By: Mikael and Thrillism
12 minute read
Last updated June 5th, 2020
Costa Rica is known for being many things, but boring is not one of them. This Central must-visit American destination is inspiringly stunning with endless jungles, cascading waterfalls, and white-sand beaches. And you know what goes hand in hand with all this nature? Yoga.
Thanks to its undeniable natural beauty, Costa Rica is a popular destination among traveling yogis. More specifically, traveling surfing yogis. Just as there are endless opportunities for meditational Yin sessions and hot power flows, the same goes for catching waves. The combination of Costa Rica yoga and surf makes for a relaxing adventure.
This is why it’s time to start searching for a Costa Rica yoga and surf retreat for your upcoming trip to Costa. This guide is for all you surfing yogis out there who want nothing more than to spend a tropical vacay doing two things you love: surfing and yoga.
Costa Rica has been the most-visited destination in Central America for decades. Traveling here is easy, safe, cost-efficient, and of course, it offers up plenty of opportunities for yoga and surfing. Before hitting up the yoga studio or renting a surfboard, it’s a good idea to do your research on Costa Rican cultures, customs, and smart travel practices.
Costa Rica is an amazing travel destination for anyone – families, couples, backpackers, and luxury-seekers. It’s entirely safe, even for solo female travelers, but it is still important to keep a sense of awareness and common sense. In other words, leave your fancy jewelry behind and don’t flaunt huge wads of cash.
Because this is such a touristic destination, many locals speak English, especially in popular tourist destinations like Tamarindo and San Jose. Of course, it will be helpful to speak a bit of Spanish or at least know the basics – things like hola, como estas, gracias – but it’s not 100% necessary.
The official currency of the country is the Costa Rican colón, and one colón is equivalent to about 0.0017 USD. This means that 1,000 colón is about $1.70 and 10,000 colón is about $17. You’ll have no trouble accessing Costa Rican cash, just visit a currency exchange and swap out your local currency or hit up an ATM.
Accommodation for travelers ranges from very budget-friendly to very luxurious. If you’re hoping to save a buck, you’ll have plenty of hostel dorm rooms to choose from across the country, costing anywhere between $10 and $15. Or take the other route and treat yourself by booking a fancy hotel or private bungalow at a Costa Rica surf and yoga camp.
Costa Rica isn’t huge like Mexico, so it’s possible to do a full-country tour without taking domestic flights. Buying a private bus ticket for longer cross-country journeys is the most cost-effective way of getting around, but you can also rent a car for a low daily cost of about $5.
Where you decide to stay in Costa Rica depends on your travel tastes. Are you going for a laid-back local vibe that is the epitome of Pura Vida, or is the backpacking party scene more your style? It also depends on your comfort level with surfing.
Intermediate and advanced surfers tend to gravitate to Playa Grande, Playa Hermosa, and Pavones along the Pacific Coast. There are Costa Rica surf and yoga retreats along each of these beaches, as well as Salsa Brava along the Caribbean Coast.
Playa Tamarindo is possibly the most well-known surfing destination in Costa, mainly since it caters to all surfing levels, even beginners. Finding a yoga surf retreat in Costa Rica will be easiest in Tamarindo. There are plenty to choose from, catering to all levels of both yogis and surfers.
Jaco is another popular tourist destination that caters to newbie surfers who are ready to learn. Getting to Jaco takes only about an hour from the San Jose International Airport, which is another reason that it is such a popular Costa Rica surfing beach.
If you’re looking for a more peaceful atmosphere to enjoy your yoga sessions to the fullest, you’ll want to stay away from congested places like Tamarindo and Jaco. It’s not impossible to enjoy yoga in these places, but there are certainly more peaceful destinations with less chaotic atmospheres, like Santa Teresa and Montezuma.
For a healthy dose of yoga and surfing while in Costa, there aren’t many places that compare to Shaka. Since it is situated near the peaceful waves of Hermosa Beach, this is an amazing place for beginners who aren’t yet comfortable on a surfboard. The Shaka team is all about teaching their guests the basics, but also coupling these newfound skills with mindfulness and meditation through regular yoga sessions.
“Over a week, learn to surf, and learn to ‘surf your mind’. Why? Because your mind deserves a holiday as much as your body!”
– Shaka Costa Rica
The owner of Shaka grew up riding Floridian waves, but he decided to spice things up and start a surf school in Costa in 2008. He quickly realized the demand for yoga among the guests, especially in such a scenic and peaceful destination. No matter when you visit Shaka, you’ll have instant access to both yoga and surfing at this well-respected surf and yoga Costa Rica retreat in Playa Hermosa.
