Frequently Asked Questions
Where Are You Located & What Time Zone Are You In?
Haramara Retreat is located on the Central Pacific Coast of mainland Mexico in the coastal region of the state of Nayarit (known as Riviera Nayarit) near the town of Sayulita. Sayulita is located 45 minutes north of the city of Puerto Vallarta. We are in the Central Time Zone. Mexico observes Daylight Savings Time but does not make the time switch on the same dates as the United States.
How Do I Get There From Here & What Do I Need?
Most people fly into Puerto Vallarta’s International Airport (Gustavo Diaz Ordaz, airport code: PVR).You will need a CURRENT PASSPORT for your trip to Mexico. A Driver License is no longer a valid identification document for travel to Mexico. No vaccinations are required to enter the country.During the flight to Puerto Vallarta you will be given a document to fill out which you will then need to present to the immigration official upon your entry into Mexico. This document is your Travel Visa. BE SURE YOU KEEP THIS PIECE OF PAPER FOR YOUR DEPARTURE! You will be asked for it upon check-in for your return flight home. If you do not have this piece of paper, there will be a fine and the hassle of redoing all of this paperwork on the spot!Also during the flight you will be given a second document to fill out. This document is your Customs Declaration Form. You will need to present this to the customs official after collecting any checked luggage. Once you have presented your document, all of your carry on and checked luggage will be x-rayed. You will then be asked to press a button for a customs inspection. This is a random selection system. A Green Light means you are free to pass through the customs area without an inspection, a Red Light means you will need to head to the customs inspection counter where all of your luggage will be searched.
I Have Arrived To Puerto Vallarta, How Do I Arrive To Haramara?
Haramara Retreat can easily be reached from the Puerto Vallarta International Airport via retreat shuttle, rental car, taxi or bus.Unless noted in your reservation as included, the retreat shuttle is $90* U.S. for a shuttle from the airport to Haramara and $65* U.S. for a shuttle from Haramara to the airport. These rates are for one to four people with an additional $5* U.S. for each person up to seven. Rates for any other transportation are variable and we are unable to provide for them. *(Prices quoted are subject to change.)If you have arranged for the retreat shuttle, please proceed through the sliding glass doors after you exit customs. You will encounter a large, loud crowd waiting outside the sliding glass doors. In this crowd you will find your driver holding a sign reading “Haramara Retreat”. The driver will have a list with your name on it.If you have opted to take a rental car, the rental car company will give you instructions on how to locate them.If you have opted to take a taxi, please proceed through the sliding glass doors after you exit customs. You will encounter a large, loud crowd waiting outside the sliding glass doors. We suggest that you not use the airport taxis and continue walking straight ahead through the airport exiting out the glass doors. Head for the pedestrian overpass on your left, go up the ramp, over the highway and down the other side. It is less expensive to take a short walk across the pedestrian overpass to the other side of the highway and negotiate with the drivers of the yellow and white Puerto Vallarta taxis.If you have opted to take the bus, proceed through the sliding glass doors after you exit customs. You will encounter a large, loud crowd waiting outside the sliding glass doors. Continue walking straight ahead through the airport exiting out the glass doors. Head for the pedestrian overpass on your left, go up the ramp, over the highway and down the other side. Wait for a green and white “Compostela” bus that has “Sayulita” written on its windshield to arrive. You will purchase your ticket on the bus. When you arrive in Sayulita, you will then find a local taxi at the same place you are dropped off and take it out to Haramara Retreat.
What Is The Weather Like?
The Central Pacific Coast of Mexico is surrounded by jungle and receives approximately 345 days of sunshine per year. Located on the same latitude as the Hawaiian Islands, its sub-tropical climate is often compared to Hawaii’s. Temperatures can reach 90 degrees during the summer, along with high humidity, but at night, the onshore breeze brings cool air that makes for pleasant sleeping conditions. The rainy season is June through October; however, August and September are considered the two “rainy” months. On average, September has 15 wet days per month, while January has only two. Rain usually doesn’t start until late in the afternoon, leaving most of the day free for outdoor activities.March, April, May, October and November are warm but comfortable (upper 70s to low 80s). December, January and February are usually comfortable (low to mid 70s) but can be chilly at night (low to mid 60s). June, July, August and September are hot (mid 80s to low 90s) and humid.
