What to Expect on your Sweet Retreat
We are super excited to have you on the best vacation ever! Please read this thoroughly. There is very important information you need for your retreat.
What to Bring
- *Re-useable Water Bottle (we have safe drinking water for fill up and do not support the use of disposable plastic water bottles)
- *Clothes for classesshorts, tanks, T-shirts, leggings, unitards, leotards, skin protectors
- *Cash and/or Debit Card – for personal purchases (alcohol, souvenirs, extras, etc.) There is not a cash exchange in town, so if you want to change money, you must do it at the airport in Mexico City. ATM’s are abundant so we recommend bringing an ATM card to extract pesos.
- Beach Towel or Sarong
- *Bathing Suit
- *Thumb USB drive so you can bring photos/videos home
- Ear plugs if you are a light sleeper (It’s pretty quiet here, but sometimes there are barking dogs and crowing roosters)
- Probiotics can be helpful to keep your guts happy in an unfamiliar country.
- *Other medications/supplements you will need (including ibuprofin)
- Bug Repellent- There are some mosquitos at night.
- Tiger Balm – our favorite anti-itch for mosquito bites
- Music that moves you! Playlists you love!
- Thumb USB drive for sharing photos. We don’t do dropbox.
- Lounging clothes and going out clothes.
- Costume and make up for our party/show (see below ‘Show’)
- Computer/phone/tablet if you want to use the hotel wi-fi
- Specialty snacks, bars, supplements, sweets you can’t live without (see “Special Food Needs” below)
- Pillow (Some people have complained that the hotel pillows are lumpy or musty. If you are a pillow snob, it may be best that you bring yours from home.)
- *Open mind, open heart, and readiness for magic!
You do NOT need any vaccines or anti malaria pills. Just bring bug spray if you are a mosquito magnet.
- Electric outlets here are North American standard.
Note: It is best to bring all the items you need (especially for the first few days) so you don’t have to spend any of your vacation time searching for things in town. There are stores and markets in town if you do forget something.
Upon your arrival at the airport in Mexico City, you will need to go through immigration, pick up any checked baggage, go through customs, and then re-check your baggage at your connecting airline desk. Then you must go through security checkpoint at that airport.
Note: Your immigration form will ask for the address in Mexico you are staying at. You can put ‘Risas del Sol’ Calle Guerrero, Puerto Escondido.
If you did not check any baggage, you still have to go through immigration and customs, and then you must go through security again. If you have purchased any liquids in the airport, remember that you must check that baggage before going through security.
Note about customs: You will have to push a button which will give you a green or red light. It is a random process. If you get green, you can go right through and no one asks you about what you are bringing in your luggage. If you get red, I they might search your luggage and/or ask you what is in it. No big deal though. Just keep it legal and tell them you are only bringing “personal items”. !
There is no entrance fee for Mexico, and you automatically get a 6 month travel visa. Tempted?
Another note about Mexico City Airport: MEX is a large, busy and sometimes very confusing airport. Make sure to leave plenty of time for check in (long lines) and security (long lines) as well as looking for your gate (very few signs). Don’t be alarmed. You will be fine. You will find where you need to go. It is just a little more unorganized than most airports I have been in.
Layovers in MEX: If you are changing airlines in MEX, you will probably have to go to the check in counter to re-check in after you have gone through customs. If MEX is your first destination in Mexico, make sure you have at least 2-3 hours layover between flights.
Overnights in MEX: If you are coming on the 6:15am VivaAerobus flight from MEX to PVD, make sure you arrive to the airport by 4:45am. That is a popular flight, and the check in line is usually long.
Taxi from the airport in Puerto Escondido (PXM)
We will send you an email with your arrival taxi info 1 week before the retreat begins. Look for emails from SweetRetreatsDR@gmail.com.
There are cash exchanges and ATM’s in the airport in Mexico City. ATM’s are the best because sometimes the cash exchange booths are not open. I recommend taking advantage of your layover, and getting your pesos there. Santander, Scotia, and HSBC are the safest banks to use for ATM. If you forget to get money in Mexico City, there are plenty of ATM’s in Puerto Escondido to use. Remember to let your bank know that you will be traveling to Mexico and using ATM’s here. There is usually a $5-6 charge for international ATM use (some banks waive this charge). FYI.