As far as staying at Shaka, guests are treated like royalty. It’s a fairly small operation nestled in the quiet gardens just outside of the Hermosa center. Visitors have a few options; they can either pay by night or choose a 5 or 7-day package. Shaka has 2 unique packages to choose from, including the Surf Package and the Chill Package.
Out of all the yoga surf retreats in Costa Rica, Ylang Ylang Beach Resort is the one where guests leave feeling the most relaxed. This is the perfect place to experience all that the country has to offer, and of course, that means plenty of opportunities for both yoga and surfing. Ylang Ylang is not a Costa Rica yoga and surf retreat per se, but guests still get to enjoy both.
“Our guests come to us from all over the world, looking for peace, serenity and a touch of adventure. They find all of this and more at Ylang Ylang.”
– Ylang Ylang Beach Resort
This boutique beach resort is located directly on the white sand beaches of Montezuma and is surrounded by lush jungle and colorful gardens. The resort is home to a spa, swimming pool, yoga studio, restaurant, and bar, so you could literally never leave the Ylang Ylang grounds if you’re just in the mood to unwind.
To get to the main surf spots of Montezuma, you will have to leave the resort’s main beach. The Ylang Ylang beach is great for swimming and snorkeling, but the bigger waves are found elsewhere. For surfing near Ylang Ylang, check out Playa Los Cedros and Rio Lajas. After a day out on the waves, you’ll be able to wind down with a sunset yoga class at the resort’s beachfront studio.
Bodhi Surf and Yoga Costa Rica retreat is a community-engages surf and yoga camp that focus on weeklong experiential learning vacations. Sure, you’ll also be able to relax and reflect during your time at Bodhi, but more so, this is a learning experience that focuses on surfing, yoga, community, and nature immersion.
“The most important takeaways of the week: the knowledge and skills acquired, connections made, and energy stoked!”
– Bodhi Surf & Yoga
Bodhi has several surf/yoga camps to choose from, including an Adult Surf & Yoga Camp, a Family Surf Camp, a Body Surf Camp, and a selection of wellness retreats. The most popular option is the Adult Surf & Yoga Camp, which is a weeklong experience that includes lodging, dining, surf lessons, yoga sessions, transportation, and a variety of adventure activities in the area. You’ll even have the opportunity to surf in Costa Rica’s first marine National Park.
Family adventurers love the Family Package, which includes everything mentioned above but it is more geared towards enhancing the family bonding experience. This package is all about learning, laughing, and growing together as a family. This is something that isn’t always easy when traveling as a family, but Bodhi offers the perfect opportunity to unwind, unplug, and learn in a natural classroom.
“Surf, Yoga, and Beyond” is the motto at Believe, a surf, and yoga retreat in Costa Rica’s Santa Teresa. Believe understands that every surfing yogi is different, which is why there surf yoga camp offers fully customizable packages. Guests can learn to surf, practice yoga every day, and connect with nature in whatever works for them.
“When we make a pause in our lives and connect with ourselves and nature. It is more than a beach holiday or a trip across great landscapes.”
– Believe Surf & Yoga
Believe has 4 unique surf/yoga packages to choose from, or you can contact Believe directly to create your perfect surf and yoga adventure. The most popular Believe option is the 7 Nights Discover Package, which is ideal for both solo travelers and groups of friends traveling together. This includes 1 week of accommodation, 1 daily buffet meal a day, and all the surfing and yoga you could ever want
For traveling females hoping to enjoy the simple life, the Pura Vida, the best thing to do is book a vacay with a surf and yoga retreat in Costa Rica called Pura Vida Adventures. This destination is solely for women – sorry boys, you’ll have to look elsewhere! Whether you’re a solo female traveler or exploring Costa with your girlfriends, Pura Vida Adventures is a great way to unwind and escape from male energy.
“Pura Vida Adventures is a special destination for women to adventure, grow, and have the time of their lives.”
– Pura Vida Adventures
The ultimate way to experience Pura Vida during your time here is to book an all-inclusive weeklong surf and yoga retreat. This 7-day/6-night adventure includes yoga, surfing, lodging, dining, adventure activities, and even a beachside massage. Female surfers rave about PVA for many reasons, but mainly because it offers a diverse collection of Costa Rican waves.
If you’re hoping to sign up for a PVA retreat with your loved ones, including your male friends and family members, you have this option. Pura Vida has plenty of Co-Ed retreats to choose from throughout the year. Although the main focus here is on the female experience, men aren’t entirely left out from experiencing Pura Vida.