RUNNING, CULTURE AND WELLNESS RETREAT
Join world-renowned trail runner Rickey Gates and the Aire Libre team for a life-changing week of outstanding mountain running, yoga, meditation, traditional Mexican cuisine, human connection, nature and ancestral medicine, as we enjoy the very best of Oaxaca's cultural and culinary heritage and embark on an epic running adventure that will take us deep into the mountainous landscapes of the Sierra Norte.
Starting from $1,880 USD
7 days & 6 nights ALL inclusive.
* Secure your spot with $564 USD
**3 - 6 monthly installments available
FEBRUARY 25TH - MARCH 3, 2019
Not your typical running retreat.
We teamed up with Rickey Gates for this special edition of our Oaxaca retreat. Join Rickey and the Aire Libre team as we embark on this one-of-a-kind adventure through Oaxaca by the side of one of the world’s most remarkable runners.
The first days of the retreat will be spent in the city of Oaxaca, a UNESCO World Heritage site that represents a cultural tradition of more than four centuries of art, architecture and history. Here you will have the chance to explore one of the most beautiful cities in Mexico on foot, while engaging in key cultural experiences that will surely feed your soul and quench your thirst for new knowledge and discovery. Afterwards we will visit Sombra Mezcal Palenque, where we will learn how they have involved heavily with the local community ensuring sustainability.
Later into the trip, a stunning adventure into the Sierra Norte will take us to connect with the people, places and traditions from the Pueblos Mancomunados (Commonwealth Towns), a group of Zapotec communities that chose to establish their own unique socio-economical system in order to make a living sustained by trade, sustainability and ecology. You will run on the ancient trails of an original Zapotec route used over thousands of years for trade and commerce between the Gulf of Mexico and the central valleys of Oaxaca.
Each day will be accompanied by yoga and meditation sessions led by one of our top yoga and meditation teachers, who will take us on a spiritual journey of inner peace and self-knowledge throughout and beyond the adventure.
OAXACA's CULTURAL & CULINARY HERITAGE
The state of Oaxaca is regarded worldwide as one of the best culturally preserved and most stunning places in Mexico due to the large variety of indigenous cultures that live in its vast and varied landscapes, and the degree to which their ancient traditions, knowledge, crafts and cuisine have been protected and kept alive.
Lying in the Central Valley of Oaxaca, the city has been inhabited for thousands of years and was a very important site for southern Mexico's pre-Columbian civilizations. Monte Alban, Mitla and other surrounding archeological sites, are proof of the importance of this region for ancient civilizations. We will explore its colorful streets, visit the houses and studios of its top craftsmen and dive into the kitchens of some of its top and most authentic food spots.
Inscribed in 2010 on the Representative List of the Intangible Cultural Heritage of Humanity by UNESCO, traditional Mexican cuisine has a lot to owe to Oaxacan dishes and their ingredients. Oaxaca's longstanding culinary tradition has a series of ancestral techniques and mystical regional ingredients at its core.
While in the city you will be able to witness the movement that is revolutionizing Mexican cuisine. In the Sierra you will eat and dine with the locals, where you will be able to take in and learn about the regions cuisine and fresh local ingredients.
During our first full day in Oaxaca City we will have a 14 km run that will take us through a full tour of the city, taking us deep into its streets, markets and churches. The next day we will visit the Sombra Mezcal Palenque (distillery) and enjoy lunch there.
On the second part of the retreat we’ll make it to the mountains (2,800 MAMSL), where we will run on the ancient trails that connect the different communities within the commonwealth towns. These trails have been part of a Zapotec trade and commerce route for thousands of years and will take us through some of the most interesting routes and breathtaking views that this region has to offer.
The average daily distance is 14 kilometers with stops for food and rest. We will run from one community to another, eating and sleeping in a different town each day.
Our vans will take care of your luggage so you can unplug and enjoy the runs.
All of our trips are designed to welcome hikers and runners of all fitness levels. We will assign different guides to groups of different levels so that no one is left behind. You will feel safe and comfortable throughout the trip whether you're a professional runner that wants to add these runs to your training, an amateur who wants to explore the world of trail-running or a casual hiker who wishes to challenge him- or herself while enjoying nature in a secure environment.
SPIRITUALITY, WELLNESS & ANCESTRAL MEDICINE
We believe in recognizing ancestral wisdom and spirituality as a source of valuable knowledge and good living, as well as in the constant practice of physical activity as a way to reconnect to our bodies and to our higher selves.
Taking advantage of Mexico's millenary traditions of ancestral medicine, you will be invited to take part in sweat lodge and cleansing rituals that will purify your body, deepen your bond with the earth and promote the awakening of your ancestral memory.
Our guides, local medicine men and spiritual teachers will make sure that this life changing experience transcends running, allowing us to dive deeply into the region's history and set out on a journey of awareness and self discovery.
COMMUNITY & HUMAN CONNECTION
Our trips are made for you to get away from your daily routine and step out of your comfort zone in order to reconnect spiritually with your inner self while making new friends in a community of like minded people. We invite adventurers from all over the world and from all different backgrounds. This will give you the opportunity to bond and enjoy the company of others, to expand your network and connect with people in an open, friendly and conscious environment.
Trail running Colorado native, Rickey Gates has spent nearly half of his life running and racing, as well as photographing and writing about his experiences. He also collaborates with Salomon TV to make visually beautiful and inspiring films to encourage the rest of us to lace up and go.
