Ecuador Travel Writing Expedition
November 12-18, 2012 – Cotacachi, Ecuador

Ecuador Spa Writing Expedition 
November 12-18, 2012 – Cotacachi, Ecuador

“These workshops are a wonderful opportunity to travel to a new locale and explore while learning a new skill.”

-Sandra Manolescu

Relax … Indulge … Revitalize … and be Treated like Royalty at one of the World’s Most Luxurious Five-Star Spas, Perched on a Hilltop in Breathtaking Ecuador...

Over Six Colorful, Adventure-Filled Days You’ll:

Meet Us in Quito and Explore Ecuador
in the Company of Like-Minded Friends

Ecuador is one of those places where you don't need to speak the language to come home saying, "Those people have to be the nicest in the world."

And visually, Ecuador is just as compelling. The landscapes are jaw-droppingly gorgeous – white clouds settle in thick on the tops of green, vertical peaks. A patchwork quilt of cultivated plots in a thousand shades of green drapes the countryside.

As an attendee in this workshop, you'll see it all – beautiful landscapes, welcoming people, bustling markets… and you’ll do it all in the company of like-minded people sharing a similar goal – to experience this great country before the wheels of "progress" take over.

This workshop will be unlike any kind of tour you’ve ever taken.

Don't have any writing experience? No problem.

We’ll Be Based at
“The Hidden Secret of Ecuador”…
in a Magical Garden Oasis

For the first time in AWAI Travel Division history, we’re hosting this expedition at the 5-star La Mirage garden hotel and spa. Referred to as the “Hidden Secret of Ecuador” this former hacienda is a piece of paradise nestled in the Andes Mountains of Ecuador.

With peacocks and wildlife roaming through the grounds, beautiful mountain and garden views from every room, La Mirage stands out for its cuisines, décor and services.

Here’s What You Can Expect…

 To attend this workshop you’ll need to fly into Quito airport (airport code: UIO) on the night of November 12th. We’ll pick you up at the airport and escort you to Mansion del Angel, your hotel in Quito.

There’s no meeting on November 12th because we’re all arriving at different times. But we’re all staying at the same hotel so you’ll see everyone at breakfast.

Note: Your hotel room on the night of the 12th is included in your conference fee.

On the morning of November 13th breakfast will be served on the patio...

After breakfast, you’ll meet your instructor for the week, professional spa writer Melissa Broughton, and workshop coordinator Christina Merchant. We’ll board our private bus to travel together to Cotacachi… the charming Andean village where we’ll be based for the next six days.

When we arrive in Cotacachi we’ll check into the 5 star Relais and Chateau, La Mirage Garden Hotel & Spa. Your accommodation, along with a hearty and delicious breakfast each morning and a 3-course a la carte dinner each night is also included in your conference fee.

Once we arrive in Cotacachi, we’ll take a walking tour of the city together and meet this evening for introductions and for our first class.

During your week in Cotacachi, your instructor Melissa Broughton will show you exactly what it takes to write a top notch spa article that will land you stays in 5-star resorts and earn you VIP spa treatments as you travel the globe. You’ll be given writing assignments, and have one-on-one sessions with Melissa to receive feedback on your articles and ideas. You’ll also have time to explore and write about the surrounding villages, enjoy a luxurious spa treatment (on us), take a day trip to the weaving village of Peguche, visit Crater Lake, and go shopping in a nearby leather village.

On November 18th, we’ll head to Otavalo to peruse the largest indigenous market in South America, and at 4:00 p.m. we’ll head back to Quito. Or you can extend your stay or visit other parts of Ecuador.

Accommodation in Quito on November 18 is not included in your conference fee but you’re welcome to use our reduced group rate ($120/night) to stay at La Mansion in Quito before leaving for the airport.  

(Note: We plan to arrive back in Quito by 7:00 p.m. November 18. You can risk a late night flight out of Quito. However, I personally would recommend you overnight in Quito and leave the next day if you’re not continuing on.

Though we plan to be back in Quito by 7:00 p.m., you just never know in a developing-world country if the traffic will be bad or not. Ticket changes and missed-flight fees are at your own expense.)

In all honesty, you’ll never have a chance to experience Ecuador like this again.

