Before we left the UK, I kept lusting after beautiful yoga retreats in the wilderness. Unfortunately, many of them came with a huge price tag and were confined to the stuff of dreams.
Then one day I stumbled across the incredible Sea and Forest Hostel in Trindade. It ticked every box of my yoga dreams: a gorgeous platform amid the jungle within earshot of the sea, and with private wooden cabanas to sleep in. When I saw it, I could barely believe it. Instead of the hundreds or even thousands of pounds other yoga breaks go for, this one was only 50 reins per night and 12 for a yoga lesson. It didn’t have the luxury 5 star elements of some yoga hotels but that wasn’t the part I was looking for – I wanted nature and yoga, and this seemed perfect.
Steve and I stayed there for 5 nights and were enchanted by the place. The owners, who have travelled extensively around the world, told us Trindade had something special and they were right. The beaches are some of the best Brazil has to offer with sweeping bays and plenty of surf. It’s easy to find a stretch of sand for yourself and the huge rocks that scatter the beach give extra spots of privacy. The whole coast line is backed by the magnificent Mata Atlantica rain forest, which towers above you as you relax on the beach or stroll through the town.
Where the jungle meets the forest in Trindade
The hostel itself is a five-minute walk from the beach in a patch of unspoiled forest. Other parts have been stripped away for development but the Sea and Forest Hostel has been built in harmony with the nature around it. Suzanne and Ozmar, the owners, designed everything and it was built using recycled, high-quality hardwood flooring. The result is a series of cabins, some privates and some dorms, which feel more like luxury than your average jungle cabin. There’s no need for mosquito nets as the windows are screened, and each cabin has its own hot shower and flushing toilet.
Breakfast is lovely, with daily homemade cakes and a dazzling array of jams, from pineapple and mint to banana. There’s a kitchen to cook in, with floor to ceiling windows that look out onto a wild jungle garden with a running stream and places to sit and relax. The kitchen can get crowded but that made it a good place to chat and meet with the other guests.
Yoga in nature
The yoga lessons happen twice daily at 8:30am and 5pm. One downside is that the classes only run if there are a minimum of four people taking part. This meant that one day, we fell short and the class didn’t run. For me, this was fine as I had the platform all to myself for some self-practice, but for beginners, there is a risk of disappointment. When the classes do happen, they are great. The yoga practised is shivananda. Suzanne is a clear and caring teacher and the lessons are suitable for all levels. The best thing is seeing and hearing the the jungle around you and the distant lapping of the waves. It’s a beautiful place to lie in shivasana.
Other things to do while staying at the Sea and Forest Hostel include exploring the jungle on the various treks Suzanne and Ozmar can advise on; visiting the nearby waterfall; and visiting all the beaches, including one with a natural swimming pool. Or you can be like Steve and I and spend most of your time relaxing at the hostel and enjoying your jungle surroundings. We even saw some hummingbirds, and the days before we arrived, we were told that snakes had been seen in the trees.
The hostel is only open for six months a year, closing between June-December (check before you go as these times aren’t fixed), but if you get the chance, we would certainly recommend it. Even if you’re not looking for yoga, Sea and Forest Hostel is a magical and affordable place to stay.
Less than a year after writing this post, I ended up doing a yoga teacher training in Mexico. Read about what yoga teacher training is really like..