Costa Rica Wellness Retreat 2022
Costa Rica Wellness Retreat took place last week January 15-22, 2022 and the memories and vivid images of paradise instantly flood the imagination. This eight-day tour made my dreams a reality as I chalked this winter trip to one of the ‘Blue Zones” experiences as I pursue my Wellness Travel Specialist certification. Thanks to the expertise of Lesia Kozicky ( Dunwoodie Travel) and G Adventures this trip was the amazing wellness experience of a lifetime, connecting with like minded friends, both old and new forever.
We began with a visit to Mi Cafecito Community Coffee Plantation and a G for Good project supporting 200 local farmers, a way to participate in Costa Rica’s sustainable practices and an all around informative and feel good giving back experience.
Monday morning we woke up with Stand Up Paddleboard (SUP) session scheduled on Lake Arenal before any of us knew what we were about to get into. Only one out of the 12 of us had any previous experience in SUP but we all grabbed a paddle and stepped up beyond our expectations onto a placid lake with the Arenal Volcano in crystal clear sky as a backdrop.
Surprising ourselves even more, we proceeded to downward dog, warrior 1 and 2 and even a tripod. It was quite an accomplishment for many of us on our first day at La Fortuna.
Tuesday began with a side trip to hike the Místico Arenal Hanging Bridges Preserve that extend into the rain forest canopy high up in the air.
The highest bridge is approximately 230 feet above the ground! We saw a sloth, that sleepy creature and one of our most-endearing icons in the rainforests as well as a venomous snake and some colorful birds.
We continued on the road to a break for another local Yoga class in Liberia where the instructor seemed to sing her guiding instructions through the classic poses.
The evening concluded in escape the city to Rincón de la Vieja , an active volcano. We were delivered directly to a rejuvenating trip to the Rio Negro thermal hot springs, located in Guanacaste Province in northwestern Costa Rica.
The next day was a therapeutic mud bath right at our hotel Borinquen resort property where we played like children in the exfoliating mineral rich mud and ending up looking like characters in Lord of the Flies.
So these wellness moments of paddle boarding, yoga sessions, hiking the pure rainforest air, rejuvenating thermal hot springs, therapeutic mud bath concluded in a final stop in Playa Carrillo —a pristine beach on the Nicoya Peninsula-an Blue Zone known for longevity where locals live over 100 years of age. We had a Carpe Diem Day!
Healthy food experiences of Costa Rica to recharge the body and nourish the mind included loads of fresh papaya, lobsters, prawns, snapper, tilapia, octopus always accompanied by rice and beans, fresh salads and interesting starches. The food and the company of our wonderful group was outstanding and many times too generous portions.
We stayed at the Nammbu Beachfront Bungalows where we were treated to 2 outstanding yoga sessions with Kelly who combined Restorative, Yin and meditation mantra “I am…” to her classes and perfectly melded our week long adventure into conscious renewal.
The climax of the week was on Friday’s Surf lesson when John and his crew tested our balance. Frankly, NONE of us had ever even attempted or thought of surfing the ocean waves but I must say it was a remarkable and exhilarating experience.
The pictures say a thousand words. I laugh every time I watch some of the videos of my attempts to rise beyond my conscious abilities and these memorable times of laughter and accomplishment will stay with me forever. As will my mantra: “I am.. I was Brave”.
Pura Vida! = Pure Life, Good Life