COVID / Safety / Medical

COVID Safety Measures Our commitment is to protect the health of those who come to Vallecitos while respecting the personal...

COVID Safety Measures

Our commitment is to protect the health of those who come to Vallecitos while respecting the personal health practices of our community. We follow current County, State, and Federal (CDC) COVID-19 guidelines, along with additional safety protocols appropriate for our remote retreat setting.

We will keep you informed as we continue to update our safety guidelines as the appropriate protocols regarding COVID evolve. 

Our requirements for the 2023 season are as follows: 

Effective June 17, 2023

  • As of May 1, 2023, Vallecitos no longer requires proof of COVID vaccination.  We continue to implement rapid testing and masking protocols. Please see below.
  • All participants, staff and teachers will be required to take rapid tests on arrival. Anyone who tests positive will need to depart. Please test within 24 hours of arrival to ensure you will not need to leave the retreat upon arrival.
  • As of June 17th, 2023, masking is optional and we ask that you limit your time spent indoors and practice physical distancing. Please plan to bring your own supply of suitable masks (N95, KN95, or KF94). 
    • *Please know that optional masking is discretionary and there may be times where you will be asked to mask indoors for the inclusion and safety of some community members. 
  • For the well-being of the entire community, we ask that any symptoms of illness, including COVID symptoms, be immediately reported to Vallecitos staff so that a test can be administered. If you are feeling ill, use a mask in indoor public spaces.

Here’s what we’re doing for your safety and ease:

  • Operating in full compliance with CDC guidelines.
  • Regular testing protocol for Vallecitos staff.
  • Most sits will take place in our outdoor practice tent.
  • All accommodations are single occupancy.
  • Hand sanitizing stations located across campus.

Doing your part—pre-arrival at Vallecitos:

  • We strongly encourage you to test within 24 hours of arrival for your retreat. If you test positive do not come.  This will help to avoid disappointment and logistical challenges in the event you test positive on arrival.
  • Please take great care in the ten days before you travel to minimize your risk of exposure to the virus: avoid crowded events and use an effective mask (N95/KN95). For those taking the Vallecitos shuttle, we encourage mask use on the shuttle. 

During your retreat:

  • Please be prepared and know that nearly all group sits and meditation periods will take place in our outdoor practice tent.  At the discretion of the retreat teachers, there may be limited sessions in the meditation hall.  You are welcome to use the meditation hall and loft as you wish, following the guidelines of physical distancing.
    • *Please know, masking indoors in the meditation hall will be at the discretion of the teachers. 
  • We ask everyone to please take their meal outside to eat. Wash/sanitize your hands and practice physical distancing when getting your food. Food will be served in the dining hall on the buffet table. You are welcome to go into the dining hall throughout your stay, but please limit your use of this common area.
  • You are welcome to use the bathhouse and we expect you to limit your use of this shared space. As an alternative, please remember there are many outhouses available on the property. 

In the event of COVID-19 illness

  • If you test positive for COVID-19 on arrival, you will be unable to remain at Vallecitos.  We do not have the ability or expertise to support you. For those of you who would need to be picked up or make travel arrangements, we can accommodate your brief stay in quarantine accommodations separate from the active retreat container while you make plans to depart. Please consider this in advance so you can plan what you would do.
  • If anyone tests positive for COVID-19 while on retreat, they will need to move to quarantine accommodations and make arrangements to leave campus. The teachers and other retreat participants will be informed that there was a positive test result. We will not cancel the retreat for the remaining participants, but we may implement a fresh round of rapid tests and wellness monitoring.

Information is subject to change as conditions merit.



The elevation of the ranch is 8,800 feet.  Visitors often experience mild symptoms of elevation related illness, including fatigue, headache, dizziness, gastrointestinal upset, sleep disruption and mild shortness of breath. These symptoms often subside during the first 1-3 days but can persist longer for some. In very rare cases symptoms can escalate to a more threatening condition with shortness of breath at rest, persistent coughing, and exercise intolerance.

Prevention is key.

  • Acclimatizing: If you are able to sleep a night or two at a lower elevation prior to your arrival, it will help speed the body’s process of acclimatizing (Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Taos, Denver).
  • Hydration: It is critical to stay well hydrated starting several days prior to travel and during your retreat. Hydration is the key to preventing altitude related illness.
  • Take it easy: Do not overdo it the first day or two. Stop early when you start to feel fatigue or any prolonged breathlessness.
  • High Carbohydrate Diet: Increase carbohydrate intake (pasta, rice, pancakes) to 70% of total calories. This means reducing fat intake.
  • Avoid Alcohol, Tranquilizers & Sleeping Pills: All of these things slow your body’s adjustment to elevation.
  • Medication: There is prescription medication which helps prevent illness and speed acclimation. If you have a known issue with being at altitude, please consult your doctor before coming.

If you have ongoing medical conditions, a visit to a medical provider familiar with the demands of altitude travel is helpful before your trip. You should address any acute medical issues such as sinus infections, bronchitis, or chest pain with your doctor before you travel.


CPAP Machines

We can accommodate CPAP machines. We power the CPAP machines with solar powered batteries. There are several considerations to understand when bringing your own CPAP.

  • Please note that every CPAP machine’s power usage is different and we cannot guarantee the power supplied will be sufficient for every type of machine.
  • For optimal results, please turn your CPAP machine to the lowest setting that is sufficient for your safety to ensure that it will last all night.
  • Since our batteries are solar charged, please know that the batteries may not reach their optimal capacity when the weather presents mostly overcast days.
  • We only have two casita accommodations equipped with solar batteries to support CPAP use (casitas 3 & 4). You must register for a CASITA if you plan to use your CPAP with our solar batteries. We will notify you after registration if we need to coordinate any other arrangements.
  • You do not need any special equipment to use our battery power set up. Your CPAP will plug into an extension cord outlet just like a wall plug at home.
  • We must receive advance notification via your registration form if you intend to use a CPAP machine on your retreat.


Fragrance Free

Having a fragrance free center stems from our commitment to building an inclusive community. Help Vallecitos be accessible to all by planning ahead and bringing only fragrance free products for use during your stay. This includes lotions, shampoos, feminine products, deodorant, essential oils, laundry detergent, hand sanitizer, to name a few. It is helpful to know to steer clear of products labeled unscented as they are often masked scent. It is best to look for products that say “free of fragrance and dyes”. One often missed are natural scents such as coconut or essentials oils as these are still scents that can cause harm to others. Thank you for your consideration.


Contact information for your family and friends in case of emergency.

Participants are asked to “unplug” while on retreat at Vallecitos.  However, if there is an emergency and you need to be contacted, your family and friends may either call (505) 469-9017 or email



Vallecitos Mountain Retreat Center is on a remote ranch and one needs to be able to walk on uneven surfaces with relative ease. Please e-mail us if you additional questions about disability accommodations.