New Years in Tulum – December 27 2013 to January 3 2014

New Year’s Writing Immersion Retreat in Tulum, Mexico at Shambala Petit

Arrive in Cancun (CUN) airport on December 27 2013 and meet our taxi to make the trip in Tulum at Shambala Petit, a phenomenally tranquil small scale yoga-centered hotel right on the sandy beach of south Tulum. You will be in good company — fellow writers, yoga practitioners, artists, and creative professionals needing a productive but relaxing vacation. We will ring in the new year together and on January 3 2014, you will be brought back to the Cancun airport to return home rejuvenated and more centered.


We are served healthy and beautiful meals three times a day, we practice yoga to the sound of the crashing waves and we read poetry together in the shade of the palm trees.

 The water is pristine and the beach is made of the softest sand toes could ask for. The area is very close to an ecological preserve for turtles and so there is very little light and noise at night. The soothing sound of crashing waves permeates our entire being while we reflect and relax in this time of blissfulness.


Is there a better way to spend a week in mid-winter?


Retreat Activities

  • One-on-one manuscript guidance
  • Enlivening interdisciplinary group critique
  • Early morning yoga
  • Direct observation painting instruction
  • Delicious healthy local organic food
  • Goal writing and wellness activities
  • Creative writing discussion



Sample Personal Schedule (all activities are optional):

7:30 – Yoga and breathwork with the rising sun over the ocean
9:00 – Silent breakfast, followed by a craft talk
10:00 – Nature walk in the beach and perhaps a dip in the water
1:00 – Healthy and delicious lunch, followed by a discussion on writing
2:00 – Wellness and creative writing time on the beach
6:00 – Afternoon yoga, painting, writing or one on one sessions
7:00 – Dinner in the open-air, beachside loveliness
8:30 – Post-dinner critique session in the breezy and beautiful yoga space

 The Retreat Center

Shambala Petit is a small ecologically-minded hotel and yoga retreat center on the beach in Tulum. You’ll only need to walk a few meters to dip your feet in the refreshing waves and for the entire week our discussions and yoga will be washed in the comforting sound of the surf.


Testimonial from Tulum 2012:

While my words cannot express the gratitude in my heart, I have attempted to share what I can in my testimonial.

Spending the New Year in Tulum has been the most inspiring and transformative holidays I have had. The friendship, mentorship and encouragement from Jade and Stephen was unique and honest. The combination of activities offered (creative writing, spiritual writing, yoga, meditation, breath work, painting, being on the ocean, speaking Spanish, day trip) was exactly what I was looking for. The peaceful and serene setting on the ocean allowed for a safe, open and creative space. The staff was kind, attentive, and the food was truly some of the freshest and best I have had.

This was the first retreat I have taken and I would not have changed anything. I am grateful for the tools I have taken home with me.

I now practice yoga, meditation and breathing techniques I learned from Jade and Stephen. I am learning to befriend and be kind to the voice within. I continue to write, but write more. I continue to paint, but paint more. I am motivated to stretch and meditate more.

Not only am I able to continue what I learned from the retreat, but I have also shared and invited my husband to join. He and I now write together after dinner. I would like to share a brief story about the morning I returned from my retreat: My husband woke up to the alarm and was about to jump out of bed and start his day in a hectic state. I told him to let me lead him through a short gratitude meditation. We started from wiggling our toes, touching our legs and acknowledged each part of our bodies all the way up to our heads, thanking our bodies and minds (like Jade taught me). We hugged ourselves and then one another. We both got out of bed in a wonderful and relaxed mood. It really made a difference and I hope to keep up this kind and gentle way of waking up.

This is just one of the many examples of how Jade and Stephen have enriched the life I have been striving to create. They are beautiful teachers and I am grateful for starting my year with them.

Jessica, Writing Immersion Participant & Big Jade and Stephen Fan, Tulum Mexico, 2012


Other Information (from Roberto at Shambala Petit)

You are staying in a beautiful natural habitat with a delicately balanced eco-system, which needs our help to be kept preserved.
Our electricity comes from solar panels and a generator. Light is available 24hrs a day.
Your complimentary breakfast is served between 8:30am & 9.00am. 

Our beach is very safe and secure; you can walk during the day or at nighttime without any problems. You will need a flashlight at night because it is very dark. The beach is cleaned daily.
We want you to feel at home.  Our hotel staff  is very friendly and honest. 

Packing Suggestions
Comfortable Walking/ Biking Shoes / Flip-Flops.
Yoga Clothes or T- Shirts and shorts.
Swimming suit / Sun protection / Sarong / Sunglasses / A hat to protect you from the sun while walking or biking.
Personal toiletries / Medications/supplements / Water bottle / Flashlight / Sunscreen / Insect repellant.
Warm clothes or a shawl for cooler nights / A journal and pen or pencil / Good books to read while lounging in a hammock.
Camera to capture the amazing scenery of Tulum and perhaps a disposable underwater camera for snorkel and Cenote trips.
Eye pillow / Laptop (we have Internet wireless connection ) and Chargers /  Map if you are planning to look around.
Please note: No blow dryers are permitted at the hotel, as they will blow our generators.
There is a supermarket in Tulum town approximately a 10-minute taxi drive from the hotel where you can buy  sunscreen, toiletries (shampoo, conditioners etc.),  insect repellant etc.

