Travel and Arrival Questions

HOW DO I GET TO MY TRUE NATURE PROGRAM?

True Nature and STA Travel have partnered together to provide you the best airfare for your upcoming trip. STA Travel is a full service travel agency who offers affordable, flexible fares and access to their exclusive Airfare Deposit program. Please use the following link to book or contact STA Travel directly http://www.statravel.com/solutions/true-nature.htm.

Your registration confirmation letter will provide specific travel windows. Please be sure the trip has been “officially confirmed” before booking your flights. The majority of TN programs provide group transport to/from the airport.

 

Costa Rica

All international flights will arrive at the San Jose International Airport (SJO) in San Jose, Costa Rica (unless specifically noted on your confirmation email).  Most flights will be met by a TN staff member.

Mexico

All international flights will arrive at the Ixtapa-Zihuatanejo International Airport, located 25 minutes north of the Retreat Center. A private group shuttle will meet you at the airport with a True Nature welcome sign.

Guatemala

All international flights will arrive at the Guatemala City, La Aurora Airport (GUA).  A private group shuttle will meet you at the airport with a Welcome sign with the Retreat Center’s name.

Peru

Most flights from the US or Canada fly to Cusco (CUZ) via Lima. Many of these flights do have a layover of a few hours in Lima. Group shuttles will be met in Cusco and our center is approximately 90 minutes from the airport. Group shuttles are included in the tuition rates. If you cannot arrive within the flight windows we provide, check with us for private shuttle prices.

Italy

There are a few different airports depending on the location of your program. See the list below and please also refer to the retreat webpage or confirmation letter to make sure you have the right airport. We will book the arrival group shuttle to accommodate the last arriving passenger.

Italy Airports for those utilizing group shuttles are as follows:

Puglia Location - Bari Airport (BRI)

Amalfi Location - Naples Airport (NAP)

Tuscany Location - Florence Airport (FLR)

Greece - Amorgos Location

For the majority of our programs on Amorgos, you will be booking your own transportation (shuttle and ferry) to the Island. After arriving on Amorgos, you will be met at the port and transported to the Retreat Center. We provide detailed information about our recommended ferry route(s) and how to book upon registration or when the retreat is officially confirmed.

Greece - Kalymnos Location

There are two main ways of reaching Kalymnos Island. The first is to fly into Kalymnos Island National Airport (JKL). This airport is connected daily to Athens International Airport.

The second option is to take a ferry from the Piraeus port in Athens to Kalymnos. More ferry and group shuttle information will be provided in your registration confirmation letter.

Bali

You will be flying into the Denpasar Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS). It is the main airport in Bali, also known as the I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport. The Retreat Center is one hour’s drive from the airport.

Remember you can lose up to two days with the time change and flight time, so always double check your arrival date and retreat start date when booking airfare.

WHAT ARE THE ENTRY REQUIREMENTS?

As a general rule, passports should have at least six months of validity after your departure from your destination. That means if your passport has less than six months remaining until the expiration date, you should renew it right away! For Costa Rica, Guatemala, Italy, Greece, Mexico, and Peru, visitors from the USA, Canada, and most European countries will receive a visa at the port of entry (i.e. the airport).

IMPORTANT: Requirements can vary by country and may be dependent on your country of origin.Terms of entry are always subject to change and should be confirmed independently with your airline before traveling.

Special Visa Requirements in Bali:
The Bali visa requirements are constantly changing; ranging from no visas required to needing to purchase a visa upon arrival. Due to the ever-changing requirements, it is highly recommended that you check with the Indonesian embassy or consulate for the most up-to-date information.

U.S. Travelers - Mobile Passport:

If you are traveling from the US, we recommend looking into Mobile Passport. This app allows you to skip the customs lines in 24 US airports when you return to America. Whether or not you use Mobile Passport, please make sure to have a valid passport for your travels.

WHAT CAN I EXPECT FROM THE FIRST DAY OF TRAVELING?

Costa Rica

In some cases, you will be staying at a hotel near the airport for the first night with the other group participants. Dinner will be provided the first evening, followed by a short group meeting. The following day after breakfast, you will be taking a 3-5 hour shuttle ride to the center. For our centers within 3 hours of the airport, we usually transfer you and your group directly to the center following your arrival.

Mexico

You will arrive at a small International airport which is 25 minutes away from your destination. We will arrange a private shuttle for the group.

