Casa Verde Raw Food Yoga Hiking Retreat

With just 4 guests or less, we offer semi private retreats in the Cloud forest of Ecuador. Inspiring Yoga, delicious Raw Cleansing Cuisine, & World Class Hiking. Reconnect with yourself in nature.

Instructors 1

Wendy Green

She took her first yoga class in Boston in 1972, where she was introduced to healing powers of raw food while working at the now famous “Hippocrates Health Institute” and eventually headed their raw food kitchen. These two events have shaped the course of her life in every way. Since this auspicious beginning, she has dedicated her life to learning as much as possible about yoga and diet, walking the walk, talking the talk and sharing what she knows.

ITTA (International Thai Therapists Association) (Thai Massage)

Reviews 3

Jodie Nagel

from Canada, July 2018

"Okay if you want a prescriptive program"

Great location and amenities. The food was terrific. No snacking between meals though which was tough.

Anonymous

from United States, January 2018

"Hit the reset-button"

Everything! I booked the retreat to carry me over the holidays, and do some yoga. I got so much more out of it though. What a wonderful way to hit that reset-button, and to start the new year all refreshed, nourished and energized.

- Yoga: Wendy is an awesome and obviously very experienced teacher, who really pays attention to where you are at and what you are capable of - and stretching (ha!) that as much as she thinks you can handle. It's remarkable to see the progress after only 6 days!

- Food: the food is absolutely fantastic, tasty and satiating. Wendy is passionate about sharing her knowledge and experience of raw-food, which is very inspiring.

- Hiking: the house is located in the middle of the cloud forest, and the daily hikes in the forest are stunningly beautiful. I enjoyed them so very much, on several levels: enjoying the fresh air, the stunning views, the wonderful nature and animals.

- House: the house is wonderful, clean and 'homey'. It's so nice to curl up on a chair with a good book and a cup of tea, while enjoying the views of the forest, looking at butterflies and (humming)birds.

For me this week was perfect to get some (in my opinion well-deserved) R&R, and Wendy is there to take care of everything. You take out of your stay what you put in: I am well rested, nourished and feel ready to continue this healthy living in a sustainable way.

Anonymous

from Canada, December 2017

"Cloud forest retreat; yoga, hiking, relaxing & raw food! "

It was a gorgeous setting, Wendy is an amazing yoga instructor! The food was incredible and I loved hiking the trails on her mountain. The accommodations were perfect, very clean and I loved the Orchid room! The sheets and bath towels always smelled so fresh too:) I loved getting to know wendy’s beautiful dogs Luna & Riu too! Overall lovely experience:)

Testimonials 5

Brian W.

TripAdvisor website

Before coming to Wendy's, I had only taken 3-4 beginner yoga classes and I didn't know what "raw food" meant. I just thought it sounded healthy and interesting, although I had my doubts. I was blown away by my visit. I came there after an intense year of vacationless 70+ hour work weeks and a divorce. I was so busy and stressed, I didn't know how tired I was or how badly I needed a break like this.

At Wendy's, there were no sounds except bird songs, occasional rain on the roof, and the river in the distance. The air was incredibly fresh and sweet smelling from all the surrounding plant life. Hiking through the forest, I got to see animals and plants that I had never seen before, living their lives as if they were unaware of human presence, and there were several breathtaking waterfalls. There aren't many people in Mindo (and the few who are there are very kind), and I didn't use digital technology at all while I was there. It was the opposite of my normal daily experience in a dense urban area; I was immersed in the natural world.

That setting provided a great opportunity for me to examine my habits and my daily routine. I learned that I should take some time each day to rest alone in silence, and that it is very healthy for me to practice yoga every day. I also discovered the surprising benefits of a raw diet, both through firsthand experience and through reading some of Wendy's book collection and watching some of her documentaries. While eating Wendy's equally delicious and healthy food, I noticed a reduction in inflammation of my joints and skin, and my stomach was less bothersome. I also shed some unnecessary weight and gained some strength. And by the way, the natural spring water at Wendy's is delicious (I took as much as I could with me when I left) and was pleasant to shower in. I'm still sticking to a raw diet most of the time now that I'm back.

