I was recently asked if I would photograph a friends family vacation home in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico and I jumped at the opportunity. They were hosting a yoga retreat and thought it would be a great opportunity to capture some different images of their villa, which is utilized as a vacation rental. I didn’t quite know what would be in store for me on this trip, but I was game! My thoughts were; a chance to swim in the ocean and take photos? That is a dream come true for me! I didn’t expect it to be one of the most spectacular and fulfilling trips I’ve ever been on.
The villa is situated on the Southern end of Puerto Vallarta and it was amazing to see how much the city has developed since I was last there in 2006. Walking through the doors of Villa Karaway, I was blown away! It is a gorgeous multi-level villa connected to a hotel with it’s own staff including a personal chef! We were welcomed with fresh made sushi and ice cold cocktails.
Every morning the yoga instructors alternated who taught class and I was delighted when they invited me to join in rather than sit by and only photograph as they got their zen on. Afterward we’d relax at the Villa’s private pool or at the buildings large infinity pool, followed by more yoga in the evening and afternoon. It was fantastic!
When I travel, I generally stay in private homes because I enjoy more of a “local” experience instead of being secluded to location filled with a bunch of other tourists. I had forgotten what it felt like to return to your room after a long day of adventure and find that you room is cleaned and your bed has been made. At first I froze and thought “What the heck happened? Am I in the wrong room?” before I realized Villa Karaway also has a maid on staff too!
One of the days we were there we chartered a boat to take us snorkeling and hiking at Mismaloya to a beautiful waterfall. The hike through the hills, across rivers and through narrow ravines was a blast. Being rewarded at the end of out hike with a beautiful waterfall with a small restaurant next to it was awesome. One the boat ride home, we stopped to snorkel in the crystal blue waters and I was amazed by all the brightly colored fish and even spotted a moray eel. I have posted a video I made of out adventures below.
The last night of our trip we went out in downtown Puerto Vallarta, had dinner on the beach at sunset and then had an amazing time dancing until we could dance no more. It had been years for me since I’d gone out dancing and after having that much fun, I don’t know I had waited to so long. I suffered from a bit of tinnitus the next day, but it was well worth it!
All around I had an amazing experience and hope to return to Villa Karaway again someday soon and would highly recommend it to anyone looking to travel or wanting to participate in a yoga retreat. I arrived home, radiant, refreshed and enlightened with the deep knowledge of how important it is to have mind and body balance. I am so very grateful for the opportunity. Your can find out more information about booking your own trip here: http://www.karaway.com/