Guatemala

After arriving, you will go through customs and immigration (this process usually takes about 45 minutes, depending on arriving flights). After you retrieve your luggage, you will be met outside by a private group shuttle. In some cases, you may be waiting for other group members to arrive before the shuttle will leave. You will have a beautiful 3 hour shuttle ride through the Mayan highlands, arriving in Panajachel. You will travel by private boat across the lake to the retreat center. Depending on your arrival time, you may have time to tour the center and then have dinner. Dinner will always be available, even for late arrivals.

Peru

Most flights do have a long layover in Lima and many flight times from US and Canada can be 18-23 hours. Your final leg will land in Cusco. To minimize wait time in Cusco, we will do our best to have multiple group shuttles with at least 4- 5 people. You will be met by a driver (and often a center representative) who will take you on a 90 minute drive through the Andean mountains to your final destination.

Italy

Depending on the last flight, you will be arriving by group shuttle to the retreat center in time for dinner.  Travel time varies by center (between 45 - 90 minutes from local airports). The staff will help everyone get settled in their rooms and give a short orientation.

Greece - Amorgos

For the majority of our retreats in Greece, you will be responsible for making your own arrangements in getting to Amorgos Island via Ferry. Once the trip is officially confirmed, you will receive detailed information how to book your ferry and please also feel free to contact us for support in making your arrangements.

Amorgos Island can be reached by ferry from Athens, as well as several Greek islands.

All year round, there is a direct Blue Star ferry from Piraeus (port of Athens) departing to Amorgos at 5:30pm every day except for Saturday out of summer season. This ferry also connects the islands of Paros and Naxos with Amorgos.

During summer season (roughly from mid June to mid September), there is a Blue Star ferry also on Saturday. In summer, there are also high speed services on a daily basis, connecting Amorgos to Piraeus and Santorini Island. Mykonos Island is also directly connected to Amorgos several times a week during this season.

Rates vary depending on the vessel type, as well as travel class.

Once you arrive on Amorgos, you will be met  and transported to the hotel. This is a 5-35 minute drive, depending on your arrival port (there are two - Katapola or Aegiali).

Greece - Kalymnos

You will arrive by plane or ferry and our private transport will take you to the center, located just 10 minutes from the airport.

Bali

After landing at the airport, you will go through Passport control, collect your luggage, then walk through customs screening. The center is about 1 hour from the airport.

Safety and Medical

DO YOU RECORD HEALTH AND EMERGENCY CONTACT INFORMATION?

Yes, when you register for the trip please include information about any allergies, medications, and/or medical conditions so we can share this information with your group leader and the Retreat Center. If you are on a particular medication, please be sure that you have enough medication for the duration of the retreat. We recommend that either a family member or friend have a copy of your daily itinerary and your passport in case of a State-side emergency. We also collect emergency contact information from all participants in the unlikely event we need to contact someone at home.

WHAT ARE THE MEDICAL CONCERNS?

We have never had a medical situation that has not been adequately resolved. In extreme cases, air transport is available. Please check with your health insurance company for information about coverage in foreign countries.

Also check with you home country’s health department to ensure there are no vaccines required for re-entry.

Costa Rica

Healthcare in Costa Rica is very good and sanitation standards are high. First class hospitals are found throughout San José and some of the other largely populated areas. Since long ago, diseases such as malaria, paludismo, and yellow fever have been nearly eradicated in Costa Rica. Hospitals and the Red Cross will provide any medical treatment in case of emergency. Please check with your physician for any other necessary personal preparation. Costa Rica does have pharmacies throughout the country where you can buy many of the same over-the-counter medicines as in the US. No vaccines are required to enter Costa Rica. Please refer to your home country’s health department and/or disease control center for for more information and recommendations. All of our sites are within 1 hour of either a hospital or a 24-hour Emergency Clinic.

Mexico:

Like many Latin countries, there are minor health concerns to consider but there are no major health warnings in effect at this time. Please refer to your home country’s health department and/or your physician for more information and recommendations.

Guatemala

There are no major concerns for travel to Guatemala.  If you have questions about which vaccines are recommended please go to www.cdc.gov or your home country’s department of health. .  Most of the ex-pats who live in Guatemala do not get vaccinated, but you must do what feels right for you.  There are  modern hospitals in Guatemala City and western doctors who live nearby the center.  We have never had any major health issues.  Some people encounter intestinal irregularities.  We recommend bringing Grapefruit Seed Extract and perhaps taking it a week before your trip.  This helps your body to assimilate to the different bacterias of a new country.