Most everyone will want/need a little cash (pesos) to take taxis for any personal/extra adventures to other parts of town and to buy extras (beer, alcohol, gifts, tips, etc).
We recommend you to go to the ATM at the airport in Mexico City (if you have time) to make it easier. You might also want to bring a little bit of cash ($20-$50) just in case. There are no cash exchanges in Puerto Escondido that I know of, so ATM card is important! Most small shops DO NOT take credit cards.
How much money should I take out of the ATM?
Since most ATM’s charge an international fee, it is better to get all the money you will need in one trip to the ATM (ideally the ATM in the Mexico City airport). Here is a general list of things you may want to purchase on your trip.
- Massage – $500-$1000 pesos for 1 hour
- Gifts – $500-$2000 pesos
- Beer/cocktails – average beer is $40 pesos, average cocktail is $90 pesos
- Adventures (phosphorescence lagoon, etc) – $350 pesos
- Extras (taxi rides for personal adventures, etc) – $100+ pesos
If you have pesos left over at the end of the week, we are happy to buy them back with US cash or paypal. Mexico is full of fun trinkets and beautiful textiles, so you might want to bring some color home with you!
Accommodations & Laundry
Our Casa Chango (Monkey House) is located in a safe, gated community in the neighborhood of “La Punta” in Brisas de Zicatela, Puerto Escondido. There is a swimming pool, an open air ocean view rooftop, a grassy yard with fruit trees, and hammocks for relaxing between classes It is a short walk from the beach. Your room will be simple with a bed, ceiling fan, private bathroom with shower, and place to hang your personal items. Most rooms have a small veranda with table and bench. There is no air conditioning, and it can get hot here. The rooms have simple bath towels, and floor towels. Please bring your own shampoo. There is a shared kitchen that you may use to store any personal food/drinks.
You can pay the hotel groundskeeper to do your laundry. It costs between $3-5 USD, and it may take up to 24 hours to return. You can also use our buckets and soap for hand washing.
There is WiFi at the hotel. It can be spotty, but works very well most of the time. Feel free to bring your computers, but also feel free to leave them at home. We dare you.
All meals will be made from fresh, local produce, grains, nuts, eggs, fish and meat. We believe in feeding the body simple, healthy and delicious foods. We work with the fitness and training schedule to make meals easy to digest and satisfying for the hard working body.
We try to accommodate your needs as much as we can. Please make sure you tell us in advance if you have any food restrictions and/or allergies.
Each morning we will have a continental breakfast from 8-10am. Our community kitchen will be stocked with everything you need to make a simple (pre-workout) breakfast including toast, yogurt, eggs, oatmeal, granola, fruit, and nut butters.
Coffee and tea are available all day.
Lunch and Dinner
Lunches and dinners will be prepared in our community kitchen by our amazing nourishment provider, Stuart, aka “Skillet”.
Lunch is at 1pm and dinner is usually 30 minutes after sunset.
We will go out to our favorite local restaurant once during the week. This is included in the price of the retreat.
Special Food needs
We do our best to accommodate everyone’s food needs and allergies. Meals and smoothies will always have gluten free and vegetarian options. If you have food limitations, and are concerned if you will get what you need, you might consider bringing supplemental foods from home such as protein powders, bars, etc. We provide meat or fish and vegetarian options daily. If you need red meat every day, consider bringing some beef jerky. The training regimen might make you crave more protein than usual. Feel free to contact us with any questions or concerns.
If you have extreme food allergies, please contact us to clarify your needs.
Important! If you are on (or just finished) antibiotics, make sure to bring probiotic supplements (take one with each meal) to help your gut adjust. Email us with any questions.
Ice coffee and treats will be available each day at 3:30pm.
Focused Aerial-Acro Retreats – We will have 2 main classes most days during the retreat. Please do not feel pressured to take all of the classes. We will have one day off in the middle of the week to rest and play.
Listen to your body. Definitely come with an open and curious body and mind!
