Creative Escape Trip — March 16-22 2024

Duration: 7 days
Group size: 4 - 9
Creative Escape Trip — March 16-22 2024

Duration: 7 days
Group size: 4 - 9

About this trip

An immersive women’s+ retreat to reconnect with your creative side— Join us in Ecuador for 7 days with our artisan partners who open their homes and studios for us to learn their traditional crafts alongside them. Our days will be spent visiting local artisans’ and learning, hands on, how we create our products: brimmed hats, natural dyes, wallets and more. Expect outdoor adventures through the cloudforest, group yoga/meditation and in the evenings we’ll gather for nourishing food, and reflect on our shared experiences.

The Mission

Remember arts & crafts time as a kid? Finger painting? Choreographing your own dance moves? When was the last time you created something just for the heck of it? Been a while? We hear you. Finger painting doesn’t always take priority over work, dishes and exercise...

We believe creativity is one of our most precious resources. And good news— We’ve all got it. We just need the space and a bit of inspiration to let our creative spirits run free. 

Our trips are designed to remove you from your day-to-day routine and get your hands dirty. Pick up a hammer, crush some fruits for a natural dye, hand shape + design your own wool hat. We find that unblocking our creativity allows us to show up more authentically in all the other corners of our lives.

This isn’t just a retreat. It’s a deep dive into tradition, connection to the earth and the far reaching impacts of sustainable craftsmanship. A unique opportunity to gather as a small group and enjoy the infinite possibilities of creativity and empowerment that come from new experiences with like-minded women.

Flight and Pre-Trip Information

Flight Info:

Best airport: Quito Mariscal Sucre International Airport

Pick up time: We will offer pick up from Quito area (Hosteria Airport Garden Hotel) Saturday morning at 9am. We recommend arriving to Quito Friday night and staying nearby. Here are some recommendations for places to stay in and around Quito. For return flights, we will drop off in Quito around 12:30 PM on the following Friday. We recommend booking departing flights around 2:00 PM or later.

**If these transport times don't line up with the flights you find, you are able to book your own transfer from San Pablo Lake (trip start and end) to Quito. This journey is about 1.5 hours and costs around $50.

Workshops & Activities

Make Your Own Wallet - An afternoon visit to our leathersmith’s home studio for a tour, wallet workshop and conversation surrounding the impacts of leather.

Make Your Own Hat - We’ll stop by our fifth-generation hat partner’s home to understand how hats are made and to make one for ourselves.

Natural Dying - We’ll spend a few hours hanging out and working alongside our artisan partners to create our own batch of natural dyes. BYOT (bring your own t-shirt or fabric!)

Understand Our Process - You might have seen how much work goes into our plant-fiber bags; We’ll join our artisan partners on the cactus farm (with beautiful views!) to see how we create cabuya, the cactus fiber we use in our bags.

Yoga, Meditation and Breath work 

Journaling & Writing Prompts

Waterfall Hike

Visit to the Famous Otavalo Market

...and so much more!


The Center for Disease Control recommends you have your routine shots up to date as well as Hep A, Hep B, rabies and typhoid. Vaccines can be somewhat subjective so we recommend reading the website information above and consulting with your doctor. We are happy to discuss with you further. Within Ecuador we will be traveling to the general areas of Quito, Otavalo and Intag.  


  • Do I have to be an artist?
    • No! To us, creativity is all about following your curiosities and experimenting. Whether this is crafting a delicious meal, provoking vulnerable conversations or painting a masterpiece… you, my friend, are a creative ;) 
  • Is everything included in the price?
    • Yes m’am! Everything except alcohol, trip insurance and your flight out here.
  • How many girls will be on the trip?
    • We are keeping our group to 9 guests to create a more intimate, small group experience.
  • Will you be offering any scholarships or discounts for people coming from Ecuador?
    • Yes, we will be offering 1 $500 scholarships for those who identify as BIPOC or come from Ecuador descent. Please Apply Here.
  • Will I have my own room? 
    • No. We stay in an adobe home which gives us the space to connect through family meals and hangouts — with this comes shared sleeping quarters + shared bathrooms. There is one opportunity to share a King bed with a pal for a $150 discount. All other rooms are shared between 2-3 people.
  • Can I pay incrementally?
    • Yes, we are offering a payment plan or you may pay in full. 
  • What's the closest airport to fly in and out of?
    • Quito is the closest airport, about 1 hour from Otavalo.
  • Do I need travel insurance?
    • Yes, we require that all participants have valid travel insurance to cover your costs in case you are unable to attend part or all of your retreat with us. We highly recommend purchasing a policy with the "Cancel for Any Reason" clause, which will protect your trip payment from any unpredicted circumstances. We recommend the following options: World Nomads, USI or Allianz. If you plan to purchase "Cancel For Any Reason" insurance, be advised that this typically must be purchased within 2-3 weeks of your initial deposit date. 
  • Do you offer refunds?
    • No, we do not, but you can always put the trip towards your friends' stay.


" 100 out of 10 would recommend this trip to any woman looking to leave behind the trials and tribulations of every day life, and embrace a slower yet remarkably deliberate lifestyle. This was a 7 day therapy session, and EVERYTHING I needed and more. I was amazed and grateful to spend my days with such powerful and strong women, all of whom I grew to care deeply for in such a short time."

"All week I felt like I was looking into a mirror that showed me parts of my deep self that I was not expecting to come across on a 'creative retreat.' I learned where I thrive and where I struggle, and how this is so deeply interwoven into my  everyday life. To learn from a culture and society so drastically different from where most of us come from is a lifelong gift I will never forget. Thank you for curating the PERFECT trip."

What’s included

  • Accomodation
  • All Meals
  • All transportation
  • Make Your Own Hat
  • Leather Wallet Workshop
  • Natural Dye Workshop
  • Journal Exercices
  • Yoga + Meditation
  • Airfire
  • Trip Insurance
  • Alcohol

Available Packages

Standard Room (Shared)

We stay at a special adobe home and a bed & breakfast in the Intag Cloud Forest. Our standard rooms are shared between 1 - 2 other women and bathrooms are shared. 

Deposit: $500
King Room (solo)

Your own room at both of our accommodations! The first accommodation is a King bed. The second is not. Both have private bathrooms. 

Deposit: $500

Your Organizer

Marlee and Emily
Emily spent 4 years solo traveling before she landed in Ecuador, connected with our artisan partners and started Minga. She is our connection to the local communities and street corn hook-ups. For the past 8 years, Marlee has been designing and leading biking and hiking trips for Backroads all over the world. She’s led service trips through East Africa, studied yoga in India and is a certified breathwork facilitator. Her superpowers are leaning into "type two fun" and sniffing out the best bakery in any city.