Peru

The group will be traveling in areas above 7,000ft altitude and there are no vaccinations required. Please refer to the CDC (Center for Disease Control Website) for more information and recommendations: www.cdc.gov. You may also want to consult with your physician for any recommendations.

 

The Sacred Valley retreat center is at 9,600 ft altitude, Cusco is at 12,000, and Machu Picchu is at approximately 7,000 ft altitude. Occasionally, travelers may experience altitude sickness when adjusting to higher elevations. The retreat center has herbal teas to help you acclimate to the higher elevation and herbal remedies in the event you do get altitude sickness. It also helps to relax, stay hydrated, and take it easy the first couple of days of your retreat.

 

Herbal Supplements:
Usually, it is recommended to start taking the following supplements 1 or 2 weeks prior to your arrival. As always, we recommend you consult with your physician if you have any questions or concerns.
Grapefruit Seed Extract (GSE) tablets or liquid - natural preventative remedy for those with sensitive stomachs
Ginkgo Biloba and/or Chlorophyll tablets/drops- natural remedies for altitude sickness

Italy

Healthcare in Italy is excellent and sanitation standards are high. Italy has been rated as the second best healthcare system in the world in recent years. Italian doctors are well-trained and very passionate about their profession, and the private hospitals are on par with with any throughout the world.

Greece

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Food and water standards in Greece are similar to those in the United States. Most travelers do not need to take special food or water precautions beyond what they normally do at home.” There are no specific vaccines required and Greece is not in a tropical zone. Please refer to the World Health Organization or your home country’s Department of Heath for additional information.

Bali

For current recommendations, check with your home country’s center for disease control and/or health department. You may also wish to consult with your physician.

Which medical facilities are available in the area?

All of our venues have nearby medical facilities. Please check with your health insurance company for information about coverage in foreign countries.

Costa Rica

All of our sites are within 1 hour of either a hospital or a 24-hour Emergency Clinic.  We have never had a medical situation that has not been adequately resolved.  In extreme cases, air transport is available.

Mexico
The closest hospital is about 20 minutes away. There is also small health clinic in town which operates on a somewhat limited schedule.

Guatemala

The retreat center is nearby a few clinics for minor issues and there are western doctors who reside in the same village as the center.  There is a hospital across the lake (20 minute boat ride) and larger hospitals in Guatemala City.

Peru

The closest hospitals are in Cusco which is about 90 min away from the Sacred Valley. The hospital is very modern and well staffed. There is also a clinic about 15 minutes away from the center.

Italy

The closest hospitals are between 10 minutes to an hour, depending on the center.  

Greece - Amorgos

There is a medical unit at the port of Aegiali (1 kilometer from the hotel) for basic health care and assistance. The Medical Centre of Amorgos Island is located in Chora which is 30 minutes away.

Greece - Kalymnos

There is a hospital 15 minutes away from the center.

Bali

There is a hospital 15 minutes away from the center.

Should I get Travel Insurance?

True Nature Travels recommends that all of its participants get travel insurance before their trip.


We cannot emphasize more the importance of travel insurance. As we all know, especially as travelers, "life happens." Whether it's family, work, mother nature, or a change of heart, it is important to be prepared in case you need to unexpectedly change your travel plans. Often for less than $100, you can purchase a travel insurance policy and be protected in the event that you need to make a change or need to be covered financially prior to or during your trip. Click Here to purchase now and you will also receive the True Nature discount. You can learn more about CSA Travel Insurance plans here.

SHOULD I BRING VALUABLES?

Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala, Peru, and Bali

We recommend leaving valuables and electronics at home. We will be traveling in a country that does not have as many material resources as we do. We do our best to honor and preserve the incredible natural resources and environment that we will be visiting. By bringing less, we together get to see that much more of what is around us.   Most people do bring their phones and cameras.  If you do bring some valuables you may have a safe inside your room or you will have access to a safe at the front desk.  In Peru, there are no safes available so they do not recommend bringing valuables, but also have not had issues at their center.

Italy

We suggest that you unplug as much as you can and enjoy the peace and quiet of the center you will visit, so you may not need many electronics. Your destination is very safe and your valuables will be secure in your room. There are no safes in the room. Always use your good judgment when traveling abroad.

Greece

There are safes available in your room. Always use your good judgment when traveling abroad.

