5 great things to do during your stay with us, in Shawnigan Lake

Summer is finally upon us, our favourite time of year, and there aren’t many better places to enjoy the onset of this beautiful weather than in Shawnigan Lake, BC.

Shawnigan Lake is a small community nestled in a lovely valley on Vancouver Island, surrounded by breathtaking landscapes, and wrapping around a peaceful lake. Over 7500 residents live here year round, but the population swells in the summer, with vacationers visiting from all over, and there is no wonder why.

Not only is it a beautiful place to stay, with a stunning valley surrounding the lake and a charming village, but there are also many great attractions for our guests to visit and we have included just a few of our favourite ones in this list.

1.Kinsol Trestle Bridge

At the Eaglenest Sanctuary, we are fortunate enough to be only a ten-minute walk to the historic Kinsol Trestle bridge. You can enjoy a short hike through the woods, taking you on a direct route to the bridge without even having to set foot on a road. The bridge itself is nothing short of spectacular, showing off real architectural ingenuity and you can witness some of the beautiful views that Vancouver Island is famous for.

2. Shawnigan Lake

Of course, nothing is better than the town’s namesake, the lake itself. The large lake stretches for approximately 8 km long and is surrounded by beautiful forested hills.

If you’d like to relax on a lakeside beach and go for a swim, there are several lovely waterfront parks for use during the day, scattered around the lake for public access, and even a secluded park on an island that is accessible only by water.

If you’d rather take a boat out on the water, whether you like paddle boarding, jet skiing, or kayaking, there are plenty of water sports options available for rent at the Shawnigan Lake Board Shop.

3.Unsworth Vineyards

Unsworth Vineyards is a local treasure, and well worth the visit for a taste of their amazing selection of handcrafted, award-winning wines. Their tasting room is open daily to visitors, but if you save your visit for Wednesday to Sunday you will find their restaurant open also, serving delicious and locally sourced food as well as their wide selection of wines. Located in the heart of Cowichan Valley’s wine country, enjoy the amazing view while you eat at the restaurant as it overlooks the stunning vineyards and gardens.

At Eaglenest Sanctuary we have a lot of big groups staying with us, so be sure to book your wine tour and make a reservation for their restaurant to enjoy their extraordinary tastes and hospitality.

4. The City of Victoria

As you relax in the riverside hot tub, sipping on your Unsworth wine and listening to the peaceful sounds of flowing water, perhaps you will find yourself missing city life.  Fortunately, Victoria city is only an hours drive away and makes for a perfect day trip.

In Victoria you will be delighted to find a place filled with culture and history, being one of the earlier settlements in Canada. Be sure to visit the famous Royal BC Museum, perfect for families with children, or take a water taxi to the beautiful Fisherman’s Wharf for ice cream on a hot day. There is no shortage of good food to try in Victoria or things to do, and the hot tub will be waiting for you at the Eaglenest Sanctuary when you get home.

5.Shawnigan Lake Museum

Should you find yourself needing a break from all the sun over the weekend, the charming town museum is open from Friday to Sunday. The staff are incredibly friendly, and their wonderful tour guides will shower you with interesting stories and details on the many artifacts and exhibits on display.

Combine this with your visit to the Kinsol Trestle bridge, and you can learn everything you need to know about it at the museum.

We hope you enjoy your visit to Shawnigan Lake as much as we love hosting all the amazing people that come to stay at the Eaglenest Sanctuary. We love this town, and all the wonders it has to offer, and we get a feeling you will too.

This Summer, the weather is on our side…

Are you ready for your summer vacation?

This year promises to be the best summer yet at Eaglnest Sanctuary.
And June is a special month, since there is a promotion.

Come and stay with us for the same price as the winter rate!

Instead of $650/night on weekends, come and stay for $450/night! And instead of $450 on weekdays, it will be $300/night.


The flowers are blooming, the garden is lush, the river is refreshing and the Hot Tub is waiting for you.

IMG_5801 (1)

There are still some days left for you to reserve your dates, check the calendar for the days that work for you.


I look forward to hosting your vacation, workshop or team building weekend.

Love and light,


        Ezio Cusi


New Eaglenest Sanctuary Map

Fall and Winter at Eaglenest Sanctuary, Micologists Delight!



This Fall and Winter brought a deluge of mushrooms to Eaglenest Sanctuary.


Both the edible and the just beautiful, mushrooms were abundant this year. Above, we can see a Lobster Mushroom, both beautiful and one of the best tasting you can find. Every year I get my annual supply of Lobster Mushroom in the middle of the fall.

But  to my taste, the Morel mushrooms are the greatest delicacy.

Every Spring they come to at least two places in the Sanctuary and sometimes three. Though it is not as abundant as the Lobster Mushroom, the yearly harvest is enough for a few delicious meals.DSC08808.JPG

 The Morels are excellent, both fresh and dry. I usually prepare a chicken/morel dish when fresh and then dry the rest and use them in soups, meat dishes and with asparagus.


 Other delicacies are Oyster Mushrooms…

IMG_8569And one of my favorite, Mat Jack Mushrooms.

