Verdant jungle, majestic waterfalls, enticing waves and black-sand beaches… it’s no wonder intrepid yogis love to roll out their mat just about everywhere you look on the ‘rich coast’. Here are five of the best yoga retreat experiences Costa Rica has to offer.
With breathtaking mountain views, open-air shalas, and plenty of local fruits and vegetables, Costa Rica is attracting more and more yogis for a taste of pura vida. This Central American paradise has long been at the forefront of farm-to-table cuisine and eco-tourism, values that resonate with the yoga community. With warm tropical weather most of the year, the least rainfall occurs between December and April. For a retreat immersed in nature and wildlie, look no further than the main provinces: Puntarenas, Guanancaste and Limón. Why choose between beach, rainforest and mountain settings when you can have all three?
For active yogis wanting to catch a wave, Tamarindo boasts some of the best surf breaks in the world, ideal for seasoned surfers and beginners alike; many retreats combine yoga and surfing. Others go deep into the spirituality of the jungle with shamanic rituels and ayuhuasca ceremonies on the menu. The Costa Rican catch-phrase is pura vida (‘pure life’), and that is indeed what you will find on and off the mat at one of these five yoga retreats.
6-Day Yoga and Surfing Retreat at Vida Asana
One of the first yoga centers on the Pacific coast of Costa Rica, fouded in 2002, Vida Asana eco resort is nestled in the rainforest less than a mile (1.6km) from Playa Hermosa, a quiet surfing community with one of the most consistent beaches in the world. Surfing lessons with experienced local instructors, yoga and meditation classes and a one-hour massage or spa treatment are all included, as are three nutritious meals daily. Take a bike out and go monkey-spotting or stroll along the beach between classes. The town of Jaco is just a five-minute drive away so an afternoon shopping or a night out are an option. From $900 / 6 days
5-Day Farm Life and Yoga Holiday at Rancho Rana Roja
This warm, community-oriented eco-village offers a unique opportunity to practice yoga while experiencing life on a traditional Costa Rican farm in the rural village of Torito. You might run into some monkeys and toucans and tiny little frogs in the secluded forest on this 10-hectare (25-acre) ranch. Retreat highlights include morning vinyasa flow on the outdoor deck, a waterfall in situ, and vegetarian meals made with ingredients from the organic garden. Rustic forest cabins along the river complete the experience. From $450 / 5 days
10-Day Naturopathic Retreat in Arenal Rainforest
Perched on a hill overlooking the Arenal Volcano and El Castillo Valley, the Essence Arenal Boutique Hostel is the ideal place to unwind, with access to 1.8 miles (3km) of rainforest trails, jacuzzi and Temazcal sweat lodge, pool and volleyball court. With produce for the healthy meals coming from the onsite permaculture farm, and a one-on-one consultation with the in-house naturopath, you know that the next ten days have the potential to be transformative. Zen out with one morning hatha and two daily meditation classes. From $1,199 / 10 days
7-Day Jungle Yoga Immersion Retreat at Nicoya Peninsula
With 16 hectares (40 acres) of pristine forest, exotic fruit orchards and epic wateralls, The Sanctuary at Two Rivers is situated along the coast of the Nicoya Peninsula, near Montezuma. It’s hard to imagine requiring any sort of technology in a place of such primeval beauty, so disconnect with your phone to reconnect with your body with mindfulness. Even so, it has to be said that the jungle lofts and studio houses are the lap of eco-chic luxury, as are the vegetarian and vegan meals artfully catered by Gaia Gourmet. Your daily vinyasa, hatha or yin class in the leafy shala or on the sky deck will be balanced with Ayurvedic and chakra workshops, cacao ceremonies, sound healing, ecstatic dancing and other yoga-aligned events: an opportunity to open up to something new. Other activities include silent group hikes and optional zipline or boating trips. From $2099 / 7 days
6-Day Revitalize and Rejuvenate Yoga Retreat, Tamarindo
El-Sabanero Eco Lodge is located in Santa Cruz and boasts warm weather and stunning vistas of the valley. Yoga retreats are available here year-round and feature two daily vinyasa classes, meditation, chakra balancing workshops, and hikes. Also included are three healthy vegetarian meals a day, daily beach transfers to thoroughly explore the area, and five nights’ accommodation in a spacious lodge, where all you’ll hear is the gentle sound of native wildlife in the trees. Spare time can be spent snorkelling, visiting a volcano, or getting to know your fellow yogis in the infinity pool. From $995 / 6 days