Is it safe to travel to your center?

Safety is a priority for all of our groups.

General Safety Precautions:  Follow airport safety guidelines (about luggage), do not go places alone unless you have notified your group leader, carry the money you will need in safe place (like a money belt) and leave the rest of your belongings at your hotel/retreat center. Carry important phone numbers with you at all times.  

Costa Rica

Costa Rica is considered one of the safest places in Latin America to travel.  Of course you need to use your common sense about times you are out and being alone.  Most of the time you will be with your group and a guide who is very familiar with the locale.

Mexico

You will be traveling directly from the airport to your center. The local town is an extremely safe area. Always use good judgement and take common sense precautions when traveling abroad.

Guatemala

You will be traveling directly from the airport to the center.  Lake Atitlan is quite safe and the center has never had any issues with safety.  If you will be traveling before or after your program to other locations, the center can make recommendations so you can be confident about your plans.

Peru

You will be traveling directly from the airport to your center. Our center is very safe and the staff is there to help you.

Italy and Greece

Always use the same precautions that you would in your own country and while traveling abroad.

Bali

You will be traveling directly from the airport to your center. The center is very safe and the staff is there to help you.

WHAT ARE MY TRANSPORTATION OPTIONS? (I AM TRAVELING BEFORE/AFTER MY PROGRAM)

Costa Rica

There are many options to choose from. Many people love driving and visiting the country at their own pace. Rental cars are available from the major rental companies. To rent a vehicle you must be at least 21 years old, have a valid driver’s license, and a major credit card. Gasoline is available at stations throughout Costa Rica. Most are open 24 hours. Auto insurance is a MUST. It will be included in your rental contract because most insurance companies explicitly exclude foreign countries from their coverage. If you have a question, contact your carrier. When the rented car is given to you, the contract will explain your responsibilities.

Costa Rica has a bus system that offers inexpensive, timely, and convenient transportation. It is the primary means of transportation to natives. Sometimes buses do not run frequently in the countryside. In some places they operate only once a day. Another possibility is arranging transfers with tourism transportation agencies, which would give you first class service at reasonable rates.

Mexico

We recommend that visitors use private shuttles for moving around Mexico. As a precaution, you should never get into an unknown taxi. Book through True Nature or the center to ensure you are using a reputable agency. There are public buses available which can be a safe and affordable option during the day time.

Guatemala

We recommend that visitors use private shuttles for moving around Guatemala.  The colorful chicken buses are quite an experience, but unless you are an experienced traveler we do not recommend it.  Most tourists do not rent cars in Guatemala and unless you are familiar with the country we do not recommend it.  Shuttles are comfortable, safe, and affordable.

Peru

There are professional taxis and shuttles available and this can be a great option. They do have taxis or shuttles that hold about 12 people and are safe. As a precaution, you should never get into an unknown taxi. Book through True Nature or the Retreat Center to ensure you are using a reputable agency.

Italy

You can rent cars at all international airports and drive to your True Nature destination. We can supply instructions if you choose to do that.  Contrary to what you might hear, if your driver’s license is from the US (or other countries outside the EU), you should carry an International Driving Permit along with your local license. You’ll need to show it if you get stopped by the police for any reason, including if you’re in an accident. It’s not a license, requires no test, and is basically a translation of your driver’s license. See: how to get an International Driving Permit.

There are many options for bus travel in Italy. Prices vary. Check out different companies on the internet to choose the one that is right for you.

Traveling by train is another good transport option. Trains are also an option in Italy for traveling around the country. Trains in Italy are convenient and relatively cheap compared with other European countries. The better train categories are fast and comfortable.  

Greece - Amorgos

Public buses on Amorgos Island operate roughly from May to September, with frequency of services changing depending on the season (July and August are the most frequent). There is no rail network on Amorgos, or any other Greek island. Public transport is very safe.

It is also possible to arrange transfers through our travel agency (Aegialis Tours), operating all year round.

Greece -Kalymnos

There are public buses and trains available on the island.

Greece -Mainland

If you wish to travel around mainland Greece before or after your program, you must carry a valid U.S. license as well as an international driver’s permit (IDP). Be aware that talking on the cell phone while driving is illegal. In some areas you may experience heavy traffic and poor road conditions. See: how to get an International Driving Permit.

Bali

The best transport options are taxis and scooters which you can rent. The center can help you arrange transport.