What Are The Ecological Conditions?
Haramara Retreat has been carefully designed to subtly merge the internal and external environments while at the same time meeting strict ecological standards with as little disturbance to the flora and fauna as possible. Admire the flora and fauna but please respect the fragile and beautiful ecosystem that surrounds you and stay on the paths provided.We ask that if it is at all possible to please bring organic toiletry items with you in order to keep the impact on the jungle ecosystem that surrounds us to a minimum.
What Are The Grounds Like?
Haramara Retreat is located on 12 acres of private land between the Sierra Madre Mountains and the Pacific Ocean. Nestled into the tropical jungle vegetation on a hillside, it overlooks the wild and rugged coast of the Pacific Ocean and its own pristine unspoiled beach. All areas of the retreat are connected by a network of unpaved trails. Some of them are steep and can be slippery. Sturdy walking shoes are recommended.Due to the nature of the terrain on which we are situated, Haramara Retreat is not recommended for young children or persons with limited or impaired mobility
What Are The Accommodations Like?
Each cabana is secluded and private and has its own private bathroom with a shower, a flush toilet, hot and cold water and monogrammed towels. There are hand woven sheets on the bed and gauze curtains and drapes for added privacy. Each cabana is designed to be open air with no windows or screens in order to allow in the gentle breezes from the Pacific Ocean. Some cabanas have private hammocks for lazy afternoon siestas. All have stunning ocean and/or jungle views.
Is It Safe To Leave Our Valuables In The Cabaña?
We recommend that you do not bring any unnecessary personal items with you, including, but not limited to, jewelry, electronics, cameras, binoculars, etc., as Haramara will not be responsible for the replacement of any items lost, damaged or stolen while staying at Haramara Retreat.We strongly suggest that you purchase travelers insurance and speak to your insurance agent about adding a rider for your policy while you travel to cover any items you bring with you in the case of loss, damage or theft.
Is There Electricity?
There is no electricity in the cabanas. They are illuminated at night with oil lamps and candles. You will be unable to use any small electrical appliances like hair dryers, curling irons or razors. There are no fans or air conditioning in the cabanas. If you want to read at night, you will need to bring a book light with you. There is no outdoor lighting so you will need to carry a flashlight or use a headlamp at night. There is, however, electricity in the Yoga Pavilion and the Restaurant for recharging batteries. It is the same voltage as the United States so no converter is needed.
Is there Phone / Internet / Fax?
There are no phones, internet or fax at Haramara Retreat. If you would like to use the phone, internet, or fax you will need to go into the town of Sayulita.For Emergency Contact Only – In case you need to leave contact information to be reached in an emergency, the phone number to leave is the Haramara Business Office number in Tucson, AZ: 1-800-687-3132 or the email address: firstname.lastname@example.org. Messages will be delivered to you out at the retreat as soon as possible.
Will My Cell Phone Work?
It will depend on the phone you have and if it has the 1900 GSM frequency band. If you have this frequency band your phone will work in Mexico but you will need to check with your service provider about your specific phone and service. There is a cell tower in Sayulita with limited accessibility from certain places at the highest point on the property.
What Time is Check-in? Check-Out?
Check-In time is 3pm. An earlier arrival is not a problem. If your cabana is not ready, our restaurant and terrace are available to you while you wait. You may also leave your luggage with our staff in the arrival/departure area if you would like to do some exploring. We deliver all luggage directly to the cabanas.Check-Out time is 10am. Please have your luggage packed and placed on the porch outside your cabana at least one hour prior to your departure time. Our staff with pick it up and deliver it to the arrival/departure area. If your transportation has not yet arrived, our restaurant and terrace are available to you while you wait.
Do You Allow Children?
