By Hannah Apricot Eckberg

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Are you looking for a Mind, Body, and Soul adventure to help celebrate this year’s Summer Solstice? Then I invite you to check out the Genius Loci Festival in Baja California, Mexico, June 18-22, 2015 for some surf, music, yoga, art and love!

In its third year as this incarnation, this gathering offers the unique combinations of great music, mind expanding workshops, yoga, and beautiful surf right out side your tent-  offering a different experience then a typical festival. Located on private land at Punta Cabras, in Ensenada, just three hours south of the Border, you’ll need a passport to get there, yet the road conditions are good enough even for a Prius. Local seafood tacos will be available to purchase, but be sure to bring all your own water and other food. Think of the Radical Self-Reliance mentality of Burning Man, including the Leave No Trace aspect. Respect for the land and leaving the place better than before is at the core of the festival.

Founders of the event, Henry Pope and Eduardo Manilla, met during the Occupy Wall Street protests in Venice Beach a few years ago. They were both DJs, and realized they wanted to collaborate together on more then just playing music. They observed that the people showing up for the Occupy Movement had more in common then just dissatisfaction with the economic system. So, they decided to through a party. What started as taking some friends down to Baja for a New Years Eve gathering quickly out grew the location, and they realized they wanted to gather where they could have more freedom to enjoy music late into the night, and be able to refresh in the ocean in between music sets. Also, summertime would be more conducive to their enjoyment.

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So, they went on an adventure looking for the right place. Just outside Eduardo’s hometown of Ensenada, they found what they were looking for. When they saw the 6 miles of beach break and soulful land of Punta Cabras, they had that Ah-Ha moment they were seeking. Stemming from the Greek term Genius Loci meaning the inspirational spirit of the land, that often delivers an Ah-Ha moment, the name and the festival were born. It is a gathering of conscious festival attendees, who want some adventure and enlightenment, and are willing to join others in the bliss of the unknown.

This is not a Rave, and is promoted as a drug-free event. This is a gathering of social responsible people who like to party, surf, and take in the sprit of the land. Workshops this year will include soil analysis, sustainable building solutions, and offerings from SurfRider, Wild Coast, and Kiss the Ground. If you go, be sure to check out the Low-Tide Yoga class, held at, you guessed it, on the beach at the low tide. Also, Gigi Snyder will offer her wonderful heart-centered yoga class. If you are not able to join us this year at Genius Loci, do yourself a favor and try to take her class at another opportunity.

Free surf lessons will be offered to attendees of the campout by Learn to Surf LA, and Poseidon Surf Shop will offer free stand-up paddle surf lessons. Complimentary acupuncture and chiropractic will help keep participants dancing and surfing to their fullest potential.

For Henry and Eduardo, organizing this event has been an ambitious undertaking, yet a  real highlight in their lives. They work with local officials to get permits and play by the rules to ensure a good event for everyone. It helps that some of the local police surf. Last year, donations of food and clothes were made to the local community, further fostering a good relationship.

Social responsible, adventure-seeking folks are invited to join this campout to experience their own Ah-Ha moment on this sacred land. Shell middens reveal 10,000 years of native peoples gathering here for the abundance of shellfish and the special spirit of the land. If you are called to join, please find inspiring photos and more information, as well as how to purchase tickets, either on Facebook or at

By Hannah Apricot Eckberg,
Surfer, Adventure, and Eco-Journalist