Which important phone numbers should I have?

Please take our US number and the number of the center(s) you will be visiting. This information will be provided to you in the final instructions letter you will receive a couple weeks prior to embarking.

Can my family reach me in case of emergency?

Yes, we will give you the number of the center where you will be staying and a U.S. number for TN.  We would be happy to assist in anyway we can.

Costs and Extras

What is included in the retreat?

Each retreat is different.  Please check the retreat description on the retreat webpage.  Room, meals, group ground transportation to and from airport, some activities, taxes are included in your package (the exception is retreats on Amorgos Island, Greece - in most cases, a group airport shuttle/arrival ferry is not included.) Treatments, tips, and excursions are generally not included.  Please feel free to get in touch with us if you need clarity.
If a participant chooses to forgo any services included the retreat package, they do so of their own volition and are not entitled to a refund for the services not used. This includes meals, hotel accommodations, excursions, transportation, and any other package inclusions as listed on the retreat web page.

HOW MUCH MONEY SHOULD I BRING? DO VENDORS ACCEPT U.S. DOLLARS?

If you would like to begin your trip with the local currency, you can check online or at your local US bank.  Oftentimes you can order foreign currency to bring along.  Also, please advise your credit card company on the dates and location of your trip.

Costa Rica

There are ATMs throughout Costa Rica. We recommend that you do not carry much cash with you, as you can get money from the ATM any time you are in town. The exchange rate is best when using ATMs rather than exchanging money at the bank or airport. There is an ATM in the baggage claim of the airport in Costa Rica. We suggest that you use this to get your first Costa Rican money. The conversion rate usually hovers around 500 Colones to 1 Dollar.  

Most major credit cards and debit cards are accepted. Many of our centers allow you to set up a bill linked to your room so you can pay for any extras (such as activities) with a credit card at check-out.  Most places do accept US dollars, but it’s always wise (and fun) to have some Colones (the local currency).

Mexico
While most Vendors do accept U.S. Dollars, the exchange rate will be considerably higher than using an ATM to convert currency. Use pesos to get the best rate for purchases. Most vendors do NOT take credit cards. There is an ATM located 1 KM away from the venue.

Guatemala

There are ATMs throughout Guatemala. You can have an open bill at the center which can be paid with a US check, credit card, or cash (U.S. Dollars or Guatemalan Quetzales). Most travelers have about $100 changed to Quetzales upon arrival. Some vendors do accept dollars. At our center, you can use a credit card to pay for your bill, but there is a fee.

Peru

There are ATMs in Cusco and a few in local towns near our center. Staff members can help and advise you on where money can be exchanged. The currency is called Soles or the Nuevo Sol.

Italy

Some of our centers only accept Euros. We will be sending you information specific to your destination closer to the retreat date. You can also pay with a credit card at some centers but there is a fee.

Greece

ATMs are available and the center can help with changing money. Our centers accepts Euros, Visa, MasterCard, and American Express.

Bali

ATMs and Foreign Exchange Centers are available nearby and the center can help advise you on where to exchange currency. The center accepts all major credit cards, paypal, and cash (U.S. Dollars or Rupiah.) The center charges a small fee for credit card usage.

Is ground transportation included?

In most cases, one group transportation shuttle  to and from the airport is included if you arrive within the window of times we have outlined. A group shuttle to/from the airport and retreat is generally NOT provided for Amorgos Island, Greece - although a shuttle will pick you up from the local port. Please check with us for your particular retreat and we can make this clear.

If a participant chooses to forgo this transport, books flights that do not coincide with our provided program flight windows, or arrives/departs from a different location than the provided pick-up and drop-off point, the participant is responsible for arranging their own transport and covering any associated costs.

Are tips, treatments and excursions included?

No, these extras are not included in most retreats. Some activities may be included. Please check the retreat webpage for specifics on your retreat.

Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, and Peru

If you have enjoyed the services you have received, we recommend tipping the hotel staff $5-7 per day ($35-50 for the week). These tips will be divided amongst the staff. No additional tipping is required at the center. For spa treatments, this is totally up to you and anywhere from 10-20% gratuity is typical. Shuttle driver: $3-5 per person depending on the number of people in the van. Tour guides: they do not expect tips, but if you feel you have had an outstanding adventure $5-10 per person is a nice gesture. In general, in cafes a 10% service fee is already included.

