Yoga Retreat in Ecuadorean Amazon and Andes


Yes! I'm interested! Please keep me posted with more details!

waterfallBoth ancient Yogic wisdom and traditional Amazonian cultures believe that Nature provides a powerful source of energy and healing. Gift yourself an extraordinary yoga retreat to the largest Rainforest on the planet, where you’ll breathe deep from the lungs of the Earth and steep yourself in the local wisdom of the Amazon Rainforest and wonders of the Andes mountains.

This retreat is organized in partnership with Andy Gavilanes, a dear friend of Lakshmi's. Andy grew up in Ecuador and returned to start Amazon Learning, an organization that creates meaningful and immersive experiences with the Amazonian ecosystems and communities.

  • Purify yourself during daily yoga and meditation al fresco
  • Rejuvenate your vitality on forest bathing walks
  • Cleanse your energy with Amazonian rituals and healers
  • Participate in dream interpretation with the Kichwa people
  • Experience a fresh Amazonian Forest to Table feast
  • Harvest your therapeutic herbs with local plant experts
  • Purify your body in a traditional Amazonian steam bath
  • Hike to pristine healing waterfalls
  • Relax in thermal infinity pools overlooking the Andes
  • Sleep in peaceful lodges surrounded by the aliveness, fresh air, and wonders of Ecuador's tropical rainforest.




Retreat Leaders

LakshmiLakshmi Kanter

Lakshmi is a Yoga Therapist, Awakened Heart Meditation Teacher, and E-RYT200/RYT500 Yoga Teacher. Her first tranformative spiritual experiences occurred while adventuring, playing, and sitting quietly surrounded by the awesomeness of the natural world, during eight years as a camper and counselor at Quaker hiking and canoeing camps in Virginia.

Lakshmi has been practicing yoga since 1998 and teaching yoga since 2009. She is a certified meditation teacher through Sally Kempton and the Dharana institute, and by Jnani Chapman in Yoga Therapy for Cancer and Chronic Illness (YCat). Lakshmi has also completed Sacred Journey: Being Present with Aging, Illness and Dying, a nine-month contemplative course offered by Insight Meditation Community of Washington.

Yoga and meditation have transformed Lakshmi both energetically and physically, helping her heal from physical injuries, from the loss of her mother to breast cancer in 1999, and from a painful separation and divorce. Her Sri Lankan mother often spoke about the incredible healing power of our own breath, and Lakshmi now understands the truth and profundity of that insight.

Lakshmi has guided women's circles since 2015 and wrote award winning contemplative audio tours for The Phillips Collection's modern art exhibitions. She has led yoga for stress relief at the NBC4 Health Fair and the Green Festival and has taught yoga classes and retreats for people with cancer through INOVA Alexandria Hospitalís Life With Cancer program, Washington Cancer Institute, and Yogaville. She has worked with the Cancer Help Program at Smith Center for Healing and the Arts, taught trauma survivors and human trafficking survivors, and assisted retreats at Kripalu Center for Yoga and Health. Lakshmi also teaches at studios, nonprofits, museums, community events, corporations, conferences, festivals, and for private clients.

Lakshmi’s awareness, breath and movement have accompanied her throughout an ever evoloving and travel-filled career in documentary science television production, science communications, and urban education.  She holds a BA in Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard University and studied Photography at California College of the Arts.


AndyAmazon Learning

Amazon Learning is a social enterprise that creates meaningful educational experiences for people interested in gaining understanding of the link between local people and the Amazonian ecosystem. We foster learning through a variety of programs from short one-week courses led by experts in their field to four-month immersion and internship programs where participants live and work in local communities. Our participants forge meaningful connections to the people and forest of the Amazon, and their experience does not end there: participants leave with new worldly perspectives and a profound commitments to share these with world.

