A group exploration and personal discovery within the rainforest, dry forests and remote pristine coast
In the tiny country of Costa Rica there is a natural peace. Verdant lowland rainforests are home to myriad monkeys and birdlife. Expansive white beaches drape the coastline. And tiny islands and islets dot the clear blue ocean. Our journey, together, takes us both inland and to the Pacific coast, out of the way of the bustle of other tourists. We’ll explore fertile footpaths, wandering past towering volcanoes, careful to spot wild howler monkeys calling from the canopy overhead. We’ll sea kayak, swim, and snorkel…and even surf, if you like…at remote beaches and a protected island, enjoying an uncommon harmony. Our community is essential, and through recovery reflection meetings, yoga, and a mindful approach to our days, we’ll discover both the wonders of Costa Rica, and the traveler in ourselves.
Activities: Hiking, kayaking, snorkeling, zipline excursion, stand-up paddle boarding, daily meditation and reflection meetings, wildlife walks, yoga, and mindfulness workshops
Group Size: 12-16 travelers
Cost: $3,795 per person double occupancy (single room charge: $975 - roommate matches available at no additional fee)
Day 1: Arrive Liberia, Costa Rica
You will be met upon arrival at Liberia Airport, in Costa Rica’s western province of Guanacaste, and taken on a short transfer to our eco-lodge located at the foot of the Rincon de la Vieja Volcano. We’ll gather this afternoon at the hotel for a chance to meet your co-explorers, your guides, and your facilitator to prepare for the adventure and the program ahead.
Day 2: Canopy Ziplining & River Tubing
We awaken for an optional early yoga and meditation session within the prevailing dry forest, where colorful birdlife sounds the arrival of a new day. After breakfast, we’ll embark on a 2-mile walk through the tropical forest to Chorrera Falls, where the waterfalls meet the Blanco River to create an enticing blue pool at its base. Jump in for a quick soak before continuing to our high-flying portion of the program. For the next two hours, we zip-line and rappel through the canyon and forest and explore the tree canopy as we make our way across a hanging bridge spanning rock outcroppings. With some luck on this adventure we may find troops of howler monkeys, colorful toucans, and parrots feeding in the forest canopy! For those who opt to skip these activities, we will arrange nature walks or hikes in the private trail system, including a visit to the 115-foot waterfalls of the Hacienda Gauchupelin.
After a relaxing lunch at an outdoor café at the entrance of the national park, where a wide variety of birds often visit, get ready for some more exhilaration as we find ourselves floating down Rio Negro in inflatable tubes. Along with bouncing and splashing through class II and III rapids, there are many quiet sections where we can appreciate the surrounding beautiful tropical scenery and observe kingfishers, herons, howler, and white-faced capuchin monkeys. Late this afternoon we return to the hotel for a reflection meeting held in a private area of the lodge’s dry forest surroundings.
Day 3: Rincón de la Vieja National Park
From its active volcanos and rich earth to its picture-postcard waterfalls, Rincón de la Vieja National Park is perfect for any outdoor or wildlife enthusiast. Today we explore by foot, and our options are a 2.5-mile hike or a longer 8.5-mile version, each taking us through a geothermal area filled with boiling hot mud springs and fumaroles. We’ll enjoy views of the volcano and we may encounter plenty of birdlife, plus adorable spider monkeys with long limbs and a long tail which allow them to float through the rainforest trees with ease. For the extended option, we hike to Cangreja Falls, with copper salts that give the waterfall a celestial blue color. Again, in the evening we will gather for a meeting on the lodge’s grounds.
Day 4: From Dense Rainforests to Remote Beaches
An optional early bird-watching walk is offered, or you can once again enjoy yoga in the tropical forest. If time allows, we can walk to a look-out point to see the Rincón de la Vieja and Santa Maria volcanoes flanking the Pacific Coastline. Following breakfast, bid farewell to the forest around you and travel to the stunning shores of Playa Carrillo with a local lunch en route. Unlike the developed beaches further to the north, Playa Carrillo is quiet and relaxed. In the afternoon, we will gear up for stand-up paddle boarding or sea kayaking across some of the most serene waters on the Costa Rica coast. Time permitting, surfing may also be an option. Some in the group may opt to simply enjoy the views from the beach. Activities during our stay on the coast are flexible and will change depending on weather and other factors. For the beginner paddle boarder, you will be taught by an experienced guide how to first kneel and then stand up on the board, as well as the correct way to paddle. Those who are adept at paddling a SUP or kayak can go off on their own. For those more interested in land excursions, we can journey southward to explore Corozalito Beach where we may find captivating macaws or even the massive arrival of sea turtles (particularly in October departures)! This evening we check into our hotel overlooking the coast and enjoy dinner and then a meeting at the beach.
Day 5: Isla Chora National Refuge / Snorkeling, Kayaking & Hiking
We awaken on the Pacific coast at Hotel Nammbu, a boutique private accommodation with a collection of luxury bungalows within walking distance of the beach. Enjoy the sunrise from the property, and again optional yoga and meditation are offered before breakfast. During our stay our activities will vary seasonally and by departure, and we will have options for kayaking, stand-up paddle boarding, snorkeling, and hiking. We may sea kayak across a bay to Isla Chora, a small tropical island and national refuge located just a short flatwater distance from Samara Beach. Traveling by single or double kayaks depending on your preference, our guides lead us across the calm seas through sandy coves and pristine shoreline, arriving at our base for a half-day on a private beach. There, the snorkelers will be issued full gear then guided into the typically clear and calm turquoise waters. Along with tropical fish species, regularly found in the open waters and along the coral reef are sea turtles, starfish, and even “friendly’ octopus. For those who prefer to spend their time on land, we will provide an exploration of the national refuge’s rock formations and tidal pools. Or, simply enjoy the day on the beach far away from civilization.
We arrive back at our hotel in the afternoon and have a chance to relax or enjoy a spa treatment or massage. The late afternoon is free before dinner and an optional evening meeting.
Day 6: Relax, surf, explore, and spa on a free day
Today is about you! The group is free to explore the area, surf from Playa Carillo, or enjoy some relaxation time at the hotel’s spa. We plan a barbecue on the beach followed by our final meeting together as a group.
Day 7: Farewell Costa Rica!
After a final opportunity for yoga on the coast, and another tropical fruit-filled breakfast, we gather and bid farewell. We’ll transfer to the airport in the late morning for our flights homeward.
We begin at Hacienda Guachipelin, an award-winning deluxe eco-lodge set in the dry forest at the base of Rincon de la Vieja volcano and national park. Private rooms with en suite bathrooms feature handcrafted furnishings of Costa Rica designs using local woods, and the grounds offer wide views of the surrounding forest and the volcano. The on-site spa and thermal hot springs provide options for relaxation. At Playa Carillo, Nammbu is set on a hilltop offering views of the Pacific from the pool and the grounds. The luxury en suite rooms are spacious with large windows, also providing a view. An on-site spa again offers personal care.