Italy
Tipping at the hotel/retreat center staff and any tour guides is optional but appreciated.
In restaurants, service is usually included and listed on the bill. (You can still round up a few euro or leave an additional tip for outstanding service.) While tipping taxi drivers is unusual it is appreciated, especially if they assist you with luggage or getting to know an area.

Greece
Tipping is completely optional. If you have enjoyed the services you have received, please consider leaving gratuity for the hotel staff at the end of the retreat. Usually group leaders collect tips from all their participants, put it in an envelope and give it to the reception desk in order for it to be a divided among the staff (100-200 euros from the entire group is typical.)

Bali
Tipping is customary in Bali but not required. Any amount the guests wholeheartedly gives to the staff is very much appreciated

Can I have a hotel bill for extras? And what forms of payments do they accept?

Yes, in most cases, our centers will set up a personal bill for extras purchased at their property (treatments, excursions, additional food etc.). They can be paid at the end of your program with a credit card or cash. Remember many international locations charge a fee when using a credit card and the percentage varies depending on the center. Some centers which accept credit cards do not accept Discover and/or American Express. Certain venues only accept cash, including our center in Peru and some locations in Italy.

What if I need to cancel?

Contact us as soon as possible should you need to cancel your spot on the retreat.

Please see Our Policies to review cancellation guidelines.

Is there access to local shopping?

Yes, some of our centers have small gift shops, and all of our centers are near towns where you can shop.


Guatemala and Peru are known for  their beautiful textiles and handicrafts.  There are many opportunities to pick up fair trade, artisan treasures.  If you want to visit a local market, that can be arranged.

How much are spa treatments?

This varies from center to center. You can book treatments and bodywork sessions at the beginning of the retreat. If you need to know about prices and treatments offered in advance, please contact us. While most centers have a spa on-site, a few of our locations offer services which may dependent on practitioner availability.

Yoga Retreats

Do I need any prior experience in yoga or meditation?

Our programs are tailored to multiple levels of practitioner and our group leaders are adept at providing instruction for beginning to advanced students. If the retreat has any special requirements, this will be noted in the program description. Always feel free to contact us with any questions if you are brand new to yoga or are unsure if you meet any special requirements.

How many classes do we have each day?

Each retreat is unique. Most yoga retreats have two yoga classes per day, as well as another 1-2 sessions which may include teaching, meditation, group exercises, etc. We also incorporate free time for relaxation, exploration, and activities/treatments.

What style of yoga is taught?

This depends on your teacher.  Most teachers have specified in their bio what type of yoga and lineages of yoga they incorporate in their teachings.  Please contact them for more detailed information about their practice.

Food

Do they accommodate special diets?

Yes! Our centers do accommodate most special dietary restrictions like allergies, vegan, and non-gluten diets. They serve wholesome, fresh, organic when possible meals that are simple and delicious. If you have dietary restrictions, please note this on your registration form and we will forward information to your destination, so they can be prepared for you.
If you have an extremely restrictive diet, consider bringing along extra snacks or special foods you enjoy. Also feel free to email us at info@truenaturetravels.com if you have any dietary concerns.

Is the food organic?

Each of our centers serve organic fruits and vegetables when possible.

Is the water safe to drink?

Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru

At the retreat centers there is unlimited filtered water, so you can fill your reusable water bottle. When traveling away from the center, we can advise you on when the water is safe and when it is better to drink bottled water or bring filtered water from the center.

Costa Rica

In most of Costa Rica the water is safe, and as always there are some exceptions in certain places. We usually drink bottled water in the cities. We will be clear when it is safe and unsafe to drink the water.

Italy

Italy’s tap water is clean and safe.  At our Puglia center, their tap water is from their own well and is rich in minerals.  They do not suggest drinking it a lot during your stay, especially for people with kidney disease.  For this reason,  they do sell 2lt bottle of water for  €1.

Greece

According to the Centers for Disease Control, “Food and water standards in Greece are similar to those in the United States. Most travelers do not need to take special food or water precautions beyond what they normally do at home.”

Bali

There is filtered water available at the retreat center. In general, stick to bottled water in public.

Will there be enough protein?

If your retreat will serve vegetarian fare only, this is usually noted on the retreat web description.
Most meals have a protein source (eggs, beans, cheese, nuts etc.) and some locations do serve meat/fish a few times a week or on a daily basis.

