Our Holiday in The Valley of Longevity

Last week, Ecuador was beautiful. We went on a 4-hour Ecuadorian road trip and saw a new area we haven’t seen before: the small town of Vilcabamba – known as the Valley of Longevity. I’m so thankful for this week. It was good for my body & soul.

The property we stayed at had the most lush views. Out among the vegetation, they had a yoga shala! A small path led us there each morning for yoga. It was truly divine.

The sun, warmth, the views, the sound of birds, and the huge spider in the rafters were all enlivening. Of course the yoga, too. My body relished in it as it had been awhile. Moving your body is never, ever overrated.

Danny braided my hair when I discovered I forgot a hair band. Yep, that man’s kindness still makes me melt. Later, an incredible masseuse worked on us, did avocado & banana hair masks, aura cleansing, clay and cucumber facials…oh my.

Around the small town, there are so many trails going up into the Andes. Hiking for a few hours before lunch seemed to purify the soul and make anything seem possible. I thought about our new website and always, always the dream of getting a property in the states where we can HOST you in our home. 

Being at the top of the world really does make you feel on top of the world. 🙂

A friend we were with was impressed that I was so game to go on a hike! ha. I’ve heard that around here, outdoor activities like hiking or camping are not as common, especially among women. Though it turns out that hiking with Danny is one of my favorite things to do. 
Healthy food is extremely difficult to come by in Ecuador. But in Vilcabamba, they have a handful of healthier places to eat, including The Juice Factory, where they make superfood smoothies. I mean, this is a rarity folks. They even had some homemade flax seed, gluten-free graham crackers and a few local items I picked up for our next retreat guests. My kind of place.
Being from New York, the simple life in Ecuador is something I’m drawn to as a tourist, but not necessarily for my place of permanent residence. I know. That may be a tricky one to understand. But this week, I relished in many simple moments…a chicken at a gas station; cows along the highway; sitting among the sounds of birds; branding from the 1950s; colorful houses; coffee beans drying on a porch; and a colorful church. It was wonderful to see so much beauty.

So thankful for all of these unique experiences.

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be preparing for our July trip: our U.S. Tour in Pennsylvania, Portland, Mesa, and Austin. Please do come!! We’d love to meet you.



P.S. The October Body+Soul Camp in Ecuador only has 3 spots left! Many people are hustling for them. And don’t miss what people have said about the retreats. This is why we do what we do.  🙂 🙂

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  1. Cheryl Hayduk June 6, 2016 at 9:35 pm - Reply

    Thanks for sharing! Did you stay in a home in Vilcabamba or was it a lodge of some kind? We once made the trip from Cuenca to Loja but did not make it as far as Vilcabamba. It was a beautiful ride! Looking forward to seeing you in Pennsylvania very soon!

  2. SeattleCJ June 7, 2016 at 1:28 am - Reply

    There are only 2 spots left in October!

    • Anonymous June 7, 2016 at 8:17 am - Reply

      Ha! This was funny! Have a great retreat!

  3. Tugumi June 9, 2016 at 10:02 am - Reply

    A Beautiful life and placement. Love it!

  4. Anonymous July 25, 2016 at 1:56 am - Reply

    A little off topic, but could you please share updates on your dog, Sila? Pip and Rue?

    • mara August 22, 2016 at 6:22 pm - Reply

      You are absolutely the SWEETEST!!! Thank you for asking about these dear souls. I definitely need to write more about them. Though for now, I'll let you know that they are the joy of our lives. Pip (the white doggie) is as gentle and loving as they come. She loves to play with a 3 year old and let's the girl dress her in play clothes. She free falls to the ground on her back to let the girl give her belly rubs. And every morning she has a darling ritual where she goes to Danny and gives him her paw, in exchange for love.

      Rue (the grayish doggie) loves to chase butterflies and loves to pounce and play. She also is super duper obedient to Sila, whom she treats as her "master" – Sila is definitely the Alpha among them. Rue will not eat until Sila has eaten. And Rue will also hold back from being near us as Sila is the boss. It kinda breaks my heart, but I'm learning a lot about dog behavior. Rue is also our mightiest runner and "comes" like a speeding bullet when we call her in the park. It's so dang adorable.

      And then Sila. Oh my. This one is very attached to me and it does make me melt to pieces. She follows me everywhere. She wants to be near me at all times. And she is by far the most affectionate of them all. It seems she can learn anything – and it seems she understands just about everything we say. Her trainer loves this one to pieces, too, and even shed TEARS when she had to say good-bye to her after a few weeks of boarding (while we were away.)

      Anyway, we love these three. It's been delightful to have them as part of our family.

      Thanks, again, for your sweet inquiry. With love, Mara, Sila, Pip, & Rue 🙂

  5. Brian Pittman August 1, 2017 at 2:01 am - Reply

    Beautiful place and weather is looking awesome. Just loved it. Thanks for sharing.

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