Finding a great retreat in Costa Rica isn’t a stretch; in fact, there are dozens to choose from in just as many niches. From surf camps to plant medicine journeys, you’ll find just what your soul is searching for.
So, you finally got a little space for some well-deserved “me time.” Your bags are packed and you’re ready for Costa Rica. With so many awesome retreats to choose from, how do you get the most out of that retreat you’ve been dreaming of?
Our first advice, which might sound a little silly but really works, is look in the mirror, smile deeply at yourself (which can be harder than you think ), and complete this affirmation statement:
“My retreat in Costa Rica gives me…and this provides…for my life.”
Be as specific as possible, and include as many details as you can think of. If you’re artistic, draw a picture of what you will be doing, feeling and surrounded by. If you are a wordsmith write a short story describing ‘a day in the life’ of your retreat.
The clearer you are on what you are going to get from your retreat before you even book it, the better chance you have of coming back to your life feeling that you got exactly what you needed.
Once you are clear on what type of retreat experience you want to have, you will be able to easily wade through a bulging industry of great health and wellness retreats in Costa Rica.
Costa Rica’s Blue Zone
No, the blue zone is not some weird sci-fi fantasy. There are five classified blue zones in the world with common health traits and lifestyles that result in higher life expectancy than anywhere else. The Nicoya Peninsula in Costa Rica is one of the five blue zones in the world where longevity is increased, mostly due to lifestyle and diet. Book a retreat in the blue zone, reflect on your lifestyle and discover Costa Rican secrets to a healthy long life.
Accessible only by dirt road, if you are renting a car, you will need an SUV. Hacienda del Sol focuses on detoxification, weight loss and rejuvenation retreats that start at 7 days and can last up to nearly three weeks. This is an alcohol and drug-free retreat center.
8-Day long retreats focus on healing autoimmune disorders through Dr. Kim’s special recovery formula so that your autoimmune complications stop running your life and you can find some food freedom.
Live the life of surfing, yoga, and paradise for 7 days on the southern tip of the Nicoya Peninsula. This retreat offers a connection between surfing and yoga and the Pura Vida vibe and, as an option, also holds all women retreats.
Looking for a little spiritual guidance, meditation, healing, yoga teacher training, or a whole-body cleanse? This is not just a retreat, it is an intentional community based on spiritual philosophies. They also offer work-study programs if you are on a tight budget.
Mountain Zone of Costa Rica
Retreat in the mountainous climates of Costa Rica and surround yourself with lush vegetation, waterfalls, and fresh mountain air while taking in amazing vistas or discovering the cornucopia of medicinal plants and wildlife that Costa Rica offers. There are retreats to challenge your thinking, teach you something new, or help you find wellness and balance in your life.
We love this 300-acre sustainability education center nestled against the last remaining virgin rainforest of Costa Rica. The ranch provides workshops that range from learning how to build your dream home with mud and clay, to becoming certified in permaculture design, to understanding how to ferment foods to aid in digestion and immune health. Courses are diverse, vary in length and include lodging and meals.
This is a writer’s retreat designed for budding or seasoned writers to submerge themselves in the sanctuary and be given the time to work on their next bestseller. Self-guided or guided writing retreats are available depending on your needs.
An all-inclusive holistic sanctuary that offers 3, 5 or 7-night retreats, these escapes are individually catered to provide overall wellness and recuperation. Amatierra grows, harvests and produces organic powdered turmeric products and provides specialized organic meals. Jill is a clinical herbalist and provides private individual consultations to make sure that you are provided with what you need most during your stay.
Costa Rica’s Zone of Transcendence
Maybe your life has become caught up in a vicious cycle of substance abuse or you are struggling to heal past trauma. Maybe you want to explore yourself more deeply using the aid of powerful rituals that include altering your mind, body, and spirit to more deeply listen to yourself.
Costa Rica offers some great retreats that incorporate the use of strong plant medicines that have mind-altering properties for intense inner work and life transformation.
This space offers an 8-day retreat that will give you the chance for a deep and lasting transformation in your life. Iboga is used in their medicinal ceremonies which are designed to detoxify the body and mind and heal your body at the deepest mental, emotional and spiritual levels. Meals are prepared organically and to best work with the medicine.
A week-long retreat that uses the medicine of ayahuasca to provide a door to the inner world. Organic vegan food is included in their retreats. They offer a medicinal session with Kombu, which has been known to increase clarity and focus as an optional service.
SOL provides a communal atmosphere to take ayahuasca medicine using diverse ceremonies which vary in length anywhere from 6-11 days. Female only retreats are offered and a large portion of the food they serve is grown on their grounds.
Eden offers a combination of working with plant medicines during ceremonies as well as providing western, eastern and natural medicines to help you come up with medical solutions to a variety of health issues. With several therapy styles to choose from, therapists treat a variety of physical illnesses and emotional illnesses such as PTSD. They provide a free 15-minute consultation to review your needs and help you book a retreat that can address them properly.
Whether you need to catch a spectacular wave on a beautiful beach, allow crystal bowls to vibrate through your body on an energetic level, or want to transform your life through a mind-altering journey, Costa Rica has the retreat for you.
All you need to do is show up. Bienvenidos!
Lynette Garet is a bilingual freelance writer. A U.S. ex-pat living in Costa Rica with her partner Sil, when not busy with writing projects, she can be found hanging with her favorite “stinky boys” (the Grand-Littles), tending her garden, cooking, reading, enjoying good wine, and dancing in the kitchen to music from a limitless list of genres.