The Ashram is located on the top of a mountain in Mantiqueira Ridge, in the county of Soledade de Minas, neighboring the town of São Lourenço, in Minas Gerais state, Brazil. Please see below detailed directions on how to get here by car, bus and plane.
About the dirt road: we are away from the city, and there are 5 km (3 mi) of dirt road, being 2 km (1,5 mi) uphill. Road conditions vary depending on rainfall. In times of little rain / dry track, normal cars arrive here. With wet road, normal cars can arrive, however we recommend that you have practice driving in dirt road, as there are more difficult driving stretches. In times of strong / prolonged rainfall, the access is restricted to cars with 4x4 traction. So if you are coming with a suitable car or have ability to drive on dirt road, okay, it can even be fun. Otherwise, we offer you the alternative to use our shuttle, which leaves São Lourenço bus station daily (see details below).
Highway routes up to the dirt road: follow directions below or use Google Map link below
• From São Paulo using Dutra highway (distance 310 km / 194 mi): drive 202 km / 126 mi on Highway Dutra up to Cachoeira Paulista, pass accesses to Cruzeiro --> Passa Quatro --> Itanhandu --> Pouso Alto --> São Lourenço --> follow in direction of Soledade de Minas / Caxambu --> in road BR-383, exit at km 302 towards Paiol neighborhood
• From São Paulo using Fernão Dias highway (distance 330 km / 206 mi): drive 279 km / 174 mi on Highway Fernão Dias and exit at km 774A towards Campanha --> drive 62 km / 39 mi towards Caxambu --> turn right at access to São Lourenço and Pouso Alto --> in road BR-383, exit at km 302 towards Paiol neighborhood
• From Rio de Janeiro (distance 289 km / 181 mi): drive 184 km / 115 mi on Highway Dutra up to Engenheiro Passos --> pass accesses to Itamonte --> Pouso Alto --> São Lourenço --> Soledade de Minas --> in road BR-383, exit at km 302 towards Paiol neighborhood
• From Belo Horizonte (distance 372 km / 232 mi): drive 285 km / 178 mi on Highway Fernão Dias up to Três Corações, and drive towards Cambuquira --> drive towards Caxambu --> turn right at access to São Lourenço and Pouso Alto --> in road BR-383, exit at km 302 towards Paiol neighborhood
Google Maps: check your route up to km 302 of BR-383 road, where the dirt road begins
From the beginning of the dirt road (km 302 of BR-383) to the Ashram: follow directions below or use Google Map link below
Arriving at km 302 of the road BR-383, the dirt road starts in front of a bus stop (across the road). Follow for 2.5 km (1,5 mi) until you see a church on your left. At the fork, take right and after 200 m (in front of a house with a bamboo wall) turn right. Drive about 2 km (1 mi), pass through the Ashram gate and drive to the reception office, which stands before the next gate.
Google Maps: see the route from the dirt road to the Ashram
Arrival hours: Reception hours at the Ashram are from 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM, feel free to arrive at any time during this period. However, please note that the retreat day always starts at 2:30pm and ends at 2:00pm of the following day.
Bus + Ashram shuttle
Getting to São Lourenço bus station
There are several daily options to get to São Lourenço from the main cities (São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro and Belo Horizonte) and from other smaller regional cities. The recommende bus lines that arrive in São Lourenço in a time consistent with the shuttle time are:
• São Paulo (SP) – São Lourenço (MG) – 07:00am and 8:45am (5-hour trip)
Note: These schedules refer to lines from São Paulo (Tietê Bus Terminal) to Caxambu, with a penultimate stop at São Lourenço Bus Station at the time of daily suttle at 3:00 p.m. When searching for the itinerary online, select Caxambu (and not São Lourenço) as your destination. In addition, there are other schedules from São Paulo to São Lourenço / Caxambu (12:15 - 15:30 - 19:00 - 23:30), but their arrival time do not match the shuttle time.
• Rio de Janeiro (RJ) – São Lourenço (MG) – 07:00am via Barra Mansa (6-hour trip) or 08:30am non-stop (5-hour trip)
• Belo Horizonte (MG) – São Lourenço (MG) – 07:30am (7-hour trip)
Check the complete timetable at the end of this page or check the websites:
São Paulo SP – São Lourenço: Viação Cometa
Call center: dial 4004-9600
Viação Cometa at São Lourenço bus station: ++55 (35) 3332-6066
Rio de Janeiro – São Lourenço: Viação Sampaio or Útil
Call center: from Rio de Janeiro call ++55 (21) 3907-3900 and from other places dial 4020-0800
Viação Útil at São Lourenço bus station: ++55 (35) 3332-6070
Belo Horizonte – São Lourenço MG: Expresso Gardênia
Call center: 0300 313 2020
Gardênia at São Lourenço bus station: ++55 (35) 3332-6060
Accommodation at São Lourenço: If you arrive in São Lourenço outside the shuttle schedule (3:00 PM) you are able to request an "extra shuttle" (see conditions below) or stay in São Lourenço (see options on http://www.booking.com/ or http://www.decolar.com/)
Shuttle to the Ashram
Every day there is a shuttle to/from São Lourenço bus station. The car will arrive / leave the bus station at 3:00 PM, and it costs R$ (BRL) 80 per person each way. Please let us know before your arrival if you wish to use the shuttle.
If you need to use the "extra shuttle" outside the above scheduled hours, both at your arrival or departure, it is subject to availability and it costs R$ (BRL) 140 per person each way.
If you are coming from overseas or outside the Brazilian Southeast region, you can fly to São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro or Belo Horizonte, and from there take a bus following instructions above.
The nearest airports for regional flights are :
• Caxambu airport (MG) – 15 km / 9 mi (currently not operating)
• Varginha airport (MG) – 122 km / 76 mi
• Juiz de Fora airport (MG) – 231 km / 144 mi
Buses (complete timetable)
Arriving at São Lourenço
São Paulo - São Lourenço (5- to 6-hour trip): 07:00 – 08:45 – 12:15 – 15:30 – 18:45 – 23:30 (get bus line towards either São Lourenço or Caxambu, but make sure you disembark at São Lourenço bus station)
S.J. Campos - São Lourenço: 09:30 – 13:45 – 17:00 – 20:15 – 00:45
Taubaté - São Lourenço: 10:10 – 14:25 – 17:40 – 21:00 – 01:25
Aparecida - São Lourenço: 10:50 – 15:00 – 18:20 – 21:40 – 01:55
Rio de Janeiro - São Lourenço: 08:30 – 16:00 (non-stop, 5-hour trip) -- or -- 07:00 – 13:00 – 21:30 (via Barra Mansa, 6-hour trip)
Belo Horizonte - São Lourenço (7-hour trip): 07:30 – 12:30 – 23:00
Departing from São Lourenço
São Lourenço - São Paulo (5 to 6-hour trip): 08:15 – 12:00 – 15:40 – 00:15
São Lourenço - S.J. Campos: 08:15 – 12:00 – 15:40 – 00:15
São Lourenço - Taubaté: 08:15 – 12:00 – 15:40 – 00:15
São Lourenço - Aparecida: 08:15 – 12:00 – 15:40 – 00:15
São Lourenço - Rio de Janeiro: non-stop – 08:00 – 15:00 (aprox. 5-hour trip) -- or-- via Barra Mansa 10:10 – 15:35 – 23:59 (aprox. 6-hour trip)
São Lourenço - Belo Horizonte (7-hour trip): 07:30 – 11:00 – 22:00