Sometimes there is an extra charge to include meat in your meals and this depends on the location. If you are on a high protein diet, please let us know in advance so we can coordinate any special arrangements. If this is the case, it may also be a good idea to bring a protein bar for each day of your retreat.

Should I bring my own snacks?

If you like to snack, we recommend bringing some special snacks with you, but this is not necessary. The meals are abundant and we are confident that you will be well fed. If you have extreme allergies or strict dietary needs, you may want to bring some supplemental foods to enjoy during your stay.

What kind of drinks do you serve?

Most of our centers have alcoholic beverages such as beer and wine. Usually, smoothies and fresh juices are offered as well as sodas, tea, and coffee. Extra drinks are not included in our packages and prices vary from center to center (Some centers do provide complimentary coffee and/or tea throughout the day- check with us if you have questions).

Accommodations

Are there laundry facilities?

Most but not all of our centers have laundry services to wash your clothes. There is an extra charge for laundry services. This will be noted in your group’s final instructions letter which you will receive a couple weeks before the trip. Feel free to check with us if you have questions.

What kind of access do I have to communications (phone/internet)? Will my U.S. phone work?

Your cell phone will not work unless you have an international calling plan (check with your provider or use a SIM card. One communication option we recommend is using the smart phone app, What’s App, which allows you to make calls and send messages for free anytime you are connected to WiFi. If you have an iPhone, you can use iPhone or FaceTime Audio/Video with a WiFi connection for free.

Depending on your phone, you can buy a SIM card (often available at the airport) to use in your device while abroad. This will allow you to call out and receive calls from a temporary, international number. The price varies but this is typically an inexpensive option.

You can also contact your service provider about international coverage during your trip.

At some locations, the internet service can be spotty or subject to occasional outages; be sure to check with us if you have special requirements.

Can I have my own room? Can I choose a roommate?

In most cases, there are a few single occupancy rooms available for each retreat.  We try our absolute best to honor roommate requests. You can request a roommate on your online registration form.

What type of electricity do they have?

Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru

The electricity is the same as the United States--no adapters are necessary. Some of our centers are on a solar system so we ask guests to be aware of usage. You can check when you arrive if there are restrictions

Italy and Greece

Electricity in Italy and Greece is 220 volts, 50 cycles alternating current (AC). For comparison, in the United States it is 110 volts, 60 cycle AC current.  You must bring a 2 pin adapter to use your electronics.

Bali

The electricity in Indonesia runs at 230V. An electrical adapter is necessary if you are bringing any electrical items. Bali uses the European-style plug (two round pins). The venue does have adapters you may use and each room has at least one American adapter. You can also easily purchase adapters once you arrive.

Do I need to bring shampoo, lotion, hair dryer and a towel?

This varies by location and is often noted in the final instructions letter you will receive a few weeks prior to the retreat. Feel free to contact us with questions.

Do they have a pool, sauna or hot tub?

Please check with us for the specific location and the amenities available.

Can someone with mobility issues get around?

We, along with our centers, continue to strive to have our retreats accessible to all.   Please check with us in regards to the retreat you are interested in.

Weather and Conditions

Are there a lot of bugs?

Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru

Latin America in general is an environment full of natural life. Insects are a part of this ecosystem. Most bugs are actually quite fascinating to look at and yes, some do bite (mostly mosquitoes). The amount of bugs will range depending on your location and the time of year you will be visiting. We recommend that you bring bug repellent and use it in the early part of the day and before sunset as a precaution.

Italy

During certain times in the summer there may be some mosquitos – bring a natural mosquito repellent.

Greece

Generally mosquitos are not very prevalent. You would be most likely to encounter them after dark or in July-August. Of course, it never hurts to be prepared and bring along mosquito repellant.

Bali

It is helpful to be prepared for mosquito encounters in Bali. The center provides natural bug repellent for guests.

What will the weather be like?

Costa Rica

The weather is always changing in Costa Rica. Basically, there are two seasons; dry and green.  December through July is usually the warmest and driest part of the year. The temperature annually will range from 65F to 85F. There is always a possibility of a shower here and there as we are in the tropics, so bring your raincoat and/or an umbrella too.

Mexico

Mexico is hottest during the spring and summer. In the low-lying coastal areas, it is particularly hot and humid during the summer months. Daytime temperatures are warm in autumn and winter, cooling off a bit overnight. If you visit a city in the mountains, the higher altitude will cause lower temperatures in the fall and winter.