We are designed as an adult vacation and yoga retreat. We want our guests to have the opportunity to enjoy their time here and relax in a quiet and restful atmosphere free of toddlers and energetic youngsters. Children age 13 or older will be allowed on-site with their parent or parents. When on-site, children will only be allowed under the following conditions. Children must be under parental (or parental designated adult) control and supervision at all times. Children are not allowed to roam the grounds freely. Parents are responsible for the safety and the actions of their children. If children are disruptive you may be asked to leave the property.
Do You Allow Pets?
Pets are not allowed on the premises.
What Is Included In The Room Rate?
Unless otherwise noted in your reservation, the room rate includes – private cabana, daily maid service, two meals (breakfast and dinner) and use of the facilities. You have the option to swap dinner for lunch or you can add lunch for $20* U.S. per day. Either option can be done with 24 hour notice to the kitchen. Not included in the room rate are airport shuttles, alcoholic beverages, items from our Boutique, Spa or Terrace, off-site activities and excursions. Reservations for groups of 10 or more have three meals included in the room rate. *(Prices quoted are subject to change)
How Much Should I Tip?
Tips for the Kitchen, Dining & Housekeeping Staff are not included in your trip price. Everyone on our staff works hard to make your stay a pleasant and enjoyable one. If they have done a good job for you, we suggest that you budget $15 U.S. per day/person or $100 US per week/person in your group. This will be shared amongst all the service staff. You may leave this with our manager at the end of your stay. Gratuities for the Spa Staff need to be paid directly to them at the time of service. **ALL GRATUITIES MUST BE PAID IN CASH, EITHER U.S. DOLLARS OR MEXICAN PESOS**
What Forms Of Payment Do You Accept At The Retreat?
Cash and credit cards are accepted at Haramara Retreat for on-site purchases in our boutique, restaurant, terrace, pool bar and spa. Checks, including travelers checks, are not accepted.
How Much Money Should I Bring?
In the town of Sayulita, U.S. Dollars or Mexican Pesos are much more widely accepted than credit cards or traveler checks. You can obtain pesos at home before your departure or upon arrival in Puerto Vallarta at the airport. There are also many ATMs in the town of Sayulita to acquire more cash if needed. If payment is made with a credit card a 5% processing fee will added to the total of your purchases.
What Type of Food & Drink Do You Serve?
Our delicious and healthy gourmet meals are made from only the freshest natural and local ingredients. Our menu is chosen daily by our chef based on the ingredients that are available that day. The always-changing daily menu includes seafood or vegetarian dishes. With advance notice, special dietary requirements can be accommodated. Coffee and fresh squeezed juice is offered in the mornings. Tea, purified water and fresh fruit water are available all day. Beer, wine and margaritas are available for purchase in the afternoons and at dinner.
What Kind Of Drinks Are Available For Purchase?
There are non-alcoholic juice drinks and smoothies available for $3* – $5* U.S. There is beer, wine, margaritas and daiquiris available for $3* – $8* U.S. *(Prices quoted are subject to change)
Can I Bring Food With Me & Keep It In My Cabaña?
If you want to have any food with you, please bring it up to the dining room and we will store it for you in the kitchen. Any food in the cabana, even if it is wrapped or packaged, will certainly attract local wild animals such as the coatimundi (a.k.a. tejon). Although not dangerous, they are a nuisance at night and will ransack your cabana and luggage looking for the food they smell.
Are There Wild Animals And Are There Dangerous?
We are in the jungle and wild animals are a part of that. However most, if not all of the animals you are likely to see are not dangerous as they prefer to eat insects, lizards, frogs and fruit. You will see and hear a wide variety of birds in the jungle canopy overhead and on the ground. Although there are pumas and jaguars in the nearby mountains, the largest animal you are likely to see is the coatimundi (a.k.a. tejon). In the early summer the land crabs are on the move. This is their time of migration and reproduction and is an important part of the jungle ecological system. Their march en masse towards the beach is a spectacle of nature you won’t soon forget.
Do We Need Bug Repellent?