In the evening we will have casual activities if you desire including sharing, foam rolling, partner massage, night market, phosphorescence lagoon, and dancing. You are welcome to join or take time for yourself. There is also nightlife in town that you can explore.
Family Retreats – We will have 1 class each morning which varies between CIRCUS Fit, yoga and stretching. The kids’ class is at the same time as the adult class, so you are kid-free for those 2 hours! What you do with that time is up to you. If you decide not to come to class, we will not take it personally. We congratulate you for doing what YOU need! You are also welcome to use the gym, yoga mats, foam rollers, etc whenever you desire while you are here.
Listen to your body! Definitely come with an open and curious body and mind!
Puerto Escondido “Hidden Port” is located in southwest Mexico in the state of Oaxaca on the pacific coast. It is safe, far from drug cartels, and very easy to get around on foot and in taxis.
Just outside our living/training complex there are cafes, shops, and local markets to explore. The neighborhood, called La Punta, is small, quiet, and full of friendly people. Surf lessons are available in La Punta. Just a mile down the beach is Playa Zicatela where you can find bars, restaurants, discos, nightlife, and plenty of surf shops to buy Mexican trinkets, beach garb, and anything else you might need. Puerto Escondido is a safe and welcoming town. For information about weather in Puerto Escondido, click here.
Zicatela beach has one of the best surf breaks in the world. There is surfing at the beach just a 5 minute walk from our accommodations in “La Punta”. If you have energy to surf, you are welcome.
Because of its surf breaks and rip tides, Zicatela beach is not always safe for inexperienced ocean swimmers. There are areas of the beach that are safer than others. We will go over this when you arrive. Don’t worry!!! We will visit other beaches in Puerto Escondido that are safe for everyone to swim. The swimming pools are open all day/night for you.
We will have one evening adventure after dinner to a local lagoon where you go on a boat and see and swim with the phosphorescence in the water. It is truly magical! The cost of this adventure is $350MXN/person (about $20 USD) and is optional. You can pay with cash only.
There are a few adventure tours that you can explore in your own time. We can go over options when you arrive, or feel free to do your own research.
There are a few bars and discos along the Zicatela Beach strip with DJ’s, live music and dancing. Please be responsible and take care of yourselves and each other. Remember it is hot, we are training a lot.
Our Sweet Retreats promote celebration, expression and community. People who enjoy drinking beer and/or cocktails are welcome to do so. Please be respectful that not everyone will choose to participate. If you are sensitive to being around alcohol, please feel free to let me, Kerri, know in advance, so I can help to create a safe environment for you.
- Only drink bottled water. Brushing teeth with tap water is ok.
- Keep your valuables safe and lock your door.
- Bring supplements that you need – vitamins, medicines, protein bars, etc.
- You DO NOT need to get vaccinations.
- Do not walk on the beach at night.
- Swim with a buddy.
- The sun is strong, and there may be mosquitos. Bring sunscreen and mosquito repellent.
- Puerto Escondido is far from any drug cartels.
- Be street wise. Respect and greet the locals. It is common and polite to say ‘hola’ to strangers on the street here. Use your senses when going out at night.
If you would like to bring books and/or clothing donations, we will happily distribute them to local charities.
- Watch our 6 minute Orientation Video to get you acquainted with our place. We want you to feel at home.
- Here is our Orientation Checklist.
Specific info for Focused Aerial-Acro Retreats
Some retreats have an informal Performance/Party at the end of the week. We will invite local friends to come celebrate with us. You are welcome to participate in any way that you want including performing an aerial piece (solo, duo, group), singing a song, dance, clowning, poetry, etc.). No pressure! It is just for FUN, and is often the highlight of the week.
Specific information about Family Retreats
Children are welcome to play in the gym and the palapa areas during the days. Both areas are safe and full of fun games. We also have a Fun Table in the community space including crafts, cards and games. Your children will stay occupied, happy and safe. We are here to serve, so please relax and enjoy yourselves.
We offer child care 2 nights during the retreat. We will feed and entertain your kids between 5:30-9:30pm. Please return in time to put your kids to bed. Child care is for kids ages 4 and above. If you are bringing a child under 4 years old, you will have to pay an extra fee for child care. Please email us for information. SweetRetreatsdr@gmail.com