Unique Retreats in Costa Rica That Aren't Yoga Retreats

Not all retreats in Costa Rica are of the keep-fit yoga variety
Not all retreats in Costa Rica are of the keep-fit yoga variety | © bogdanhoda/Shutterstock
Photo of Jenn Parker
2 September 2021

Though Costa Rica is a popular yoga retreat destination, it also hosts a surprisingly large variety of other getaways. So if you aren’t up for a week of cobra and warrior poses, perhaps you’d prefer a pro-led photography camp? Or how about a fire dancing retreat?

For the ultimate unique retreat, you can now book an exclusive trip with us – an epic nine-day tour of Costa Rica led by a local insider, which will take you to the Monteverde cloud forest and to Pacific-lapped surf towns.

Sustainability retreat

Puerto Viejo De Talamanaca, Limon, Costa Rica, Central America. Eco Lodge in the jungle with girl looking at the forest.
© mauritius images GmbH / Alamy
Costa Rica has become synonymous with ecotourism and Earth-friendly initiatives. And if you’d like to join the movement, head to Rancho Mastatal, an education center in the rural farming town of Mastatal. It hosts workshops, apprenticeships and customized retreats throughout the year focusing on sustainable and natural building, permaculture and agroforestry.

Medicinal plant retreat

Sandpaper Vine flower or Purple Wreath hanging from the tree with blurry green background, growing wild at Puerto Limon, Costa Rica
© Barbara Ash / Alamy
If you’ve an interest in herbalism, head to the off-grid farm and education center Punta Mona. It hosts a number of medicinal plant retreats throughout the year, in which you can learn about natural medicines from a herbalist. The farm itself is also home to more than 150 medicinal plants, trees and fungi.

Silent retreat

Open tropical yoga studio place with view outside to the beautiful garden with palm trees and ocean. Holiday concept.
© Iryna Veklich / Alamy
A silent retreat (in which participants stay quiet for a set period of time) is a rare opportunity to journey into the depths of your heart, mind, body and soul. If that sounds like your sort of thing, PachaMama in Nosora offers silent retreats, which include guided meditation, beautiful surroundings, and delicious vegetarian and raw food.

Fire dancing retreat

Health Spa, Building
Fire dancers perform on the beach at sunset at the 2015 Envision Festival, a transformational festival on Costa Rica's Pacific Coast.
© Lindsay Fendt / Alamy
Set your soul ablaze with a fire dancing retreat in Montezuma. Classes at Love in the Fire include poi and staff dancing, fire eating and hoola hoop. Join a group class if you’re a beginner hoping to make some friends while learning a new skill. Or go private if you’re a seasoned fire performer looking to perfect your art.

Photography retreat

Natural Feature
Scarlet Macaw (Ara macao) in flight, Corcovado National Park, Osa Peninsula, Costa Rica
© Visions from Earth / Alamy

Costa Rica is a photographer’s – especially a nature photographer’s – dream destination. With 12 main ecosystems and 5 percent of the world’s biodiversity, there are endless captivating creatures and vistas to photograph. For both novice and experienced photographers, a photography retreat in Costa Rica is an opportunity to learn and improve your skills under the guidance of an experienced photographer, while also having the opportunity to explore some of the most beautiful places in the country. There are multiple photography retreats across Costa Rica.

Paddleboarding retreat

Natural Feature
Manuel Antonio Costa Rica 02.11.2019 SUP Stand up Paddle boarding in blue bay with empty beach Central America.
© Christoph Lischetzki / Alamy
The Pacific coast of Costa Rica is an amazing paddleboarding destination. Between the abundant protected bays, lively estuaries, mangrove forests and vast coastline, there are opportunities to paddleboard in a new location and ecosystem every day. Blue Zone SUP runs paddle boarding retreats in Nosara throughout the year. The retreat is open to all levels and is a great opportunity to improve your skills and spend time on the water in Costa Rica.

If it is yoga you’re after, check out our guide to the best places to practice yoga in Costa Rica.

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