the open-air markets that seem to dance to the pumping beats to the eateries that lure hungry mouths in with meats, empanadas and arepas (Colombian version of tortillas!) being grilled on the streets.
Release yourself from winter’s chill with us and allow your senses to dance to the rhythm of another world. Open yourself to the teachings of the ocean’s waves and let your body root down into sun-soaked or moon-lit beaches. Learn to listen with your whole body while exotic melodies entice you to move your feet and shake your hips.This retreat creates the space for you to connect your heartbeat to the heartbeat of another culture and to align your nature with that of Mother Nature. Through an exploration of various forms of yoga, meditation, movement, music, dance and landscapes, you’ll have an opportunity to: discover the diverse amount of rhythms within you, and to open to your own creative self-expression, and ultimately freedom!
La Sirena, meaning “the mermaid”, is a small rustic eco-hotel owned by a Colombian woman within a coconut forest on a stunning semi-private beach on the Caribbean Sea. An answer to the call of the indigenous for the unification and restoration of Mother Earth, La Sirena is also a project which maintains the principles of permaculture. It is a sacred space that seeks to engage in community programs, works to reforest areas of the property, and cares for an on-site plantation full of fruit trees and vegetable gardens. The water from the tap is delicious & drinkable as it is sourced from the pristine mountains. The cabanas were designed with indigenous building techniques in mind and made with local, natural materials. The insides are sweet & simple and feel as if they are breathing in and out with the surroundings.You’ll be inspired by the fact that even the decor is created from nature! Shower under a blue or starry sky in a canopy of palm trees while watching hummingbirds buzz for nectar and listening to birds make melodies.
The kitchen is run by a deeply soulful Colombian woman named Paula who lived for years in the mountains with the indigenous where she raised her family. You can feel the reverence she holds for the land in each bite of food and the meals are served like a ritual and presented as an art. Arepas, coconut rice, plantains, and other vegetarian delights with a local flair give you a taste of the Colombian Caribbean diet. And you can’t go to the coast without eating freshly caught fish for dinner! Refresh yourself with tropical fruit and fresh juice which include exotic options like papaya, lulo, and star fruit, picked with love from La Sirena’s farm. Each alimento (Spanish for both “food item” and “nourishment”) will light up your body and your soul.
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