In running Rickey has a pastime which allows him to find solitude as well as motivation. He’s a mountain guide who is enthusiastic about the teams he leads and the adventures he takes them on.
For those who know, Rickey travels a lot. In fact, he has been to over 30 countries in the past 15 years, but he wanted to spend time in America, so from March 1st to August 1st, 2017, Rickey decided to to across the width of America - from South Carolina to San Francisco with no more help than an average runner. His 3700-mile-long route took him on trail, road, river and snow. He mostly ran alone, but occasionally some friends would join him.
Transamericana wasn’t about time or achievement. For him, it was all about reconnecting with a home he hardly knew. As he noted on his blog, that home is varied, ordinary, and magical. He wanted to connect with his countrymen and women.
I T I N E R A R Y
ARRIVAL IN OAXACA CITY
Shuttle from the airport to Hotel / Boutique Hotel Check In / Welcome Dinner at Zandunga
* We suggest booking flights that arrive in Oaxaca City no later than 6pm. If your flight arrives later we can make personal arrangements *
14 km Oaxaca City Trail Run / Breakfast at Itanoni / Visit the house of a Clay Artist at Atzompa / Lunch at Mercado 20 de Noviembre / Free Time - Textile Museum / Dinner at Tecla
OAXACA CITY - LLANO GRANDE
Meditation & Yoga Session / Breakfast at Boulenc / Visit to Sombra Mezcal Palenque / Lunch at Sombra Mezcal Palenque /Drive to Llano Grande / Dinner at Llano Grande
LLANO GRANDE - CUAJIMOLOYAS
Meditation & Yoga Session / 8.2 km run to Cuajimoloyas / Breakfast at Cuajimoloyas / 16 km Run to Latuvi / Lunch at Latuvi / Free Time / Local Activities / Sunset Yoga / Dinner
LATUVI - LACHATAO - AMATLÁN
Meditation and Yoga Sesion / Breakfast / 16 km run to Lachatao / Lunch in Lachatao / Free Time / Temazcal Session 1 / Temazcal Session 2 / Dinner in Amatlán
AMATLÁN - LATUVI - LA NEVERÍA
Meditation & Yoga Session / Shuttle to Latuvi / Breakfast in Latuvi / 10km run to La Nevería / Lunch at La Nevería / 8.2 km run to Benito Juárez / Hanging Bridge / Farewell Dinner in Benito Juarez
LATUVI - OAXACA CITY INTL. AIRPORT
Meditation & Yoga Session / Breakfast at Benito Juárez / Shuttle to Oaxaca City / Shuttles to Airport
* Flights should depart Oaxaca Intl. Airport after 2pm *
Transportation throughout the whole experience.
Carefully selected eating and dining experiences in some of Oaxaca's top restaurants.
Authentic traditional Oaxacan cuisine cooked by locals.
Visits to Oaxaca's most beautiful markets.
Visit the house and studio one of Oaxaca's top Clay artists.
Stay at the house of a family of traditional weavers in Teotitlán del Valle.
Visit and lunch at an authentic Mezcal palenque.
Exclusively designed trails in magical and unique landscapes.
Daily yoga and meditation sessions.
Support and knowledge of our local guides.
Shared and private accommodation.
7 days & 6 nights ALL inclusive.
* Secure your spot with $564 USD
* 3 - 6 monthly installments available
TAKE A SNEAK PEEK OF
OUR EXPERIENCES HERE.
Do you have any questions or you need more information?
Leave us your information and an Aire Libre member will contact you immediately.
"Everything about the Aire Libre experience deeply impacted me. Meeting a joyous group of people that became friends, and bonding with them while working towards a common goal made the entire experience incredibly rewarding. Outside the amazing people involved, I didn’t expect to have such a strong connection with the trail. It was nothing like I expected. No music, no city noise, no distraction, just focus between you and the trail. Enabling a very zen-like experience, where you receive so much clarity and removal from the daily stresses of life. Aire Libre left such an indescribable impact on me. It’s something I’ll cherish forever and eagerly await for the next one to take place."
- Adam Haun, USA, 2017
WHAT IF I’M NOT PHYSICALLY FIT ENOUGH FOR THIS EXPERIENCE?
It is very important to emphasize here that these experiences aren’t races or competitions, but rather opportunities to get away from the noise of urban life and to connect with oneself in nature. That being said, worry not, because the minimum required level of fitness is to be able to walk well, both uphill and downhill. We usually divide into sub-groups according to the level of fitness and each group is assigned a local guide who is very familiar with the route. Furthermore, there will always be a guide who stays behind the last participant of the last group, so that we make sure no one is left behind.
WHAT IF I HAVE NEVER RUN TRAIL BEFORE?
The Aire Libre Team, as well as most of our local guides, have extensive experience running trail, so there will be many opportunities to share relevant information and knowledge. In fact, if this is your first time, we are genuinely thrilled for you, because a truly amazing world of memorable landscapes and deep discovery is waiting for you. Moreover, the pace of our journeys is usually easy and includes frequent rest stops, so you can take your time in getting acquainted with the local terrain.
The content of our travel experiences is geared towards spreading the word and generating awareness about ways to improve your overall wellbeing while living in harmony with nature. It is very important for us at Aire Libre to create consciousness about keeping our planet safe and clean. Our retreats and getaways are created in an environment where conscious consumption, waste management, good nutrition and prosperity are of utmost importance.
Please keep our trails clean (;