 Why not come to Eaglenest Sanctuary this spring, to watch or pick Mushrooms, walk in the Rainforest, dip in the Hot Tub, take a sauna, practice Yoga or meditation or bring the family to enjoy the many amenities of Eaglenest Sanctuary.


We wait for you with open arms,

“Mi Casa Es Su Casa”!

Love and light,

        Ezio Cusi

Eaglenest Sanctuary

What a Summer !

IMG_5626 IMG_5400This is the second summer that Eaglenest Sanctuary has been in operation.

And what a summer it was,  both in occupancy and variety and quality of guests and type of events.

There was one wedding, three bachelorette parties, one bachelor party, five family vacation, four meditation workshops, one painting workshop, one Sacred Pregnancy workshop, three friends get together, a music festival and other assorted  functions.

Though the ‘Yew Tree Hot Tub’ was only operational in the middle of the summer, it became a favourite feature of Eaglenest Sanctuary crowd.

The weather was outstanding, which made the Koksilah river a treat for cooling down.

The berry rised beds provided blackberry, raspberrys, black and red currants,  thimbleberrys and many other berrys for breakfast and jam. The medicinal garden at the Sanctuary was bountiful, with peppermint, lemon balm, rosemary, sage, oregano and other culinary herbs providing a great harvest. Also, many medicinal herbs for tincture as well as a bumper crop of grapes. Unfortunately, two thirds of the crop was to go to an seasonally early gaze of racoons.

Now, fall is in the air. The rain has begun to refresh the rainforest, the mushroom season is in full bloom and the birds are stuffing themselves in rediness for the winter. And the Sanctuary is now host to many workshops. Time to introspect, to harvest the summer bounty.

More slowly, the rental space is filling.

Come stay with us and soak in the Yew Tree Hot Tub, do some yoga in the yoga rom, take a sauna and a cold shower, go for a small walk through the Sanctuary’s paths or be more active and go for a longer walk to the Kinsole Tressle and it’s many rainforest paths. Our rates are lower in this season. Time to come with your family and enjoy a weekend or extended weekend. We are waiting for you…

Take advantage of the winter special promotion: Stay three days, pay 2! Just mention this article when you make your reservation.



Eagleneast Sanctuary Surprises

Spring is nearly over, Summer is near…

…and Eaglenest Sanctuary evolves, instructs, creates and entertains.

Winter was rich in possibilities and several project took off. A necessary security modification took place and thanks to Brian Edagar, from BE Home Service and his never-ending creativity, the steps from the berry garden to the stage were redone. You can see the results bellow:

Continuing with the work done in the Sanctuary, a welcome addition is a fully functioning hot tub! The problem was acute. We had to install a pump, a filter and heater that would transform the cold plunge already in existence in the beautiful deck overlooking the Koksilah river. We would have to also furnish 220 volt power, lighting and a warm, freeze proof shower.

Again with the help of BE Home Services and other electrical and plumbing services, we managed to succesfully complete the technical steps necessary for this, but do it in an artful way that blends and compliments the natural surroundings and style of Eaglenest Sanctuary.

First, the shower. It is made with a naturally fallen yew tree as the stand for the shower, with natural drainage and hot water actuated by a solenoid gizmo. Again Brian Edgar used his unlimited creativity as shown in the following pictures:


Last, but not least, we added a cover for the Hot Tub and connected the necessary plumbing, so that the hot tub will be hot, the water filtered and clean.


Now, imagine yourself in the fall and winter, drizzle is falling on you while you soak in hot water, listening to the Koksilah river and watching it flow down to the sea.

Though the rest of Spring and most of the Summer weekends are reserved, there is still unreserved space on a few weekdays and many weekends in September and thereafter.

The Sanctuary has had many varied activities, from Sacred Pregnancy to fun-filled Bachelorette parties to Meditation Retreats to Vacation Getaways with family and friends.

If you have not visited the Sanctuary, isn’t it time you did? and if you have, we are waiting for you again, to sample the new and exciting adventures that await you in the great Vancouver Island rainforest.

Love and light,


Ezio Cusi




Celebration time for Eaglenest Sanctuary!

Activity at Eaglenest Sanctuary has been very lively this summer.

As more people are introduced to the loveliness of the Sanctuary, more activities have taken place. We have had different groups staying with us. Several families and extended families have taken their summer vacation. Not only have they enjoyed the gardens, decks and walks around the  15 acres of pristine rainforest, but they have also availed themselves the short walk to the magnificent Kinsol trestle, one of the most visited tourist attraction in the Cowichan Valley. Our guests have had time to visit the many enjoyable attractions such as vineyards, beaches, parks and of course, Shawnigan lake.

Some came on weekends, some on extended weekends and others for a week or more. Family life was the most mentioned reason for staying with us. But we also had a bachelorette gathering and a work crew. They all took advantage of the fully stacked kitchen, the three social rooms, the beautiful dinning room, the two swimming holes on the Koksilah river and even the beautiful outdoor stage.