Wendy was a great yoga teacher for a beginner like me. She was supportive and positive but also demanding when necessary. I learned enough yoga to begin practicing back home and appreciating the difference it makes in my body.

Thanks Wendy, Maria, Walter, Rio & Luna!

Kellen P.

TripAdvisor website

I am by nature very skeptical but am now a raw food convert. Wendy's meals are delicious and beautifully prepared and the program is meticulously thought out over her years of practice. She has been living this and takes the time to share what she's learned. You learn to eat slowly, appreciate what you are putting into your body, and to get all the nutrients you need while respecting nature and cutting out dead food and calories. I didn't come to lose weight but lost 10 pounds in as many days and am back at fighting weight. I also saw great improvement in my posture from the yoga and feel like I finally understand the progression and the feel of breathing with purpose and active posture. The studio and property are both gorgeous with tons of hiking trails. Absolutely would come back - Wendy is awesome.

Axel Heyst

TripAdvisor website

This yoga center is in a beautiful cloud forest near Mindo, Ecuador, a couple hours from Quito. The area is known as a bird-watching center and indeed we saw various interesting winged creatures, as well as a couple of strange looking four-legged animals, not including Wendy Green's dogs who are charming. The landscaping, the house and the yoga practice area are all beautiful. It is a lush and lovely place.

I came to Wendy's retreat with my wife, who is a dedicated and advanced practitioner of Ashtanga yoga. I, on the other hand, have not been dedicated to a yoga lifestyle. Indeed, I have been known to regularly drink alcohol, eat red meat, drink strong coffee, think impure thoughts and swear regularly about the liars and thieves in and out of political power.

While I have tried to begin an ashtanga practice and have been doing it intermittently over the years, I have frequently ended up making my injury prone shoulders feel worse. Once, in a beginner class taught by a horrible teacher, I nearly broke my right arm with my right leg. You try that!

Naturally, I did not have confidence about a daily practice in ashtanga. I do not feel that way any more. Wendy is a great teacher, and I have endured a few from the local to the world renowned. She is gentle, considerate and thoughtful about your limitations and injuries. She has worked through her own injuries and is deeply respectful of how the body can evolve to do the practice. I am practicing daily and for the first time I feel confident that I could chip away at this and experience big benefits.

While my wife is knowledgable and dedicated, she too learned a great deal from Wendy.

Here's the deal, and you should surrender to it: About a week before you go, Wendy will email you asking how it's going dropping that sinful coffee. That for me was the hardest part. Begin to seriously lay off any meat, cheese and other unnecessary foods, and try to ditch wine or booze too. Otherwise you'll go cold turkey in Mindo and it will cut into what you achieve. Don't eat much if anything on the plane either, because landing in Quito -- 9500 feet -- is a bit of shock to the system. Just drink a lot of water.

Once you're settled in, you practice every morning (except one). You then enjoy a fresh green coconut and a few minutes after that an extremely rich fruit smoothie. Next you hike in the jungle on the sides of volcanic mountains, located on the property. Then it's back to the house for a lovely salad loaded with finely sliced raw vegetables and greens and little foods you have likely never had before. The afternoon is free and you should relax. In the evening, Wendy will serve you a lovely raw food dinner. Pecan tacos, vegetable spring rolls, vegetable sushi sans white rice were a few of her amazing creations.

You think raw food is a fad by and for lunatics? Well, that's fine. But my advice is to be willing to shed, if even only temporarily, some of the tired and worn habits we have, and be open to experiencing how your body changes with a cleansing experience like this. You will also shed some weight. Over six days, I lost 6 pounds and a lot of inflammation. I still feel tremendous and I'm incorporating some of what I learned down there in my daily regime here in the awful Tri-State Area.