Andy Gavilanes, CEO and founder, is an international education professional with 15 years of experience in the field. He has studied, worked and travelled across the Americas, Asia and Africa. He started Amazon Learning after working for four years developing Global Citizen Year’s Amazon program in Ecuador. Andy brings to Amazon Learning a profound knowledge and passion for cross-cultural education and international exchange programs. He is an Ecuadorian-American and was first introduced to the world of international education as an 18-year-old undergraduate in the U.S. at Louisiana State University where he studied International Relations. He furthered his exposure to global learning through a transformative experience in Guinea as an agroforestry Peace Corps Volunteer. After his service he received his Masters Degree from the School for International Training in Vermont where he focused on designing and delivering study abroad programs. Andy is an energetic and inquisitive person who deeply believes in the positive effects of cross-cultural education on humanity.



Accommodations, meals, in-country transportation, and all activities are included in the cost.   Fee does not include travel to/from Quito.


Have you been on a daylong or weekend retreat with Lakshmi before?
If so, please contact her for your special $50 coupon code!


View of Ecuadorian Rainforest and mountain


If you are under financial constraints, please write me a message explaining your circumstances, and I may be able to offer you a discount or payment plan in order to support your attendance.


Tentative Schedule


  • Travel to Quito
  • Meet your shuttle or cab to our hotel.


  • Morning Yoga
  • Travel from Quito - through the Páramo (Andean Tundra at 4,000m) and through at least 9 different ecosystems, to the town of Tena in the Amazonian rainforest
  • Experience the change in landscapes witnessing at least 9 different ecosystems from Andes Mountains into the Amazon
  • Lunch
  • Opening Ceremony:  setting personal intentions for the trip & guided relaxation
  • Dinner in Tena


  • Morning Forest meditation
  • Traditional antioxidant Guayusa Tea Ceremony with Kichwa Community, Dream Interpretation, Shamanistic Cleansing Ritual and traditional face painting with natural food coloring
  • Breakfast with Kichwa Community
  • Reforestation - planting trees at the base of the Bosque Colonso Protected Forest
  • Lunch
  • Travel to rainforest lodge and rest
  • Yoga and meditation
  • Traditional Amazonian Dinner


  • Morning yoga
  • Breakfast
  • Forest bathing and medicinal plant walk with Shaman
  • Lunch
  • Yoga
  • Evening Amazonian steam bath
  • Dinner
  • Meditation

walk through rainforestTuesday

  • Morning Yoga
  • Dream interpretation with Shaman
  • Tour a traditional Kichwa Chakra (agroforestry farm). Learn about local edible, medicinal, and culturally used plants.  Touch, smell, and taste different products from the forest.
  • Lunch
  • Culinary experience: help prepare our seasonal harvest into a spread of natural, organic, exotic dishes – such as sour guava wine, edible mushrooms, flowers, leaves, fruits, nuts, beans, spinach, insects, fish, and frogs.
  • Amazonian Forest to Table Feast
  • Meditation

woman healerWednesday

  • Morning yoga
  • Breakfast
  • Hike to therapeutic waterfall
  • Relax at pristine blue lagoon
  • Lunch at lagoon
  • Stay at Kichwa women’s association community tourism lodge


  • Morning yoga
  • Canoe ride down the Napo river to Animal Rescue Center
  • Lunch
  • Chocolate making with Kichwa women’s association
  • Rainforest Night Walk

by the riverFriday

  • Travel to Baños de Agua Santa
  • Hike to Pailon de Diablo waterfall:  water yoga
  • Lunch
  • Afternoon yoga
  • Relax at Luna Runton hot spring infinity pools with Andean views
  • Dinner
  • Guided relaxation and meditation


  • Morning yoga
  • Closing ceremony
  • Lunch en route to Quito
  • Depart on Red Eye flight home OR Stay at hotel near the airport


  • Depart or extend your stay on your own 

(Elizabeth) Lakshmi Kanter
Yoga Therapist and E-RYT200, RYT500 Yoga Teacher
lakshmi (at) fullheartyoga (dot) com * 510.219.2872 * Washington, DC

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Full Heart Yoga:  Yoga for Health and Wholeness

calligraphy by Nellie Chao