But the crown in the head of this summer activities was a lovely  “Initiation Into Oneness”


 Initiation into Oneness

http://www.darshanphotography.com/wedding-photos/2014/09/kira-edward-shawnigan-lake-wedding-photography/   (address of incredible photographers who documented the Initiation)


Shortly after the party, we had a unique event:” Initiation Into Oneness, The Sacred Marriage”.

An extended family gathered to witness the coming together of two beautiful souls. More than thirty people stayed at the Sanctuary and more than eighty people participated in the to Initiation.

It was a festive event in which a Midsummer Nights Dream met Lord of the Rings. The event consisted of a beautiful ceremony in which the couple exchanged vows, then  we all toasted to their happiness and wellbeing, followed by a superb BBQ salmon  dinner, live music and well wishing and finally, all night dancing!

People gathered for the ceremony

People gathered for the ceremony

People gather around the stage for the ceremony

Music, fairies, genies and magicians congratulate the couple

A great variety of refreshments were served

A great variety of refreshments were served

The many options Eaglenest Sanctuary offers make it one of the best vacation and workshop venues in the the Cowichan Valley and Vancouver Island.

Please give me your comments and suggestions to improve both my blog and Eaglenest Sanctuary.

Love and light to all,


Ezio Cusi

Flower Blooming Time at Eaglenest Sanctuary

Like every year, Eaglenest Sanctuary micro climate brings blooming flowers a few weeks later than Victoria or Shawnigan Lake.

But bloom they must and the beauty of the season is in full swing right now.

Cherry Tree in Early May

Cherry Tree in Early May

This cherry tree (five varieties) was planted 5 years ago. The Sanctuary has a history of not being conducive to growing fruit trees. So I chose a special area, for it to grow. After waiting for five years, the tree bloomed profusely in early May and is now full of young cherry’s for late June consumption, maybe a homemade jam?

Balinese Guardian in the Medicinal Garden

Balinese Guardian in the Medicinal Garden

There has been some controversy regarding the guardian of the medicinal garden. Originally we thought it was Shiva, but some people who know have told us it is a Balines guardian. The chives flowers adorn the guardian and have provided much herb spices for the kitchen of the Sanctuary’s guests.

Multiple Flowers in the Medicinal Garden

Multiple Flowers in the Medicinal Garden

A wider view of the medicinal garden gives us a better understanding of the many (more than 50) varieties of medicinal plants. I harvest the plants to make medicinal tinctures for me, my family and friends.

The Green Godess with pink Poppies

The Green Godess with pink Poppies

Here we can see the Green Godess with three new pink poppies, the first year they have grown here.

Come stay with us and enjoy the many gardens and flowers, both local and cultivated that the Eaglenest Sanctruary provides for your enjoyment.


Love and light,



Spring is in the Air at Eaglenest Sanctuary…


After a lovely snow storm in March (see previous post), and a few rainy days, the rainforest is basking on sunlight.


As is normal in spring, we have had rain, sleet, cold, wind, sunshine and warmth,usually in the same day!

IMG_2575We are now We are preparing for the  hight season. Spots are filling out and  the gardens are starting to bloom. The two cherry trees, as is customary in the Sanctuary’s micro climate are blooming quite late. If the insects are as plentiful as usual, we expect a very nice cherry harvest.


We finished redoing the cold tub deck. It overlooks the Koksilah river and is the perfect place for tea time on sunset.


Come stay with us this summer. You won’t regret it.



Late Winter Snow at Eaglenest Sanctuary

The Kinsole Tressle with snow

The Kinsole Tressle with snow

Like so many things in life, a snow storm can be a mixed blessing.

Coming originally from Mexico, I am always astounded by the quite power of a snow storm.

Walking away from the Kinsole Tressle

Walking away from the Kinsole Tressle

And I am even more surprised of the beauty of snow covered nature. This past weekend, the snow came in with slow, full force. Fortunately, since last summer, BC Hydro has been busy cutting trees so they don’t fall on the electricity cables. And thanks to this, there was only one short electricity cut in the middle of Saturday night.
Next years firewood for Eaglenest Sanctuary

Next years firewood for Eaglenest Sanctuary

We were having a dinner party and in the middle of the storm, around midnight, we decided to visit Eaglenest Sanctuary and see and feel nature close by. It was a superb night spectacle. As usual, the white brilliance of the snow makes even a moonless night quite visible. We visited the sanctuary and the construction site for the new deck around a hot tub that will be the  latest amenity added to the Sanctuary.
The Sanctuary from the other side of the Koksilah River

The Sanctuary from the other side of the Koksilah River

Next day, once our guests had departed, we went for another visit and a long walk on the plentiful paths around the sanctuary. We ended the walk with a visit to the Sanctuary’s shrines, including paying our respects to the medicine wheel.
The Medicine Wheel in late Winter Storm

The Medicine Wheel in late Winter Storm

Marita Shrine at Eaglenest Sanctuary

Marita Shrine at Eaglenest Sanctuary

We capped a vigorous day of exercise with a hot sauna at the Sanctuary, with the traditional cold shower in the middle of the North garden, totally surrounded by snow.