Mexico’s rainy season usually runs from May to October. Rain storms tend to arrive in the afternoon, leaving the evenings dry and cooled-off, with mornings bright and sunny.

Guatemala

There are basically 2 seasons in Guatemala: Green and Dry.  November – April and July-August are sunny and dry.  Mornings and Evenings are cool (bring a sweater) and days are hot. During Green Season, there can be mid-afternoon and evening showers.  Mornings are typically sunny.

Peru

Be prepared for a variety of weather conditions in Peru. These conditions can vary depending on your elevation. The Sacred Valley (where the center is located) is at a lower elevation than Cusco and Machu Picchu which are in the high mountains.

Peru has two main seasons--wet and dry. The dry season is April - October. However, there is still a chance of rain showers during this period. Sunshine is abundant during the day, but be prepared for chilly mornings and nights. In the daytime you can expect highs of around 65°-70°F (18°-21°C). In the rainy season - November to March - the average temperature is 64 °F (18 °C), but unlike the dry season, nighttime temperatures are just a few degrees lower.

Italy

Italy has seasons similar to the US. Winter months are colder and spring and fall are milder. Summer can be quite hot depending on your location.

The warmest months are generally July and August, while June and September offer nice, warm weather without it being too hot. In the summer months, the temperature ranges from 60°- 85°F (15°- 30°C). It could be rainy, especially if you are traveling in the spring or fall.

Greece

Greece enjoys a pleasant, Mediterranean climate, with sunny, dry summers and mild, somewhat wet winters. Summer can be quite hot. If you are coming in the peak summer months, you will certainly enjoy taking a swim in the pool (available at some locations) or at one of the local beaches!

Bali

Because it is located near the equator, Bali has a tropical climate and tends to have fairly stable weather with the ‘wet’ season occurring between November and March and the ‘dry’ season between May and September. The sun still shines brightly during the wet season. It is generally always hot with temperatures hovering in the mid to high 80s and up. Expect high humidity and daily rain showers if you are traveling in the wet season.

Occasionally rainfall can also be expected during the dry season but usually at night or very early morning. During June, July, and August there is often a refreshing cool breeze throughout the day. The central mountain area is typically cooler than the lower coastal areas, especially at night.

What is the time zone ?

Costa Rica and Guatemala

Mid-October to mid-March, Costa Rica and Guatemala are in the CST zone (1 hour behind EST) but both do not observe daylight savings time.  This means during March –October they are on MST (2 hours behind EST)

Mexico

This depends on your location so check with us if you have questions. Mexico has four different time zones and observance of daylight savings time can vary widely by area.

Peru

They are on EST from mid October to mid March and CST from mid March – mid October.  They do NOT observe daylight savings time.

Italy

Italy is in the Central European time zone. +6 hours from EST (New York).

Greece

Greece is in the Eastern European Time Zone. +7 hours from EST (New York)

Bali

Bali is in the Central Indonesian Time Zone, +12 hours from EST (New York.) Indonesia does not observe daylight savings time.

Miscellaneous

What if I want to extend my trip? Can you recommend other hotels?

Yes, we can assist you with your plans prior/post program. Just let us know.

What is the language Spoken? Do people speak English?

Costa Rica, Mexico, Guatemala and Peru

Spanish is the language primarily spoken. You will find that many people speak English as a second language and you should not have trouble communicating with locals. There will be a TN staff member or a center representative with you who speaks English available throughout your retreat.

Italy

Italian is the language of Italy.  At  our retreat centers  some of the staff do speak English.

Greece

Greek is the language of Greece. There are English-speaking staff at our center.

Bali

Indonesian and Balinese are the primary languages spoken in Bali. English is widely spoken and there are English-speaking staff at our center.

Can I come alone to a retreat?

Yes!  Coming on retreats can be a great place to find your own space and connect with new friends.  Since this is a group experience you will not be alone unless you want to be.

What is the average age of participants?

While there is no age which is inappropriate for retreats, most of our retreatants are between the ages of 25-60.  If you fall outside that range…no worries, as long as the program feels interesting to you (and you have your parent’s consent if under 18), we welcome your presence. Please note that some programs are restricted to ages 18 and above.

Are children welcome?

Yes! Children are welcome at most retreats. All retreats are geared towards adult participation (unless otherwise stated in the program description). If you want to bring your child(ren) along, please contact us and we can send you details. Certain retreat leaders prefer that only adults attend the retreat, we will let you know if this is the case.