We suggest that you bring bug repellant with you, just in case, as everyone is affected differently. The gauze privacy curtains over the bed also work as a bug net to give you extra protection at night.
Is There Someone Available If I Have An Emergency At Night?
There is always someone to assist you.
Where Can I Go If I Have A Medical Emergency?
There are a number of doctors in the town of Sayulita, some with 24 hour service. There is a small hospital in the neighboring town of San Francisco (a.k.a. San Pancho) for small emergencies and a number of excellent hospitals in Puerto Vallarta for bigger emergencies. Depending on the problem and the severity, there is someone you can be taken to for help.
How Far Is Haramara From Sayulita?
Haramara Retreat is about a 30 minute walk from Sayulita along the road that you drive in on. Or, you can walk to Sayulita along the ocean (turn right at the ocean and head north) if you are willing to climb over the rocky outcroppings that extend out into the ocean between the beaches. You can ask for advice and directions before you go. Taxis can also be called to take you into town and is about a 5 minute trip.t
How Far Is Haramara From The Beach?
Haramara Retreat has its own beach on property. It is just a short 5-minute walk down from the highest point of the property. There are numerous beaches, both north and south of our beach, which you can visit. You will have to climb over the rocky outcroppings that are between the beaches to get to them or take a taxi for the ones that are farther away. You can ask for suggestions and directions before you go.
Is It Safe To Swim In The Ocean?
The beach and ocean are continually changing due to the ocean’s currents and wave action. There are submerged rocks, rip tides and open ocean swells that can be dangerous. Swimming can be safe, but you must always use caution and have plenty of respect for the ocean and its power. There is no lifeguard, so swimming is at your own risk.
Do You Provide Beach Towels?
There are beach towels available for your use. You may replace your beach towel as needed. Just let us know, and bring the used towel to the restaurant at any time to exchange it. A towel deposit of $20* U.S. is charged and will be returned at the end of your stay with the return of your towel. *(Prices quoted are subject to change)
Are There Any Walks Or Hikes Nearby?
You can walk the beaches both north and south of Haramara Retreat’s beach. You can walk into the town of Sayulita via either the beach or back along the road you drove in on. You can take a jungle walk to a beach south of Haramara Retreat. You can ask for suggestions and directions before you go.
Do You Offer Yoga Classes?
We have a yoga instructor who teaches both private and group classes. If you are interested in taking a class or classes, we can arrange a meeting for you with the instructor when you arrive. The instructor will meet with you personally to discuss style and experience and you may then make arrangements to take a class or classes directly with the instructor. Classes are 90 minutes and can be held in the early morning, late afternoon or both. The cost of a yoga class is $20*U.S. per person with a minimum charge of $60*U.S. If there are less than 3 participants the minimum charge will be divided equally among the participants. *(Prices quoted are subject to change)
Can I Join A Group Retreat's Classes If I Am On A Personal Retreat?
To avoid conflict between Group Retreats and Personal Retreats, individual guests on Personal Retreats can not attend the classes of a Group Retreat. An individual has to be registered with the Group Retreat to attend their classes.
Do You Have Yoga Mats And Props?
Our two yoga pavilions are stocked with mats, blocks, straps, bolsters and blankets for our guests to use.
What Kind Of Spa Services Are Available And How Much Are They?
We offer 60 and 90 minute massage sessions with different techniques like shiatsu, deep tissue, acupressure, thai and reiki, special body treatments using salt and oil, mud or chocolate, and facials, manicures and pedicures. Prices for services range from $25* – $100* U.S. *(Prices quoted are subject to change)
Do You Offer Laundry Services?
Laundry service is available. There are instructions in your cabana for the service. The price is $5* – $10* U.S. per bag. *(Prices quoted are subject to change)t
Is The Water Safe To Drink?
The water from the faucets is safe for showering and other necessities but is not safe to drink. There is clean, fresh, purified water provided in each cabana for drinking, brushing your teeth and cleaning your contacts and contact cases. There is bottled water available in the restaurant each day. The ice used in the restaurant is also made from clean, fresh, purified water.