Questions & Answers
Q.        Is it safe to travel to Mexico?
A.        The Today Show just voted Tulum the #1 International location to travel with children.  We do recommend guests take normal travel precautions, but rest assured you will be far from the “border town” violence.There has been a lot of press about violence in Mexico and while sadly this is the case in some border towns, Shambala Petit Hotel  hosts retreats in the quiet and Beautiful Beach of Tulum, far from these non safe areas.  


Services offered:
Swedish massage & Thai massage are available with a reservation made at the main office. Price:  $ 85.00USD for 60 minutes
We have kayaks, boogey boards and Snorkel gear that are available for you to use free of charge.
Local Attractions
Shambala can help you to arrange trips to any of the following locations.
Tulum Ruins:
Opens at approx. 8:00am and closes at 5pm. The compact site is beautifully situated  on 12 meters high cliffs overlooking the sea.  It is one of the best-preserved Mayan sites and the third most visited in Mexico.  It is easy to walk around the ruins in an hour.
Are natural groundwater pools, in many cases where sections of cave roof have fallen in to reveal an underlying cave system and the water flow. Gran Cenote, Dos Ojos, and Escondido Cenotes are all within an easy distance of Shambala and are beautiful and unique places to visit.  You can go swimming in Cenotes, snorkeling and if you are qualified and experienced; cave scuba diving.

 Biosphere of Siaan Ka’an:
Sian Ka’an means “where the sky is born” in Mayan and the biosphere covers an area of approx. 1.3 million acres with 62 miles of un-spoilt coastline. It is a natural protected nature reserve where you can go to view wildlife and take boat rides in to the mangrove swamps.  The biosphere is a 2 and a half hour drive from Shambala.               
Coba archeological site:
Around 1hr by car.  is a large ruined city of the Pre-Columbian Maya civilization based in the jungle.  A portion of this massive and impressive site has been cleared from the jungle and restored by archaeologists and is now easily accessible to tourists. Come here to see huge the ancient ball courts Mayan temple pyramids; the tallest of which at 42 meters you climb to access amazing views of the jungle.  Local guides are available at the entrance to the site, as well as bicycle rentals to get to some of the further ruins. A large lake at the entrance is also home to crocodiles and local guides can take you on to small purpose built jetties to view them.  2 fantastic Cenotes are also nearby where you can swim and snorkel if you bring your own equipment and towels.
 Is a small but bustling Mayan city situated approximately 90 minutes drive from Tulum. Many of the local townspeople still wear the typical Mayan dress and sell local handicrafts. The Caste War began here in 1847, and also the first signs of the Mexican Revolution of 1910. The church of San Gervasio overlooks the main square and the town is a great place to try out typical Mexican food and get a genuine feel for the real Mexico. Dzitnup Cenotes are also close by.
Chichen Itza
Merida and Celestun are also an easy travel distance from Tulum.
 What’s Included in the Retreat?

  • Ground transportation to and from the estate from the airport (CUN)
  • Room and board at Shambala Petit
  • Tuition for all daily yoga classes, writing critiques, and wellness workshops
  • Ethically-printed personal journal
  • Wellness and Writing Immersion handbook filled with creative guidance and exercises

All-Inclusive Program Pricing

Total Price of program:  $2169 $1648 (double room)
The total is split into two easy payments:
Confirmation deposit:$824
(Remaining payment: $824)

As always, we’ll get you to and from the airport (Cancun – CUN), the costs of yoga/breathwork and critique/workouts/writing instruction are included, breakfast, lunch and dinner are included, use of facilities are included. Airfare is not included.

 Additional cost for single room: $440

 Applications will be reviewed the order in which they are received. Due to the appeal of the retreat offerings and the date/location, it is extremely likely that the course will fill up soon. If you are approved, you should be prepared to pay the first installment soon to ensure you retain your space or it will lose it to someone else. The first installment goes toward the total amount and reserves your space. All payments are nonrefundable. Please make both of your payments as soon as possible and come on a retreat with us!

If your application has been approved, you can confirm your spot at the retreat via Paypal. You do not need to have a Paypal account — all you need is a credit or debit card.

Payment Plan Option: Split the Cost Over Four Months


 For participants unable to pay for the entire retreat at once, we offer a payment plan. After paying the deposit, you can split the remaining cost of the retreat over the next three months. We want everyone whose application gets accepted to be able to participate in this experience, and so we will be happy to use this payment plan option to make this retreat a reality for you.

Should You Apply?

 If you can answer yes to each of the following questions, this retreat is a good fit for you:

  • Are you looking for some focused time to write?
  • Do you strive for greater physical and emotional well-being?
  • Are you excited to take part in a new and empowering routine that includes the options of daily writing, yoga, painting, appreciation of nature, and the warm community of creative people?
  • Are you eager for rejuvenation, self-development and peace?

If your heart says yes to this experience, send your application while there is still space available. 

How to Apply

The application process is the same, whether you’re applying for a retreat in Italy, Bali, or Mexico. If you are hoping to come on a retreat, you can apply by clicking here.