Be open, embrace a little change, and go down there to breath clean air, drink clean spring water, eat raw food, and let Wendy walk you through an invigorating yet relaxing yoga experience.

Ires New Jersey, USA

TripAdvisor website

I've known about Wendy's yoga & hiking retreat for many years -- it's been on my bucket list. This past summer all of the stars aligned and we were able to go. It was truly incredible! Wendy is an experienced and down to earth Ashtanga yoga teacher - making the practice accessible and fun for beginners to experienced students. She is extremely generous about sharing her knowledge and is invested in helping her guests make their lives better. The accommodations and food were divine. We learned so many good new habits that we are incorporating at home now. We feel rested, rejuvenated and relaxed. Thank you, Casa Verde for everything!

Heidi B. Massachusetts, USA

TripAdvisor website

This is a revised review and I will share that I am revising the first review because IMHO this is still an amazing place but I want to share a few things that are a more honest evaluation of my experience.

The yoga is amazing. Wendy Green, the owner , is sincere in her efforts to help people and she truly has created a paradise, where morning yoga is taught from an open second-level structure in a lush setting of trees and plants, with leaves the size of Fiats. The house itself is awesome, it truly is the most peaceful setting for a cleansing retreat and I simply adored my room and the beautiful porch,which was my favorite spot to be after class. Can you really think of anything more magical than being on an enchanting porch or going to sleep in a cloud forest, with the rain lightly falling? I could go on and on. The meals are exemplary; the raw food is delicious and I felt perfectly sated while staying there. I've often enjoyed raw dishes and, after my stay, actually have copied some of the dishes that I found inspiring. Wendy's dogs were a delight, I cannot say enough about Luna and Rio, who were my constant companions during the week long stay.

However, there were a few things that did not go over well with me and I think that it is important to share with others: Wendy shared in front of a guest that she couldn't believe I weighed so much more than she did, given that we were the same height. She looked at me sternly while saying this, like it was okay for her to reign supreme over another human being and simply "share' her unequivocal opinion that I needed to lose weight and change my bad habits. For the record, I am not obese/ grossly overweight, though I did have pounds to lose. However, I was completely shocked. I didn't say anything at the time, because my dog had been killed by a car a few days before I arrived and it was a traumatic time in my life. I had almost cancelled the trip and simply wanted peace. After the fact, I wrote a letter to Wendy and explained how it felt, Wendy had also had loss in her life and I respected that. But I didn't like the overweight comment and there was no excuse for it. I was there to get healthier, for God's sake! There were other moments, but that was the big one for me. It is my opinion that, even if you are respectful, if you don't agree with Wendy then you are wrong and will be bluntly told you are wrong. Just an FYI. She referred to it as 'tough love", I see it as crossing a line. I see it as unnecessary. Without a doubt, she is someone who does care about the well being of the planet and does her best to walk her talk, but there was an intolerance of different points of view that was hard to take at times. She means well and certainly has a kind nature at her core and is generous towards others. I saw many examples of this, like picking up a small boy who was walking from the village and driving him to his destination or the lovely way she had with the housekeeper and driver. Again, she is kind at her core and has created this amazing life for herself, I respect her for that. For that reason, I would, without reservation, recommend a week at Casa Verde if you are looking for an amazing setting and a great yoga teacher, who will give you undivided attention while in class. Just don't forget to take 'water off a duck's back' pills (at times) and enjoy all that is beautiful about the classes and the setting. I also loved Mindo and plan on returning to the area. There are many awesome looking B&Bs and house rentals. The town is a true delight, a birdwatcher's paradise. All in all, I believe you will be glad you did a retreat with Wendy and spent time in the cloud forest. Life is lived in moments and you will take home some very precious moments that will make your everyday life much richer. For that, I will always be more than happy that I spent time at Casa Verde.

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