There’s no other workshop out there that will offer you this... the opportunity to explore the Ecuadorian countryside, stay in the lap of luxury, experience spa treatments they don’t offer anywhere else in the world, and all while acquiring the skills to be able to travel this way for the rest of your life.

 Each day will begin with a classroom session on how to write about luxury travel and sell your stories to publications around the globe.

You’ll be invited to share your writing from the previous day’s lesson and have your article reviewed. These classroom sessions are invaluable in helping you improve your writing as you continue to learn about luxury writing, spa health, and how to turn your experiences into saleable article ideas.

To jump-start your resort experience, you’ll be treated to a spa treatment of your choice at the jaw-droppingly elegant, La Mirage Garden Spa. Choose from 11 different types of massages and treatments, including some with local flavor, like the Shaman Purification Treatment, or the Amazonian Bamboo Massage (who knew rolling sticks of bamboo across your back and feet could feel so good) plus other well-know treatments. Whichever you choose, the treat is on us… just suspend your cares and soak up the tranquility while you luxuriate in this elegant Ecuadorian one-of-a-kind spa.

Balance is an important part of this workshop. When your body is in balance and relaxed, you learn more. So you’ll spend an entire half day at the spa, relaxing and putting your body in balance.

Activity Level
High activity. A portion of this workshop will be spent out-and-about on foot visiting local craft markets and villages as well as some of the natural attractions of the region, like Crater Lake. You should pack some comfortable walking shoes for these excursions.

Ecuador is at a high altitude, some people may experience altitude sickness. If you have a heart condition, you should consult with your doctor before you travel to find out about how best to adjust to the altitude when you arrive.

There are no prerequisites. This workshop is for people of all skill levels and experience and the writing concepts discussed are doable by anyone.

November 12-18, 2012

Ecuador Travel Writing Expedition
Cotacachi, Ecuador
November 12-18, 2012

Where: We’ll be staying in Cotacachi, a small, picturesque village about two hours north of Quito.

Register Today!

Pricing and 
What's Included:

Full Price: $3,299 per person

Flight Credit Discount: Save $200 to use towards your flight when you order before Friday, November 2nd.

The full price of this workshop is $3,299, but you’ll pay just $3,099* when you take advantage of this $200 Flight Credit Discount.

(*Note: Additional discounts may apply. You can click through to the registration form at the link below to learn more.)

Easy Payment Plan: What’s more, if you’d like to take advantage of our easy payment plan, you can register today with your first payment of just $1,499.

Here's how it works:

  1. Reserve a seat at the workshop for just $1,499 when you put your name on our attendee list today.
  2. When you do, you’ll automatically lock in the discounted workshop price of only $3,099 – a full $200 SAVINGS for you!
  3. At the beginning of November, we’ll bill your credit card for the remaining $1,600. So you spread out the payments comfortably between now and when the workshop starts.

(Note: Additional discounts may apply.  You can click through to the registration form at the link below to learn more.)

Your Registration Fee Includes:

Note: Schedule, speakers, and locations are subject to change.

Your Registration Does NOT Include:

To register now please click below or call our office toll-free at (561) 860-8266 or (202) 370-6459 Eastern Time. You may also email at:

Register Now!

Cancellation Policy: All our workshops and expeditions are non-refundable. If, however, you are unable to attend - and you give us at least 30 days notice - we will be happy to apply your payment toward a future workshop, minus a $200 processing fee for overseas expeditions or a $50 processing fee for state-side workshops. Cancellations with less than 30 days notice may be subject to extra fees.

Register Today!

Your Instructor

Melissa Broughton is a spa health writer and reviewer. She is faculty at Santa Barbara Community College and teaches skin physiology, facial anatomy and facial protocol to aspiring estheticians.

“She made you feel as if you could really learn and write spa articles like a pro. I learned a ton from her! … Melissa is very experienced and is happy to share her knowledge and expertise with others. Melissa is a great person and really cares that attendees enjoy the class and leave with their learning expectations fulfilled.”

– Sheri E.

“Melissa has a great deal of experience and knowledge related to the Spa industry. She provides a lot of personal experiences and tips throughout her presentation.”

– Diane W.

“I liked Melissa alot. She had a wonderful personality and she was very helpful. She was very willing to work with us and answer all of our questions.”

– J. Gwirtz